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Cobra Commander #5 review

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

Story: Across the world, Destro is seeing reports of various M.A.R.S. facilities being attacked and overrun.  His men finally bring in Dreadnok Ripper as a captive, who says the man responsible wants to meet him.  So Destro, Mercer, Ripper and some troops fly out to a small town, only for the troops and helicopter to be destroyed by lasers (impressing Destro) and Cobra Commander comes out to greet them, wanting to get into a deal with Destro in exchange for providing Destro with some of the new energy he's discovered.  As they explore the facility, they see more scientists (who seem to be working against their will) and Cobra Commander mentions that there are other forces but they need a common leader to unite them all. He then shows Destro what a Battle Android Trooper can do when upgraded with the energy.  They agree to the deal and, as he changes into his uniform, Cobra Commander takes Destro, Mercer and Ripper into an auditorium filled with people and proclaims them to be Cobra. Meanwhile, back at Cobra-La, after Megatron's escape, Golobulus and Pythona look over Cobra Commander's lab and realize the robots are from another planet, i.e., Cybertron, and since it's made of metal, is against everything they stand for and decide to take action.  

Writing: Definitely interesting as many of the classic pieces of the Cobra organization are coming together. We have Cobra Commander and Destro working together, albeit in an uneasy alliance.  We see pictures of "Extensive Enterprises" Tomax and Xamot, the Dreadnoks, and ninja Storm Shadow.  We also have a "small town" to be operating out of.  However, it's tricky to figure out when the first four issues took place.  Destro mentions the trouble with Duke (from his Skybound mini-series) but by the time he meets up with Cobra Commander, the Commander has built a new town, with fancy labs, recruited his troops and scientists and is ready to go.  It also begs the question, how was Cobra Commander able to do all of this stuff, especially since he doesn't exist (as towns need permits and such to be built).  The Cobra-La piece was interesting too, keeping them in the picture and getting a good "Transformers vs. Cobra-La/mechanical vs. organic" storyline going.  

Art: Milana's art is still good.  It was quite nice to see all those classic G.I. Joe (Cobra) characters on the screen, waiting to be recruited into Cobra.  We get a really good idea of just how big and imposing Mercer is.  I would say I'm a bit disappointed we didn't get a few more Easter eggs with more vehicles and equipment we've seen over the years incorporated into some of the panels.  

Overall: Another good issue that sets up the next arc for Cobra Commander (the building of Cobra and Cobra-La vs. The Transformers).  I liked Cobra Commander's sheer arrogance throughout the issue as we know, from other properties, that is something that can get him into situations that are over his head.  

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