G.I.JOE Snake Eyes: Deadgame #1
Story/Penciler: Rob Liefeld
Script/Dialogue: Chad Bowers
Addtional Inks: Adelso Corona
Synopsis: Snake Eyes and some other Joes attack a remote installation in the Svalbard Islands after receiving a mysterious S.O.S signal from the site. Upon arriving, they find Joe Colton held prisoner and free him. He informs them his captors forced him to translate an ancient scroll that referenced “Deadgame”. Snake Eyes understands what he’s talking about and rushes out into the cold arctic to find a group of ninja huddled in a circle chanting. He attacks them and puts most of them down but not before they manage to resurrect the evil wizard Kirigun (the “Grave Master” apparently). Kirigun is apparently immortal, a man wrapped in red bandages. He asks the ninjas "where the sword is" but they tell him they do not have it... then Snake Eyes engages him in battle. He defeats Snake Eyes ultimately but is forced to retreat when Scarlett shows up with a shotgun. He retreats with his remaining ninja on a helicopter but warns Snake Eyes that when they meet again then he will possess the sword of the dead and there will be no question who will be the victor. The other Joes join Snake Eyes and Scarlett as they watch him leave and vow to stop him.
Thoughts: Honestly, this story feels almost out of place for a G.I.JOE story. It veers very far into the fantastic and reminded me more of story that should’ve been told for a character like Wolverine or Deadpool. If you love Cobra-La types of storytelling in your Joe canon you might go for this. If you want even a scrap of realism this is not the book for you. Interestingly, it looks like Liefeld was too lazy to even script the story. He just came up with some overall conflict to make Snake Eyes look cool and let somebody else flesh it out (or it seems that way anyway). Other then having him conveniently in the story why is Joe Colton able to translate the ancient scroll? It makes little sense to me.
Artwise, the comic moves between “good” and “awful”. We get some competent scenes and poses as well as a lot of super beefy men shots. Snake Eyes has always been muscular but also lithe to a degree and here he looks like he just works out 24/7. Roadblock suffers even worse–he looks ridiculous on the final splash of the comic. Liefeld needs to use his millions to take some damn art lessons! Or learn to tone down his worst instincts at any rate.
This comic had 36 variant covers all told, btw. Crazy but clearly IDW was hoping to cash in on Liefeld’s name at all cost.
I’ll likely pick up next issue but honestly I hold little hope this story will be worth bothering with.