Comics: Snake Eyes #6

February 1, 2012

Written by Chuck Dixon and art by Casey Maloney, Snake Eyes #6 follows Snake Eyes and Duke in a race against time to find an antidote for a lethal biological weapon developed by Dr. Vargas, a candidate for the Cobra Commander position. This issue introduces a much-beloved character from the Marvel run into the IDW universe.

Reading Snake Eyesis like watching a summer action movie. Good visuals, great action, but the characterization are weak and the plot doesn't hold up to scrutiny. Dixon lost me at the end of last issue when Doc discharged Duke, who is dying from a brand-new, deadly, and extremely contagious virus. The fact he is performing commando missions with Snake Eyes challenges my suspension of disbelief beyond repair. Admittedly, the action is good, and the story moves quickly, but it's tough to get excited about this issue.

By far the biggest surprise was Kwinn making his first appearance at the end of this issue. He seems to already know Snake Eyes, hinting at a prior relationship between the two. It will be interesting to see where Dixon takes this.

Lighthorse, the pilot on Snake Eyes' and Duke's mission, has all the earmarks of a human target and a causality of the Cobra Civil War, but he is becoming a likeable character. Dixon seems to approach Lighthorse with a light-hearted hand, making him an enjoyable read.

Of course, a disadvantage of doing a series on a silent character is that it is difficult to develop that characterization. That difficulty is really apparent in this issue. Snake Eyes makes no attempt to communicate or any displays of emotion, and he relies on Duke to narrate his actions for the readers. Snake Eyes is becoming uninteresting in his own book.

No matter how good Maloney's art is, he will always be suffering a disadvantage from following Atkins. He does lack that attention to detail that made Atkins' work jump out, but Maloney does a strong job in sequential art, making a lot of the action scenes flow seamlessly.

The most exciting part of this issue was the appearance of Kwinn, which may suggest once again that the mythos of Snake Eyes is much more interesting than the man himself.

The weakest of the ongoing Joe series, with only a peripheral tie-in to the Cobra Civil War storyline. If you're a completist, borrow a friend's copy or wait for the trade, but otherwise this is a passable issue.

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