Comic review: “Cobra Civil War: G.I. Joe” #6

Cobra Civil War: G.I. Joe #6
IDW Publishing
Street Date: Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Cover price: $3.99

Written by: Chuck Dixon
Pencils: Will Rosado
Inks: (none credited)
Colors: Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
Letters: Shawn Lee

Cover A: Tom Feister
Cover B: Will Rosado, with colors by Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
Cover RI: Robert Atkins, with colors by Mark Roberts

G.I. Joe: Flint, Beachhead, Tripwire, Roadblock, Tunnel Rat
Cobra: Baroness, Major Bludd

The G.I. Joe arm of IDW’s three-pronged approach to the Cobra Civil War story has been primarily focused on the Baroness, and she remains the focus of this issue as Flint and company try to decide what to do with their new prisoner. Ultimately, they try a “hide in the last place they’d ever look for us” approach that could lead to a disastrous end for the Joes. Without spoiling what happens, if you haven’t read the very good two-issue “G.I. Joe: Infestation” mini-series, now might be a good time to do so.

Chuck Dixon’s dialogue in this issue is great; there is a genuinely funny moment on Page 8 where the Joes are having some fun with the Baroness, trying to guess who else they know that might be in Cobra, and the Baroness ends it by calling them all morons. The way Dixon has written the Baroness during this entire Cobra Civil War story arc has been fantastic, and he just continues to develop her here. She was somewhat of a screwup in Season One, never quite able to deliver on the things she promised to Cobra, but throughout this story arc she’s been a bad-ass. Even now, in captivity, she’s stayed calm and collected, has no apparent fear for her safety or security, and even finds time to throw around plenty of insults. The Baroness still doesn’t feel like a Cobra Commander, somehow, but the reader gets a sense that she’s inching closer to that goal by the time this issue wraps up.

Major Bludd’s storyline crosses over out of the pages of the Cobra book for the first time, as he begins to use the intelligence he received from his mole agent, Blacklight, in Cobra #5. There’s no action here; just Bludd stalking his prey, and setting up what will be a devastating attack on the Joes over the next few issues in this series. With the events of this issue, Major Bludd is now in position to make a significant push upward on the Cobra Commander contest leaderboard.

Scarlett also gets one page to get an update from Doc on Duke’s condition, which doesn’t seem to have any place in this issue at all. For the most part, the storylines for the primary Cobra Commander candidates stayed contained within one of the three series for the first four months or so of this event; starting with the issue fours of each book, there started to be more crossover — and there doesn’t necessarily seem to be any reason for this crossover. Major Bludd’s story has been limited to the Cobra series; now it gets three and a half pages in G.I. Joe. The Vargas story with the Zimbabwe plague has jumped around from G.I Joe to Snake-Eyes, and having this single-page interlude with Scarlett talking to Doc in this issue not only is another example of random title-jumping, it also does absolutely nothing to advance that storyline. It’s just here. You could delete that page, give it to extending Krake’s getaway in Maine or to the BAT fight in Springfield and not only is this issue is no different at all, the Vargas story is no different at all. It’s filler that doesn’t add to the storyline it covers, and it steals precious page space from the storylines that are advanced in this book.

Will Rosado steps in on penciling duties for Javier Saltares, who drew the series’ first four and one-half issues. His work isn’t bad; the facial expressions on the characters don’t vary much throughout the issue, but the characters are drawn consistently and the flow of the book is easy to follow even with a pagethrough. He draws a great Baroness, too. The first-page splash showing Tripwire surveying the results of Krake’s appearance in Issue #5 wasn’t a particularly great page – the series opened with Baroness and Crimson Guards carrying the dead body of Cobra Commander; we got a full page of Storm Shadow in action in issue #2, and even the last issue with Baroness meeting Zartan in Paris was a very good opener for the book. Tripwire peeking out of a hole and seeing a dead Viper didn’t seem to have the same kind of impact. But, the way the events covered in this book played themselves out, I’m not sure what could have been done differently. At first, I didn’t like the decision to back-light the character in the book’s final panel, leaving most of the detail hidden in shadows, either; but that’s grown on me, and hopefully that will lead into a more dramatic reveal of that character next month. Overall, a nice job by Rosado. His work here is a nice change of pace from Javier Saltares.

Tom Feister’s Cover A with Roadblock and the nuke is *fantastic*, but I wonder why this wasn’t the cover to GI Joe #5, when Roadblock actually used this in the comic. I got this sense during the previous issue, but it’s hammered home here – this looks so much like the mortar that came with Doc. Roadblock lit up on all sides by laser sights gives this image a Predator vibe, too.

Will Rosado’s Cover B continues the trend of the B cover for these issues capturing another view of a point-in-time for a particular event that happens inside the book. This is a great composition, although the lighting seems weird; Flint and Tunnel Rat are laying in a shadow that looms over both of them, but are also being lit from the same direction.

Robert Atkins’ retailer-incentive is a tribute to DC’s iconic “Crisis on Infinite Earths” cover, and he did a fantastic job with it; there’s not much else to say. This is just an awesome cover. Atkins talked at length about the process he used when working on this cover over on his blog; you can read it at his blog on Blogspot. Awesomely, he’s also opened a discussion thread about the cover on the Terrordrome forums. His blog post is well worth the time to read. After reading it, there shouldn’t be any question as to why Atkins has been doing such great work on G.I. Joe through the entirety of his involvement with IDW’s universe – he just gets G.I. Joe and loves working with the characters.

Revision from G.I. Joe #5: Sneak Peek and Mooch survived their injuries suffered in the previous issue; they’re portrayed here as alive and in serious need of medical attention. They have been removed from the body count.
G.I. Joe: 2: Ripcord, Crankcase (Total: 35)
Cobra: 0 (Total: 76)

No change in the contest; assuming Ripcord and Crankcase are dead, it would make sense for them to be attributed to Baroness, which would give her 13 kills and the lead over Oda Satori in the “dead Joes” column.

Terrrodrome has a preview of G.I. Joe #6 here.

Andy Bartlett

By day, I am the executive director of communications and marketing at Bemidji State University. The rest of the time, I'm a husband, father of three, and proponent of super heroes, lasers, space ships and explosions.

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7 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    I’m in total agreement here, at least with what I’ve seen so far (I can’t get my issue until tomorrow!) – and as a gal who grew up around subs, I appreciated the DT/ Shipwreck interchange. It’s nice to see authentic detail, like the condensation on the interior bulkhead. (Now they just need to make a comment about the way the air in there smells when the Tuna’s been submerged a long while… Navy wives tell you that there is NOTHING to prepare a gal for the first time you get a whiff of your hubby after he’s back from sea!)

    As for the Scarlett page – I wouldn’t have minded it so much if it was more true to the way the Snake Eyes issue left off… with Doc realizing the full impact of letting Duke off Ramstein; any idiot can see what’s bound to happen, as a fever-crazed Duke isn’t likely to want to keep that hazmat suit intact! I think it would have been far more powerful to have Scarlett pull a “You did WHAT?!?” on Doc, realizing that now, besides having a potential pandemic source running around loose, that both Duke AND Snake Eyes are at risk if things go south.

    Ah well. Can’t wait to get my hands on the full issue tomorrow – and I’m also glad that my local shop has back issues of Infestation, which I didn’t read. Thanks for the heads-up!

  2. Dan Windler says:

    Great Review, Got a character list of Gi Joes and Cobras on this issue i need of know of?

  3. The role call pretty much covers it for this issue, Dan; there are some other Joes with Flint’s team, but the key guys in the issue are in the roll call. Major Bludd has a sidekick that’s doing the surveillance on the Joes for him, but over his two-page appearance he goes unnamed.

  4. Yes, this is definitely a good point about the Scarlett scene in this book feeling completely disconnected from the events in the Snake-Eyes series. Chuck Dixon’s writing both series, too, so that makes even less sense. What you described would’ve added to the storyline; what we got was just a useless filler page. I really don’t understand its purpose.

    Looking forward to having you check back in after you’ve had a chance to read it.

  5. Dan Windler says:

    Ok, I understand I know the now, Now i never know rest of the characters name

  6. Dan Windler says:

    So What of score of Kills of Cobra Candidates so far?

  7. Dan Windler says:

    I know the characters now, Ripcord and Crankcase are casualty #34 and 35, I glad that Mooch and Sneek Peek are still alive, but they need medical attention for their injuries. Great Review.

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