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: G.I. Joe: Cobra Civil War
(Click to go to the release post)Writer(s)
: Chuck Dixon
and Mike Costa
(Click to see other books from this writer released on this site)Review source
: Patrick Tobin
(Don't click it, read the review here...
) " As a primer for a crossover event, Cobra Civil War #0 is a frustratingly mixed bag."Review
: G.I. Joe: Cobra Civil War #0
COBRA CIVIL WAR BEGINS HERE! The Commander is dead! Long live... Cobra Commander?! But the questions is, who will BE the NEXT Cobra Commander?! The role of Commander must be filled -- now the most lethal and cunning Cobra operatives will COMPETE TO REIGN SUPREME. The winner -- he who kills the most G.I. JOES -- will take the reins of COBRA! Bonus: Ninja Force!!!!! Yeah, baby! 30 big pages of story at regular price! This is the place to jump on board and see what everyone’s been talking about!More info
I probably don't need to introduce G.I. Joe to you. Yet at the same time, if you're one of the people who I don't need to introduce G.I. Joe to, this may not be the G.I. Joe you recognize. The days of Sgt. Slaughter dishing out cartoon beatings are long gone: so is what we have now better, or worse, or what? How does Cobra Civil War #0 square up against all-time classic material like that one "The Viper Is Coming" YouTube clip? Find out after the blah blah blah.
I'm a pretty big G.I. Joe fan -- it comes from being an American male born in 1985. I had my own battalion of figures and caught the cartoon in syndication when I could. Since the late 90s or so, I've borne witness to people trying to coax G.I. Joe into growing up with them. Sure, the old-school comics by Larry Hama were pretty grown-up compared to the Sunbow cartoon (and especially compared to the DiC one, home of all-time classics like "Chunnel"), but it also featured stuff like Battle Force 2000 (a product line of toys who dressed like Tron escapees and drove future tanks) and the Eco-Warriors (although to be fair, the Eco-Warriors stuff was surprisingly hardcore). Still, things were for the most part always just to the left of what we could call "realistic" -- this wasn't The 'Nam.
Since the advent of Metal Gear Solid, 24, and (insert your favorite po-faced military conspiracy action thriller here), G.I. Joe comics have taken a sharp turn away from that side of things. It's not enough to be America's quasi-superheroic fighting force against a group of terrorists dressed like particularly gaudy cereal boxes. Devil's Due resisted this change for a while, but eventually gave in whole-hog with America's Elite. IDW's Joe stuff, headed up writing-side by Chuck Dixon, has been particularly humorless from the start. I kept up on it for a while, but after nearly a year they still hadn't even gotten around to showing a single panel of Cobra Commander in the main series, so I gave up. I don't mind slow-moving, dead-serious military thrillers, but I'm a child of the 80s when it comes to G.I. Joe -- for every storyline like Outback, Stalker and Snow Job in the gulag, I want a moment of the Baroness hissing, "Cobra Commander, you IDIOT!"
Anyway, the pitch is this: Chuckles (one of my favorite Joes, unironically) shot Cobra Commander in the head and now Cobra's flailing around without a leader. What we get in Cobra Civil War #0 is what you'd expect, split into thirds. Three prologues lay out the premises for three series that will further the new mega-plot of the G.I. Joe world, until the next thing. With those parameters laid down, the question is whether or not these prologues are enough to suck readers into following them to their respective #1's. Let's handle them one at a time.
The first story, by Chuck Dixon and Javier Saltares, is meant to set up the proper G.I. Joe series, where one imagines the bulk of the plot will be taking place. Not that you'd be able to tell from the actual story; it features a bunch of tossed-off codenames (and, oddly, Barbeque) being led to the slaughter. Here's your spoiler-alert summary: a bunch of Joes you've never heard of (and, oddly, Barbeque) go to Springfield, wander around for a few pages, and are summarily executed in six seconds. What this tells us about the G.I. Joe team, I guess, is that they're easy to kill. If anything, this reads like a prologue for a series about the antagonist who does the killing, which is really unfortunate because his name is (seriously) "Krake." I have no idea what G.I. Joe #1 will be about other than, presumably, fallout from Krake killing their dudes. I don't know who'll even feature in it as main characters, other than, presumably, Krake. This is not really how to sell me on the series, and I feel okay with using "does it sell me" as a marker because I'm already a G.I. Joe fan, so I should be a fish in their proverbial barrel. And yet, here, they missed.
Presaging a relaunch of the parallel series, G.I. Joe: Cobra, is a story by Mike Costa and Antonio Fuso featuring the actual beginning of the civil war proper. Sort of. It turns out that this is less Civil War and more Contest of Champions, although the fact that Cobra is full of scum and villainy means that the games will be in no way fairly played. As far as setting up a cast of characters, this is far more effective than the first story -- all of these people are presumably going to be factors in the Cobra series, and some of them are even given a bit of motivation, too. Unfortunately, there's no real excitement to be found. A short story about the heads of Cobra meeting was always going to be a talking-head passage, but the decision to have them meet only by video conferencing over Evil Skype or whatever means that this is literally a story of nearly nothing but talking heads (between dark-haired guys in suits, and also the Baroness). It doesn't make me want to pick up Cobra, because, well, as cool as it might be for these characters to start murdering each other, I can't really say reading about them having a relatively civil discussion got my adrenalin surging.
That leaves one more book to set up: G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes, because of course we need a Snake Eyes spotlight. What could be the most gratuitous tie-in of the whole endeavor has the most effective prologue of the lot, however, and gives us a coherent picture of what to expect. Chuck Dixon returns with Agustin Padilla on art, and for all the sins of Dixon's first story in Cobra Civil War #0, his second gets it right. The plot is simple: goofy 90s neon throwbacks Ninja Force have been slaughtered by the ninja villains Slice and Dice, and Snake Eyes, understandably, is very upset. This not only gives us a sliver of a story and a dose of characterization, it sets up an immediate emotional connection that we can build an expectation off of. Snake Eyes is gonna hunt Slice and Dice down for revenge -- what more do we need?
As a primer for a crossover event, Cobra Civil War #0 is a frustratingly mixed bag. We get plot, we get action, and we get character; unfortunately, we get one story of each, rather than mixing the elements together. The only tie-in this #0 makes me want to pick up is Snake Eyes, but considering that that's almost certainly the least essential of the stories to be spun out of this, I can't help but think of this as a failure to launch, and a sorely missed opportunity. At least back in the 90s we would have had Captain Grid-Iron, if nothing else.
Written by Chuck Dixon and Mike CostaPublisher
Illustrated by Javier Saltares, Antonio Fuso, and Agustin Padilla
|Post rewarded by Ojay on Sat Nov 19, 2011 3:23 pm.
|Nice reviewed! 5 WRZ$ reward. Thanks Zach!