G.I. Joe vol. 2 issue 4
|First published||August 3, 2011|
|Cover date||August 2011|
|Written by||Chuck Dixon|
|Line-art by||Javier Saltares|
|Inks by||Christopher Ivy|
|Colors by||Romulo Fajardo, Jr.|
|Letters by||Chris Mowry|
|Assistant editor||Carlos Guzman|
With the Pit destroyed, G.I. Joe are forced to seek out a new base of operations, while Duke contracts a deadly plague bioengineered by Cobra.
A G.I. Joe mission to Kariba, Zimbabwe has not gone according to plan. What was supposed to be a simple recon mission investigating possible Cobra ties in the area now sees Team Alpha coming under fire, but though Sneak Peek has eyes on the shooter, Duke orders him to hold his fire: he's realized that they're being shot at with a "low-rent" AK-47, not the sort of advanced weaponry that Cobra would be using. Unwilling to shoot possible innocents with no ties to terrorism, Duke steps out from cover and surrenders to the building's residents, but as it turns out, they were only firing to keep the Joes away for their own safety: everyone in the building is infected with a virulent, deadly airborne virus, and with Duke having entered the building, he is now infected too.
In Washington, DC, Hawk holds no grudges with the federal agents for his arrest. Besides, he and Dial-Tone have a bigger problem: the Pit has been destroyed, and the Joes need a new base. With the two leaving DC in a helicopter, Dial-Tone instructs the remaining Joes to head to Fort Baxter, and to contact the Tuna for more orders.
In Elko County, Nevada, G.I. Joe Team Charlie locates the Jumpshot rocket that Zartan and Storm Shadow used to escape the Pit before its destruction. The team spreads out to try and find its absent passengers, with one of the team noticing a bizarre-looking helicopter flying overhead; that vehicle is Zartan and Storm Shadow's extraction vessel, and when they realize that the soldiers have seen them take off, they loop around and fire a salvo of missiles at the Joes! Even though the team's vehicles are totaled, the soldiers are unharmed, and Tunnel Rat calls Scarlett with the copter's bearing; Nellis Air Force Base subsequently calls flight Payday to deal with it, firing a pair of air-to-air missiles at the Mamba. Though the pilot deploys chaff to shake off the missiles, they remain locked on, and Zartan and Storm Shadow's pods are ejected from the vehicle at the last minute before it goes up in a ball of fire; the Air Force jets believe their targets to be dead.
Hawk and Dial-Tone's helicopter lands on the deck of the former Cobra submarine Dreadnaught, rechristened the Tuna by Shipwreck. G.I. Joe's naval division is already in the process of stripping the sub down and refitting it to serve as their new mobile command base. Hawk is impressed with their work and, setting up a command center on deck four, they prepare to start tracing Cobra's attacks back to their source and fighting back.
In Kariba, Lifeline arrives with the cavalry, ready to extract Duke and giving Dr. Akumba resources to make her patients more comfortable. Duke is convinced that Cobra is behind the plague: it's localised entirely within Kariba, with the deaths starting within weeks of testing of new pharmaceuticals starting; a clear sign of it being engineered. Taking him to Doc at Ramstein Air Force Base, Lifeline and his team avoid telling Duke about what happened to the Pit.
Under National Highway 20 in Tokyo, Oda Satori brushes off his aide's concerns for his safety, entering the shadows to speak to Storm Shadow. The ninja reports his mission's success, and reluctantly notes that Zartan was useful to him; Satori tells him not to resent Zartan's position in his organisation, as he trusts him as much as Storm Shadow. But it's only once Storm Shadow leaves that the reason for this is revealed: Satori is Zartan in disguise!
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"I am here, Oda Satori. I accomplished the goals you set for me."
"And Zartan? Was he of aid to you?"
"He was... useful."
"As I knew he would be. You must not resent his place in my organization. I trust Zartan as I trust you, loyal warrior. In fact, as much as I trust myself."
- —Storm Shadow doesn't see through Zartan's ruse
- The "infected Duke" plot thread from this issue continues in the second arc of G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes, starting with issue 5.
- The Zimbabweans comment that Duke's Swahili is terrible, but he's very obviously speaking Spanish.
- On page 7, Sneak Peek is missing his mustache.
- Cover A: A Mamba escape pod flies away from an explosion, by Tom Feister.
- Cover B: Tunnel Rat and Rock 'n Roll take aim at incoming missiles, by Will Rosado and Romulo Fajardo, Jr..