When I think of comic books written by Chuck Dixon, I think of action/adventure comics with flying bullets and arrows, realistic threats, and intense situations. I also tend to think of quick reads, books that are done in ten minutes or less, leaving you feeling like you’ve just completed a quick dash after signing up for a 5K. That’s not necessarily always a bad thing, mind you.
Sometimes those quick reads are just what a comic reader needs. So when I saw that Chuck Dixon would be writing the adventures of Snake Eyes – a character who doesn’t talk, which would therefore theoretically greatly reduce the written content of any comic with his appearance – I was ready for one of the fastest reads of my CBR reviewing vocation.
Damn, was I ever wrong.
This is a thick book, packed with ancillary characters, flashbacks, and action. Sure, with everyone else spewing forth dialog and all of the action in the book itself, Snake Eyes was threatened to take a back seat once or twice, but he never did in this story. There are flashback sequences told through Snake Eyes' point of view, but told as movie-style flashbacks, without a layer of monologue over top. Those bits are effective and informative, helping the reader to comprehend the silent warrior of the G. I. Joes. The action involving Snake Eyes is everything I’ve come to expect from Snake Eyes and Chuck Dixon. It’s a wild ride with high intensity.
Robert Atkins’ art is detailed and flashy, a strong showing for this debut issue. There are some great framing choices made in the panels and page layouts that really help propel the story. Atkins is working without the benefit of expression for the feature character of this title, but, luckily for him, Snake Eyes tends to be pretty even keel with his emotions, choosing to express himself through action.
This book is a nice addition to the G.I. Joe catalog from IDW, but I’m not so sure how much endurance this book has. Of course, in today’s comic market, anything above six issues is a noteworthy success. Some correlation could be drawn between Snake Eyes and Wolverine for their respective ability to command reader interest in their specific franchises, but, truly, I think Snake Eyes’ place in the minds of G.I. Joe fans far exceeds Logan’s relative stature. Chuck Dixon and Robert Atkins have their work cut out for them in the coming months as they try to prove me right. I’m not all in with the massive relaunch of the G. I. Joe brand, but this title has shown me enough to bring me back for the second issue at the very least.