Cobra Command, Part 2
|First published||January 11, 2012|
|Cover date||January 2012|
|Written by||Chuck Dixon|
|Art by||Alex Cal|
|Colors by||J. Brown|
|Letters by||Neil Uyetake|
|Assistant editor||Carlos Guzman|
While Cobra consolidates their hold on Nanzhao, Snake Eyes and his team go in to sabotage their efforts.
South of the Salween River in Nanzhao, Cobra mech-suits stalk through the jungle; from the trees they are observed by G.I. Joe Team Alpha, who radio Thai Battery Base Hong San with the mechs' coordinates, leading them to be obliterated in a hail of rocket fire. When Flint radios General Hawk to update him on their progress, the General fumes over not being on the ground in Nanzhao, but he is interrupted by Scarlett; the Joes' facial recognition systems have detected a significant face at an airport they were surveying: Thomas S. Arashikage, aka Stormshadow! Making preparations to head to the country himself, Hawk assigns Duke to "watch the store" for him, confident that he'll do the best job even if he's still weak from the aftereffects of the Madness Bug.
In the central highlands of Nanzaho, a H.I.S.S. tank's gunner sings the praises of the terrain's suitability for tank-based warfare, and laments not having any enemies to face... not knowing that the G.I. Joe ninja Snake Eyes is in hot pursuit. Chasing after the vehicle convoy, Snake Eyes decapitates one of the tanks' gunners before dropping down and killing the driver, and using the tank's weapons to obliterate the entire unsuspecting column. Watching in shock, Team Foxtrot — Agent Helix, Alpine and Iceberg — spend the rest of the day making their way to the column's source... but they find nothing but a rocky, empty valley. With their satellite signal being jammed, they can't access satellite mapping, so their mission seems to have been futile... until Helix suggests using infrared vision, revealing the heat signature of a sprawling Cobra base in the middle of the supposedly empty valley! Iceberg proposes hitting the base with an airstrike, but the jamming field means they can't get through to command... but Alpine has an advantage: prosthetic running blades, that will let him quickly get out of the jamming field to radio their coordinates to the Thai forces. Helix turns to ask Snake Eyes' opinion... but he has already left to deal with the Cobra base himself, prompting her to follow him. Descending to the base, the two discover that it's being hidden with high-tech fabric that mimics the surrounding terrain, with a broadcasting tower jamming the satellite signals. Snake and Helix infiltrate the base to take the tower down, but before they can reach it, they are ambushed by another of Cobra's mechs!
Back at Fort Baxter, Dial-Tone observes something unusual: despite Cobra having planned their invasion strategy near-perfectly, they don't seem to have paid attention to timeframe, invading the country two weeks before the monsoon season will make conquest near-impossible. Mainframe doesn't think much of it, but Scarlett is sure it's significant: the new commander hasn't stumbled yet, and she doesn't think he will. At the same time, the Commander is meeting with the ambassador of the People's Republic of China in Sulanami, who wishes to know Cobra's intentions towards China's borders; on hearing that the Commander only intends to expand into Laos and Thailand, the ambassador is content that things will be "business as usual".
In a Cobra infirmary, the last survivor of the armored convoy describes his attacker: dressed in black, wielding a sword, and saying nothing. The man expires from his wounds, but the listening Stormshadow has nothing more he needed to hear; for he knows that Snake Eyes is now in Nanzhao...
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"But I'm still wondering — what're two guys named Iceberg and Alpine doin' in a place this hot?"
"Berg, after seein' what I was just seein' — I believe my man could make it snow if he wanted."
- —Iceberg and Alpine
"If you order me, then you're sure I'm one hundred percent. If you ask me, it means you're concerned my health is still at issue."
"It's an order. And I'd rather have you at fifty percent than almost anyone else fully functional."
- —Duke has Hawk's every confidence
- Duke's "health issues" stem from his infection with the bio-engineered Orphiophagus retrovirus Z back in G.I. Joe #4.
- Alpine lost his legs following the events of the first arc of G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes, and was revealed to be getting new ones in issue 5.
G.I. Joe references
- The Cobra mechs are based on the 2010 Steel Hammer and Deviant mechs from the Pursuit of Cobra toyline (which were retooled from the Sigma Six toyline's Iron Hammer), albeit with a digital camo color scheme and a chainsaw-arm instead of a claw. As well as H.I.S.S. tanks, the Cobra forces also have Stinger jeeps; the red headlamps mark them as being based on the 2009 Stinger toy, rather than the 1984 version.
Real world references
- Alpine's "new kicks" are running blades akin to the Flex-Foot Cheetah, worn by Paralympic runners.
- Starting about halfway through this issue, and continuing through the rest of "Cobra Command", Iceberg is drawn with Alpine's signature hat and mustache, while Alpine is bare-headed and clean shaven... but we know it's not the names getting mixed up, as the clean-shaven "Alpine" is sporting his running blades.
- Cover A: Snake Eyes takes aim over a bunch of Arashikage ninja, by Dave Wilkins.
- Cover B: Snake Eyes takes on a Cobra mech, by Robert Atkins and Simon Gough.
- Cover RI: Team Foxtrot, by Nick Runge.