Cobra files is a series that focuses on the origins of G.I. Joe Cobra members. This one deals with a potential threat within the G.I. Joe ranks. Yes, this is an origin story in which Clockswitch is given the opportunity to vents his frustrations and share his past experiences. Sure it sounds simple, but the storytelling is done in such a good way that the reader cannot help but empathise with him. He is the little guy that is easily overlooked and taken for granted. This is the brief history of his life before being drafted to the Joes.
We journey through his college and highschool life to see that Clockspring is not limited to IT intellect and skills. He shows that he too was once athletic and this led him to meet his first love. Meanwhile, just as he was friend zoned by Cate Aiken in highschool, he is friend zoned by Chameleon, a female comrade who is entering into a relationship with Flint. This fuels the well of emotions that he is dealing with. He begins to question the appreciation of others and how much value the G.I. Joe team places upon the lives of their members. The infiltrator Tomax uses this opportunity to spring into action, as he implants the ideas of defection into Clocksprings mind. Tomax is charismatic and cunning, leading one to question whether Clockspring was a target of his the entire time. Perhaps he was a compass that needed a bit of direction through the influence of the Cobra.
The art is dark and rough, containing no bright colours, as if to blend in with Clocksprings current mindstate and sense of loneliness. The HQ also seems empty, as pages do not feature many characters. One would expect there to be a constant G.I. Joe presence throughout the building, but we do not see this. We see that Clockspring is in a lonely space and suffers in solitude. This really lends to the emotion of this story. Another aspect that lends to the story is character proportion. We do not see the usual over muscular look that the Joes usually have. Character images are slim and crisp. This lends to the fact that this is a realistic story that people can related to. It places focus on the fact that emotion can be a domineering force in its own right.
The contrast of this book makes it an interesting read. When you think G.I. Joe you think of explosions, over the top action and heroics. This Cobra file story has none of that. It lets you know that the G.I. Joe HQ is not always buzzing with vibrant people as you are made to believe. Instead, it is out of this HQ that a threat could be born.