With G.I Joe #20, we see the end of the current story arc. With a somewhat explosive conclusion, full of action and surprise, this issue certainly delivers, especially if you’re a fan of G.I Joe when the guns are blazing or when there are plenty of ninjas running around.
The official description from IDW:
TARGET: SNAKE EYES hurtles toward its shocking conclusion! SERPENTOR’S FANG BRIGADE closes in on the Arashikage refuge deep in the jungle. HELIX and SNAKE EYES battle for their lives surrounded on all sides by warring foes. The G.I. JOE team rides to the rescue—but will they find a battlefield or a graveyard?
The key focus in this issue is either the relationship between Scarlett and Snake Eyes, or the relationship between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. I would argue the former, since the latter is obviously more heavily featured in Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. Yet the various conflicts here do come to a head, with some very satisfying conclusions. Whilst the ninjas and cobra generally run around fighting, the plot elements involving the likes of the soft master definitely do a decent job of wrapping things up.
In terms of action, there are one or two long scenes or set-pieces here that are certainly engaging. With a title like this, it can be all too easy to throw in standard in generic battleground shots, but the various sequences here have at least been thought out enough to offer some more complexity and uniqueness. As a result, the issue feels surprisingly fresh, and this battle doesn’t just feel like any typical battle or gunfight from countless G.I Joe titles in the past.
On the downside, there isn’t much in the way of confrontation between the Joe’s and Snake Eyes. This plot was meant to question some of Snake Eye’s loyalties, yet there was little regarding a dramatic stand off. Admittedly, a mute character wouldn’t work in this aspect, but there seems to be a general acceptance that the character is good, and everything is forgiven.
In short, this is one of the better issues of G.I Joe. Its a satisfying read, offering various conclusions whilst leaving enough to lead into new threats and dangers, giving a sense of a constantly moving plot.