G.I. Joe vol. 2 issue 3
|First published||July 6, 2011|
|Cover date||July 2011|
|Written by||Chuck Dixon|
|Line-art by||Javier Saltares|
|Inks by||Christopher Ivy|
|Colors by||Romulo Fajardo, Jr.|
|Letters by||Shawn Lee|
As Storm Shadow and Zartan sabotage G.I. Joe HQ, Hawk and Dial-Tone are pursued on their way back to the Pit.
At Union Station in Washington, DC, Hawk and Dial-Tone have purchased their disguises (the cheapest DC souvenir clothing they could find), along with train tickets to Richmond, Virginia. Wary of any other threats, the two board the train... unaware that boarding shortly behind them is contestant for the commander of Cobra, Tomax Paoli!
The Pit sees a new problem: their communications and power have both been taken out, even though that should be impossible... except in the case of a nuclear reactor failure. Brainstorm and Flint head down to the reactor level to find the operators dead and the coolant drained; Brainstorm has Scarlett evacuate the Pit while he tries to bring the reactor back to a safe temperature, with Scarlett and Mainframe staying behind to advise Brainstorm while the others escape. Meanwhile, Flint and his team make their way to help Lawhound and his teammate in evacuating Zartan, aware that whoever sabotaged the reactor is likely to still be in the pit; fears that are well-founded, as the two Joes escorting Zartan are swiftly killed when the ninja Storm Shadow arrives to rescue the shape-shifter.
On the train to Richmond, Hawk and Dial-Tone are unable to raise the Pit; while Hawk doesn't believe that the base could be off-line, their argument is interrupted by an explosion that knocks them off their feet: Tomax has come to kill Hawk in revenge for the death of his brother Xamot. Tomax bids Hawk give Chuckles his regards, but before he can shoot the G.I. Joe leader, he is repeatedly shot in the back by Special Agents Brier and Komalski, who have been pursuing the two Joes from DC. The agents take Hawk, Dial-Tone, and an unconscious Tomax into custody.
When Flint arrives at the prisoner escort's position, an injured Lawhound tells him that the two Cobras headed for the vent shaft to the surface, but once the team leaves, "Lawhound" is revealed to be a disguised Zartan. Wearing the uniforms of Zartan's captors, Zartan and Storm Shadow hijack the Jumpshot evacuation rocket being held for Scarlett, Mainframe and Brainstorm, who are at that moment opening the valves into the Pit's reservoir to cool the reactor; on realising that their ride out has left without them, the three leave the reactor and head for the exit, taking Brainstorm even though he's irradiated and unable to stand. The Pit's elevator brings them to the surface just in time, as the reactor causes an explosion of steam that tears the base apart in a blast that hurls the Joes away, and while they survive the blast, the radiation poisoning has taken its toll on Brainstorm: he dies before help can arrive. Scarlett is furious at the idea of leaving his body to the disposal team, but Mainframe points out that Brainstorm would have wanted it to be done "by the book", which Scarlett accepts; as she looks into Mainframe's eyes, she thinks that a Joe should never look back.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"General Hawk. Do you recognise me? Do you know the face of the man you ordered killed? The face of the man you murdered?"
"Give my regards to Chuckles when you get to hell."
- —Tomax and Hawk
- Tomax was advised to kill Hawk by Serpentor in Cobra vol. 2 #2. Xamot died by Chuckles' hand in Cobra #13.
- When Zartan is disguised as Lawhound, his body armor has "Lawdog" written on. It could just be a nickname, but then why use one so close to his codename...?
- The backmatter of this issue includes a letter from "Colonel Schmidt" passing over editorial duties for the Cobra Civil War to "Sergeants Waltz and Guzman".
- Cover A: Storm Shadow poses with a sword, by Tom Feister.
- Cover B: Storm Shadow and Helix clash, by Javier Saltares and Andrew Crossley.
- Cover RIA: Uncolored version of cover B, by Javier Saltares.
- Cover RIB: Flint, Scarlett, Stalker and Duke, by Jonboy Meyers and Chuck Pires.