Snake Eyes: Deadgame #1 is published by IDW Publishing, written by Rob Liefeld, with dialogue by Chad Bowers, art by Rob Liefeld, colors by Federico Blee, and letters by Andworld Design. This issue is the start of a new mini-series featuring everyone’s favorite Joe, Snake Eyes.
In Snake Eyes: Deadgame #1, Snake Eyes is sent on yet another mission with his fellow G.I. Joes, following an SOS message into a base that is obviously not of Cobra origins. Who they find there not only shocks the Joes but also creates more questions than answers: General Joseph Colton, the original G.I. Joe. What’s worse, is that Colton brings up something called the “Deadgame” which drags up old memories for Snake Eyes and has him hoping that the legends he grew up with are nothing more than a myth.
Snake Eyes: Deadgame #1 begins just a bit obtuse, which creates the right amount of mystery to draw readers in. The issue begins in days long gone, showing a battle between legends, but then quickly transitioning to modern times, leaving the audience to puzzle out what the past has to do with Snake Eyes’ present. We get a sprinkling of information that moves the story forward such as who Snake Eyes is and how he operates, but the issue continues to keep us in the dark. What is the Deadgame and just what does this legend have to do with Snake Eyes’ past? This question alone will have been coming back for issue two.
Beyond this plot, however, Snake Eyes: Deadgame #1 is hard to get into. The art is decent overall, but there are a few areas where things get weird. Beyond just some generally bad perspectives, the male characters are cookie cutters of each other and there’s this one very odd looking dog. Or maybe it’s a wolf? Either way, these details are enough to impact the flow of the issue and detract from the plot.
Superhero comics are infamous for drawing their characters in impossible poses, and, although these poses aren’t as impossible as some, Snake Eyes isn’t immune to this trend. Sure, he’s a ninja, and we can expect to see him in some rather flexible and gravity-defying positions, but even so, some of them are a little dubious. They also stifle the fluidity of the fight scenes as the audience reads from one panel to the next.
The backgrounds start out strong, with the coloring adequately translating the feeling of being surrounded by cold steel or being bathed in the light of thermal led walls. But halfway through the issue is where the backgrounds become uninteresting and bland. Sure, doing this highlights the subjects in each panel better, but the latter half creates a feeling of placelessness that doesn’t seem intentional.
The lettering is nothing to frown about. The speech bubbles are easy to follow and they don’t crowd the panels. However, the dialogue itself has a few faults. The dialogue is cheesy in certain places but it seems to harken back to 80s comics styles. This decision isn’t necessarily a bad one, especially since it will likely produce some nostalgia for people who have been reading G.I. Joe comics for a while. But there is nevertheless some awkwardness in the dialogue stemming from the fact that some of it is too formal for everyday speech.
Overall, the plot is intriguing and it will be interesting to find out more about Snake Eyes’ past, but the art and dialogue put a damper on the story in this issue. It will be interesting to see if this first issue is an exception or if the rest of the series will stumble across the same problems.
Snake Eyes: Deadgame #1 is available now wherever comics are sold.
Snake Eyes: Deadgame #1
Overall, the plot is intriguing and it will be interesting to find out more about Snake Eyes’ past, but the art and dialogue put a damper on the story in this issue.