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The issue starts off with Cobra Commander storming the Capital Building with a tank! Too bad his dream is ruined by Zartan invading his bed chambers. Obviously upset, Cobra Commander questions Zartan on the importance of his visit. It seems that the Broken Star Liberation Army was successful in launching several attacks on U.S. monuments including the Capital Building. Cobra Commander is very pleased that his dream has come true and that his privately funded army has been successful in executing his plans. Unfortunately for the Baroness, this means the mission she's currently on has been canceled.
It's very interesting to have Cobra attacking America on two fronts and Cobra Commander not acting like a bumbling idiot. All the major Cobra players are present in the story including: Destro, Dr. Mindbender, Storm Shadow, Billy Cobra Commander's son and even the late Dr. Venom. The story ends with Cobra awakening their sleeper agents staged all over the country. With the Joe's disbanded, it leaves the question of who will protect America?
Hama sets an interesting stage for the next issue. He puts all the key villains back into play and makes them all itchy for a double cross. It's great to see Cobra Commander in power but not in total control. The art struggles immensely throughout the issue. Agustin Padilla (Captain America – Theater of War) has a fitting style for the story but fails to be consistent. The opening pages of Cobra Commander storming the Capital Building are beautiful and capturing. Then somewhere in the middle, the art becomes rushed and ugly. The Baroness is wearing Blue Blocker sunglasses for some reason and never takes them off... even in a pitch black corridor. Destro's head is out of proportion to his body and overall there's far too much shadowing for a story that's taking place during the middle of the day.
Granted this issue is free, but that's not the impression that should be given to the reader. IDW is attempting something that could be awesome. It's rare that a story is picked back up where the original writer left it and brought to new readers. Hama seems to have a real direction for the story and where he's taking it. Mixed with his personal knowledge of the characters and book, this series has the potential to be a hit. The art could be the only thing holding the story back. If Padilla is to remain on the book he needs to grow as an artist quick. The trademark characters are spot on, but the background characters are really lacking substance. His consistency needs to improve if this book is ever going to make it. Fans of a twenty year old series aren't going to come back for just a phenomenal story with mediocre art.
Story – 9.5
Plot – 8.7
Art – 6.7
Overall – 8.1