GI JOE Cobra Command #12 Review
By Tao Mori
May 12, 2012 - 15:07
Publisher(s): IDW Publishing
Writer(s): Chuck Dixon
Penciller(s): Will Rosardo
Colourist(s): Romulo Fajardo, Jr
Letterer(s): Neil Uyetake
Cover Artist(s): Will Rosado, Romula Fajardo Jr., Steve Ellis
In a few words GI JOE is about a secret group of elite soldiers that are responsible for fighting Cobra, one of the most dangerous terrorist in the world. The story thus far has been that the original Cobra Commander was eliminated and replaced by Krake a man known for his deadliness. He led an invasion into Nanzhao destroying the corrupt regime, then went about eliminating the people and using nuclear weapons to make the territory unlivable. GI JOE went home defeated as they were unable to prevent the destruction of an entire nation.
If anyone read my previous GI JOE reviews I made a certain prediction about who would become the next Cobra Commander and the man that I suspected that would become the next Cobra Commander was Krake. I wish I could say that it was as a result of my analytic ability, but I still think Krake was the appropriate pick of them. I had initially planned on reviewing every issue, but unfortunately life got in the way. Nonetheless I wanted to make sure that everyone knew that that my instincts were on the mark.
Now for this particular issue. One thing I always hated about GI JOE that to this day continues to come up in the story line is the politics. When the politicians start meddling with the GI JOE organization essentially declawing them and make them impotent to do anything. It happened in the original Marvel Series, it happened in Devils Due as well and it has happened now in this issue. I also suspect its going to happen in the new GI JOE movie that’s coming out soon too. How is that that everyone thinks that Cobra is not a threat and thus GI JOE must lose its resources. It’s silly, especially considering what’s happened in Nanzhao where Cobra slapped an entire country silly and nearly wiped out a UN led coalition. Granted wiping out a UN led coalition isn’t the hardest thing to do, whoops.
Warfare is the continuation of the politics, a line that the great Carl von Clausewitz said, and he was right. Funny how that line is still relevant in the world of GI JOE, you’d think in GI JOE that politics wouldn’t play a role and the story would focus on the nitty gritty of war, but no politics still has a place. If we were to compare this to the modern day military, what would we see. Generally speaking the Department of Defence is reluctant to cut things because it means Americans losing jobs and money, especially in regards to the F-22 Raptor program. However, the big spenders in the military have never been a fan of special forces units, which GI JOE is.
I’m getting a little off track here, back to the story. Snake Eyes faked his death leaving most in the GI JOE organization thinking that he’s dead, including Scarlett. Scarlett is quite affected by the thoughts of his death, which is appropriate considering the undefined status of their relationship. Though perhaps slightly stereotypical her emotional reaction is to be expected, she’s hurt and can’t concentrate on her job. How intimate the Scarlett/Snake Eyes relationship in this series has been undefined, which makes me wonder how much does she truly care about him?
As usual I have a few issues with this issue. One is a visual one, I notice that in this particular episode, Helix looks more Asian than Caucasian. In other issues she looks more Caucasian. Really she can be either, but they ought to stick with one. Helix is a new member to the GI JOE canon and perhaps lacks clear definition. Her initial appearance in America’s Elite she was asian, while in the initial appearance in the IDW series has been Caucasian. Another issue was Duke being promoted to Colonel. Excuse me, what? It’s not unheard of for members of the enlisted personnel (private-corporal-sergeants) to be promoted to becoming officers. A sergeant for instance (which Duke is) might get promoted to Lieutenant or maybe Captain, but Colonel, what??? GIJOE is an organization that is run a bit unlike most military organizations, but one thing the military is really particular about is the rank structure. No way would a Sergeant get promoted to Colonel in the United States military. Duke is skipping all sorts of ranks, all officers tend to start out as 2nd Lieutenants, then they become 1st Lieutenants, then Captains, then Majors then Lieutenant Colonels, then finally full Colonels. Nope Duke jumps past all that and becomes a full Colonel, yeah that’s a little hard to swallow and on top of that I’m not the biggest Duke fan either.
I’m glad that the art style has returned back to the way that it used to be. The other Cobra Command issues had some panels that just looked odd, probably because they had been played with by computers a bit. It also had a much darker look to it, but one that didn’t look natural, but rather artificial. I wasn’t a big fan of that. Rosado’s work is quite nice, I rather like the work he’s done capturing the faces of the characters and the emotions. Though I must admit that i found the cover picture of Hawk a bit amusing, he looks like a little kid who got rejected. I think the little kid look is because of the gigantic duffel bag he's carrying. I don't think Generals carry around duffel bags. I found Zartan’s new face a bit confusing, maybe because I suspect that its supposed to look like someone, but I’m not sure. Nonetheless the shading is much better and realistic, I also feel like he expresses the emotions of the characters far better.
Overall I give the issue a good rating. This issues is more of a stop gap between the big things that are about to happen next, but I think its set the tone for future issues nicely. I give the issue some good marks, but not great ones.
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