Reviews, Comics

Cobra Commander #2 Review: Swamp Things

Discover the insanity of Cobra Commander’s journey to discover the source of Energon and the crazy characters he clashes with along the way.

Cobra Commander 2 Review Cover
Image: Skybound
By: Javier ReyesFeb 23, 2024, 9:45 AM

Cobra Commander #2

Review
Rating
8
Good
Cobra Commander 2 Full Cover

Writer: Joshua Williamson

Artist: Andrea Milana

Publisher: Skybound

Release Date: February 21, 2024

Page Count: 32

Format: Single-issue

On his journey that leads him to the Everglades, Cobra Commander clashes with a band of mercs who may be just as devious as him. This latest issue hits the perfect balance between developing Cobra Commander’s fascinating character and the crazy world of G.I. Joe.

If you haven’t been keeping track, there are a lot of incredible things going on right now from Skybound and the Energon Universe. With Void Rivals, Transformers, Duke, and now Cobra Commander, you’ve got a collection of incredible comics by some of the industry’s top creators. Regardless if you’re a die-hard fan or a first-time reader of these beloved franchises, there’s a lot of fun within each book. Does Cobra Commander #2 continue the Energon Universe’s streak of banger releases? Continue reading my review to find out!

Overview

Cobra Commander embarks on his journey of finding the source of Energon on Earth as his readings lead him to a secluded corner of the Everglades. To the dismay of his assigned handler from Golobulus, Cobra Commander goes off the beaten path to pursue leads on his own. But to Cobra Commander’s surprise, he finds himself face-to-face with the bloodthirsty Dreadnoks. It seems the mercenary group has their own plans for the Energon that’s landed on their territory. 

Cobra Commander 2 - 2 guysImage: Skybound

Review

Speaking as someone whose only experience with G.I. Joe is the 1987 movie and a few episodes of the cartoons, I approached this series with a small personal attachment already to Cobra Commander. I may not be as attached to the franchise as compared to more long-time fans, but I’d hardly say I have “fresh eyes” for the universe, either. Knowing that so many of those reading this comic are already fans of G.I. Joe to a certain degree, I realized the beauty of what Skybound is doing with the Energon Universe’s creative direction. Instead of catering too heavily to the die-hards, each comic series has been a welcoming entry point for new readers interested in the iconic franchises. From Transformers to Duke, each series is structured like an origin story, presenting clean slates to lay out everything you need to know about the characters and what drives them forward. In Cobra Commander’s case, the story follows ol’ Buckethead’s rise to power through a mission deeply connected to Energon and the Transformers. While the sharp character design and personality are already there, this issue makes it clear that this Cobra Commander is far from the fearsome leader he is known to be. With characters constantly disrespecting and underestimating his capabilities, he still has so much to prove in the eyes of this new universe. And, as we know, there’s nothing more dangerous than a villain with a chip on their shoulder. 

But the spotlight is not purely on Cobra Commander in this action-packed issue. Cobra Commander’s characterization actually takes a bit of a back seat to make way for more world-building in the G.I. Joe side of the Energon Universe. This issue introduces readers to the Dreadnoks, the violent mercenary group who only fight for themselves or whoever pays them the most. Armed to the teeth with chainsaws and blades, the bloodthirsty mercs don’t take long to make a shocking impact on the story. Long-time fans will be happy to see characters like Ripper and Buzzer with their trademark weaponry. As you’d expect, things get dicey whenever chainsaws come into the equation. Their over-the-top and violent behavior makes for a unique contrast against Cobra Commander’s cold and calculating approach. Then, surprisingly enough, even Cobra Commander’s mysterious handler gets some shine as well in this issue. Through a very brief scene, the story shows the man’s connection to Golobulus, hinting at the different powers at play within Cobra-La’s secret society. And, in one moment, the comic shows you that that character is not someone to mess with. 

Cobra Commander 2 - car screechingImage: Skybound

The handler’s shocking moment (along with many others in this issue) opened my eyes to how incredible this comic’s art team meshes together. The combination of Andrea Milana’s illustrations, Annalisa Leoni’s colors, and Rus Wooton’s lettering make the more bombastic sequences pop from the page. It’s a glorious experience when the spikes in violence and gore throughout this issue catch you by surprise and leave your jaw on the floor. However, I must say, my one nitpick with the art in this issue is that the cover is a bit misleading. Yes, Cobra Commander does clash with members of the Dreadnoks, but the fight in the comic is noticeably different from what’s shown on the cover. Not to say that the action scene that goes down isn’t an awesome sight to see. It’s just far from what I was expecting.

Final Thoughts

Cobra Commander #2 is a solid follow-up to the strong foundation that was set up in the series’ debut issue. It fleshes out more of the world of G.I. Joe, introducing threats that perfectly clash with Cobra Commander’s conniving character. As much as this series has its share of callbacks to characters, factions, and settings from the classic cartoons, it’s easy to jump in and enjoy it as an action-packed thriller. Because everything within Skybound's new Energon Universe is starting its story with clean slates, now is the best time to start getting into this incredible series of comics. 

Cobra Commander 2 - carImage: Skybound

Why You Should Read Cobra Commander

  • The comic is a unique take on the beloved character.
  • The spikes in action and violence are jaw-dropping. 
  • Cobra Commander may secretly have the biggest role in the Energon Universe.

TAGGED: Skybound
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