Okay, I’m just going to come right out and ask: Who told Dixon he could put that much @#$%! cool ninja action all in one issue? The first issue was great, but this one makes it look like a Sunday afternoon stroll in Central Park. Snake Eyes and Alpine’s ruse gets them into Khalikhan’s base, but that’s when things go straight to hell, because the bullets start flying and these two are out manned and out gunned. Dixon throws in a couple of flash backs that help fill the story and clear up a few things, but the situation becomes more intense after Alpine takes a few bullets to the chest and Snake Eyes is captured. We are also given a glimpse of Khalikhan’s skill as he has Snake Eyes prepped for a fight with the two ninja who killed his students in G.I. Joe: Cobra Civil War #0.
This updated version of the G.I. Joe team has slowly begun to impress me, especially with the direction of the Cobra Civil War story line. Dixon cranked it up several notches as this is just one fast paced issue in terms of action, but it’s also enhanced by some very good dialog. Sure, he could have let the awesome artwork of Atkins carry the weight, but the story is just as important in this one here. The Scarlet/Snake Eyes relationship has always been an interesting one and it was good to see Dixon touch on that here. I also still like that after twenty plus years Dixon is keeping the mystery when it comes to Snake Eyes’s appearance. We are allowed a glimpse at his severely scarred body, but that’s about it as his face is usually hidden in shadow or convieniently blocked by something.
The only difference with the artwork in this issue is that Atkins handles both the present day part of the story as well as the flashbacks, which were handled by Augustin Padilla last issue. Atkins still delivers a great looking book that helps carry the story in both action and the few quieter moments that take place in the book. I think what makes a lot of his panels stand out is the amount of detail he provides in just about every single panel, whether it be the characters themselves or the environments. Simon Gough and Juan Castro are also to thank for the awesome colors and inks throughout this little adventure.
Khalikhan is shaping up to be an interesting villain, and it’s good to see Snake Eyes have an adversary that’s capable of holding his own against him besides Storm Shadow. Though the Joe fans love seeing those two go at it, there’s only so many ways you can show that fight before we begin to yawn and skip to the end. So Dixon should definitely get kudos for shaking things up and delivering something better than the usual. This is a definite must have series for all Joe fans regardless of when you were introduced to the franchise!