Well, it’s only a 5-part series, so G.I Joe: Snake Eyes: Agent of Cobra #4 is the penultimate issue, rife with plot set-ups and final confrontations. Still, based on its charm and atsmophere, it might just be the best issue so far.
The official description from IDW:
SNAKE EYES’ mission for COBRA has been severely compromised: his target, G.I. JOE and even the Arashikage are now hellbent on stopping the ninja commando… at any cost!
This issue ties in the two main arcs we’ve seen so far – Snake Eyes and Chameleon chasing down Billy on oneside, and Billy himself on the other. Yet this issue also reflects the last, with Ronin’s point of view reflecting Billy’s. The end result, even though there’s still an issue to go, is a comic that brings many things to a full sense of closure, leaving the ending to focus on exactly what it needs to.
That’s the secret of good storytelling and, while there have been a few dull moments, Mike Costa’s writing really gets to work here. As I said, it expands upon everything dropped previously and there’s a strong sense of ultimatum at the heart of everything. Costa’s hand is subtle enough to not get in the way of the story, but storng enough to ensure a satisfying conclusion. As I said before, Costa’s skill here questions why these plotlines and characters were more or less dropped in the first place.
Visually, this issue is pretty much full of dark blue tones – courtesy of Joana Lafuente – but I feel it works here. There are a few splahses of colour, but the visual treatment helps set the tone. Similarly, Paolo Villanelli’s pencils are sharp and his work here is near flawless. The larger scenes simply give way to his strong sense of posture and anatomoy; while not over-detailed, the use of dynamic, fluid lines helps depict the action at its most chaotic.
All in all, this is a very impressive issue and anyone reading this far in is going to be happy with the final product. Is the cliffhanger subtle? No, its pretty damn obvious, but that’s always been the point here unfortunately.