In Cobra Commander #1, we get the first issue of Joshua Williamson’s mini-series that links Cobra Commander to Megatron and the Energon Universe.
Cobra Commander #1
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Andrea Milana
Cover Artist: Andrea Milana & Annalisa Leoni
Variant Cover Artists: David Aja; Chris Burnham; Steve Epting; Andrea Sorrentino; Jonboy Meyers
Release Date: January 17, 2024
This review contains spoilers
Cobra Commander #1 – The Story
At No Man’s Land Rest Stop and Pub, the blizzard is intensifying. A strange man in a trench coat and hat enters asking for a vehicle. One older driver approaches him, smacks the stranger in the back and leaves to his truck. Cobra Commander approaches him and kills the man and takes his vehicle. Other patrons find his body in a pool of blood with a Cobra symbol next to him.
We flashback to Cobra-La. The people are revolting against the science division, the head scientist orders a retreat. The Commander shoots him in the head, they are not retreating. They must protect their research. One of the other scientists activates an explosive device that severely injures the Commander.
Now in recovery, Pythona tells the Commander he has been summoned. He is given a new helmet and mask, the iconic helmet of Cobra Commander. Golobulus has summoned Cobra Commander. The research he was protecting apparently is a specimen that only Commander was able to interrogate as well as find uses for its technology. Golobulus now wants to kill the Commander for his blasphemy. After taking out the guards, the Commander tells Golobulus that he has found a way to strengthen Cobra-La. He asks Golobulus for permission to go to the outside world.
Golobulus agrees and Cobra Commander returns to his lab for one last session with a captured Megatron. But he may have reactivated the Decepticon.
Back in the present, Cobra Commander has apparently stopped his stolen vehicle. He is approached by a stranger who looks human but he is not. The two get in the vehicle and start off. The Commander says that the world will. Fear the name of Cobra Commander. The last scene is in the swamp and the layer of the Dreadnoks.
This is a fascinating lead-in for Cobra’s function in the Energon universe. It is important to note that this is not in continuity of the G.I. Joe series but it is the Transformers continuity. This Cobra Commander is not to be confused with his appearance in A Real American Hero.
We get the animated origin of Cobra Commander with some notable differences. It is not a lab accident that leads to his deformation but instead a riot erupted out of the citizens’ fears of the strange research the Commander is performing. Research that involves a found circus of a Transformer and not just any Transformer but Megatron, himself. This discovery is the motivation for The Commander’s entrance into the outside world.
The art kind of follows the style of A Real American hero but it is not as scratchy. The most notable panels of the art is the depiction of Cobra-La, a civilization devoid of machine technology except for what Cobra Commander is using. The civilization itself has more of an underwater feel than an insectoid feel. There is a nice contrast to this world when put next to the outside world of the arctic and the swamps, the two outside environments showed.
An interesting story. Bringing the Transformers, machine life into a civilization that is afraid of machinery, a combination that can only lead to trouble. We now have Duke on the G.I. Joe side hunting down the Transformers, most notably Starscream, Cobra Commander who is fully aware of their existence and Optimus Prime using Megatron’s arm.
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