From the preview:
“Ever notice how Snake Eyes’ personal life can always be defined as a vital mission?”
ROFLMA... but so, so true. I'm looking forward to this one, and voted for the RI cover though I've no hope of getting my hands on it because I love the retro style. If I had to choose between A and B, it would be a tough, tough call - both are fabulous artistic treatments of Storm Shadow, but I think B has more drama to it.
Loving the flashback in this issue, which touches on the "how realistic should G.I. Joe be" thread; flashbacks are a defining symptom of PTSD. I've been working on a picture book for the children of our returning vets about dealing with a parent's PTSD, and so have been reading up on it... and it's a truly horrific thing. I can't imagine having to deal with an invisible enemy who attacks your mind. Mental guerrilla warfare. At least we're finally coming to accept it, and bringing it out of the closet... veterans of WWI, coming home to heal from "shell shock" (what they called it back then) and physical injuries, were accused of "malingering" if they were slow to return to the front. Strangers on the street would berate them, people would pin chicken feathers to their coats annonymously and send them hate mail...
In that light, I'm really going to resent it if, as the sidebar on the preview page indicates, people (both readers and characters) start treating Snake Eyes as though he's losing his grip on reality. He's a deeply wounded character who may very well need some serious treatment... though, being who he is, counseling would likely not be an easy thing to manage, and he'd likely resist it aggressively. And it may be true that, if we treat it realistically, he shouldn't be in the field leading a mission. Something will need to snap eventually, since he's NOT superhuman and he doesn't seem to have the support structure in place that allows real soldiers to hang in there as long as they do. He's got Scarlett, but he's been largely an emotional robot as far as she's concerned, with a few flickers of human in there; he's got Helix, but she's an enabler - from the look of things in the preview, she seems to back him up unquestioningly, following him even when he doesn't ask her to, defending him against the very legit concerns of the rest of Foxtrot. Looking ahead in the monthly solicitations, I can see no good coming from this situation, and a shake-up for Snake Eyes. But outside of these two - he's got no real friends, no real refuge from his past. And one friend thousands of miles away and one in the killing fields with you won't do much good against flashbacks. So... yes, he may be broken and unreliable and making BAD choices - but he hasn't lost his grip on reality.
PTSD has far more in common with physical illness than it does with mental illness, but because it technically is a mental illness, it has a stigma. People are afrad to talk about it, afraid to admit that they have it - they see it as a weakness. Of course, that's how we (collectively) treat ALL mental illness in our society, unfortunately... people still accuse people with chronic fatigue syndrome of "faking it;" people with panic/anxiety disorder (a baby cousin of PTSD) are usually so shamed and confused that they don't seek help on their own; people with depression are expected to just be able to "snap out of it" if they're taking meds and in counseling. Nobody tells a diabetic that he should be able to "eat normal" because he knows his disease and has the right meds; it's a long, hard road to being able to manage it. Having an invisible disease with few symptoms the public can witness... it's a miserable thing.
Wednesday, Wednesday don't be late... mommy needs her comics date!