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Pretty much since day one, IDW’s Cobra title has been very unique among the other G.I. Joe titles.  It had a very distinct writing style and an even more unique art style, which immediately brought it out of the “high octane” action world and into a crime noir episodic world.

So what was going to happen when IDW brought Cobra into the more mainstream style?  Well, it loses some of its unique charm, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad issue.  Click the Read the Rest of this Entry link below for the details.

G.I. Joe: Cobra #9

Writer: Mike Costa
Artist: Alex Cal

The most obvious change about this issue is the artwork.  Instead of Antonio Fuso’s very distinct art techniques, we get treated to Alex Cal, who has been absolutely knocking it out of the park in each issue of Cobra Command so far.  I was a bit hesitant to accept the whole same art team for 9 issues straight gimmick that IDW was going for with Cobra Command, but the end result has been fantastic.  I absolutely love the seamless way each issue has transitioned to the next, and having Cal do the art for every issue has been an incredible success.

Just like the other issues, he treats the characters and vehicles with loving detail and toy-accuracy from an overall design perspective.  The addition of camouflage in certain places throughout the vehicles and Agent Helix’s uniform is a very interesting choice, and has worked pretty well to date.  It makes sense for all of these things in a jungle environment to have this camouflage intact.

Story wise, we pick up right where the last installment left off, seeing Cobra invade Nanzhao, a small country bordering much larger Asian behemoths like India and China.  The ensuing bloodbath puts Cobra on the map as they try and spread their influence.  Snake Eyes and Agent Helix continue their rampage throughout Cobra’s jungle headquarters, and you know…  I’m hoping they dial that back just a little bit.

To this point we’ve seen most of the Joes do nothing while Snake Eyes and Agent Helix have single-handedly (double-handedly??) cut a swath through Cobra armor, personnel, and now they’ve entirely destroyed a huge bulk of their jungle forces.  I love Agent Helix here (especially since they’re drawing back a bit from her super powered nature) and sure, Snake Eyes is and always will be the super-ninja of G.I. Joe, but I’d kinda like to see the other hundred or so G.I. Joe team members get into the fray as well.

One of my favorite parts of this issue is Major Bludd.  The IDW universe has put a lot of weight on the shoulders of the Mercenary, and his personality is really shining through.  As he tries to work both sides in this issue, Cobra Commander steps up and slaps him down.  Hard.  Loved this twist.

We start to learn a little bit more about Cobra’s chilling plans for Nanzhao as well, and thinks look like they’re about to get pretty interesting.

Mike Costa’s writing is fantastic in this issue, as we’ve gotten used to.  While the main essence of the writing style picks right up from Chuck Dixon, you can definitely see Mike Costa’s more dialog-focused elements shining through.  So much character and plot extension throughout this single issue, and I really like it.  Another awesome piece to the Cobra Command puzzle, and another great issue in IDW’s G.I. Joe resurgence.  Loving it.

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