So, along side the previously released G.I Joe and G.I Joe: Special Missions, we have G.I Joe: Cobra Files #1. With two other titles to compete along side, does Cobra Files manage to offer something different, yet still offering something fans have come to expect from anything G.I Joe?
The official description from IDW:
A SNAKE IN THEIR MIDST! Her name is CHAMELEON—and she used to be a COBRA agent. Now she’s made her way into the G.I. JOE team—the honest way. But even with the best of intentions, does she have what it takes to fight on the side of the angels? FLINT thinks she does, and he’s willing to gamble the lives of this teammates on her… Unfortunately, with the Crimson Twin called TOMAX pulling the strings, no bet is a sure thing.
This issue kicks off where the old titles left, with Chameleon about to embark on a dangerous mission. It back-tracks a little (readers of the old series won’t find much in the way of new development here) yet this makes it rather more accessible. Cobra Files #1 doesn’t trip over itself, and this open nature helps ease you into both the plot and the title, making an excellent opportunity for new readers to get in on a new title that still comes with a lengthy back-story.
A lot of this has to be down to Mike Costa’s writing. This issue doesn’t assume the reader knows everything. Yet neither is it patronizing. The opening scene fully explains, through clever exposition rather than dull narration, any relevant history, offering a more insightful look at the character of Chameleon through the dialogue. As already stated, this gives both old and new readers something to appreciate.
As for the visuals, Antonio Fuso offers decent pencils. The art is detailed enough to not cause any problems, and working with the structured panels and spaces on offer. The colors from Arianna Florean, however, often make everything look gloomy. If its not orange hues of something or other, its dark hues of blue. Through in plenty of shading and shadows, and you have an issue that’s trying to match the nature of the series; this, of course, depends on your own preferences. Additionally, there’s a lot of white space and gaps between panels. This is standard for comics, but it doesn’t match the generosity of color and detail offered by G.I Joe and, to an extent, Special Missions.
In short, this is a good issue, but the real proof will be in the next issue. This is more exposition than excitement, but it certainly holds a lot of potential.