Comics: G.I. Joe #9
Hot off the heels from the Cobra Civil War event, G.I. Joe #9 (written by Chuck Dixon with art by Alex Cal) begins the first chapter in the next stage of the Joe/Cobra conflict: Cobra Command.
Dixon and Costa created some great momentum in the final chapters of the Cobra Civil War, and Dixon continues to run with it here. While the Joes are still recovering from the attacks, Cobra finally makes its presence known to the world as it invades a Southeast Asian country. Dixon throws us into the middle of the invasion so we, just like the Joes and the rest of the world, are left to wonder what this means and how this will play out. Not waiting for the dust to settle, the Joes start to amass their forces nearby waiting for Cobra's next move.
This is our first view of Krake in the leadership position. As we saw in his rise to power, he is ruthless, calculating, and very victory-orientated. Bringing Cobra out of the shadows was a relatively bold move for the previously clandestine organization. But it increases the tension and threat level of Cobra in these IDW books, and it's a very welcomed change for the story at large.
My one real criticism with this issue was the apparent insubordination of Snake Eyes and his team against Flint as the Joes were preparing to deploy. Although it was later revealed that he did have mission clearance from Scarlet, this disrespect for the chain-on-command rang false in this military-themed story. If I didn't know any better, I would think that Dixon was purposefully making Snake Eyes dislikable.
Alex Cal is doing the art for the first several chapters of the Cobra Command event, which is a nice touch to keep the story consistent (especially for those among us who will probably be picking up the trade). IDW's been staffing the Joe comics with some solid artists, and Cal is certainly no exception. He has done a great job with the Cobra army, both personal and vehicles, as well as depicting the violence and gore without being overt. I also loved his Storm-Shadow jungle camo; that is going to the top of my customs "to do" list.
A special mention for Wil Rosado's cover (Variant B): while not as photo-realistic as the other two covers this month, it was eye-catching and atmospheric, and one of the best covers I've seen in a while.
"It's the day after Christmas, General. No new toys until next year."
Or at least until next spring...
I had been looking forward to the Cobra Command event, but this laid down groundwork for a story that exceeded my expectations. Highly recommended.