Gary Collinson reviews G.I. Joe: The Cobra Files #2….
“SNAKES AND TIGERS! A break-in at a top-secret research base sends the covert G.I. JOE team into action—and CHAMELEON, eager to redeem herself, takes charge! But what she and FLINT uncover will lead the team straight into the jaws of an enemy unlike any other: a hidden force within COBRA and impossible to track… unless CHAMELEON risks everything to draw it out of the shadows.“
After getting things off to a fine start last month, writer Mike Costa and Antonio Fuso continue to deliver the standout title in IDW’s G.I. Joe line with the second issue of The Cobra Files, which further establishes its core characters, as well as introducing a new enemy and setting up what will presumably become the first big mission for Flint’s deep cover black ops team.
Despite what the cover might tell you, The Cobra Files #2 mostly avoids building upon the lip-locking of Flint and former Cobra agent Chameleon at the conclusion of the last issue. Instead, the main focus here is on the Joes’ efforts to extract intel from the former Cobra Commander’s son Billy, which leads to the team identifying a new target – the Night Creepers, a ‘Tiger Team’ of ex-military private contractors with ties to Cobra. And then there’s Cobra defector Tomax – a true Snake in the Joes’ midst, and perhaps the most interesting character in this series – who continues his ‘mentoring’ of Clockspring, using the lonely I.T. expert’s feelings for Chameleon to manipulate him against Flint by revealing CCTV footage of their off-the-clock activities. You just know this storyline isn’t going to end well for Clockspring, but something tells me he won’t be the only one affected…
We’re only a few months into IDW’s G.I. Joe reboot and after just two issues, G.I. Joe: The Cobra Files has already established itself as the pick of the three new titles. It’s about as far removed from G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero as it could be, completely blurring the boundaries between heroes and villains, and eschewing explosive, Hollywood-style action set pieces in favour of compelling, character-driven storytelling. It’s a mature G.I. Joe series for the 21st century, and a fine alternative to the colourful action and old school heroics of the other two titles.
Gary Collinson is a writer and lecturer from the North East of England. He is the editor-in-chief of FlickeringMyth.com and the author of Holy Franchise, Batman! Bringing the Caped Crusader to the Screen.