G.I Joe: Cobra Files #5 offers a short one-shot, but it’s something well tied into the current storyline and teased for a while now. Perhaps one of the more interesting issues of Cobra Files, this issue certainly shows an understanding of such a small cast.
The official description from IDW:
Everyone on the COBRA FILES team is reeling from the previous mission. Everyone but CLOCKSPRING. He’s got other things on his mind. Dejected and bitter over FLINT and CHAMELEON’s recent tryst, he’s starting to listen to TOMAX’s sinister advice… and thinking of taking matters into his own hands.
At it’s simplest, this is a one-shot that does a lot of foreshadowing. That said, it’s a very enjoyable prelude for what it is. The issue focuses on Clockspring, both present and past, and makes for a very atmospheric piece of writing. There’s no action or violence in this issue, which is a little unusual for G.I Joe, yet it still somehow comes together.
A lot of this is arguably through the writing. Mike Costa instantly gets to grips with the character, portraying a non-combatant surrounding by soldiers and fighters. This is best done through comparing it to high school and more familiar terms that instantly make the character of Clockspring both familiar and easy to sympathize with. The constant running dialogue throughout the issue adds a strong personal element. It’s refreshing, if somewhat dark, to see the Cobra Files team from a different, yet internal, point of view.
Likewise, the moody blues and blacks of Arianna Florean’s colors really help set this piece. Normally, I’d argue against the constant shadowing, but the lighter flashback sequences and other elements help give Cobra Files #5 the right visual balance. Werther Dell’edera offers decent enough pencils as well.
In short, I’m highly impressed with this issue. It’s not foreshadowing for the sake of foreshadowing; it’s personal conflict, dilemma and character development told well. Of course, it’s the potential consequences that will likely get most G.I Joe fans.