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Cobra Commander #1 Advance Review

Thus far Skybound and Image Comics have done a great job building the Energon Universe with Void Rivals, Transformers, and G.I. Joe. The G.I. Joe A Real American Hero series returned by starting where the series previously left off, leaving questions about where it fits within the Energon Universe. The recent Duke mini-series started differently as a direct spinoff from the events of the ongoing Transformers series set in the Energon Universe. Now acting as a counter to Duke we are getting a Cobra Commander mini-series. We got a chance to check out an advance copy of Cobra Commander #1. Find out how it turned out with our review below.


Writer: Joshua Williamson

Artist: Andrea Milana

Colorist: Annalisa Leoni

Letterer: Rus Wooton


“The Rise of Cobra begins here. In a world where the Cobra organization hasn’t formed, one man’s sinister plans to utilize the mysterious alien substance known as Energon sends shockwaves across the globe. Who is Cobra Commander? Where does he come from? And what horrors is he planning to unleash that will rock the world-and maybe the universe-to its core? Red-Hot writer Joshua Williamson (Superman, Duke) and artist Andrea Milana (Impact Winter: Rook) kick off the second of four action-packed miniseries that will introduce the best and worst humanity has to offer in the Energon Universe.” – Skybound Entertainment


Comic books with a villain as a lead are never easy due to having to position them as the protagonist. We’ve seen many times this end up with the creative team leaning towards portraying the villain as an anti-hero. Thankfully that is not the case for Cobra Commander #1. Joshua Williamson and Andrea Milana not only fully embrace the villainous Cobra Commander’s personality but also the possibilities opened by the Energon Universe.

If you thought what will be presented is an anti-hero Cobra Commander in this series the opening scene quickly shows you that is not the case. Cobra Commander will not hesitate to be as brutal as he can be to achieve his objective. The way this is executed does a great job of balancing the brutal nature of Cobra Commander while leaving certain actions up to the imagination of the reader.

Cobra Commander #1 Preview
Preview of interior artwork for Cobra Commander #1 by artist Andrea Milana and colorist Annalisa Leoni. Credit: Skybound Entertainment

From that opening, the majority of Cobra Commander #1 delivers a surprising amount of world and mythology-building. The world that is presented is certainly not what was expected from a G.I. Joe comic book. The presentation as a whole is a welcome surprise. It allowed the presentation of the cold, calculative, and manipulative character that Cobra Commander is known to be. The way he turns unexpected devastation to his advantage is impressive.

While you are certainly left impressed with how Cobra Commander conducts himself, Williamson makes sure you never forget he is a villain. That is especially evident with the reveal of Cobra Commander’s connection to what we’ve seen go down in the Energon Universe. When the reveal happens your mind immediately starts connecting the dots to the stories in Duke, Transformers, and Void Rivals.

Throughout Cobra Commander #1, Milana and colorist Annalisa Leoni’s artwork gets better with each page. There is clear trust Williamson has with Milana and Leoni as there are many scenes where the art is driving the story. It does so much that Milana and Leoni can showcase their storytelling abilities through various silent panels and pages. This in turn helps all the world-building done in Cobra Commander #1 come across as larger than life.


Cobra Commander #1 is an early contender for the comic book issue of the year. Joshua Williamson, Andrea Milana, and Annalisa Leoni do a remarkable job with the world-building around the Rise of Cobra. This adds yet another quality title to the strong Energon Universe.

Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10