Cobra vol. 2 issue 3
|First published||July 27, 2011|
|Cover date||July 2011|
|Written by||Mike Costa|
|Line-art by||Antonio Fuso|
|Colors by||Arianna Florean|
|Letters by||Chris Mowry|
|Assistant editor||Carlos Guzman and Tom Waltz|
His assassination of Hawk having failed, Tomax finds a different way to harm G.I. Joe.
Slumped against the wall in his prison cell, Tomax Paoli is keenly aware of something: he's never going to be Cobra Commander. The rest of Cobra High Command believe that, after the death of his brother, he's broken or impotent; and imprisoned in Chesapeake Tower Correctional Facility, he's the first member of High Command to ever be incarcerated in connection with Cobra, something they won't be inclined to overlook. Examining his cell, he finds himself with few options — the mirror, sink, and bed are all unusable as tools, something he finds unacceptable.
Three days after being brought to Chesapeake Tower, Tomax is taken from his cell by the head guard, who explains that — after the unorthodox internment without trial of Tomax -- he's been contacted by the President of the United States and given orders to put Tomax in solitary confinement. The guard complies, though he doesn't see what makes Tomax so dangerous, and intimates that if Tomax doesn't answer the questions given to him his life will become less comfortable... but once he leaves, Tomax smiles, satisfied with his new situation.
In South America, Blacklight distracts a hostal receptionist with a story of a child painting a gang symbol on his wall; while the man goes to check, the Cobra operative goes through his desk, finding Gibraltarian and Thai passports. When the angry receptionist comes back, having discovered that Blacklight was lying, a single glare from Blacklight is enough to terrify the man into letting him take the passports and all the money he has.
Steeler awakens in the G.I. Joe infirmary, greeted by Firewall. While Steeler insists that they had been set up, Firewall dismissed his concerns as impossible; the only people who knew about the mission were in the briefing room, and she advises him to think things through before formally accusing other Joes of being traitors. Firewall explains that the Joes are making an official inquiry, but Steeler is unimpressed.
Having used his plate to chip toxic, cadmium-pigmented paint off the walls of his solitary cell, Tomax has the patience to wait for his next meal to poison himself — after all, eating off the floor is undignified. The cadmium poisoning allows him to fake a severe flu, causing him to be transferred to the hospital's minimum security infirmary; once he recovers, he murders another prisoner and a doctor who comes to check on him, using the doctor's labcoat and ID card to fake his way to the prison warden's office. Once in there, he explains how he knew all he needed to to escape: through layers of shell companies, every company involved in owning and building Chesapeake Tower is owned by Extensive Enterprises... which is owned by Tomax. Shooting the warden in the head, Tomax changes into his (appalling) suit, while thinking about how the rest of Cobra don't understand how power is truly gained — not through destruction, but through acquisition. Control — THAT is what Cobra is.
Calling a helicopter to pick him up from the prison, Tomax looks at the switchboard that controls the prison doors. Though it can't be operated from within the prison, it has to be operated remotely by the company that installed it... and fortunately for Tomax, he owns that company, too. Releasing all the prisoners and causing a riot, Tomax leaves on the helicopter; while no Joes will die through his actions, he has humiliated them and their commanding officer in the face of the President. He has harmed them, and with Xamot dead, harming them is his only focus.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"Have... have you heard of the French Foreign Legion?"
"Wuzzat? Some kinda hip-hop crew?"
- - Tomax doesn't know his audience.
"Clean up the mess at Chesapeake Tower. Whatever it costs us in PR, keep it open and operational. Then, in the next fiscal year, I want you to cut the healthcare benefits of the personnel by seventy percent. And keep them under-equipped. Have a helicopter meet me on the roof in ten minutes, and have one of my suits in there. Pressed."
- - My God, Tomax is petty.
- Similar to the other issues in the first arc of Cobra vol. 2, this issue is structured around narration from Tomax that starts with why he believes he'll never be Cobra Commander and concluding with his summation of what he believes Cobra to be.
- Tomax was arrested after his failure to kill Hawk in issue 2 of the concurrently-running G.I. Joe series.
- Hostals are a real thing, found throughout Spain and Latin America. They exist in Ecuador, making it possible that Blacklight's still in the country and hasn't crossed any borders, but it isn't stated outright.
G.I. Joe references
- Sunbow and DIC, the shell companies used by Extensive Enterprises, are named after Sunbow Productions and DIC Entertainment, the two production companies responsible for the 1980's G.I. Joe cartoon.
- Cover A: Tomax sees a familiar face in a broken mirror, by David Williams.
- Cover B: Tomax in his jail cell, by Antonio Fuso.
- Cover RIA: An uncolored version of cover A, by David Williams.
- Cover RIB: Destro, the Baroness, and two Cobra troopers, by Johnboy Meyers.