While it may not be an instant classic, like the original Snake Eyes silent tale from Marvel’s “G.I. Joe” #21, this book is all Snake Eyes in complete badass mode. Unhampered by caption boxes, word balloons, or sound effects, this issue is wide open for action, and the team of Hama and Benitez do a good job of bringing the action.
Benitez brings a lot of energy to the pages as Snake Eyes busts into a high-tech hideout of some kind. On the way, Snake Eyes rescues a wolf and blows his own cover as a direct result. Since this issue is flying under the “Origins” banner, I’m presuming this is how Snake Eyes and his pet wolf, Timber, came to be chummy. Benitez draws in a significant amount of detail, from the fabric weaved to compose the straps of the parachute Snake Eyes cuts free from, to the befuddling instrument panel in the cockpit of the plane Snake Eyes parachuted from. There are some scenes that fall shor: Snake Eyes disables a helicopter with his sword, and on second and third reads of this issue, I couldn’t find where exactly that happened. I can make some presumptions, but it’s not blatantly obvious.
This issue presumes that the reader has at least a passing familiarity with Snake Eyes, and does little to set up the rest of the background, save for the headquarters being snuck into is somewhere that is cold. The foes being fought are never visibly identified as Cobra, nor are the device Snake Eyes disables strongly defined enough to be perceived as a true threat. It looks like Snake Eyes just needed a little practice cutting people up and shooting them in the face. That said, it is Snake Eyes and, presuming you know the character, it’s easy to make the next logical leap that he’s not just doing this for funsies.
While this is nowhere near the classic of the original Larry Hama story from 1984, it is a nice diversion from comics that are burdened with dialog and captions. Snake Eyes is a fun character to read, and when he’s unleashed as in this issue, it gets just a little more entertaining. I would have liked to see a well-defined purpose and foe to this issue, but it did deliver an enjoyable read.