I was eleven when they were building Serpentor. Serpentor was derived from the DNA of the world’s greatest warriors, and I was along for the ride. Who needed Chrome Dome leading Cobra when you could build your own? Issue #49 still has the teeth marks on the spine. Smartly, I brought the next issue home on my bike in a bag. Now, here’s my first column of EARTH PRIME TIME.
The Cobra Commander from my youth still exists, affectionately written by Larry Hama in the resurrected G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (Classic) series. Boy-oh-boy, he’s been through the ringer! From pyramid scheme salesman to domineering Dad, the old coot had to fight to regain his island back from Serpentor. It’s Cobra Island, not Serpentor Island! In case you’re wondering, he’s fine, just still yelling at Destro and the Baroness.
As with most wistful notions, the REAL action is in the G.I. Joe reboot (IDW). Hawaiian-shirt-wearing Chuckles infiltrates Cobra in an espionage title that reads more like an episode of 24 than a Hasbro toy tie-in. Chuckles shot his handler Jinx in the face to gain the trust of the Cobra Command echelon.
We start to question Chuckle’s motivations, and if he’s turned his back on his mission, and G.I. Joe: Cobra is extended into an ongoing volume two.
“BLAM”, Chuckles breaks into Cobra Commander’s office and shoots his head clear off. No more Cobra Commander.
In a hero’s goodbye Chuckles nukes Cobra Island to bits. Now that’s a reimagining. Take that, Ronald D. Moore!
To fill the void, the Cobra Organization (think part Halliburton, part Scientology) holds a contest for a new leader. Under the banner of last summer’s Cobra: Civil War, the fangs are out and the Joe death toll is raised. The Cobra Council determines who shall take over Cobra’s military operations in December’s G.I. Joe #8. Page 18 reveals this to be new character Krake. Krake has deceived his allies and slain many enemies. Plus he has a really cool helmet already.
Cobra Commander is dead, long live Cobra Commander!
Robert Atkins redesign work on the Commander is just as exciting as Jim Lee’s new Superman from the summer. Robert talks process and Hasbro approvals on his blog. Krake is a marksman, so a second sidearm replaces the belt knife. The lower fangs stay, but the small fin helmet has to go!
As far as I can tell, Hasbro has given IDW lots of leeway with these new books. The Marvel series only killed Joes when sales were plummeting and interest was waning. Now the level of sophisticated storytelling calls for a death, and it’s allowed. Smart move, giant toy company!
In the Cobra Organization, Serpentor explains to the slighted Major Bludd the coil of life “…But if he should misstep, then the game begins AGAIN, right? It’s a lifetime position. And WHAT is a lifetime, then?” Cobra Command starts today in G.I. Joe #9.
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First Ever Oddio Carol – The 12 Days of Christmas
A Christmas Carol Ferris performed by Lex Luthor, Luke Cage, The Black Panther, Damian Hellstrom, The Hulk, Metamorpho, Bill McMahon, Carol Ferris, The DC Comics Narrator, Cutter, Hawkeye and Digby Masters