Do you have a favorite story from the anthology?
The story “Snake Eyes” is, well, about Snake Eyes. It's pretty good, but too much super-ninja Snake Eyes. I'm real tired of the super-hero Snake Eyes.
There are other very good stories but there are two elements that a re a bit much. Too much Duke and Scarlett seems to get injured in nearly every story that she is featured in. Poor girl.
My absolute favorite story in the anthology is “Exorcist” by Max Brooks. This story is an apparent transcript of a possible recruit for the Joe team, one that specializes in the psychiatric care of soldiers.
There are a couple key quotes from the story that just rocked me to my core.
“Do you know that this is the first time in American military history that the number of suicides has surpassed combat deaths? Do you understand what that means? MORE SOLDIERS ARE KILLING THEMSELVES THAN ARE BEING KILLED BY THE ENEMY!” (author's emphasis)
The implication from this story is something that is rarely touched on in this fantasy toy world of ours. Sure, I know that these are toys, but for many of us, they occupy “real worlds.” I know, not real, but you get the idea. They are just toys.
But what about the psychological impact of such combat conditions against Cobra for so many, many years? How tough is it on the soldier's psyche? Especially these elite soldiers – they are still just human beings. Same goes for the Cobra troops. How much death and destruction can soldiers bear before they reach the breaking point?
How mentally fragile is Snake Eyes? Not the super Arishikage-mind-set mega-ninja, just the man. And in reflecting on the characters behind these toys, think of those out here right now, fighting and dying for freedom – the Real American Heroes.