Dawn Moreno aka: Female Snake Eyes
With GI Joe #246 due out next week, I figure it was time to sort out this whole “Female Snake Eyes” character, Dawn Moreno.
OK, I’ll admit fully. Labeling a character as “the female Snake Eyes” is a rather bold statement. In Dawn’s case, that’s literally what she is… I’ll explain all the hows and whys.
As many of you already know, I’m rarely interested in the first time a character shows up. I gravitate towards primarily larger in costume appears that are larger than a page or panel.
However, Dawn’s journey to being dubbed Female Snake Eyes is a little more complex than that. Her first appearance is in GI Joe #226. In her first appearance she’s trying to try out for the Cobra lacrosse team… yeah, I had no idea that was a thing either but apparently it is.
The Cobra High School Lacrosse Coach won’t let her try out at first but eventually he gives in… And no, I have no idea what his code name is.
Obviously Dawn opens a can of whoop ass on everyone, showing how badass she is. Cobra Commander sees her and is impressed by her awesomeness. By the end of the issue she’s hanging around Cobra Commander's throne room of all places… Which is kinda creepy now that I think about it. This is right as Destro decides to pull a hostile takeover of Springfield… Yeah, Springfield is still Cobras not so secret HQ. I think this might be the second or third Springfield though.
Dawn's second appearance is in issue #227, she’s about to kill Destro and save Cobra Commander. Lucky for Destro, Baroness stops her. Baroness also decided to take Dawn under her wing. Not bad for a second appear in any big comic universe.
Now you’re probably thinking to yourselves right now, that’s cool and all but it still doesn’t earn her the right to be refereed to as the new Snake Eye’s. Maybe Ms Teen Storm Shadow if anything, but not Snake Eyes… and I totally agree with you 100%. But be patient, I'm getting there.
In GI Joe issue #229, Dawn has to go to the Cobra Super Brainwashing Center for Cobra Indoctrination Programing. Lucky for Dawn, Zarana and Baroness are not down with that. “It’s just going to ruin the work we’ve already done!”
So they get the bright idea to mess with the programing Dr. Mindbender has set up… and wouldn’t you know it, hijinks ensue. They “accidentally” download Snake Eye’s memories into Dawn. Turning her literally into female Snake Eyes… Except without the snazzy outfit.
So depending on how you look at things, this would be her first appearance out of costume as “Female Snake Eyes”! I wouldn't necessarily run out and buy this, neither of the covers are must haves. It's still a pretty funny issue if you like to actually read comics.
For roughly the next year (or maybe it's 3 in comic years) Dawn's story continues to unfold in bits and pieces. In issue #237 she straight up murders Zartan. Luck for Zartan this is a comic book and his life is saved… I'm not going to tell you by who. You'll have to read it to find out.
Finally in issue #244, she’s handed the super cool Snake eye's’esq outfit. Yes, sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Issue #244 is her first costume appearance. Not issue #246 like so many people who don’t read GI Joe were thinking. Tip O' the hat to Topher for pointing that out weeks ago over on the Google + page.
“WAIT, WAIT, WAIT That’s a cameo appearance, she’s just on a few pages in costume!”
True, BUT when you read how the GI Joe comics are structured, it’s hard to quantify it that way. No full issue of GI Joe is dedicated to one story arc. There’s two and sometimes three or four different arcs going on in a single issue. Dawn appears on 5 pages of the issue, which is 25% of a 20 page GI Joe comic. There is like 6 different things going on at once in #244. GI Joe typically has more assorted arcs per issue than an Uncanny X-Men issue during Claremont’s run. I’m seriously not exaggerating.
Trust me, if she just put on the outfit on the last splash page, I’d totally label it a cameo… But that’s not the case. Of the 5 pages she appears on in the issue, she’s in costume for 3 of them and being handed the outfit in a quarter page panel on another page.
For people waiting for issue #246 and thinking that would at least be her first “in costume cover appearance”… I’ve got more bad news for you. Issue #245 cover A would have that honor. She appearance on the cover and 5 page or 25% of the issue… technically 6 of the 20 story pages are devoted to Dawn's arc. The rest of the issue is devoted to two others, one of which accounts for 11 pages.
“What about out of costume first cover?” Well, that's a good question. Dawn’s first cover appearance is going to be issue #228 Cover A. Now some might be thinking, “what about issue #236 cover B, she’s in a reddish pink Ninja outfit on that cover!” But is that Dawn on the cover?
I mean, we don’t see her in ANY of the GI Joe issues dressed like that, EVER. AND that happens to also be the only issue since her arc began where she doesn’t make an interior page/panel appearance. She’s only mentioned by name towards the end of the issue. I’m more inclined to think it’s Jinx or Akana… you probably have no idea who Akana is. She's a Red Ninja and we'll just leave it at that.
Some… Well let's be honest, Many of you are thinking, Dawn won’t last. At first I was thinking the very same thing. However after reading issues #226 thur #245 and seeing how much time has been devoted towards building her up, it appears she’s going to be a round for a minute. Also in issue #240 they had the opportunity to de'Snake Eyes her, but didn’t. Instead she tries to erase Dr Mindbenders brain… which doesn’t exactly work out.
Now you're probably wondering why issue #246 a big deal? Why is she on all the covers and there's so many variants for it? As far as I can tell at time of writing this, it's simply a new story arc called “Dawn of the Arishikage”… Get it, her name is Dawn and she's part of the Arishikage clan now! Larry Hama really is the perfect writer for GI Joe.
If you're looking for the issue #246 1:20 variant cover. While that's definitely a super cool cover, I don't think it'll be super scarce. It appears that IDW allowed the store exclusive variants to count toward the 1:20 variant. While your LCS might not have it, they're plenty of copies available on eBay at time of writing this.
Till Next Time!