Cobra: Special issue 1
|First published||September 1, 2009|
|Cover date||September 2009|
|Written by||Mike Costa|
|Line-art by||Antonio Fuso|
|Colors by||Lovern Kindzierski|
|Letters by||Robbie Robbins|
|Assistant editor||Carlos Guzman|
|Associate editor||Denton Tipton|
The Crimson Twins reflect...
|His name is Tomax Paoli.
He reflects on a truth he has learned: slavery is freedom, which he believes is demonstrated in the powerful connection between himself and his brother, and their life. Raised from birth by the secretive Corsican organization known as the Unione Corse, they were trained to be peerless soldiers, businessmen, and slave traders. Tomax believes man can only be at peace when he must answer to another, and that this is the reason for him and his brother's serene existence: they must answer to each other.
In turn, all others answer to them, as they seize power across the globe. When fighting in the Chadian-Libyan war as youths, the brothers learned that true victory comes from profiting from, not ending, conflict. Subsequently, the twins cannibalized Unione Corse's business ventures to found Extensive Enterprises, selling the "security" of their Crimson Guard. Eventually, they were approached by Cobra, and their power grew yet more.
Recently, they have toyed with an undercover agent, ultimately teaching him the freedom found in the absence of choice. Those events, Tomax feels, have made the brothers stronger than ever before, and begun a new chapter in their lives.
Everything is different now.
|Everything is different now.
Chuckles' attack made Xamot feel vulnerable in a way he never before had: powerless, small, weak. Recovering from the incident, which has left his cheek scarred, he came to realize that he no longer felt a personal connection with his brother, and begun questioning the routines of his life. Now, as he and Tomax continue their business manipulations, Xamot finds himself losing perspective, and longing for the wars of their youth where victory was as simple as leaving more bodies in your wake.
Growing their empire is now thankless and hollow for Xamot, something from which he derives no sense of adventure and which he feels has taken away his freedom. Rebelling, he has begun to ignore his brother's summonses, and seek time alone, desperate to find himself free from the influence of anybody else. His work leaves him in misery, but for now he must pretend otherwise, so as to remain comfortable.
In truth, Xamot no longer feels much connection to his brother, and considers abandoning the last of his family, willing to throw everything away for freedom from being a slave. He shaves his hair short, no longer the mirror image of his twin.
His name is Xamot Paoli.
Characters in italic text appear only in flashbacks.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
- The entire issue is mirrored down the middle, with panel composition, layouts and captions mirroring each other to some degree between the front and back halves of the issue. When the point of view changes from Tomax to Xamot at the mid-point, page numbers begin counting back down from 11 to 1. So that both "page 11"s fall on a double page spread, the issue features an extra credits page at its start, which is then literally mirrored, with reversed text, at the issue's end.
- This issue follows on from the conclusion of the Cobra mini-series, in which Chuckles gave Xamot his injury.
G.I. Joe references
- Extensive Enterprises is the traditional name for Tomax and Xamot's front company.
- The twins are briefly seen driving a H.I.S.S..
- Xamot has acquired the scar on his right cheek that is his traditional distinguishing feature.
- The issue's mirrored layout is inspired by a similar one used by issue #5 of Watchmen.
- A variety of real-life people, groups and events are mentioned, included Unione Corse, the French Foreign Legion, the "Toyota War" and Muammar Gaddafi.
- In G.I. Joe: Cobra: The Last Laugh, this issue is given the appropriately palindromic title "Lives Evil."
- Cover A: Tomax and Xamot, by Antonio Fuso.
- Cover B: Xamot and Tomax, by Antonio Fuso.
- Cover RI: Covers A and B cropped and combined on a wraparound cover.