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Cobra Commander #3 review

Creators: Joshua Williamson (Writer), Andrea Milana (Artist), Annalisa Leoni (Colorist), Rus Wooton (Letterer)

Story: Picking up where we last left off, Cobra Commander's companion is in the Florida Everglades looking for him as we go to the Commander, being attacked underwater by some alligators that are more than meets the eye.  We then see him get some assistance.  At a bar, Ripper and Zarana arrive and talk to the gathered individuals about "the juice" they have.  They know it's a fuel and they can sell it for a pretty penny.  We then see Zandar show up with Cobra Commander in chains.  They put him in a chain and try to take off his mask but Ripper gets zapped by it as Buzzer laughs and they get into a fight.  Torch arrives and tries to melt it off to little success.  They then each take turns torturing Cobra Commander for information and to try to get him to take off his mask but he remains silent.  When Zandar starts, Cobra Commander tells him his brother Zartan sent him and he gets mad at Zarana and storms off.  Buzzer comes in and Cobra Commander seems to know a bit about him, sending him off in a huff as well as Zarana and Torch return and Cobra Commander again mentions her brother. Before she can ask more, Buzzer, Zandar and Ripper are fighting and it breaks into the torture room.  Before more can happen, Cobra Commander activates something which worries Zarana and they take him outside where his companion is. Buzzer attacks with his chainsaw, slicing his head but not actually hurting him.  Cobra Commander mentions the Dreadnoks have the Energon and so his companion says enough and rips off his human skin and it's actually Nemesis Enforcer.  They all fight as Cobra Commander looks on.

Writing:  In terms of story advancement, we don't get a lot here but at the same time, we do.  We get a lot of hints, like the alligators and hints about what Zartan might be doing.  The big reveal of Cobra Commander's companion/bodyguard at the end was pretty neat and, again, last issue had hinted at who he might be.  The one thing that really surprised me is the amount of torture in this issue. Cobra Commander's torture takes up 6-8 pages of this comic. I really did enjoy how "cool and collected" Cobra Commander remains throughout this issue though, despite everything that is happening. 

Art: Art is still good, though this issue definitely has more of a PG-13+ rating for the art due to the previously mentioned 6-8 pages of torture, that includes beatings, human branding, electric shock, a chainsaw to the chest and more.  However, we do get an awesome double-page spread of Nemesis Enforcer as he emerges from his human disguise and just seeing Cobra Commander standing there as the fight noises happen is pretty good too.

Overall:  I am honestly surprised by how graphic this issue ends up getting.  Williamson and Milana are putting forth that the Dreadnoks are brutal and care little for people (as Ripper just randomly shoots one of his own in the stomach when they show up at the bar).  They fully embrace torture and we see it wasn't just a "one off" that they were doing from last issue.  For a comic, I do feel the torture is a bit graphic and really puts this beyond what a kid below 13/14 years old should be reading. 

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