Cobra Command, Part 3
|First published||January 18, 2012|
|Cover date||January 2012|
|Written by||Mike Costa|
|Art by||Alex Cal|
|Colors by||J. Brown|
|Letters by||Neil Uyetake|
|Assistant editor||Carlos Guzman|
With Team Foxtrot on the ground on Nanzhao, Cobra moves into Phase Three, making their intentions terrifyingly clear.
On a ridge overlooking the valley containing a hidden Cobra base, Iceberg thinks out loud about the situation G.I. Joe's Team Foxtrot is in: Alpine, whose legs were amputated, is making his way through dangerous terrain with valuable intel; Snake Eyes and Agent Helix are rushing down into the valley to engage with a much stronger force, and Iceberg... is waiting to turn into a radio station. G.I. Joe, huh? At that moment, Snake Eyes and Helix are engaging with a chaingun-armed battle mech and a horde of Vipers; while Snake Eyes scrambles up the body of the mech, he silently directs Helix to take control of one of the unoccupied H.I.S.S. tanks waiting in the base. Helix does so, and with her advanced pattern recognition ability, she manages to figure out the controls and activate the tank... just in time for Snake Eyes to have taken out the enemy walker single-handed. Her efforts weren't in vain, though, as the tank proves very useful in blowing up the transmitter tower broadcasting a satellite-blocking signal; with it down, Iceberg is able to call in a cruise missile airstrike on the base's position, obliterating all of the high-value armor within. The snow trooper argues for keeping the H.I.S.S., arguing that it could be pointing out that it could be useful in the rocky environment, but Helix counters with the fact that Cobra likely has fail-safes and ways of taking out stolen vehicles remotely... and while the two are arguing, Snake Eyes silently reduces the tank to burning metal with a single grenade.
The next day, Cobra Commander meets with the Indian ambassador to Nanzhao, who expresses concern over Cobra's actions, particularly pointing to the untrustworthy Vikrim Khallikhan's position in the organisation... a matter that the Commander can reassure him on, Khallikhan having died some time before. The ambassador is assured that Cobra's intentions do not extend beyond the borders of Nanzhao, but the ambassador's concerns relate more to the issue of refugees, and the Karen rebel allies Cobra has within the country; while Cobra intends to close the northern borders from within, forcing the refugees to flee into other nations than China and India; as for the rebels, Cobra Commander invites the ambassador to Cobra's headquarters to set his mind at ease, but "pressing business" keeps the ambassador within the embassy, and so he sends his aide in his stead.
In a Cobra camp, high-ranking officers Tomax Paoli, Major Bludd, the Baroness and Destro watch retrieved footage of Snake Eyes' attack on the base, with Bludd marvelling at the ninja's skill. Tomax is concerned about the number of men lost, but Bludd thinks the loss of the extremely expensive mechs is a higher priority... at least until his needling of Destro provokes both the Scottish arms dealer and the Baroness into a rage, forcing him to leave the tent. With Tomax following him out of the tent, Bludd freely admits that he irritates the Baroness for the fun of it, and is confident that she won't be killing him any time soon; Bludd believes that, as a "businessman", the new Commander's rule will give room for men like Bludd to flourish... but, on entering the tent with the Karen leaders, Bludd is horrified when Cobra Commander bids the ambassador's aide watch his soldiers gun the rebels down! Not understanding how he is to be reimbursed for his "investment" in the drug fields, Bludd has worse things coming when the commander uses a grenade to set fire to the pallets of drugs, illustrating to the ambassador's aide that Cobra has no designs on the rebels or their drug trade. As he leaves, the Commander has Tomax initiate "Phase Three", while a shocked Bludd gripes about the Commander's lacking business acumen... but as Tomax smirks, he clearly hasn't realised what the Commander plans for Nanzhao.
As Phase Three begins, Cobra begins gathering up all the country's riches and cultural artifacts and torching the poppy fields, while Rattler bombers drop sheaves of paper across the major population centers, including one that falls into the hands of a confused Iceberg. In a Cobra warehouse, the Commander looks over the cultural riches of Nanzhao, and muses to the Baroness that — while the drug fields of Nanzhao may have the most monetary value the country offers — the real wealth of the nation is in front of them. The Baroness reports that Destro is in the process of designing improvements to his mobile armor suits, but the Commander thinks of the mechs as obsolete, and wants him focusing his attention on the invasion's final phase; but he doesn't want the Baroness to tell him this, having another job for her... one for which she is uniquely suited.
G.I. Joe command meets in Fort Baxter to assess Cobra's goals, with an update on an emergent situation: hundreds of thousands of leaflets, with evacuation orders in four different languages, have been dropped over Nanzhao, and tens of thousands of refugees have been fleeing to the west into Thailand and Laos. Ripcord doesn't understand why Cobra would take control of a country only to throw everyone out of it, but combining multiple factors, Mainframe and Scarlett have come to a conclusion... Cobra aren't planning on staying in the country — they plan to destroy it!
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"Guy with no legs? Scrambling through dangerous terrain with valuable intel. Dude who can't talk? Rushing down to engage a vastly superior enemy force. Pretty young girl? With him for backup. Me? Waiting to tune in a radio station. Man...G.I. Joe. Sometimes this job's all about excitement."
Tomax: "How many men did we lose?"
Major Bludd: "Men", nothing. How many of those seventy-four-million-dolla mechs? Though, if one blind man with a sword can take them out, perhaps we overpaid."
Destro: "He's not blind, ye unbelievable idiot."
Baroness: "Enough, Bludd. Get out of my sight before I kill you."
- In case there was any doubt of Nanzhao being Fictional Myanmar, this issue literally shows maps with Myanmar highlighted. Some of them even name the country!
Real life references
- The Karen people are one of the real-life ethnic groups in Myanmar, with the Karen rebels being based on the Karen National Liberation Army.
- Cover A: Krake (in his pre-Command duds), Destro, Major Bludd and the Baroness, by Dave Wilkins.
- Cover B: Snake Eyes does a sweet flip, by Antonio Fuso and Arianna Florean.
- Cover RI: Cobra High Command, by Nick Runge.