Hearts & Minds issue 5

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G.I. Joe: Hearts & Minds #5
Hearts&Minds5 cvrA.jpg
"Wassssss once a man!"
Publisher IDW Publishing
First published September 29, 2010
Cover date September 2010
Written by Max Brooks
Art by Howard Chaykin "Cobra Recruits"
Antonio Fuso "Blowtorch"
Color assist by Aburtov "Cobra Recruits"
Filippo Flores "Blowtorch"
Letters by Robbie Robbins
Editor Andy Schmidt
Assistant editor Carlos Guzman

Four recruits reveal why they joined Cobra; Blowtorch defends his weapon of choice.

"Cobra Recruits"[edit | edit source]

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Before, he came from Waziristan.

He had never had any quarrel with the strangers from half a world away, fighting a war with other strangers: men who arrived at his village with food and medicine. But when those men were needed dead, his loved ones were deemed acceptable losses; "collateral damage" in the drone strike that killed them.

When the man with an eyepatch approached him, offering a way to take revenge on his enemies, how could he have said no?

Specialising in explosives. Driven by vengeance.

Before, she came from Jakarta.

She never thought she had any future; she was just a parasite, scavenging off the lowest of the low, doing whatever — and with whoever – she had to in order to survive. She existed only to exist, and would draw blood and kill if she had to.

But all that changed when the man from Waziristan approached her, offering a place to belong, a chance to grow old, to never be alone. How could she have said no?

Specialising in small arms. Driven by desperation.

Before, he came from Crenshaw, Los Angeles.

He was already a soldier, fighting in a war between gangs; one with its own uniforms and battles, heroes and casualties. He resented fighting for rewards he would never get, for a system that he would never be able to join.

Then, while in prison, he was visited by a woman from Jakarta; one who offered him the chance to get money and power. How could he have said no?

Specialising in sabotage. Driven by poverty.

Before, he came from San Vicente, Los Angeles.

He lived a life of money, privilege, security... and boredom. His parents worked unsatisfying, exhausting jobs during the day, and drank a bottle of wine and fell asleep in front of the TV every evening; he had no interest in following their path.

But while engaged in some "extracurricular" online activity, he was contacted by "VPR187", who asked him how he'd like to really live. How could he have said no?

Specialising in martial arts. Driven by boredom.

They are a nameless, faceless army. They are Cobra.

Featured characters[edit | edit source]

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)


Quotes[edit | edit source]

"Vengeance. Desperation. Poverty. Boredom. We are the nameless, faceless legion. We are Cobra!"


Notes[edit | edit source]

G.I. Joe references[edit | edit source]

"Blowtorch"[edit | edit source]

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

As specialist Hanrahan's skills are called for on the battlefield, he thinks about what he does...

Fire. The "civilized" want it banned from war; they call it savage, brutal, and inhuman. They like to think that they've grown past savagery, that they're advanced, enlightened. But he disagrees: there never could have been a civilized world in a time of day-to-day survival, and without fire, mankind never would have grown past that, from prey to predator.

Hanrahan takes aim with his thermobaric missile launcher, firing it at the enemy refuge. As they burn, he concludes: there is nothing more human than fire.

His codename is Blowtorch. He is G.I. Joe.

Featured characters[edit | edit source]

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

G.I. Joe Others
  • Enemy soldiers (1)
  • Primitive humans (3)
  • Blowtorch's unit (4)

Quotes[edit | edit source]

"So we dare to claim tomorrow. From the torch... to the flamethrower... to the thermobaric warhead. There is nothing more human than fire."


Notes[edit | edit source]

  • This issue is primarily told through metaphorical scenes of primitive mankind, with Blowtorch narrating.

G.I. Joe references[edit | edit source]

  • Timothy P. Hanrahan was the name of Blowtorch in the classic Real American Hero G.I. Joe line. The mention of the flamethrower in Blowtorch's narration is a nod to his original role.

Errors[edit | edit source]

  • The US flag on Blowtorch's shoulder is consistently flipped horizontally.

Covers (4)[edit | edit source]

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