I’m going to save spoilers until after the jump, but I’ll start by saying that I’ve made no secret that I haven’t been terribly behind IDW’s run on G.I. Joe. Mostly this was because of a lackluster initial story arc on the main G.I. Joe book, but also (and perhaps moreso) because I loved the Devil’s Due run on the books. In those, we saw major characters die, characters age and grow and change, and it respected the continuity that came before, while forging forward. IDW’s continuity (save for the new Larry Hama continuation of his Marvel book) has been a complete reboot of the franchise, which is something I was a little bummed about.
Still, the reboot came with a new set of rules and ideas. There have been a good number of positive reviews for the Mike Costa/Christos Gage G.I. Joe: Cobra series, which has taken a darker storytelling route, featuring Chuckles deep undercover in Cobra, and some shocking storytelling turns…but none as shocking as what happened in last week’s G.I. Joe: Cobra #12…
Cobra Commander is dead.
Yeah…this isn’t superhero storytelling. Though G.I. Joe of course has origins in campy storytelling, since coming back in recent years, they’ve established the rule that “dead is dead.” Main character Jinx was murdered in the pages of G.I. Joe: Cobra (also by Chuckles), and now, one of Joe’s most iconic characters is dead as well. Pretty big time stuff if you’re a fan of the characters, even if this is a different continuity than the one you grew up with.
This single action has gotten me intrigued in the title. I picked up G.I. Joe Cobra #12 and really dug it, even though I wasn’t entirely clear on what led the story up to this point. It’s a very adult book, a good mix of the vibrant characters you remember with a modern storytelling that keeps it from just being nostalgia.
The Joe books sound like they have one issue left before relaunching with a new line with a singular focus, and closer continuity (more here). I think I’m going to pick up the new series from the start and see how it goes. It’s rare that you see something this big in a licensed book, and in a universe like this where characters aren’t guaranteed to return in 12-18 months, it actually kind of feels like anything can happen.