With an ever-thickening plot, Snake Eyes & Storm Shadow #18 does an effective job of keeping the action tight and focused. Whilst a lot happens, the story never truly leaves focus on Snake Eyes, something that’s fairly important, given the title.
First, the official description from IDW:
“TARGET: SNAKE EYES,” part two! SCARLETT leads a team of G.I. JOE members to find and eliminate the traitorous SNAKE EYES. The most dangerous G.I. JOE has gone AWOL to re-join the Arashikage clan and draw them into a war without mercy with COBRA. And G.I. JOE is caught in the middle!
Needless to say, this issue focuses on the current conflicts between Cobra and the Arashikage. Similar to previous issues, this often depicts Snake Eyes and the ninja at odds with Cobra. Whilst they do have a minimal role here, it’s always good to see issues that don’t focus on the titular Joe’s.
Of course, the current arc is running in parallel with G.I Joe. This issue follows from G.I Joe #18 and likewise leads into G.I Joe #19. You don’t need to read both issues, but it certainly helps. As I said in the review for G.I Joe #18, this does add a slight amount of pressure to read both titles. Especially since they lead into each other now. The softmaster makes a greater appearance here with Serpentor; two characters who were better introduced in G.I Joe, not this title.
As for the story telling itself, its certainly engaging. The cat and mouse games shown between Cobra and the Arashikage is certainly interesting, with both sides trying to out-maneuver each other.
One noticeable comment about this issue is that its very dark. The art style has a lot of shading. In many scenes, it adds a certain tension and atmosphere, but this can often be lost when its used non-stop throughout the entire issue. It can add contrast to certain events, but some might find it off putting.
None the less, this is definitely an action packed issue. It doesn’t go overboard, as things are fairly easy to read if you’re up to date with the story. Whilst there is, as usual, a much greater focus on Snake Eyes instead of Storm Shadow, its none the less a decent read that builds up the current exciting story arc.