Cobra II Part 4: Cold-Blooded

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G.I. Joe: Cobra II #4
"The Last Laugh"
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"Cobra II Part 4: Cold-Blooded"
Publisher IDW Publishing
First published April 28, 2010
Cover date April 2010
Written by Mike Costa & Christos Gage
Line-art by Antonio Fuso
Colors by Lovern Kindzierski
Letters by Neil Uyetake
Editor Andy Schmidt
Assistant editor Carlos Guzman

Chuckles' plan to take down Cobra, Chameleon's orders to rescue Chuckles, and Erika's desire to get out of Cobra all collide.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

With Chameleon holding a sword to her throat, Erika Le Tene pleads for her life, offering all sorts of valuable intel on Cobra to her team. Not particularly interested in whatever Erika's selling, Chameleon only wants to know where Erika was going when she found her in the sewers. Erika only asks if Chameleon saw a jeep on her way to the Cobra mansion, informing her that a team of Vipers had just been sent out to kill Chuckles.

As the Vipers stalk through the forest, one of them feels a pebble bounce against his helmet, drawing his attention to Chuckles camp. As they fan out, two of the Vipers charge ahead, not noticing the landmine Chuckles had set up in front of them. As they explode, Chuckles dives from the treetops onto another Viper's back and stabs him before using his gun to kill several more. As one of the Vipers goes down, he manages to squeeze off a shot that hits Chuckles in the shoulder. Having run out of ammo, Chuckles sneaks around before coming up on two more Vipers in cover and breaks his AK over the head of one. As he and the last remaining Viper begin fist fighting, the Viper digs his thumb into Chuckles' shoulder wound, paining him enough that he loses concentration. This gives the Viper a chance to pull his pistol and fire another bullet into Chuckles' side. Falling to his knees in pain, Chuckles looks up at the Viper as he prepares to execute him... and watches as his head suddenly falls from his body.

As Chameleon compliments Chuckles' fighting skills and dresses his wounds, she tells him that they need to get him to a hospital right away. Though Chuckles insists he'll be fine, he and Chameleon don't get much of a chance to argue, as over her shoulder he spots Max arriving at the camp with Erika in tow. Though Max sputters something about being forced to show her the way, Erika cuts him off and informs the two Joes that she intends to defect from Cobra to join them. Chuckles refuses to even humor this idea and orders Chameleon to kill her, but Erika doesn't give up trying to convince them of her value as an asset. While the other three argue, Max begins to feel strange as Erika mentions wanting to defect and, as if in a trance, reaches for one of the Vipers' guns. And as Erika shows her back to him, Max takes aim at her... and suddenly has his throat slit by Chameleon before he has a chance to shoot. As Max bleeds out on the ground, babbling about how he can no longer hear the voice of his father, Chuckles takes up several guns and begins heading towards Cobra's mansion. Chameleon once again tries to reason with Chuckles, attempting to convince him that he's in no condition to be making a one-man assault on a heavily fortified mansion with two hastily dressed bullet wounds, but he refuses to listen. As he disappears into the woods, he asks that Chameleon take Erika back to the Joes, bury Max, and to never look for him again.

The next day, Erika sits in a G.I. Joe interrogation room and explains what her role in the organization and "relationship" with Chuckles entailed. She's then asked to go over the events leading to her leaving Cobra. Erika explains that, before leaving with the Vipers, Xamot Paoli approached her and warned her that the Vipers would kill her as soon as they'd killed Chuckles. Though she believes Xamot to now be insane, she felt that even if the Vipers didn't have orders to kill her then, they would sooner or later. She'd seen too much and was no longer trustworthy. She could no longer stomach working for an organization where madmen who brainwash their own children to be sleeper assassins achieve positions of prominence. That's why she had to join G.I. Joe. However, the person on the other side of the intercom she's being interrogated over makes it very clear that Erika has not joined G.I. Joe. She is a terrorist who they have taken prisoner and she will be treated as such.

As he watches Erika's interrogation with Chameleon from his office, Hawk comments that the story both women give line up. Hawk then asks Chameleon what she was thinking letting Chuckles get away like that, especially when he was wounded. Chameleon explains that, given Chuckles obstinate nature, he would have resisted her, which would have done him more harm than good. Given that fact, Chameleon reached the conclusion that Erika was a safer bet, as she was willing and likely had more information to offer. Accepting her decision, Hawk dismisses Chameleon but before she goes, she asks that Chuckles be given a postmortem commendation. Hawk soundly rejects her recommendation though, as G.I. Joe doesn't do commendations, especially not for people as insubordinate as him. As Hawk reveals they're not even holding a funeral service for Chuckles, something in Chameleon snaps. She begins tearing into Hawk, calling him out for the cold, callous way he played with Chuckles life. Hawk sent Chuckles on a mission that completely psychologically broke him, turned him into a shell of a man. And now he won't even show the slightest bit of gratitude for his sacrifice. In her mind, Hawk is no better than Crystal Ball and G.I. Joe no better than Cobra. With tears in her eyes, Chameleon asserts that Hawk's military is not the one she signed up for and that she wants nothing to do with G.I. Joe ever again. As she makes that assertion, Chameleon realizes her mistake and braces herself for Hawk to meet her fury in kind... but finds him granting her request instead. Her resignation from the Joes has been accepted and Hawk's last order for her is to get the hell out of his sight. With that, Chameleon thanks him and takes her leave.

As Chuckles marches through the woods, his wounds begin bleeding heavily again, causing him to collapse to the ground and pass out. When he wakes, he finds himself not in the woods but instead in a bed hooked up to medical equipment. As he takes in his new surroundings, he hears an unfamiliar voice asking him to stay still, lest he hurt himself. The man explains he's not at the Cobra manor, as it was evacuated shortly after he was first discovered. He's somewhere different, somewhere where he can receive the best medical treatment money can buy. As his survival skills are praised, Chuckles looks around the room and discovers that this man who finds him so remarkable... is Cobra Commander!

Featured characters[edit | edit source]

Characters in italic text only appear in flashback. (Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Quotes[edit | edit source]

"Screw you, sir. That man I saw... he was broken. Whatever he had inside, it had turned to stone. What he endured took his humanity. But he surrendered it willingly. For his country. For you. He killed the woman he loved with his own hands because he believed you when you told him there was nothing more important than his mission! And you're getting more from that... pencil-pushing sociopath in there than you ever could have from him! You used him! You used him as coldly and cruelly as that psychotic Cobra inquisitor used his son! I thank God in Heaven they exist for you to fight, and you them. Because God help this world if either one of you is turned loose on it! This isn't my military. You aren't soldiers. And I don't want anything to do with G.I. Joe ever again."

-Chameleon gives it to Hawk.

"You really are a remarkable man. That's why, when I heard you'd survived, I wanted to see you myself. To assure you... you're among friends."

-Cobra Commander introduces himself to Chuckles.

Notes[edit | edit source]

Continuity notes[edit | edit source]

  • Finally making his first "true" IDW debut... it's Cobra Commander! He had technically appeared first in the previous month's G.I. Joe vol. 1 #16, but in that issue he was never shown physically, instead telepresencing via a remote drone.
  • Erika delivers a summary of the role she played in the first Cobra miniseries, from spying on Chuckles for the Paolis to noticing the vibrations of his SR receiver when they slept together, leading to his and Jinx's cover being blown.

Covers (3)[edit | edit source]

  • Cover A: Cobra Commander accosting Chuckles and... Mmmmmmmmaaaaaax...?, by Howard Chaykin and Edgar Delgado
  • Cover B: Chuckles reflected in Cobra Commander's helmet, by Antonio Fuso
  • Retailer incentive cover: "Virgin" version of Cover A