If you haven’t been reading G.I. Joe: Cobra II, then I’ll warn you now that a decent sized spoiler is coming your way, so continue at your own risk.
In the pages of G.I. Joe: Cobra II #12, the Joe known as Chuckles was able to infiltrate Cobra as a double agent and finally positioned himself to take out Cobra Commander. Now with him dead and gone, there’s a space that needs to be filled and G.I. Joe: Cobra Civil War #0 introduces us to how Cobra plans on doing this. We’re given three separate stories that briefly touch on the new titles that will come out with the Cobra Civil War banner, which are G.I. Joe, Snake Eyes, and Cobra.
The first story simply titled “G.I. Joe,” introduces a squad that is sent to the formerly Cobra occupied Springfield. Since I only recognized one name in the squad, I figured that these guys were on borrowed time. Chuck Dixon and Javier Saltares introduce a new Cobra by the name of Krake who proves he’s got the skills to handle the Joes. There’s also a mystery man who seems to be part of the Cobra Council keeping track of Krake’s activities, which are explained a bit more in the next story.
“Cobra” is also written by Chuck Dixon, with art by Antonia Fuso, and we get the explanation of what’s going on with Cobra since their leader’s demise. A secret meeting is being held where a select few have been gathered. It seems as if these are potential replacements to take on the role of Commander. The Cobra Council has decided that the individual who causes the Joes the most trouble by racking up the largest body count will inherit the role. What was most interesting about this was the fact that Baroness alluded to the fact that there have been other Commanders in the past, which is a new twist. Oh, and that crazy “holy” man, Serpentor, shows up; I’m sure we’ll see if he’s tossing his bid in for Commander as well.
The last story, “Snake Eyes,” is by Mike Costa with art by Agustin Padilla, and spotlights everyone’s favorite ninja. Someone is targeting all of the Joe martial artists. Having set up Snake Eyes’s team, most of them have been taken out and are found by Scarlet, Lawhound, and Snake Eyes, but the killers escape before they’re caught. Though it is revealed that the man responsible for sending the assassins is in the running for the role of Cobra Commander. It was good to see Padilla’s artwork again, and it totally fits what I’d want in a series filled with fast paced action that’s bound to get bloody.
Although each story was just the very tip of the iceberg for their respective titles, they accomplished the task of piquing your interest. The fact that this era of G.I. Joe comics doesn’t shy away from characters actually dying also gives it a more realistic feel. Now I’m sure that the race for Commander isn’t going to be as easy as just killing off the Joes, so I’m actually interested in how this plays out. This is actually new ground, as back in the early days of the G.I. Joe comics the idea of Cobra Commander being killed was teased, but it was never pulled off, and especially not like it was here. Since this was a zero issue, my expectations were a bit low, but each story actually built on its predecessor, making this a surprise hit in my eyes.