» Blog Archive Review: GI Joe: Cobra Special -
Todd C Matthy Comic Book News, News

Truly the most unique comic released this year, IDW’s GI Joe: Cobra Special offers a fascinating look into the minds of two of the most famous members Cobra, the Crimson Twins Xamot and Tomax, but also builds on a storytelling device not seen since Watchmen number 5.

For the first time we get a look inside the heads of Xamot and Tomax as we trace their history, rise to power, and ultimately how they got involved with Cobra. Writer Mike Costa tells the story from both characters perspectives by showing how every event affected them personally and events in the GI Joe: Cobra miniseries created a wedge in each persons point of view. But this is not what makes this story unique. What makes the book unique is how each characters tale synchronizes with the other.

Each characters story is a reflection of the others, with every panel and page having the same design. For example, Tomax’s story begins and ends with a splash page then Xamot’s does, with both tales meeting in the middle. A similar technique was used by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons in Watchmen number 5 but Costa and artist Antonio Fuso take it one step further.

Because this issue is essentially two stories in one there are multiple ways to read the book. Your can read it straight through or you can flip through it reading it page by page and panel by panel. Another interesting aspect is the books numbering. At page 11 when Tomax’s story ends and Xamot’s begins the numbers count backwards, essentially allowing you to read the other story manga-style from right to left. Essentially you are repeating the same story, but you are getting it from so many different perspectives that every time you read it, it feels brand new. Kudos must be given to artist Antonio Fuso for not only creating dark, scratchy, imagery but for maintaining such complicated consistency.

GI Joe: Cobra Special is one of the most unique and fun comics I’ve ever read. Kudos to IDW. If you’re looking for experimental comics, get this one, you’ll be glad you did.

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