As Bleeding Cool readers have likely noticed (and given thanks for), your old pal Jude Terror has been spending a lot of time making fun of the latest wrestling news over in our wrestling section. That's left me with less time to make fun of the latest comics news, so I thought perhaps I ought to expand your favorite weekly X-Men recap column to encompass some other comics about which I have thoughts you're dying to read. And so, this edition of X-ual Healing has nothing to do with the X-Men but does feature another all-time-great comics franchise, G.I. Joe, as I recap Snake Eyes: Deadgame #1 by Rob Liefeld. Enjoy.
Sworn to sell comics for Marvel executives who feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, The Uncanny X-Men suffered great indignities. Still, thanks to a corporate merger, a line-wide relaunch, and Jonathan Hickman's giant ego, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in all of comics.
SNAKE EYES DEADGAME #1 CVR A LIEFELD
(W) Rob Liefeld, Chad Bowers (A/CA) Rob Liefeld
Snake Eyes has long been the most mysterious member of the Joes, but how long can he keep his past classified when he's forced to play his hand? Will he get a lucky roll? Or will the deadgame finally catch up to him?
In Shops: Jul 15, 2020
Snake Eyes: Deadgame #1 Recap
The comic opens in Norway in 782 A.D. as Thor battles an immortal character from "The East," named Grave Master, decked out in the fashion world of 782's finest full-body spandex, full face mask, and giant shoulder pads. Thor pits Mjolnir against Grave Master's "Dead Sword," but we don't find out who wins, because the story jumps forward more thirteen centuries or so to the present day as Snake Eyes leaps off of an airplane onto a Japanese mountainside, where he's investigation an S.O.S. signal using a years-old G.I. Joe cipher.
After taking out some random bad guys — not Cobra, because "Cobra would know better" than to mess with him — Snake Eyes meets up with Roadblock and Tripwire. They open a vault door to find General Joseph Colton, the original GI Joe (I.E. the one that was big enough to have sex with Barbies) [Editor's Note: Jude, wtf]. Colton has been a captive inside the vault for at least a month, as evidenced by the five-o-clock shadow he's sporting. He has a mission for Snake Eyes, and "this mission doesn't need a soldier… it needs a ninja." Colton asks Snake Eyes if he's ever heard of "The Deadgame."
Snake Eyes takes off for another unnamed snowy mountainside region where he finds a group of masked acolytes resurrecting The Grave Master, who is wrapped in red bandages like a mummy. Snake Eyes has only heard stories about the mysterious "Red Wizard Kirigun" who is like an Arishkage ninja boogeyman. There's only one way to fight ancient evils: by stabbing and shooting them. Snake Eyes gets right to it and even wounds The Grave Master, who wonders, "Is it possible? Are you the challenger I have been waiting for?" Kiri soon decides not and prepares to murder Snake Eyes with his bandages, which he can apparently use as appendages.
Fortunately for Snake Eyes, and for IDW because it would be a shame if this comic ended after only one issue, Scarlett, Roadblock, Colton, and Snake Eyes' pet wolf, Timber, show up to save the day. Liefeld drops some more backstory here: Snake Eyes and Scarlett used to date, but they don't anymore. Kiri retreats, vowing, "When next we meet, Snake Eyes, there will be no question as to which of is the victor. Do you understand? Once I have reclaimed the Sword of the Dead, you will fall in line just like the rest of the world." The Joes have been ordered to stand down and leave Kirigun alone, but a defiant double-page splash pose assures us these four aren't planning to follow orders.
I'm a big fan of Rob Liefeld comics. There's just something so pure about them, like the energy of a 12-year-old boy captured in comic book form. Any time I read one, I'm transported back to 1990, even if the comic was written thirty years later, like in the instance of Major X. Say what you will about Liefeld's Twitter antics — and lord knows I've exploited them for hundreds of clickbait articles — but his comics are top-notch in their niche when Liefeld is on his game, and that's in large part because Liefeld has embraced certain conventions and adheres to them: characters with mysterious powers and backgrounds, centuries-long struggles between immortals, big guns, bigger swords, tight pants, and nonstop banter. You can find all these elements in Liefeld's early X-Men work just as you can find them in Snake Eyes: Deadgame #1.
There are actual X-Books out this week too, so stay tuned, and I'll be getting to those soon enough. I may also do a Gyde to Empyre #1 if I'm feeling up to it.
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