Storm Shadow has shown his hand in trying to assassinate the new Cobra Commander, making the Arashakage ninja clan an enemy of Cobra. Now the Commander has tasked Serpentor and his group of fanatics, The Coil, with wiping out the entire ninja clan. The targets in this issue are two of the most dangerous men in the Arashakage outside of Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes themselves, if not more. The Hard Master and the Soft Master. However, it’s the Soft Master that may prove to be the most deadly for everyone involved.
Chuck Dixon gives you exactly what you would expect from a title filled with ninja, terrorist organizations, and religious zealots, while throwing in that something extra to hold it all together! He’s been building on this for a while, and seeing this shift in how Snake Eyes operates is a bit refreshing. Dixon has also built a very strong cast of characters surrounding Snake that really move this story and aren’t just there for decoration. Which could have easily been the case, since the silent Joe tends to steal the spotlight quite often. Through all of this, Dixon is also coming back to the relationship between Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes, but it’s unclear if Snake is there to “save” his sword brother this time, or end him along with the Arashakage when this is all over.
Another strong area in this series has been the artwork. Atilio Rojo continues that here from the opening page to the last. The action is big and stylized, but doesn’t lose the element of storytelling, while the quieter moments are just as visually strong. There is one confusing panel sequence involving the Soft Master, as it’s unclear as to how he is knocked out. Aside from that, your eyes will be very pleased with what they see here!
IDW has given readers some very good choices when it comes to the G.I. Joe comics franchise. Each title has a completely different feel and Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow continues to stand on its own. Dixon has kept this series relevant and just as fun as you’d imagine a series centered around the Joe’s premiere ninja would be.