Cobra Part 1: Charmer
|"Cobra Part 1: Charmer"|
|First published||March 18, 2009|
|Cover date||March 2009|
|Written by||Mike Costa & Christos Gage|
|Line-art by||Antonio Fuso|
|Colors by||Chris Chuckry|
|Letters by||Chris Mowry|
Into the belly of the beast...
At the Falgi tavern in Estonia, Chuckles meets the representative of the mysterious organization courting him, a group the lieutenant claims possess true power. The undercover Joe feigns doubt, not wanting to "come on too strong", but when he dismisses his interviewer's claims that an American counterterror group has been targeting Chuckles, the lieutenant loses faith and goes to leave.
At that moment, however, the bar's door blows open, and G.I. Joe charges in. A firefight ensues, during which Chuckles appears to shoot Scarlett and Heavy Duty! Chuckles and the lieutenant flee out the back of the bar, but immediately run into local paramilitary hired by the Joes. The undercover operative cold-cocks a soldier and turns their shotgun on the others, allowing Chuckles and the lieutenant to escape onto the rooftops. Before long, they leap down onto a paramilitary truck, dispose of the driver, and flee the scene. Having reached safety, the lieutenant offers Chuckles a second "interview" before the two go separate ways.
That night, Chuckles' handler does not appear at their meeting spot, and his radio remains silent. He drifts off to sleep, but is suddenly awoken by masked men who beat and black-bag him. As he is taken away, Chuckles believes that it's all over: they know he's G.I. Joe.
Months ago, Chuckles disrupts a routine briefing with Hawk by cracking jokes at Scarlett. The general ends the meeting early and drags the wise-cracking Joe to his office, where he chews him out for his chronic lack of discipline. He announces that Chuckles is out of G.I. Joe... but not in the way he might think.
Three weeks later, Chuckles has "officially" been kicked out, and meets Hawk in a dark parking lot to hear his new mission: to go undercover in the world's most dangerous terrorist and mercenary groups. After another month and a half of preparations, the general introduces Chuckles to his contact for the mission: Jinx, master martial artist and trained field-medic. As the mission begins, Jinx becomes Chuckles' one rock in a world of death and pain, and the two even develop a physical relationship.
One night ago, Jinx meets with Chuckles to present him with a backup plan for the next day's meeting: if it looks like the lieutenant is going to walk, G.I. Joe will burst in, wearing exploding blood packs synced to a blank-firing pistol. Chuckles can then "kill" some US special forces and prove himself in the eyes of the interviewer...
In the present day, the bag is pulled off Chuckles' head to reveal a dark room with a wall of television monitors, where the undercover Joe is greeted by a mysterious man. In truth, Chuckles' is cover still intact, and he is being brought into the fold. With the press of a button, the televisions slide away, revealing a vast underground base, its wall adorned with a symbol of a snake...
Characters in italic text appear only in flashbacks.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Jinx: "Scarlett and Heavy Duty will be wearing them."
Chuckles: "Not Duke?"
Jinx: "Come on. Nobody shoots Duke."
Chuckles: "A man can dream."
- —Duke isn't too popular with his colleagues
- It's unclear when exactly the events of this series are occurring relative to the main G.I. Joe series. Considering Chuckles is tasked simply with infiltrating terrorists in general rather than specifically Cobra, it seems likely his mission begins before that series, when G.I. Joe is yet to discover the organization's existence. By this issue's present day, with Chuckles entering Cobra, things are presumably concurrent with around about the main series' second or third arc, when G.I. Joe is beginning to learn about the group, although the two series will go on to present more-or-less irreconcilable passages of time.
G.I. Joe references
- The "First Issue!" bubble on this issue's covers is styled after the "Cobra Enemy!" call-out on '80s toy packages.
- The Cobra lieutenant is referred to as a "nameless viper", referencing the traditional Cobra soldiers.
- The Crimson Guard is not mentioned by name is this issue, but they are easily recognizable by their red uniforms. They are traditionally commanded by Tomax and Xamot, giving us an early clue as to Mr. X's identity.
- As with each issue in this mini-series, the title is a word or phrase frequently appended to the word "snake". Snake charming is a common kind of street performance involving "hynoptizing" a snake.
- Cover A: Chuckles tied to a chair, by Howard Chaykin and Edgar Delgado.
- Cover B: Chuckles and the Crimson Guard, by Antonio Fuso.
- Cover RI: Virgin version of Cover A.