Despite the fact that the upcoming movie looks absolutely horrid, I think this is already a tremendous year for G.I. Joe fans. And that's largely because many of the writers and creators attached to the various arms of the Joe empire are willing to take the franchise seriously, even if the movie staff isn't. The writers behind the Joe comics number among this crowd. Even when the books stumble in one area or another, it's clear IDW aims to present a more mature take on the popular heroes and villains.
The one book that has emerged as the clear front-runner in terms of quality is G.I. Joe: Cobra. In exploring the murky origins of this super-terrorist cell, readers are treated to something truly new and exciting. It lacks some of the flash, pizazz, and huge body count of other Joe stories, but that matters not one bit. Cobra is the one book that may just please fans and newcomers alike.
Cobra #3 continues the focus on the ever-worsening plight of Chuckles, Joe member and now spy working his way up the Cobra ranks. Chuckles begins meeting with some success in this issue, but he also finds himself increasingly cut off from his superiors back home. My one real concern with issue #1 was that Chuckles was not a terribly deep character, and I worried he might not be capable of supporting a mini-series on his own. I'm pleased to report that my fears were unfounded. With all the crap Chuckles is forced to wade through in his time at Cobra, it's impossible not to sympathize with his plight. Writers Mike Costa and Christos Gage continue to dangle nuggets of happiness in front of Chuckles, only to either snatch them away or squash them altogether with newer, more painful developments. Chuckles' pain is our joy as readers.
The writing truly makes a lot out of what could just as easily have been a simple, by-the-numbers spy story. Crown made the comparison to Greg Rucka's Queen and Country last month, and I think it's an apt one. This is a very methodical and tempered look at the war between former Saturday morning cartoon characters. The dialogue is crisp and well thought-out. The art is moody and understated, forgoing superheroes for simple men and women of action. The series is entirely unlike what we might have expected from a Cobra-centric story in years past, and that's a very good thing. Even if the idea of IDW's Joe relaunch doesn't appeal to you, I highly recommend giving Cobra a shot. This is one particular battle the bad guys are more than welcome to win.
(out of 10 / not an average)
maxgoof wrote:The writing is fine until we up and kill Jinx.
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