This is a sad example of a compelling story diluted by average art. Chuck Dixon's long-form plot is really starting to pay off. Cobra is still tremendously dangerous; two of them kill a dozen Joes easily in the opening issue in this trade. They're all new/fake Joes, but it does put a nice spotlight on Cover Girl and Tripwire. It's surprising how Cover Girl has become such a big part of this book, actually. This opening art has art a bit stronger than later in the trade.
The rest of the story follows a crew of Joes as they head out to sea to a remote server base for Cobra. There's some awesome fights on a gigantic Cobra sub, but my excitement is dulled by the fact that I can't tell who anyone is. I recognize the code-names, but everyone looks the same! I hate to be a simpleton, but after seeing Wet Suit, Torpedo, Shipwreck, and Cover Girl fighting Eels on the cover, I'm bummed out to see a bunch of normal dudes fighting in the actual book. There has to be a better line between the cheesy old costumes and having all the characters in identical black wet suits. Nostalgia is a big factor in my love of GI Joe, eliminating those costumes kills a lot of my excitement.
Dixon's story will keep me coming back. I love his take on Destro. Cobra Commander (in a bad new costume) has never been so threatening. There are tons of payoffs for longtime readers, call-backs to elements first introduced in the very first issues. But it needs to look better. I've always liked S.L. Gallant's art in the past, so maybe things will turn around in the next trade.
Story - Good
Art - Average