G.I. JOE Cobra Civil Wars picks up where the G.I. JOE Cobra series ended with the death of Cobra Commander as Cobra is now trying to decide who is going to become the new leader of Cobra. G.I. JOE is a special military organization that was set up to combat new threats to the United States, such as the evil Cobra terrorist organization. Cobra is a terrorist group that uses high tech equipment and gear to further their goals to obtain power.
I've been following the new G.I. JOE series by IDW since issue #0, and I liked the direction they took with the series. It was different from the Marvel storyline, but it wasn't such a great departure from it that made it hard to G.I. JOE fans to support, like G.I. JOE Reloaded was. I was at first disappointed that they decided to cancel their original run and come out with this series G.I. JOE Cobra Civil Wars, which really is a merge between the G.I. JOE Cobra series and the mainline run of G.I. JOE. This line will probably end up being pretty good, but they should've just kept the main line, instead of coming out with a whole new series with a new flashy title. I always thought that a strong comic was defined by how many issues it had, the higher number, the better. Here we go starting all over again from 0.
When I think of the term civil war, first thing that comes to mind is the American Civil War, which is perhaps strange considering that I'm Canadian. Nonetheless the point I'm trying to make is that, usually Civil Wars include two or more parts of one group fighting against one another. So far in Cobra Civil Wars we have not seen that. As the Cobra Council (whoever they are) have said that the new leader of Cobra will be determined by whoever can kill the most G.I. JOEs. That's not a civil war at all, that's a competition, completely different thing. Granted this is only issue one and things will change, they should change otherwise the name is a complete misnomer and misleading. It's not like G.I. JOE fans don't know what a Cobra Civil War is as we had one back in the day in the original G.I. JOE Marvel series, in issues 72 - 76, those might not be the exact issues but it was around then. What happened then was that Cobra separated into two factions one led by Serpentor and one led by Cobra Commander and they fought each other with their armies. So far there has not been any Cobra blood spilling Cobra blood. SO FAR.
The contestants who are all vying for the top position include a few faces that we've become familiar with such as Baroness, Serpentor and Tomax. Then are some not so familiar faces such as Krake, Vargas, Khalikhan and Oda Satori. I think we saw Oda Satori a couple issues ago in the main G.I. JOE series when they introduced Storm Shadow. Khalikhan draws blood quickly from G.I. JOE when he attacks G.I. JOE's ninja force. What a throw back this is to the original Marvel series, but in Marvel G.I. JOE the ninja force never died, those guys were hardcore. I think Devil's Due also killed off the ninja force guys too, poor guys never stood a chance in IDW at all. I was a kid when the ninja force figures came out both in comics and in action figures and I thought they were the coolest, but of course as I got older I started to realize that they were not so cool, and kind of lame. Apparently IDW thinks so too as they killed them off, without giving them any earlier appearances. I feel bad, but at the same time, I'm glad they won't take away time from more deserving joes. I have no idea who Vargas or Khalikhan are, but this issue sets them up to be important figures in the storyline. The fact that Khalikhan was struck quickly suggests that he'll be a serious competitor. Krake is another serious competitor as well.
The back of my issue of Cobra Civil War suggests that the characters that I named to be potential leaders of Cobra are not the only ones. The others that could become the new leaders of Cobra are Destro and Major Bludd. This comes to me as a surprise, for one Major Bludd failed in his mission to Destro and Cobra Commander didn't seem happy to me. I guess there's more to that than we knew. Still Major Bludd rarely pulls anything off successfully, so I doubt he'll be our new Cobra leader. Destro is an outsider and somehow his standing in Cobra in the IDW series has been very small as well. Destro's also the new guy in the Cobra group, I wonder if he's a realistic candidate to be the leader of Cobra considering that he doesn't know much about the organization yet.
I'm putting out my prediction of who will be the new leader of Cobra as Serpentor, for obvious reasons. He's not as badass as he was in the Marvel run since he's not the amalgamation of dozens of historic warriors, but he does have the ability to get fanatical devotion and let's face it, that's some powerful stuff. My second choice is Khalikhan and my reason for this is because of the writer's emphasis on him so quickly in this first issue, but for those same reasons we could also think that Krake and Vargas are going to become the leader. Khalikhan, however, has got some ninja power and somehow ninja trumps soldiers with guns, which doesn't make sense really, but that's G.I. JOE for you.
The artwork in this piece was done by three different people as there were three different stories and an artist did each of the stories. Having three different artists is both good and bad, good in that we get variety, but bad because there's inconsistencies in how character's faces are drawn. In this issue it was not a noticeable because none of the characters in one story were in another. In the first piece there were some small details that were overlooked such as Flakjack who looked like he had darker skin, when later it was revealed it was very pale. Considering he's the last guy to die, they should have been wary of that. Also Sandcrab looks like he's carrying a rifle on page 4, but then later on page 5 he's carrying two Mac-10s. Page 4, in the same panel there's also a clean shaven guy, who isn't in the any of the later pictures, I suspect that this is Flakjack as he's the only one who isn't in that picture. It did add a bit to my comprehension as I was trying to figure who died when. Ultimately it doesn't really matter, but comprehension is always important.
All in all I think the comic was good, but not fantastic, then again this was just to give us a taste of what's to come. I would recommend everybody who likes G.I. JOE to go out and buy it and start reading it. You probably don't need a lot of backstory to really understand this series, if you're not familiar with G.I. JOE I would recommend getting your hands on the paperback versions of IDW's G.I. JOE.