The official description from IDW:
The Secret History of COBRA! In the aftermath of COBRA’s New York attack, BARONESS leads a new up-and-coming officer called SIREN around the world—and into the past! SIREN uncovers the secrets of the previous COBRA COMMANDERs—and comes face-to-face with the ruthless current one!
First and foremost, this is pure filler. There is nothing of any substance to the main plot here, as G.I Joe #12 explores the background of Cobra. While it is fun and interesting, with some of the short flashbacks showing plenty of character and atmosphere, it’s ultimately useless. None of the ‘super-secret’ information brings anything new to the table (surprise – Cobra are sneaky!).
Yet that doesn’t make it a bad read. As something to pick up once in a while, G.I Joe #12 does okay. This is mostly shown through the various flashbacks, where Paul Allor is able to get straight to the point. These are the most interesting aspects, reflecting the Cobra seen in modern times, yet nonetheless add nothing new.
There is a similar problem with the art. Each short story has a different art team but the visual goal is the same – there’s always a masked man (three guesses who that is) dressed in blue and red. Now, some title’s can survive with this play-on-history technique ala Assassin’s Creed, but this is only because it forms part of the wider plot. In an issue or two, none of this will matter so, while pretty, I feel more could have been done. That said, each section is drawn well, inked great and has the typical range of colors G.I Joe has come to demonstrate of late.
All in all, it’s not amazing, but it isn’t bad either. While the series may be stalling after its last big arc,, here’s to hoping G.I Joe picks up the pace a bit more in 2014.