Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
GI Joe Cobra #1
Gage, Costa & Fuso
This issue kicks off the third new GI Joe series from IDW. This one focuses on the inner workings of the organization of Cobra. It also happens to star a Joe that’s known for his shirts and attitude: Chuckles. This issue is a good story and acts as a decent starter issue to the mini series. However, for me, it didn’t feel like a GI Joe story. In some ways I feel like this was Jason Bourne running around. I’m not sure if that’s because we haven’t seen much of Cobra or if this is just a generic story in a Chuckles Hawaiian shirt.
The comic uses a particular favorite tactic of mine by jumping around the timeline to tell a story. We begin with Chuckles meeting someone, presumably a high up in Cobra, in a bar. The issue takes you through in great detail the mindset of dealing with the espionage aspect of the war. Chuckles bats around in his head all the moves and counter moves. Its good insight into the character as it keeps most of his sarcasm and wit as if he were speaking his mind instead of just thinking it.
Then GI Joe busts in and to prove his worth, Chuckles kills the GI Joe agents and helps Cobra escape. From here, we flashback to Chuckles’ recruitment into the special operations arm of GI Joe by Hawk. This essentially gets him kicked out of GI Joe publicly so he can operate on the sly for Hawk. The sequence of him killing off the Joe agents helps Chuckles to gain trust in Cobra.
The part of the story that just doesn’t add up (yet) is how Chuckles is thrown out of GI Joe by Hawk for all to see. But when the Joes bust in to the bar do they know Chuckles is still a Joe agent? You would think they don’t but if they don’t then how do they all get taken down by him, even with the twist thrown in at the end? It’s kind of confusing.
My problem with the character of Chuckles is how he acts when he gets tossed from the ranks. He’s the only one wearing anything but army get-up and he is constantly talking during meetings. How did he get this far into the organization if he’s this much of a boob? I mean, why does he even bother to wear army pants and boots? Why not just flip flops and shorts? Or better yet, why does he even care to be in the service? It’s a tough sell for me.
Finally let’s talk about the art. In the opening scenes I loved the art. It totally fit the setting of mind games in a life and death type chess match. I liked how Chuckles seemed unsure of himself and very cocky panel to panel depending on how the conversation changed. However, in some of the action scenes the artwork was awkward. It could have been an art direction issue or a coloring issue but some of the action just looked painful. For example, panel two on page nine when Chuckles is shooting the guy while holding the other guy. The one guy’s head is freakishly disproportionate to his arm and gun. Examples like this puzzled me during the actions sequences.
This issue had a mixture of things I loved and things I cringed at. I can’t say I am displeased with it at all because I think the story could be really cool. In the end I think the tough sell will be with Chuckles as the lead. Even if it can’t be pulled off as a GI Joe story I’d be okay with a cool spy comic. I don’t think the long time Joe fans will dislike this one at all.
3 out of 5 geek goggles