King Cobra (issue)

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This article is about the G.I. Joe: Cobra issue. For the Cobra/V.E.N.O.M. mech, see King Cobra (robot).
G.I. Joe: Cobra #13
The Last Laugh
"King Cobra"
Publisher IDW Publishing
First published February 16, 2011
Cover date February 2011
Written by Mike Costa & Christos Gage
Art by Antonio Fuso
Colors by Peter Dawes
Letters by Shawn Lee
Editor Andy Schmidt

Chuckles' mission comes to an end.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

After being knocked out by his brother, Tomax begins to come to and finds Chuckles standing in front of him, demanding he come with him. Though Tomax refuses, Chuckles sticks a gun in his back and forces him along. As they walk the halls, Tomax tries to hail a Viper and get his help dealing with Chuckles but the Cobra trooper ignores him. Chuckles then informs Tomax that, while he was knocked out, Xamot attempted a coup to overthrow Cobra Commander that ended in failure. As far as the Vipers know, Tomax could have been in on it too, meaning he isn't going to find any allies around here. Even if what Chuckles says is true, Tomax still asserts that this isn't how things are done. If he were actually in trouble, Chuckles would have a full compliment of guards with him. As they reach the Commander's throne room, Chuckles informs Tomax that they're doing things his way today... something that the recently deceased Cobra Commander learned the hard way!

Horrified by the sight of Cobra Commander's corpse, Tomax expresses shock that Xamot really did attempt a coup and managed to kill the Commander. Chuckles then corrects him, informing to Tomax that he was the one who actually did the deed! While Xamot managed to get away, Chuckles promises Tomax that he'll get his soon enough, as Vipers are currently scouring the base looking for him. Since Chuckles didn't just shoot him while he was still knocked out, Tomax feels that he must need him for some reason. When Chuckles explains he needs Tomax to get him into classified areas he doesn't have access to, Tomax scoffs, wondering why on Earth Chuckles would think he'd ever help him. Chuckles then plainly states Tomax will do it because he's a coward. A coward who has been cut off from all of his allies and loyalists and who can only imagine what kind of tortures Chuckles would subject him to if he refused him. Remaining silent, Tomax hangs his head and goes along with Chuckles, allowing himself to be guided to wherever the ex-Joe wants to go.

As they walk the halls, continuing to pass Viper after Viper in the hall, Chuckles can see Tomax tense up with the desire to say something but can never bring himself to. However, when the two of them bump into Big Boa, Tomax suddenly lets it all out, informing him that the Commander is dead by Chuckles' hand and that he's now trying to use him to gain access to high-security clearance areas. When Big Boa asks Chuckles what the hell Tomax is talking about, Chuck tries to play it off, trying to convince Big Boa that Tomax is just trying to save his own skin. Boa, however, has the sense that something weird is going on and demands the truth. Acting quickly, Chuckles kicks out Tomax's knee and takes aim at Big Boa but the larger man crushes his wrist and then breaks the slide off his pistol. As Tomax takes off running, Boa continues to beat on Chuckles. Boa no-sells every hit the Joe gets in on him and only gives him more broken bones and bruises for his trouble. As Chuckles is knocked to the ground, Boa curses him, demanding to know how Chuckles could have killed the man who was going to make his life. Before Boa can finish him off though, Chuckles reaches for his gun's discarded slide and shoves it into Big Boa's neck, killing him.

Meanwhile, the escaped Tomax locates Baroness, who is suffering from the effects of the debilitating poison Xamot had slipped into the food of Cobra High Command. After informing her that the Chuckles has killed the Commander, he places the blame for High Command's poisoning at his feet as well and asks that he be allowed to take a team of Vipers to hunt him down. Baroness asks why, if Chuckles was behind the poisonings, he and Xamot were seemingly unaffected, but Tomax explains that Chuckles' vendetta against them meant he wanted to make their deaths linger. Baroness remains unconvinced by Tomax's explanation and decides to take command of the Vipers herself while Tomax stays put.

With Tomax out of his grasp, the thoroughly beaten and bloodied Chuckles limps through Section Twenty's halls and begins heading downstairs towards the submarine hangar deep below the base. Climbing onto the sub, Chuckles is surprised to find the hatch already open and stumbles inside. As he explores the inside of the sub, Chuckles discovers the hatch being open was no coincidence when he hears the voice of Xamot behind him, the other Paoli twin having assumed Chuckles would make his down to the only unsecured way out of the base. As he cuts Chuckles across the cheek, Xamot begins thanking Chuckles for all he's done for him, for opening his eyes to the fact that he'd spent his entire life as a slave to his brother and to Cobra. He sees it as poetic in a way, that the two of them both showed each other the walls of their own cells. Because of all they've done to each other, Xamot now feels a closer kinship to Chuckles than he ever did to Tomax, and now both of their fates are inextricably linked. Having had enough of Xamot's monologue, Chuckles elbows him in the throat and begins beating on him, furiously informing Xamot that he's nothing more than just another enemy target to him. In his rage though, Chuckles failed to notice Xamot burying his knife into his chest. With that taking the wind out of him, Chuckles leans against the wall as Xamot tauntingly informs him that the submarine's captain is dead, meaning that Chuckles won't be able to use the sub to escape. As Chuckles reaches the sub's command center and confirms the captain's death, however, he takes a key from the man's neck and informs Xamot that he never planned on leaving here...

Elsewhere, Baroness has confirmed the Commander's death and is having a group of pallbearers take away his corpse. Since all other exits have been secured, she figures the only place Chuckles could be hiding is the submarine dock and dispatches a Viper team to capture him alive. However, it quickly dawns on her that the sub that's docked down there is outfitted with nuclear warheads! She then immediately orders the Vipers to get every member of High Command and the Commander's body onto planes for immediate evacuation. Though Tomax refuses to come along, wanting to wait for Xamot, Baroness forces him onto a plane, feeling that forcing him to live without his brother would be a suitable punishment for any potential role he may have played in Xamot's coup.

As he arms the sub's nukes, Chuckles comments how funny he thinks it is that Cobra's disinterest in things like safety and morality means that the sub lacks the kind of complicated, multi-staged process that would ordinarily prevent a rogue agent like him from detonating weapons of mass destruction so easily. With the warheads primed, Chuckles sits back and thinks back to Jinx, a woman he knows in his heart was a better person than him. While she put her life on the line for high-minded ideals like a duty to protect others, he never had the strength to believe in such noble things, let alone be willing to die for them. He always admired Jinx for that, so, as his finger hovers over the button to launch the nukes, he refuses to disgrace her memory by saying he's doing this for her. Because deep down in his heart, Chuckles knows the only person he's doing this for is himself...

And then there's a flash of white, followed by a horrified scream as Tomax realizes his brother is dead.

As the gigantic mushroom cloud grows over the Kuril Islands, all that now remains of Cobra Section Twenty is a burning heap of metal. That, and a single Cobra flag washed up on the beach...

Featured characters[edit | edit source]

Characters in italic text appear only in flashback or in photos.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Quotes[edit | edit source]

"And why on Earth would I help you?"
"Because you're a coward. You're isolated from your loyalists, including other members of High Command. Everyone in the building knows your brother attempted a failed coup. And nobody knows the Commander is dead. No one will question where I'm taking you, or listen to what you say. I'm sure you can imagine what'll happen if you refuse to help me. I'm sure you know how much I'd enjoy that."
"He doesn't have to say anything. He wouldn't anyway. I know who he is. And now he does, too. It's always the ones who love to make people hurt that fold the fastest."

-Tomax gets read by Chuckles.

"I was a slave before I met you. A slave to my business, to Cobra, even to my own brother. I was half a person. Less than half. Then you show up, and in one brilliant moment of illumination, you showed me the walls of my prison. And it was so amazingly easy to smash them down after that. It's poetic, isn't it? I showed you your cell and you showed me mine. So that's how I knew you'd be here. Because this is fate. You transcended Cobra, just as I have. I've even transcended Tomax It's you and me now. We are the only sane people in this entire building. You are my brother. You always have been. And as you freed me from my shackles, I'm going to free you from yours."

-Xamot says what he thinks about Chuckles...

"You think you're like my great nemesis or something, don't you? You think you matter to me? I don't waste a second thinking about you. You're nothing. You're just another guy in an opposite colored uniform."

-...and Chuckles says what he thinks about Xamot.

"Jinx. You were so much braver than me. You laid down your life not out of anger, or despair... but for duty. To protect others. I never had that kind of strength inside me. All I've ever had is this anger. This stupid, senseless rage that one general after another has used me for. Pointing me at targets and letting me go. It's that anger that brought me here. Not strength or courage or love. So I won't disgrace your memory by saying I'm doing this for you, Jinx."
"Because I'm doing this for me."


Notes[edit | edit source]

Continuity notes[edit | edit source]

  • When trying to play off the Vipers' concerns about her poisoning, she claims she used to take such things recreationally with Venomous Maximus, the "medicine man" of The Coil who was seen in the "Serpent's Tale" arc that took place between Cobra II issues #5 to #9.
  • Crystal Ball can be seen among the members of Cobra High Command who are being evacuated from the base.
  • Xamot thanks Chuckles for showing him he was a slave, a revelation that was first detailed in the Xamot focused portion of the first special issue of G.I. Joe: Cobra.
  • While the issue was billed as being part of the "Cobra Command" crossover event, Chuckles' story would eventually receive an epilogue in the form of Cobra vol. 2's twelfth issue.

Covers (2)[edit | edit source]