|First published||April 9, 2014|
|Cover date||April 2014|
|Written by||Chuck Dixon|
|Art by||Will Rosado|
|Colors by||Romulo Fajardo Jr.|
|Letters by||Neil Uyetake|
|Chronology||Before "Threat Matrix"|
As they're ambushed by a Cobra sniper, the fate of the Special Missions unit is in Lowlight's hands.
For their next mission, G.I. Joe's Special Missions unit is being sent in to a fortified villa in the tri-border region of South America, where they'll be taking a high level target with ties to both the Shining Path cartel and Cobra into custody. According to Spreadsheet, it'll be a simple, in-and-out op, barring any unforeseen complications of course. Unforeseen complications like the Joes driving their armored car right over a landmine and being sent barrelling off into a ditch!
As they emerge from the burning wreck of their vehicle, the Joes and their prisoner seem mostly unscathed, aside from the unconscious Roadblock. However, as Mainframe takes a peak up at the road, a sniper shot rings out and hits him in the leg. As Mains goes down, the Joes' resident sniper Lowlight wastes no time setting up his own rifle to take out the enemy so they can get a move on. However, Lowlight can tell that they're dealing with an experienced sharpshooter, one who could easily pick them off if they tried to move now. To give the others a chance to slip away, Lowlight fires a flare into the night sky, temporarily blinding the enemy sniper.
Since he would run the risk of bleeding out if he moved too much, Mainframe stays behind with Lowlight and is given a periscope so he can act as a spotter for him. Through the scope, Mainframe spots a team of Vipers closing in on them. As Lowlight takes one of them out, the enemy sniper nearly scores a shot on him. Mainframe reports that he didn't notice any sort of muzzle flash from his rifle, which Lowlight explains is due to him using a suppressor. Since they're in a fairly humid area, Lowlight suggests Mains be on the lookout for the trail the enemy's bullets leave through the mirage.
Deep in the jungle, Roadblock has finally stirred from unconsciousness and is outraged that Scarlett would leave Lowlight and Mainframe behind. As he heads back for them against her orders, Scarlett asks Clutch to move on ahead with the prisoner while she and Tripwire go back for Roadblock. Somehow managing to give his commander and Trip the slip, the concussed Roadblock ends up getting lost in the jungle. As a boat manned by Shining Path cartel members spots him along the river's shore, Roadblock hits the dirt and dives into the river. Meanwhile, Clutch is wading through the river with the prisoner and trying to avoid being spotted by another boat. Though the prisoner has been black-bagged, he bites Clutch's finger through his bag, making him cry out in pain and alert the boat to their presence. Before they can open fire on Clutch though, another boat's machine gun cuts them down, Roadblock having commandeered the ship that spotted him.
With Lowlight out of earshot, Mainframe radios in to tell him that he's hearing movement nearby but the Joe sniper is unresponsive. Just then, a Viper emerges from the grass and catches Mainframe off guard. Though he unloads his pistol into him, another Viper stands over him above the ditch. Thankfully, Lowlight takes the Viper out before he can harm Mains. As he does though, Lowlight narrowly avoids being shot by the enemy sniper. However, this shot gives Lowlight the information he needs to begin narrowing his foe's location down. At Lowlight's request, Mainframe removes one of the Vipers' helmets and puts it up on a stick to get the sniper's attention. As the enemy takes a shot at it, Lowlight finally spots the sniper but he's spotted as well and the sniper fires a shot right through Lowlight's scope! With that taken out, Lowlight depends on Mainframe to spot the sniper as he changes positions. Though he can see him moving, Mains can't give Lowlight a good enough description of where the enemy is... until he suddenly disturbs a group of birds as he moves! As Mainframe fires off a flare to give him some light, Lowlight takes the shot... and hits!
With Scarlett and Tripwire having returned, Lowlight investigates the enemy sniper's corpse and is sad that such talent had to go to waste. Mainframe, meanwhile, has worsened in condition, and with more Shining Path members closing in on the Joes in trucks, they're going to have to get a move on. As her team takes off running, Scarlett says she and Spreadsheet are going to have a long, serious talk about those "unforseen complications" he referenced...
Characters in italic text only appear in flashback. (Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"It would be — unnh — Roadblock!"
"Shoulda codenamed him—uh—Speedbump!"
- -Tripwire and Cluth gripe about their unconscious teammate.
"What's he near?"
"A berry bush."
"Which one? Seriously? You know every bush?"
"I have an eidetic memory."
"Sure. Why not?"
- -Lowlight and Mainframe.
"When we get back I'm gonna have a little talk with Spreadsheet about "unforeseen complications.""
- -Scarlett delivers the book's and Chuck Dixon's final line for G.I. Joe looking directly into the damn camera.
- As noted in this issue, Beachhead is still in Cobra captivity as he was last issue. Since this is the final issue of Special Missions and Beachhead appears in the chronologically later "Threat Matix" arc of G.I. Joe vol. 3, we're left to assume he was rescued by the Joes offscreen.
- Having already shown up in the "Operation: Deadfall" arc that took place from Special Missions issues #5 through #7 along with the ninth issue, Roadblock appears as a member of the Special Missions unit despite supposedly being part of Duke's public facing Joe team over in Joe vol. 3.
- Not only does this mark the final issue of G.I. Joe: Special Missions, this is also the final issue of G.I. Joe penned by Chuck Dixon. Dixon had been part of IDW's Joe comics since their inception, penning the first and second volumes of their main G.I. Joe comic, along with the G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes series and several issues of G.I. Joe: Origins. The next era of IDW's Joe comics would see them cut down from publishing three ongoing series as they had been since they acquired the license to a single ongoing along with a miniseries, neither of which would be written by Dixon.
- Cover A: The Special Missions unit in Cobra's sights, by Paul Gulacy, Aburtov, and Juan Foo
- Cover B: Lowlight lays low, by Will Rosado and Romulo Fajardo Jr.
- Retailer incentive cover: Spirit doesn't make the cut for G.I. Joe's holiday show, by S.L. Gallant and J. Brown