A “former” GI Joe addict reviews Cobra Civil War: Cobra #3

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Is it TOMAX or XAMOT? Wait, XAMOT's dead, must be TOMAX.

If I were to name three things that defined my childhood it would be video games, baseball cards and GI Joe. I played my first video games on an Apple IIe and and Intellivision console, still have boxes and boxes of baseball cards sitting in my parent’s attic and right now, today, I have a GI Joe helicopter and hovercraft sitting in my closet. Yes, I am 36 years old, married with three kids and I still have GI Joe toys in my closet, not to mention the boxes of them sitting in my parent’s attic next to my baseball cards.

As a kid I loved the toys, the cartoon and the old Marvel GI Joe comic books, I still have my issue #4 from 1982. However, until recently I hadn’t read any of the new GI Joe comics but when I heard that they offed Cobra Commander and started a new multiple title Cobra Civil War story arc I was sucked back in. The story is told in three Cobra Civil War titles: GI Joe, Cobra and Snake Eyes, all published by IDW.

Yes, I am 36 and I have a GI Joe t-shirt and the Cobra Hydrofoil so yes I probably do have a problem.

The premise of the books is the next Cobra Commander will be whomever of Cobra’s top brass kills the most Joes. This was the first big shock of these books and I hate to sound excited about this but they really kill Joes, a lot of them…and it’s great. The books don’t hold any punches with groups of Joes being taken out in massive ambushes or individuals being silenced by Stormshadow’s katana. This is a long ways away from the cartoon I grew up with where no one ever died and all the guns shot blue or red lasers. This is so much better. To be fair, the Joes did take out Cobra Commander and various other Cobras, including Xamot who I’ll get to in a moment, so from the Cobra perspective they have it coming.

So far I had only read the GI Joe books so I was excited for the opportunity to review issue 3 of the Cobra series. In it we find Tomax (one half of the Crimson Commanders twins Tomax and Xamot, for those not in the know the twins were so similar even their names were mirror images of each other, and yes I still have both these action figures) who has been captured in an assassination attempt of General Hawk (yes, have that one too) and he has for reasons unknown to me been placed into a regular prison. The entire issue shows how Tomax plans to get back in the good graces of his Cobra comrades and his overall strategy for dominating the world, the only hint I’ll give is it’s not through fighting.

I had to include a Stormshadow reference just so I could include the cover of GI Joe: Cobra Civil War #3, love it.

I enjoyed the issue, especially seeing what has been happening in the GI Joe title through a Cobra’s eyes. However, Tomax’s prison escape while rather ingenious is a bit too easy. Early in the issue the President of the United States called the prison to make sure Tomax was viewed as being extremely dangerous, the president calls and yet situations still happen allowing him to escape.

Still, the book is exciting and really makes me want to go pick up the Cobra issues I’ve missed. Something else I’ll throw in is I love IDW’s actual books, they have a quality feel to them that few comics have. If you haven’t picked one up, go check out the Joes and the quality of the book you won’t be disappointed.

STORY: 88%
ART: 92%


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