Dixon wastes no time in setting up the next arc in this series, as he drops us into the middle of a fire fight involving Snake Eyes. This leads into the the introduction of yet another player in the race to become the next Cobra Commander: Dr. Rodrigo Vargas. Dixon lets us know that this man’s goal is complete annihilation of his targets using chemical warfare, as he’s currently testing out a virus on a small population in Africa. As things heat up globally, there’s an update on Duke’s condition and it seems as if he will be Snake’s partner in this new arc. The only problem is that the clock is ticking on Duke’s life as he was infected as well during an attack on the PIT in the G.I. Joe ongoing series. There’s also the introduction of a Joe named Lighthorse whom Snake Eyes personally chose for this mission, so it’s going to be interesting to see what makes this guy so special.
Out of all of the Cobra Civil War books coming out, this is the series that I’m always the most excited about picking up. Dixon has exceeded expectations with this title, and it’s become much more than Snake Eyes killing people with those cool ninja skills. There isn’t one flat character in the bunch, and he even has time to squeeze in some levity when a random Joe grabs Snake’s mask while he’s in the shower and decides to have a little fun. Let’s just say that Snake Eyes is the last Joe one should attempt to make the butt of any joke. Dixon also shows a touching moment between Alpine and Iceberg, as we’re finally shown his condition after their previous mission with Snake Eyes. I’m also liking this new and focused Cobra, as we’re getting a villainous organization that has a goal, and the destruction of the Joes along with global domination seems a bit more serious. Though, it would have been nice to get away from the usual location of Africa when it comes to testing viruses, only because it’s been done to death in my opinion, and there are much better locations to choose from across the globe. All I’m saying is just to mix it up a little and give us something new.
We get an artist shift here as Alberto Muriel takes over where Scott Atkins left off. What you get in the end is still another good looking issue, but a couple of panels could have used a bit more detail to bring them out. This wasn’t an action packed issue, but we are treated to a couple of intense scenes and Muriel pulls them off pretty well. I’m pretty sure my favorite scene is Snake Eyes just appearing out of the dark behind Doc, and the look on his face is priceless. Danny Cruz and Esther Sanz also do one hell of an homage cover to Uncanny X-Men #141 for this issue!
The Cobra Civil War story line is bringing out some of the best G.I. Joe stories in quite some time. The stakes are much higher and you’ll never know how your favorite Joe or Cobra member is going to come out of it by the end. Though I don’t think the body count has been higher in any of the other Joe titles in the past, it would be a bit more exciting if I didn’t feel like some of the better known characters weren’t safe in all of this. Either way, Dixon is delivering quality G.I. Joe action that is well worth the time!