Fanboy in the Basement: G.I. Joe: Cobra
"A real American hero, G.I. Joe is there!" Before I get into this, let me tell you that G.I. Joe has a huge following. The ¾ inch figure with the cartoons and suck butt movie is still very popular. There is an official fan club and convention that hits every year. This year's convention takes place in at the Walt Disney Dolphin Resort. HUGE!
Now back to me. I've always been a fan of the comic book, and I was happy about another run of the series, this time published by IDW Publishing. They have so far produced several books including Larry Hama's G.I. Joe (Larry Hama is the original writer from Marvel) G.I. Joe by Chuck Dixon, G.I. Joe Origins, special movie tie ins, G.I. Joe Hearts and Minds, by noted writer Max Brooks and the book I'm going to talk about, G.I. Joe Cobra written by Mike Costa and Christos Gage with art by Antonio Fuso.
At first, I thought this was just stories from Cobra‘s side, but it's much more than that. It starts off with Chuckles, G.I. Joe's undercover operative, in a meeting with an unknown man, who wants to hire him for his work as a mercenary. Working deep cover for a year, Chuckles objective is to do whatever it takes get noticed by Cobra an organization that G.I. Joe knows very little about. (Side note: in this version of G.I. Joe, Cobra is a well establish, well funded organization that operates in the shadow) Chuckles handler and only contact to Joe is Jinx. He gives her reports and she gives him updates on his assignments. The relationship between them grows from comrades to lovers. Chuckles get his codename from being a jokester, never taking anything seriously. But as the story progresses, all you see is Chuckles serious side. His interior monologue shows us his worry and fear as he does unspeakable things to impress Cobra. Chuckles is a character that you rarely saw prior to this but in a few issues he is more fleshed out than other characters throughout the series. And that goes to the credit of Gage and Costa writing style.
This trade book also gives you secondary mirrored story about the brothers Paoli, Tomax and Xamot.
G.I. Joe Cobra gives the G.I. Joe story a gritty texture to the mythos. And in future books, Gage and Costa takes the most obscure characters such as Crystal Ball, Croc Master, Chameleon, Big Boa and Scoop and gives them relevance of character and story. G.I. Joe: Cobra is hands down, the best story in Joeland.
Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.
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