The modern G.I. Joes you know well meet a member of the classic G.I. Joe Adventure Team and the original Joe–General Joe Colton–in IDW Publishing’s G.I. Joe–Snakes Eyes: Deadgame, first previewed here at borg last year in single issue form, and it’s now coming your way in a collected trade edition Tuesday. And although it has all the story elements Snake Eyes fans will be familiar with, this story is all about Rob Liefeld’s penciled artwork and a string of artistic talent that stepped in to ink Liefeld’s action-filled pages, including the likes of Neal Adams, Philip Tan, Kevin Eastman, Ed Piskor, Jerry Ordway, and Dan Panosian. You can look behind the scenes at the process for this pencil-ink partnership in a 48-page tie-in book, Snake Eyes: Deadgames Declassified, also available at comic shops and online here at Amazon. Diehard comic art fans will have fun identifying the inkers, although Eastman’s inked pages are particularly hard to miss.
In G.I. Joe–Snake Eyes: Deadgame, writer-artist Rob Liefeld (New Mutants, X-Force, Youngblood) took on this year’s big-screen hero, showing Snake Eyes in just about every martial arts twist and turn you could imagine him in. Fans of the new movie will be familiar with the Arishkage and origin story, similar in this version, but a few characters in particular in Liefeld’s story will have you thinking this is a DC Comics Wonder Woman/Amazon crossover and Marvel Comics Thor crossover.
High points include for fans of the 1970s G.I. Joe another IDW appearance of Mike Power, the Atomic Man (who first appeared as an action figure on store shelves as the Bionic Man, until a legal tangle with owners of The Six Million Dollar Man was resolved), and for fans of the 1980s and 1990s G.I. Joe comics and animated series, an appearance by Destro.
Negatives on this edition are the three dozen variant covers that aren’t reprinted–and this book was known for some great covers we previewed here, although it does collect 12 of those covers in an appendix. If you’re not accustomed to a book with inconsistent art styles, this will be jarring at first read. But you still may have fun combining the trade edition with Declassified to identify the inking styles of some of your favorite artists.
Here is a look inside Snake Eyes: Deadgames Declassified:
And here is a look inside the book itself, G.I. Joe–Snakes Eyes: Deadgame:
C.J. Bunce / Editor / borg