Hearts & Minds issue 3

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G.I. Joe: Hearts & Minds #3
Hearts&Minds3 cvrA.jpg
Publisher IDW Publishing
First published July 28, 2010
Cover date July 2010
Written by Max Brooks
Art by Howard Chaykin "Interrogator"
Antonio Fuso "Deep Six"
Color assist by Aburtov "Interrogator"
Filippo Flores "Deep Six"
Letters by Robbie Robbins
Editor Andy Schmidt
Assistant editor Carlos Guzman

Interrogator gets into the head of a captive soldier; Deep Six has a lot of time to think.

"Interrogator"[edit]

Synopsis[edit]

In an interrogation room, a sharply-dressed officer chats cheerfully with the seated Thomas J. Stall, who sits in silence, not responding to any of his "interviewer"'s attempts to get him to talk. When the officer places a gun on the table and asks Stall if he knows what it is, the soldier claims that it won't work, as he's not afraid to die... only for the officer to reveal that he wasn't threatening Stall with physical harm at all. His job isn't to torture, but to extract information. His job is to find the right "key" to get into his target's head... and that could be many things.

Drowning, confined spaces, extreme temperatures, threats against loved ones; stress positions, animal phobias, chemical injections, and, yes, torture: all of these are tactics he uses... but not on Thomas, because that key won't fit his lock. In fact, he dreams of being a hero, a POW under torture... and that is his key. His greatest fear isn't pain or death, but shame.

And so, the officer shows Stall a video of himself, cowardly abandoning his comrades, dropping his weapon and fleeing under pressure... which is, of course, a fake created with the help of a master of disguise, based frame-for-frame on amateur footage of the real incident. In reality, Stall bravely defended his wounded allies to the last, a bona fide real American hero... but if Thomas doesn't comply, the faked version will be released to the media instead, and Thomas will be set free to desperately claim that he was set up.

And so, the officer gives Thomas a choice: stay the strong, silent hero, and let the whole world thinks he's the worst kind of coward... or talk to him, take the gun, and let the world see the real footage. The question is, what's more important: being a hero, or being seen as one?

His codename is Interrogator. He is Cobra.

Featured characters[edit]

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Cobra Others
  • Thomas Stall (2)
  • Stall's comrades (5)
  • Tyler Krakowski (6)
  • Jesika Samuelson (7)
  • Colonel Stall (8)

Quotes[edit]

"What's more important, Tommy? Being a hero, or being seen as one? Take the night off to think about it. I doubt either of us will be getting any sleep."

Interrogator

Notes[edit]

  • This is the only Hearts & Minds story to not feature any internal narration, other than the "My code name is Interrogator. I am Cobra." at the end.
  • While this story implies Stall's suicide after his interrogation, he would be brought back in Cobra vol.2's Cobra Civil War arc.

Continuity notes[edit]

  • Interrogator makes reference to a "master of disguise" playing the role of Stall in the faked video; obviously, this is Zartan, Cobra's resident face-changer.

G.I. Joe references[edit]

  • Thomas G. Stall was the codename of the G.I. Joe: Spy Troops Cobra character Black Out. While it just seems like a cute reference here, it'll prove to be more significant down the line...

"Deep Six"[edit]

Synopsis[edit]

A diver descends into the ocean, clad in a highly advanced diving suit. He's surrounded by nothing but saltwater... and time enough to think...

He imagines his suit imploding on itself as he reaches crush depth... except that that's not how it would happen. No, it would take the form of a faulty seal, a microscopic break, letting in over 1,000 pounds of seawater per square inch. A nasty way to go, but it would be quick... but fire, on the other hand, would be different. Caused by a faulty connection or a frayed wire, he could die from smoke inhalation or from the batteries exploding. Or asphyxiation: trapped in a rockslide or a wreck, watching his power go down and his oxygen run out. So much time to think...

Reaching the bottom, the diver finds his target: a group of enemy divers breaking into a submarine. He eliminates them with torpedo fire, but when enemy torpedoes are fired in return, he's forced to flee. His suit deploys countermeasures that decoy the first missile, but the second continues to pursue him.

He imagines being struck by a falling rock. Knocked out in his suit. Hit by the enemy torpedo.

The enemy torpedo nears his feet... and drops off again, its fuel expended. Once again, he has time to think... about the next time.

His codename is Deep Six. He is G.I. Joe.

Featured characters[edit]

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Quotes[edit]

"So much time to think. So many ways to die."

Deep Six

Notes[edit]

Take it to the bank, boys, this one's just like Deep Six!

G.I. Joe references[edit]

  • Deep Six's diving suit is based on his classic self's suit, but less barrel-chested and doofy-looking.

Covers (4)[edit]

  • Cover A: Interrogator, by Howard Chaykin.
  • Cover B: Deep Six, by Antonio Fuso.
  • Cover RI: A wrap-around cover featuring both the A and B cover art.
  • Barnes and Noble exclusive cover: Interrogator's cover A art on a red background, with Max Brooks' name highlighted at the top.