Friday, October 30, 2020
G.I. Joe Snake Eyes: Deadgame #2
Writer/Penciler: Rob Liefeld
Script/Dialogue: Chad Bowers
Inks: Adelso Corona
Synopsis: Snake Eyes and Scarlett walk around an island landscape. They move silently and Scarlett thinks how she hates silence. Growing up in a family with all brothers, she’s used to noise. Martial arts helped her find inner calm and silence. She wonders again why she decided to charge in after this Kirigun character with Snake Eyes. He motions for them stop and she asks “what?”, wondering if they’ve set off some kind of silent alarm or something. She tells him she wants to help and reminds him he’s not alone. She’ll watch his back, just like in the old days.
Just then, they’re ambushed by a large brute. Scarlett tries to reason with him but it’s clear he’s a minion of Kirigun and he attacks again. Snake Eyes fights him and very easily bests him (despite the fact he seems to be the size of the Hulk). The monstrous man falls off a cliff to his apparent doom.
Snake Eyes has little time to ponder what has happened as he’s immediately attacked by a masked woman. She throws poisoned throwing stars at him (but calls them Shurikens–which are supposed to be throwing knives). After a quick battle, Snake Eyes is bested and falls unconscious. Ninja woman explains during the fight that Kirigun is her father and she had previously trained Snake Eyes to be strong enough to be able to do battle with him when the time came.
Nearby, Scarlett draws a bead on the woman. She hesitates, wondering what's going on and what Snake Eyes hasn't told her. She's quickly rendered unconscious by Storm Shadow. He tells her he’s sorry but there are more important matters they need to concern themselves with and carries her away...
Later, the woman has brought Snake Eyes to Kirigun’s encampment and presented him as a gift. We learn her name is “Olympia” and that she taught Snake Eyes after he left the Arshikage Clan (after the Hard Master was killed). For some reason, Snake Eyes costume has turned from black to red now. Kirigun finds him a pathetic opponent... he grabs the semi-lucid Snake Eyes by the neck and offers him over a large pit to a giant cobra!
Thoughts: Like with the last issue, most of my comments remain the same. This story feels totally 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.
I can already predict next issue. Snake Eyes is tossed down to the monster. On the way, he revives completely and we get some monologue by one of the characters/editor about how any other man would be dead already. But this is no ordinary man. He is Snake Eyes. Master of shadow. Master of silence, blah, blah, blah... if anyone can overcome this challenge, he can. Then, he’ll defeat the beast fairly easily and Kirigun will be surprised and impressed. Meanwhile, sub-plot with the Joes then back to Kirigun/Olympia challenging Snake Eyes one final time, leading into the climax of issue #4. Yawn. Exciting.
Like last time, the art is a mixture of good and awful. We get some competent scenes and poses as well as a lot of super beefy men shots. Scarlett's hair does some very bizarre things throughout the story (I don't think real hair can do the things her hair is drawn doing!)
Issue #1 came out in July and issue #2 finally in October. Given that this is a mini-series, you'd think Liefeld could have had it all done up ahead of time but apparently this is not the case. Why do all the big names in comics always get to turn out these projects on their own time and not be made to adhere to a real work schedule?
Verdict: Awful. Just don't bother with this comic. It will make you come out feeling dumber for the experience.
Saturday, October 17, 2020
Transformers '84: Secrets and Lies #3
Writer: Simon Furman
Artist: Guido Guidi
Synopsis: Counterpunch recalls how in Optimus Prime and Megatron's absence, Straxus swiftly worked to gain brutal dominance over the Autobots. Along with Thunderwing and Scorponok the three Decepticon warlords carve up Cybertron into their own fiefdoms. Straxus privately consults Counterpunch and asks him if he thinks will respect their pact (to stay in their own territories). He replies, no. Straxus plots to take the whole planet, then the cosmos itself! He orders Counterpunch to make Project Dreadnought happen, no matter what it takes. Punch goes to the interim Autobot leader, Ultra Magnus, and tells him they must stop Straxus' machinations. Ultra Magnus feels overwhelmed by his responsibilities but gets some reassurance from Impactor and Roadbuster. Both of them volunteer to join in on Punch's proposed "wrecking crew" to stop Straxus.
On Earth, Grimlock has apparently defeated Shockwave and is headed back toward the Ark on "autopilot", still mentally distant after his infusion of pure energon the last issue. AUNTIE, the Ark's computer is damaged and can't recognize him as a friendly so it commissions some clones of the Autobots to intercept him. Grapple, Hoist, Smokescreen, Tracks and Skids are dispatched.
Meanwhile, aboard the Nemesis, the three conehead jets (Ramjet, Thrust and Dirge) ave recovered from Shockwave's attack and decide to go down to the surface for some payback. They reach the Ark first and engage the Autobots. Grimlock passes through them unfazed so Auntie activates some Guardian robots to stop him instead.
Back on Cybertron, Star Saber fights valiantly against overwhelming odds until Deathsaurus confronts him. He orders his forces to kill the Autobot but he manages to escape. Ultra Magnus then contacts him and tells him to return to Autobase. He needs him for a critical mission. At Autobase, Impactor introduces Punch to his newly formed unit--the Wreckers!
On Earth, Grimlock makes short work of the Guardian bots and begins to regain his senses. But, just then, we discover AUNTIE has reactivated Megatron!
Thoughts: Like with the previous two issues, a lot of this story feels boring. Like stuff we've all seen before. However, this issue veers in to slightly new territory so it's not quite as bad. I don't feel like this story is the definitive canon version of the G1 comic (I prefer the original, slightly more vague rendition). It will be interesting to see how this is all resolved next issue. As usual, the art is excellent.