Homefront, Part 2 of 5
|"Homefront, Part 2 of 5"|
|First published||March 20, 2013|
|Cover date||March 2013|
|Written by||Fred Van Lente|
|Line-art by||Steve Kurth|
|Inks by||Allen Martinez|
|Colors by||Joana Lafuente|
|Letters by||Shawn Lee|
|Editorial consultant||Carlos Guzman|
With the G.I. Joe field team scattered over a Cobra-controlled Warrenton, they'll have to make their way back to each other if they want to get out alive.
It was easy for Cobra to take over the small town of Warrenton, Ohio. The government's exploitation of its people and disregard for its poverty means that nobody objected when the Baroness and her forces wiped out the town's leaders, criminals and law enforcement; and, as the Baroness monologues to a camera, if the people of Warrenton can be "liberated" from the government, so can anyone. The Baroness invites the captured leader of the G.I. Joe field team to say a few pre-written words, but Duke is resistant to Cobra's methods, knowing that the other Joes are still free from how Cobra hasn't used them as bargaining chips. The Baroness is unconcerned, though; Cobra is blocking their communications, and broadcasting faked footage of a G.I. Joe raid on their supposed weapons stockpile to their command center under the oversight of Destro. Confident that it's only a matter of time before the other Joes are captured, the Baroness prepares to extract the "all-clear" password from their leader, enlisting the remote help of Dr. Mindbender to torture it out of him.
Roadblock is having trouble retreating from the mass of Warrenton citizens pursuing them, weighed down by the belt of his machine gun and the unconscious Shipwreck on his back — and isn't reassured when he hears that the belt's almost out. While Quick Kick acts as a distraction, Tunnel Rat spots a different way to slow down their pursuers; having Roadblock stop firing and run ahead, he throws a grenade into a nearby gap in the road — one that he recognises as a gas main! With a huge explosion forcing the civilians back, the three Joes are able to hide with Shipwreck beneath a pile of scrap metal in the town's junkyard. Tunnel Rat sends Polly out to check their original target, the abandoned factory where Cobra was supposedly stocking chemical weapons, and finds something surprising: the factory is completely empty, and the Joes' intel was completely wrong. While Quick Kick assumes that Cobra has infiltrated local law enforcement, Roadblock's gut feeling is more disturbing... he thinks that G.I. Joe has a Cobra mole within!
Waiting for sundown in a basement, Doc and Cover Girl discuss the difficulty of killing American citizens, but are interrupted by Hashtag with some "good" news: she's called for backup... but as their comms are down, she's instead posted their location all over social media, not realising that it will draw Cobra right to them! Breaking Hashtag's phone and admonishing her for her stupidity, Cover Girl has the other women head for the roof of the building, giving Hashtag her spare sidearm despite the journalist's professed lack of belief in guns, while she stays behind to slow their pursuers. Cover Girl manages to steal one of the men's shotguns and take out their W.O.R.M.S. leader, using a fire extinguisher to blind the other men before knocking them unconscious; but just when she thinks she's safe, Cover Girl is hit by a tazer by the town's mayor, Barnes. As he radios his capture in to the Baroness, Barnes apologises to Cover Girl, explaining that his family had been suffering in poverty and that Cobra were the only ones that had offered a way out. As he stands, Barnes realises that Hashtag is aiming her pistol at him from the shadows; he spins around with his shotgun, forcing Hashtag to shoot him dead before he can do anything. As the impact of what she just did sinks in, Hashtag is assured by the weak and injured Cover Girl that she "did good".
As Polly nears a shopping mall in the center of Warrenton, the drone suddenly drops from the sky, its signal cutting out. Tunnel Rat realises that whatever is blocking the signal must be the same transmitter jamming the Joes' communications. Certain that the mall must be where the Cobra forces' leaders are, Roadblock decides that the Joes should pay them a visit...
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"My name is "Duke." Field commander, Joint Services Special Counterterrorist Group. My serial number is U-P-Y-O-U-R-S —"
"Tch. I'm trying to make you a YouTube star, and you're not helping. Aren't you as sick of "Gangnam Style" as I am?"
- —Duke and the Baroness. This was a topical reference in 2013, honest.
"Seen neighborhoods like this back home. Biggest industry is the scrapyard. Like the town starts eating itself."
"I noticed you were firing over those people's heads, Roadblock."
"R-O-E says bodybag Cobra. Not real people. Don't know what caused folks here to turn. But it ain't 'cause they bad folks."
- —Roadblock and Tunnel Rat
"We only have the two sidearms between the three of us — here. Take mine."
"But — but I don't believe in guns!"
"I've got bad news for you. They exist."
- —Cover Girl and Hashtag
- It's Dr. Mindbender! The bad doctor was last seen being reassigned from his personal research into time travel immediately after a major breakthrough. He's still objecting to his codename of "Mindbender", preferring to be called by his real name, "Singh".
G.I. Joe references
- Cobra saboteur Firefly and creepy sewer-man Croc Master have appeared in IDW before (though see "errors", below), but one group shown in the opening haven't appeared in this continuity previously: the troops in grey greatcoats and red gas masks are the Iron Grenadiers, Destro's personal army, while their black-masked leader is Darklon, a distant cousin of Destro and an Iron Grenadier leader. Their designs in this issue draw from their GIJoeCon 2012 action figures, though Darklon's inspiration is a little more loose.
Real life references
- In response to the Baroness's coercion attempts, Duke gives his name, rank and serial number, the information that prisoners of war are obligated to give out under the Geneva Convention and — according to popular media, at least — a mantra used by captured soldiers in the face of interrogation and torture. Duke's "serial number", however, is just the words "up yours"; either he doesn't feel obligated to give the real details to Cobra, as he doesn't consider himself a prisoner of war, or he doesn't have one thanks to G.I. Joe members being made to fake their deaths!
- The Baroness makes a quip about YouTube and "Gangnam Style". Yeah.
- Roadblock refers to his machine gun as "Ma Deuce", a real-life nickname for the M2 Browning machine gun.
- Social media Hashtag puts the Joes' location on includes Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace (via a Google Maps pin).
- What little of Firefly's face is visible through his mask gives him a Caucasian skin tone; the character's IDW incarnation has previously been portrayed as African-American.
- Cover A: Quick Kick and Cover Girl, by Juan Doe.
- Cover B: Hashtag, Cover Girl and Doc, by Steve Kurth, Allen Martinez, and Joana Lafuente.
- Cover RI: A comic history of the Adventure Team toys, by Ryan Dunlavey; part 2 in a series of "The Real History of G.I. Joe" covers.