Which Cobra character died this week? We talk to G.I. Joe publisher IDW

Last Wednesday, a major character in G.I. Joe mythology kicked the bucket in IDW's G.I. Joe: Cobra miniseries. Who was it, and what does his passing mean for the Joe comic book series? Spoilers way on!

The assassination of Cobra Commander (at the hands of Joe undercover agent Chuckles) occurred in Christos Gage and Mike Costa's G.I. Joe: Cobra II #12 — Chuckles, who had ingratiated himself with Cobra's inner circle, put a bullet through the leader's head, bringing his reign to an abrupt and ignominious end.

The Commander's passing will have some longstanding ramifications on all things Joe. In April, readers will see the aftermath within Cobra in G.I. Joe: Cobra Civil War #0 and G.I. Joe: Cobra Commander: Tribute. And in May, three new ongoing series spin out of this event: Cobra, G.I. Joe, and the solo series Snake Eyes. We talked with IDW Senior Editor Andy Schmidt about the passing of Cobra's grandest poobah.

Which Cobra character died this week? We talk to G.I. Joe publisher IDWS

How did the decision to kill Cobra Commander come about?

We were working on the original Cobra miniseries that started in March 2008, and we were getting really great reviews, so we started thinking about doing more with this storyline. I started talking with series writers Christos Gage and Mike Costa about doing more with the characters. We thought about doing a trilogy, and they kicked this idea my way. We spoke with Hasbro and we thought could we get some great stories out of this.

Given Hasbro's involvement, are we going to see any toys spinning out of the Cobra series?

People are excited that we have a big plan spinning out of G.I. Joe, so it looks more and more hopeful that we could see some toys spinning out of this, but nothing is set in stone.

Where does Cobra Commander's assassination leave Cobra at this point?

Which Cobra character died this week? We talk to G.I. Joe publisher IDWS

Cobra's an organized group. His death certainly sends shocks through the organization, but it doesn't cripple them. It's definitely a blow, but Cobra is set up in such a way that if one person falls, the whole organization won't collapse. It creates a power vacuum — all of a sudden, there are different Cobra members making moves. As for G.I. Joe, it's like they poked the sleeping bear. At this point, Cobra can no longer ignore Joe — they've hurt Cobra in a way no other organization has. G.I. Joe is like, "Hooray! We won!" but they'll soon see how big Cobra actually is.

And what's Chuckles' situation now that he's assassinated Cobra Commander?

In the last issue of Cobra II, you'll see he has some unresolved issues with Tomax and Xamot, but where he goes from there we're keeping a mystery.

For the immediate fallout of Cobra Commander's assassination, check out the final issue of G.I. Joe: Cobra II, which is on the stands February 23, 2011.