Review – Snake Eyes: Agent of Cobra #1 (IDW Publishing)

SnakeEyes_AOC01-cover - CopyPublisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Mike Costa
Artist: Paolo Villanelli, Joana Lafuente (Colours)
Release Date: 21st January, 2015

The return of Snake Eyes to the pages of a G.I. Joe book has been some time in the making, and what a way to reintroduce one of the most ionic characters in the franchise’s history; as an agent of COBRA.

We are dropped in to the action almost immediately, as we witness the audacious rescue of Destro from custody by Snake Eyes (much to his surprise and disbelief), and his subsequent delivery to the awaiting COBRA forces. It’s a breathless first few pages that just seemed to fly past, thanks to some superbly orchestrated action sequences from Paolo Villanelli, who does fine job of conveying the ruthless efficiency and nonchalant grace with which Snake Eyes can eliminate potential threats.

After the whirlwind opening the story slows to a more measured pace, taking a more psychological turn in the process. We flashback to Destro’s childhood, and see the young James McCullen Destro XXIV; a boy ruthlessly schooled in deception and manipulation by an imposing father, and fated to live his life behind a mask. The interlude neatly provides context for following scenes, wherein Destro makes a decision to trust Snake Eyes, entrusting him to retrieve a “package” from another G.I. Joe defector.

The issue’s closing panels hint a few possible avenues for the narrative to take, and it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out. Although not quite as action oriented as I’d hoped, the issue certainly retained my interest in its more character driven second half. Of course, the biggest question is: has Snake Eyes really switched allegiances to COBRA? The answer to this question and the promise of an upcoming Snake Eyes / Storm Shadow face-off has me pretty excited for the forthcoming issues.

Rating: 3/5.

MDAVThe Writer of this piece was: Martin Doyle
You can follow Martin on Twitter
You can check out more of Martins reviews and thoughts on random retro things over at Retromuse

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