Thursday, October 8, 2009

GI Joe: Cobra Special #1

This arrived at my store a week late. The book is worth the wait. While not a revolutionary story, the unique approach is impressive. Mike Costa flips the narrative at the mid-point of the story, switching from Tomax to Xamot. The art isn't an exact copy, but the panels and narration run in opposites. It's an admirable approach that I can't believe worked out this well. I'm not sure I like where it leave the Crimson Twins, but the experiment is worth it. I do have some regret that the amusing, acrobatic brothers in the cartoon have been replaced my murderous slavers in the comics. It seems the Cobra titles are playing up the realism of the GI Joe universe, with the Cobra organization being a really scary threat. They are still kind of sci-fi baddies in the core title. Having the twins grow apart like this is an interesting choice. It sends a clear signal that we aren't going to get exactly what we expect with this relaunch.

I was surprised we didn't get any panel-time for Chuckles, but I hear there is a sequel to the Cobra mini-series in the works, so I'm confident we'll see him again.

Antonio Fuso gets the mood perfectly. What impresses me the most is how well he follows through on the premise of a mirrored narrative. The panels are laid out the same, while having a different message the second time we see them. Fuso's pencils aren't classic enough for him to be a favorite for me, but I can't debate that he can tell a good story.


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