Cobra Commander is Dead. Long Live Cobra Commander!

One question : Who the hell is Cobra Commander now?

That’s the main question that surrounds the G.I.Joe relaunch from IDW Press. We’re deep in the midst of “COBRA CIVIL WAR”. No, this isn’t a fight between Destro and the Baroness on the superhero registration act. This is a contest between the Elite of Cobra Command on who will lead the terrorist organization going forward. The rules: Whoever kills the most Joes wins!

The 6th issue of G.I.Joe has hit the stands with only a week passing since the last issue. Flint and Team Alpha are in the thick of things as they have successfully fought off a Cobra Unit at a Joe installation in Maine. With communication being jammed and the Joes spread out across The Tuna, Fort Baxter, and other encampments, it’s very much every Joe unit for themselves. Will Team Alpha make it far? And what will come of their new prisoner, The Baroness? Knowing is half the battle and all of my review. Read on.

G.I.Joe #5 (Written by Chuck Dixon, Art by Will Rosado)

As mentioned above, this is yet another Joe title that has come out in back to back weeks. The production schedule has become tight as IDW appears to want to have all the books ship out on time and for Civil War to be done by January. The unfortunate thing is that all this rushing has really affected the quality of the books. Last issue, a lot of stuff happened (The Joes were ambushed/Roadblock shot off a dead nuke/The Baroness was captured) and I was bored with most of it. It was obviously rushed and not a lot of time was put into the execution of story points. Thankfully, this issue makes up for it immensely.

This issue focuses on the problems of all the Joes. Flint’s team Alpha is cut off in the wilderness and has to find a place to hold up with their prisoner until they can make contact with the Joes. So they overnight it in Springfield, a former Cobra testing site. Big Mistake. Meanwhile, on board the Tuna, Shipwreck and Main Frame find a series of electrical boxes left behind from the former Cobra inhabitants. The boxes are gathering information and they’re not sharing. It’s revealed that the Joes are being watched by a Cobra that seems to be gathering the most intelligence on them – Major Bludd. Back in Springfield, Team Alpha unknowingly wakes an abandoned Battle-Armored Android Trooper. As the story ends, the Joes are once again at a disadvantage as Baroness tells them that they won’t make it out of this one alive.

This book was a big improvement from last week. We got to see Flint’s team work as a unit. Roadblock, Tripwire, Beach Head – They all get their moment to shine. And we finally get to see what’s happening with the other Joes. General Hawk, Dial Tone, Scarlet, and Main Frame all make appearances. Even Shipwreck got some lines! (Although I really think they should drop the naval dress uniform he’s sporting). The issue was well rounded and everything that happened within the story was backed up by strong character portrayals. The scenes in Springfield are especially great. The tease at the end of the issue makes me really excited to come back for issue #7 (which I hope isn’t rushed out for next week!). Although #6 didn’t have the crazy action sequences that #5 did, there was more impact in the storytelling and that made the difference.

The art by Rosado was also a step up from last issue. His style really lends itself well to G.I.Joe as it has that nostalgic flare for the eighties but doesn’t feel dated. The colours by Romulo Fafardo Jr. really seemed to pop in this issue. I would actually prefer it if this was the regular creative team for the book going forward.

All in all, there has been some “hit and miss” for all three titles but this is by far the biggest example of taking a huge leap in quality over last issue. Between all 3 titles, we only have 8 issues to go until a new Commander is crowned. I hope that there are no more derailments as we seem to be back on track again.

And if you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!

No Roadblock, you already had your turn last issue!