If you’ve been reading G.I. Joe: Cobra, then you already know that the Commander is dead and there is now a desperate race to find a replacement. The details of how this will be accomplished were revealed in G.I. Joe: Cobra Civil War #0, and now the re-launch of G.I. Joe begins to expand on those events. This issue opens up with the cover story version of the Commander’s death that will be known to the rest of the terrorist organization. A brief recap of the individuals involved in the bid for the new Commander position are listed, then we focus on the Baroness’s attempt to take out a squad of Joes via Cobra sniper Blacklight. There’s also an infiltration of the PIT unbeknownst to the Joes, and it looks like Stormshadow is in the mood to spill a lot of blood.
Dixon delivers a solid start to the Cobra Civil War story line, and it’s one that actually makes me want to stay and see this thing through. This issue is what you want in a Joe title and reminds me of the days when the original G.I. Joe title got a little more dark and serious. The action is well paced and fun to watch, and we get plenty of good dialog to go along with it that moves the story. There isn’t a heavy amount of military talk that needs further explanation during the issue to take away from what’s going on, either. I’m finding that’s my main issue with the other Joe title from IDW. My only complaint would be the amount of “new” Joes introduced just for the sake of having characters to kill off. It just takes away from the element of surprise along with that feeling that everyone is not safe when the bullets start flying. I am a bit confused as to how easy it was for Cobra to locate the PIT, since I don’t remember them successfully getting the location in the last series. Hopefully Dixon explains this over the course of the series, or maybe I just missed something during the last run. I’m hoping for some twists from Dixon. Since only a few candidates were picked by the Cobra Council to assume the position, it’s not too far of a stretch to think that others won’t toss in their bid for the opportunity to lead Cobra.
The overall look of the issue was good, though some panels stood out as better pieces than others. The sniping sequence was one of the better parts of the story visually, as Saltares moved it along very well. Other areas of the issue were more hit and miss, but even those were helped out by the coloring and inks, though I was a bit disturbed that Scarlett was a bit more top heavy than usual. It didn’t border on ridiculous, but it came quite close. Saltares does good work so I’m holding on to the hope that he delivers a little more in the coming issues.
Once again another Joe title is starting off quite strong as Dixon keeps the ball rolling on this Cobra Civil War story arc. Aside from the fact that this current incarnation of G.I. Joe and Cobra know little about each other, it allows for something new to be introduced to the G.I. Joe mythology. So it’s definitely the shot in the arm this entire series needed, if you ask me. I’d suggest getting in on the ground floor with this issue if you’re a fan of the Joe franchise and want to see where this is going.