Ashley Neuhaus 1-APR-2012 From IDW Publishing comes GI JOE VOLUME 2 #12.

The new Cobra Commander has made his first move—all-out invasion of the Southeast Asian nation of Nanzhao, a center of the worldwide drug trade. Cobra’s goals aren’t occupation—but annihilation!

G.I. Joe strikes back, helping refugees escape—but when Cobra detonates nuclear bombs in a half-dozen empty Nazhao cities, the Joes’ victory rings hollow. With only Helix as a witness, Snake Eyes joined
Storm Shadow’s ninja clan… leaving the rest of the Joes to assume the commando was another lost soldier…

Writer: Chuck Dixon
Artist: Will Rosado
Colorist: Romulo Fajardo, JR.
Letterer: Neil Uyetake
Editors: John Barber and Carlos Guzman

Opening with an aerial shot of General Hawk addressing the Joes at Fort Baxter, the names of fallen soldiers are rattled off.  Each panel zooms in on the surviving members of the team until the last panel on the page which is a close up of Scarlett. There is so much emotion conveyed in this panel as Snake Eyes’s name is the last to be called.  A solitary tear falls from Scarlett’s eye as Helix stands to the side and behind her.  Helix stands cold and emotionless when she should be the one showing even a little emotion.  Snake Eyes was her main squeeze and she witnessed him betray the Joe team by joining Storm Shadow and his clan of ninjas.

General Hawk has to face his failures as a leader when going to Washington, DC.  In what I would imagine to be a very real judgement, the government cuts funding severely and forces the General to step down and hand leadership to someone else.

Meanwhile, Cobra Commander is getting ready to show his face to the world which is actually one of Zartan’s faces.  Zartan is a master of disguise and in this issue he shows off his abilities when training with a fellow Cobra employee or with the make up girl before going in front of the cameras.  Chuck Dixon is writing a more evolved Cobra group than what I’m used to.  I’m used to the maniacal antics of Cobra Commander from the 1980s cartoons.  But with this story, Dixon gives us a very methodical Commander.  One who is using the drug trade and deceit to achieve world dominance.

This issue is chock full of emotion.  From Scarlett’s sadness at Snake Eyes “dying” to Hawk’s disappointment in himself and all the way to Zartan’s cocky attitude.  Artist, Will Rosado, does an excellent job at conveying every ounce of those emotions.  My favorite panel is of Scarlett’s profile when she says “I’m maintaining, Sir.  We bury our dead and soldier on.”  Her bottom lip is slightly puckered as she fights to hold her tears in.  Rosado captured that moment perfectly.

GI JOE VOLUME 2 #12 has two covers and also a retailer incentive (RI) cover available.