Comics: G.I.Joe #36 (Devil’s Due run)

Cobra Commander pissed at series finale

Cobra Commander pissed at series finale

The promo tagline for the final issue of this incarnation of the G.I. Joe core book from Devil’s Due reads as such:

This is it! It’s all been leading to this issue! The war finally brings the G.I. Joe team and Cobra face-to-face! Every feud, every drop of bad blood, all the history between these two groups finally meet on the battlefield for THE knock-down, drag-out fight of G. I. Joe comics! Twenty-five years of payoff happens here!”

Bullshit!

This has to be one of the biggest disappointments of a series finale I have ever read.  Period.  Maybe not as bad on how Marvel once wrapped up Doom 2099 by letting the artwork go to hell as if to say to the reader “We gave up on this series, so enjoy the contractually obligated crap we have to churn out in the meantime”.  Well G.I. Joe, especially with the resurgence of many of the hot 80’s properties and current film adaptation underway deserved a much better send off.

I was actually surprised when I learned issue 36 would be the last.  It seems just a few years ago, the G.I. Joe universe was gaining momentum once again after that lackluster Image mini-series somewhat earlier.  Granted it would never approach the Joe heyday’s it had under Marvel with scribe Larry Hama, but it was exciting again.  Devils Due scaled somewhat back on the character roster, I can’t blame them…there were so many Joe’s and Cobra’s….it was impossible to keep track of who’s who and where are they with only book.

I thought they were doing well when they announced a Storm Shadow ongoing series (though the artwork is a bit off for my tastes), a few various one-shots, and Special Missions and Declassified books kept me going.

It was great to see the gloves come off with Cobra, and I enjoyed the ‘Coil’ arc, the introduction of Wraith, the hunt for The Baroness all happening in the core title of ‘America’s Elite’.  I was very excited to hear about the 12 issue arc World War III. 

The first few issues seemed ‘okay’, as if were about to ramp up the excitement factor, but sadly it just never got there for me.  It was only around issue 34 (part 10 of 12) did I learn that the series was coming to and end, and I had no explanation as to why it was ending.  With two issues left, I really began to worry as it just seemed like the story was stalling, or at least the elements concerning Cobra Commander.  By the end of issue 35 the Commander was headed to the Appalachian mountains were we were left to believe he was going to make his final, epic stand.

Issue 36 is a double sized issue.  Double sized of rushed plotlines, forgotten characters, tangential flashbacks, and very little pay off.  Of course the Joe’s win the battle, but my word, it was the cheapest and simpleton way to wrap up the series and hardcore fans should be as upset as I am.  Poor Larry Hama, I don’t care what he has to say in public…putting on a good game face for scribe Mark Powers, but Mr. Powers was able to drain any sort of epic adventure and character excitement out of the series in the last few issues that Larry spent so many years crafting and enter twining over at Marvel and Joe continuity.

So Recondo and some ex-Cobra schlep named Rourke have more face time than Snake Eyes?  Than the Baroness?  Destro goes to jail in one panel?  Alexander is shot and killed in two panels?

The biggest travesty in my opinion was the treatment, or lack of treatment of Cobra Commander.  The whole reason G.I. Joe was brought back into existence was the result of the formation of Cobra and its mysterious leader Cobra Commander.  After what seemed to be a promise at the end of issue 35, we barely see the Commander at all in the finale.  And to be taken out by a tackle by a crippled Joe wearing a jetpack at the end was horrific to the fans.

No last show down? Not a tense stand-off?  No last defiant speech or last ditch action on the Commanders behalf?  No face reveal after all these years?  WHAT THE F____??  I cannot and refuse to believe that Cobra Commander was simply tackled, knocked out, and hauled away.

The last two pages shows an unmasked Commander (we don’t see his face however) in an orange prison jumpsuit sitting in a chair making some last declaration that Cobra will survive…and it’s revealed that this isolation room is at the bottom of the ocean.  Oh, fuck me.  This is so bad. 

I can only hope…and pray…that Devil’s Due had to give up on the comic license with the film be launched next year…and maybe will be re-launched again at that time with a new number one that gives the fans some sort of payoff.  Maybe it will go back to Marvel?  I don’t know….but to tell me that 25 years…YEARS..of G.I. Joe and Cobra comic adventures is reduced to Cobra Commander sitting in an underwater prison because he was simply tackled and all the world is all apple pie after this is complete bullshit.

BOOOOO!