From the first minute I laid eyes on the original G.I. Joe: Cobra title way back I knew we were on to something good. Over the years, G.I. Joe has been many things…in the cartoon, it was campy satire. In the comic, it was a hybrid military realism with supernatural science fiction.
But never has it really been gritty film noir. I mean, how could it be? We’re talking about a property with genetic engineering, technologically impossible weapons and vehicles, and no laws of physics or scientific sense. How can someone possible build a gritty, dark, and “real world” universe out of that?
Well, somebody could, and somebody did. A couple of somebodies named Mike Costa and Christos Gage. They showed the world that the bright, super-powered, laser firing world of G.I. Joe could hide a dark underbelly. Initially written as a short four-issue limited series, G.I. Joe: Cobra redefined Cobra’s image in the IDW world and introduced many readers to the property to rave reviews.
As I think everyone expected, after the first series ended, a second series was sure to come, which was then extended to a continuing series, and it has continued until now. Thirteen issues later we’ve seen backwoods Crocodile experts, a secret cult worshipping snake gods, and a mysterious gypsy who can read minds. But through it all, that dark and dreary noir style brought a sense of realism and despair to the universe (but only in the best way possible, of course).
So now, as we stand on the precipice of another “re-invention” (so to speak) of the IDW universe, we can reflect back on G.I. Joe: Cobra and see how well it did what it did, and finally, how it ended. Which of course, begs the question, where do we go from here?
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