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Another week, another installment in the Cobra Command multi-part adventure.  IDW continues to use the same art team along with their regular compliment of writers to carry the story along and maintain a great sense of unity even as it hops from title to title.  The results so far have been excellent, in my opinion.

What I really love about how the Cobra title is treating this story is that they are staying very much in continuity and sticking with the format, but you can definitely smell the Cobra vibe as you read the pages.  This issue is no different.

Click the Read the Rest of this Entry link below to check out the full review.

Cobra #10

Writer: Mike Costa
Artist: Alex Cal

I’ve been so drawn in by what’s going on with the Cobra title that this weekend I spent a solid chunk of time digging my back issues out of my G.I. Joe long box and reading them straight through.  I didn’t quite make my way all the way to the current release, but I did buzz through a chunk of older issues, which ended up serving me very well when this issue came around today.

Cobra continues their rampage through Nanzhao, but this issue puts a stronger focus on Serpentor.  While Cobra Commander is razing villages, slaughtering UN Peacekeepers and basically imposing his will, Serpentor is using his charisma to move in and draw the refugees to Cobra’s side.  Creating his own miniature cult as he passes through Nanzhao with what appear to be specialized “Coil” troopers, distinct and different from the standard Cobra fare.  Bludd tags along, questioning his motives, but Serpentor appears to have an ace up his sleeve in the form of a mysterious tablet computer which changes the landscape of things.

They both are quick to meet up with Tomax, who is only too eager to join in on the conspiracy once he also learns the contents of this tablet.

Quickly the enigmatic Cobra Council is brought in the loop, but not before The Baroness makes a dramatic appearance at one of their mansions and slaughters the council member inside.  Apparently the new Cobra Commander doesn’t appreciate the shadowy councils presence, and his personal associate is ending their relationship.

Over on the Joe side, Chameleon, Firewall, Scarlett, and Mainframe are tracking the activity in Nanzhao, but they also notice the large estate belonging to the Cobra council member who the Baroness paid a little visit to.  A decision must be made as Mainframe decides to make a little call to someone who might be able to help.  This is a nice twist to things, and not something I will spoil here.

Mike Costa, as usual, weaves a fantastic story, managing to keep the pace of the Cobra Command thread, yet putting a much more direct focus on the Cobra side…or more accurately, the Coil side of the house.  An intense dynamic is already forming here between Serpentor, Cobra Commander and the requisite members of the terrorist organization.  I love the idea of Cobra Commander really taking control of things, too, and deciding to eliminate the Cobra Council.  We see Cobra really forming here, right before our eyes.  Formerly a large conspiracy-based organization with political tendrils throughout the world, this new Cobra Commander is bringing Cobra into the limelight and severing all ties to this mysterious council, really showing the organization as self-sustaining and existing on its own. The dialog is real, the pacing of the story is great, and it merges with the rest of Cobra Command effortlessly.

Alex Cal’s art continues to impress as well.  I was a bit taken aback with the Cobra Troopers near the beginning of the issue, until I realized they are probably Coil specific troopers working for Serpentor’s side.  Cal does a great job translating the Cobra aesthetic and bringing some of the film noir design elements into a more “comic book” look and feel.  The faces are extremely expressive, but the action is excellent as well.  The sequence of events in the Cobra Councilman’s estate with The Baroness was exceptional. Blood streaks on the floor, the flow of the action…remarkable.

Another great installment.  Cobra still stands tall on the comic shelves, and its amazing that even among the rest of the Cobra Command storyline, even with a very similar creative team, Costa’s work manages to stand alone.

Check out the five page preview below for a sample of the writing and art.

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