Since 2010, Larry Hama has carried on the continuity of his Marvel Comics run on G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero for IDW. Two years ago, he altered the series when he killed off Snake Eyes. He has replaced the original Snake Eyes with 2 new Snake Eyes and a new version that is a teenage girl.
It started with a storyline titled “The Death of Snake Eyes.” Snake Eyes sacrificed his life to defeat a resurrected Serpentor in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #213.
In the storyline, a new member of the G.I. Joe squad, Throwdown, was disfigured. Throwdown’s name was Sean Collins. He was born as Sean Broca, son of a Cobra Crimson Guardsman. After his father had died, he was replaced by a new Crimson Guardsman, Wade Collins, who fought alongside Snake Eyes in Vietnam. In the final issue, Sean wrote a letter to Snake Eyes, asking if he must join the Army. Snake Eyes wrote back with his thoughts on military service. This was significant since we hardly got to hear Snake Eyes’ thoughts on any topic. Sean did enlist and ended up as a member of the G.I. Joes. After Snake Eyes died while killing Serpentor, the Joes needed a new Snake Eyes. They could not admit to their enemies that Snake Eyes was dead. Throwdown’s disfigurement badly damaged his vocal cords. He was the perfect choice to take over as Snake Eyes. Sean had to fake his death to take on the new role. He could not tell the truth to his family. So Sean was now, Snake Eyes.
Sean and the Collins family lived in Springfield, which was a town that Cobra owned and operated. Everyone worked for Cobra. In G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #226, we met a teen girl who lived in Springfield. Her name was Dawn Moreno.
Her physical abilities brought her to the attention of Cobra Commander. He adopted her as his bodyguard. He held her in reserve as a sort of secret weapon. She was pressed into service when Destro attacked Cobra Commander.
Destro and Cobra Commander settled their differences. Dawn was trained by the Baroness. Baroness and Zarana put her through paces in G.I. Joe #228, the issue where all characters in the issue were female.
The citizens of Springfield were given treatments in the Brainwave Scanner. The Brainwave Scanner was a machine that was invented by Cobra operative, Doctor Venom. It was used to interrogate people and brainwash them. Cobra Commander had his chief scientist, Doctor Mindbender, use it to brainwash the Springfield citizens into loyalty to Cobra.
In G.I. Joe #229, Baroness decided to use the brainwave scanner to re-affirm Dawn’s allegiance to Cobra. However, something went wrong. As it turned out, when Venom had put Snake Eyes into the brainwave scanner, a copy was made of Snake Eyes’ mind. That copy was now transferred into Dawn’s mind.
She escaped Cobra and went on the run. She had struggled with the thoughts in her mind. In G.I. Joe #232, she met Snake Eyes’ best friend, Storm Shadow.
He had her go to work for Obake Obaasan, one of his relatives in the clan. She had owned a storefront and Dawn worked for her in the store while she trained Dawn.
The problem for Dawn continued to be the memories that she kept seeing in her mind that were not her own. For instance, in G.I. Joe #237, she re-lived the battle that led to Snake Eyes’ disfigurement.
What she discovered is something that shocked people who were close to Snake Eyes. Snake Eyes has been seen as the model of moderation. He was calm, no matter the situation. That is literally what the classic silent issue of G.I. Joe, “Silent Interlude,” was about. It turns out that Snake Eyes’ ability to maintain his cool was impressive considering how much rage he felt. He was a killing machine who had managed to keep himself from being a killing machine. The problem for Dawn is that she experienced his memories without his ability to cope. She became what one calls “unhinged.” She had the physical tools to become a ninja, and she had the training to match, but she could not control herself.
At the same time, as soon as he killed him off, Larry Hama was looking to tell stories of Snake Eyes’ past. This current setup allows Hama to easily tell old stories featuring Snake Eyes, as they will be like memories for Dawn, but new stories to the readers.
In G.I. Joe #244, she gained her new ninja attire and officially became the new Snake Eyes
She made her cover debut in her new costume the next issue…
Gallant had finished out a multi-year run on the book with #245. Artists, Netho Diaz and Thiago Gomes, join Larry Hama to tell stories that featured the physical replacement for Snake Eyes and the mental successor.