Comics: Cobra #9
In Costa and Cal's Cobra #9, the Joes continue their strike at Cobra forces inside Nanzhao. However, it may all be for nothing when Joe Intelligence comes to realize what the real purpose of the Cobra invasion was truly for.
Snake Eyes and his team finish their strike against a Cobra weapons depot (while unknowingly being observed by four of Cobra's hierarchy). Meanwhile, the Cobra Commander continues his negotiations with neighboring powers.
Mike Costa tends to use "bait-and-switch" tactics in his storytelling, leading a character (in this case, Major Bludd) and the readers down one path only to finally reveal it's all a deception. I've no complaints; the reveals are always worth it. Too often, comic publishers love to reveal the "surprises" in their solicitations in an attempt to get more readers. The result being that readers generally know where storyline is going several months in advance. IDW (and Costa in particular) has done a great job keeping solicitations spoiler-free and rewarding their readers with unexpected twists.
One of the strengths of the G.I. Joe mythos is the colorful characters in Cobra. After Cobra Civil War, where they were antagonistic with each other, it was refreshing to see them all working towards a common goal once again. This is not to say they still aren't antagonistic… Bringing out the best (or worst) of Cobra was always one of Costa's strong points.
Alex Cal's art was occasionally inconsistent in how he draws faces in this issue. Sometimes they are near flawless, and other times, they're very disproportionate. He began the Cobra Command story beautifully in G.I.Joe #9. He put out three books this month, and hopefully, this is just a small symptom of a time crunch. Overall, his art remains very clean and dynamic, and a strong showing for the first third of the Cobra Command event.
Mike Costa has been one of my more favorite writers for his dark humor sprinkled in his gritty storytelling. The recap on the opening page is a perfect example of this. "Man...G.I. Joe"
Strong storytelling with great exposition. Highly recommended.