Review: G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes: Agent of Cobra TPB


The most beloved G.I. Joe agent of all time… is working with Cobra! Find out how the black-clad American ninja ends up on the wrong side of justice.

As a child of the 80s, I was more than likely one of the last few generations that actually watched cartoons on Saturday morning. I remember waking up early, with my sister and my cousins, so we could watch He-Man, She-Ra, Thundercats, Silverhawks, Lone Ranger, Zorro, and G.I. Joe. I remembered how everyone wanted Duke or Bazooka, as their action figures, but I wanted Snake Eyes, because I loved ninjas. This was due to another staple of television I had growing up, Black Belt Theatre, which had kung-fu masters, Shaolin Monks, and dangerous ninjas. So when I watched G.I. Joe, for the first time, and found out the good guys had a ninja working for them, my two favorite things crossed over in the most magnificent way. Fast forward to years later, with the various comic book adaptations and film adaptations, the comic books still stand superior. So when I heard that IDW Publishing was doing a miniseries, where Snake Eyes becomes an agent for COBRA??? My mind was swirling with so many questions, (WTH? How can Snake Eyes betray Joe? Has Snakes Eyes and Storm Shadow buried the Hatchet?) I had to find out for myself.

The miniseries written by Mike Costa, who has written the series in its many incarnations for the past 20 years, has written a concise, spy thriller, which will have readers on the edge of their seat. The art by Paolo Villanelli serves the story well with drawing differing perspectives, not one of which was Snake Eyes. In this story, Snake Eyes is much the classic silent but deadly hero of Golgo 13, Duke Togo, a cold operator, who knows the mission and does not still it is a success.

The first issue opens with Snake Eyes busting Destro out of a prison transport, in the only way, Snake eyes, brute force. The thing that surprises me is that the story also delves into Destro’s origins, which the story even more compelling, as it offers a view, not seen otherwise. The second issue opens with the character of Erika, who asks for Snake Eyes help, and is told primarily from her point of view, it also introduces the reader to the mysterious figure of Ronin, the antagonist in this story. The twist that comes at the end of the story is one where the reader will greatly anticipate for the next issue, to see how this unfolds. The third issue, introduces you to Billy, somewhat of a modern-day Robinson Crusoe, who ends up in a hospital after rescuing some civilians, who get swept up in a river, someone who G.I. Joe, Cobra, and Ronin are all looking for, which is why he and his compatriot, escape the hospital. Issue four, continues Billy’s escape from the hospital, and tells the reader of their journey to this point and how they ended up in the predicament they are in, and just like in real life, there are casualties of war, the ending on this issue, will have you thirsting for the conclusion and eventual duel in the last issue. The fifth issue, starts with a fight, we have seen dozens of times, but this one is better than anything that has been up on the TV or movie screen, Villanelli’s talents ring true in this issue, as he definitely knows how to draw a fight. The major spoiler in this issue is who Billy is related to.

Overall, a solid story, which in inferior writer’s hands would have been diminished into a pedestrian story, but in Costa’s hands, rises above his other work. I am hoping IDW Publishing, will bring us a sequel to this, as I am hooked now.

Story: Mike Costa Art: Paolo Villanelli
Story: 10 Art:  10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Definite Buy

IDW Publishing provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review