Operation: Deadfall, Part 3

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G.I. Joe: Special Missions #7
"Operation: Deadfall, Part 3"
Publisher IDW Publishing
First published September 25, 2013
Cover date September 2013
Written by Chuck Dixon
Art by Will Rosado
Colors by Aburtov & Grafikslava
Letters by Neil Uyetake
Editor Carlos Guzman
Chronology Before "Threat Matrix"

Intending to build his clone army, Zartan makes a break for it and both G.I. Joe and the Dreadnoks are hot on his trail!


Even though Zartan and Thrasher are escaping, Roadblock has the more pressing matter of Spirit and the rest of his teammates being pinned down by enemy fire to take care of. From high above the Dreadnoks’ hideout, Roadblock spots several fuel canisters piled up near where the bikers are taking cover and fires at them, sending them up in a gigantic fireball! No longer being shot at, the Joes on the ground take off towards a nearby truck and motorcycle. Hopping in the back of the truck, Spirit orders Tripwire to follow Zartan before radioing Roadblock and offering to pick him up. Not wanting to slow the others down, Roadblock refuses and says he’ll catch up with them later. This proves to be wise, as the Dreadnoks have gotten mobile too, and they’re out for Zartan and the Joes’ blood!

After being briefly slowed down when a shot from Roadblock knocked them off their trike, Zartan and Thrasher encounter another obstacle in the form of a mud pit. Getting off to push it out, Thrasher manages to free the trike but once he does Zartan takes off without him! As the Joes speed by in pursuit, Thrasher pleads with the other Dreadnoks that he was kidnapped but all he gets is the cold shoulder and a cricket bat to back of the head from Heartwrencher.

Now hot on Zartan’s trail, Hard Drive takes a shot at him from the sidecar of Beachhead’s motorcycle but misses. In retaliation, Zartan turns around and scores a direct hit on the bike with his shotgun and totals it. Refusing to leave them behind, Spirit and Tripwire pull over and get out so they can take a stand against the pursuing bikers. Torch and Ripper manage to get past the Joes, however, and continue after Zartan. Though Ripper’s bike is taken out with a grenade, Torch pulls up right alongside Zartan and shoves him off a cliff, accidentally tumbling down with him. This causes both men’s bikes to explode and, while Torch escapes unscathed, Zartan’s singed body lays on the ground motionless. Believing their former leader dead, Torch and Ripper head back on foot, not realizing Zartan had used his powers to merely appear like he’d been burned to death!

Meanwhile, the rest of the Dreadnoks are giving the Joes more trouble than expected. Having run out of ammo, the Joes are forced to take the bikers on hand-to-hand. Just as Road Pig prepares to bring his hammer down on the defeated Beachhead, a shot rings out and the hammer’s handle cracks, bringing the cinderblock down upon Road Pig’s head instead! Atop his horse, Roadblock continues firing, scaring off the rest of the Dreadnoks and saving the day. Once back at base, Mainframe informs the team that the M.A.S.S. satellite was destroyed with the rest of the Dreadnok camp, keeping it out of Cobra’s hands. And with the Dreadnoks having no ties to Cobra that would make them a G.I. Joe problem, it seems most everything is tied up all nice... except for the matter of what happened to Zartan.

Beneath the city of Brussels, Zartan has kidnapped Belgium’s top geneticist to aid him in the creation of his “Nation of Zartan”. Blowing the C4 he placed on the brick wall hiding his birthplace, Zartan steps into the lab he’ll use to build his glorious future... and finds it abandoned and in ruins, any and all equipment long gone or broken!

Featured characters[edit]

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

G.I. Joe Dreadnoks Others
  • Belgium's best geneticist (14)



-Road Pig is none too happy about his camp being wrecked up.


Continuity notes[edit]

  • During the Joes' debriefing, Mainframe notes that the Dreadnoks have no actual ties with Cobra outside of Zartan. A month prior to this issue's release, Zandar and Zarana would appear in G.I. Joe vol. 3 #8 acting as arms dealers for Cobra. While neither of the twins appeared in this arc, they are noted as being members of Dreadnoks (as is traditional for the characters), with Duke specifically referencing the events of the Operation: Deadfall arc in the subsequent issue of Joe vol. 3.
  • Zartan returns to the lab he was originally cloned inside, though see the Errors section for a note on that.

Real-world references[edit]

  • Before shooting at the gas canisters, Roadblock informs Spirit he's about to "go Michael Bay" on the Dreadnoks, referring to the explosion loving action movie director. It probably would've been a little too on the nose for him to say he was going Stephen Sommers or Jon Chu on them.
  • Beachhead refers to the Dreadnoks as a bunch of "Aussie Mad Maxes, though as Spirit points out Mad Max is an Aussie. Which isn't strictly 100% accurate, but hey, close enough.


  • Zanya jumps around a bit during the motorcycle chase, first driving the trike that Road Pig is standing on the back of but later appearing riding on the back of Ripper's motorcycle while Road Pig drives the trike himself.
  • Not strictly an error since the city Zartan was cloned in was never named during G.I. Joe: Origins' "Origin of Zartan" arc, but the city is identified here as being Brussels while the art in Origins made it obvious that the city was at least being drawn as Vigo, Spain, hometown of artist Alex Cal. Complicating things is that a portion of "The Origin of Zartan" takes place in a subway system that real world Brussels has but Vigo does not.

Covers (3)[edit]