GI Joe: Snake Eyes, Agent of Cobra #2 Preview and Review!

“The Dark Sister”

Written by: Mike Costa
Art by: Paolo Villanelli
Colors by: Joana LeFuente
Letters by: Neil Uyetake
Edits by: Carlos Guzman

Snake Eyes is, as the title implies, working for Cobra. He’s looking for Billy, son of the late Cobra Commander, so he goes to the former Cobra-turned-GI Joe-turned-freelance(ish) agent Chameleon for some leads. The two of them are attacked by ninja and a deadly battle follows. On the last page we find out what the solicit already told us: Storm Shadow is involved!
First, let me say that I’m highly annoyed that the solicit spoiled the last page of the comic. What nonsense is that? It’s just a given that where Snake Eyes goes Storm Shadow must soon follow so he was going to show up, but the last page was clearly meant to be a reveal and was completely denied of its impact.
Yes, I realize that if you haven’t read the solicit then I just spoiled it for you. Sorry, there’s not many ways to talk about that without doing so. I have good news for you though: this is a really good book and you should read it anyway. Costa is doing something interesting with Snake Eyes, having him spend much of an issue with one character (Destro in the first, Chameleon in the second) and letting them bounce all their words off his silent masked face. We learn more about these characters via this mirror treatment, but also how they perceive and relate to Snake Eyes. Of course the payoff is highest if you’ve been reading IDW’s GI Joe all along, but I think the exposition can also make for a rather fascinating jumping-on point for this incarnation of the franchise.
Villanelli’s art on this book is just plain fantastic, handling talking head moments just as well as ninja action. There’s a baseline tension in the book that he captures extremely well, and he’s just plain mastered the nuances of our titular hero. So much is conveyed through the chosen angles and body language; I’m a bit burned out on GI Joe silent issues, but if we get another I’d absolutely want him to do it.
Favorite Line: “So this is what it is with you? You just sit there and force people to have both parts of the conversation?”–Chameleon, having a meta moment.
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