Origins issue 1
|First published||February 18, 2009|
|Cover date||February 2009|
|Written by||Larry Hama|
|Art by||Mike Hawthorne and Tom Feister|
|Color assist by||Erik Swanson|
|Letters by||Robbie Robbins|
The G.I. Joe team begins to come together for the first time, as they face the threat of the Chimera!
Aboard a cargo plane, Hawk explains Duke and Scarlett's task, both a test and a real mission: they will have 24 hours to pinpoint their location, identify their mission using only two clues – "Buick" and "N.L.V.C.H." – and then accomplish it. The explanation done, Stalker tosses the duo's parachutes out the plane, and they dive out to catch them. Minutes later, Stalker jumps for own mission... even as Hawk reveals that he is being tested too, and throws out a working parachute to replace the dummy one attached to his back. On the ground, Scarlett is quickly able to place them in the Nevada desert, north of Las Vegas.
In Dallas, an army CID investigator and his military police escort arrive at the elaborate mansion of a billionaire, which is already surrounded by federal forces. They explain to an ATF agent that the home's owner is a deserter, missing for seven years, only to see the federal agent shot dead in front of them by a sniper's bullet. As the gathered agents huddle behind cover, they discuss their assailant: an army deserter who killed his family and stole piles of army weaponry in the process. In his new life, he made billions on an energy pyramid scheme, but the company collapsed a week ago, and now he has murdered his new family and fled to Texas.
In Nevada, Scarlett is able to thumb down a ride and climbs aboard, but when Duke makes himself known, the driver floors it, fearing a hijacking. The woman, Connie, reveals that she is ex-military police and pulls a gun on Scarlett, who attempts to explain that she too is army but is then accused of being a deserter. The two women grapple over the pistol, and Connie's minivan soon veers off the road, crashing into a road sign. She reluctantly accepts Scarlett and Duke's story, but the van will now need pushing until spare parts can be obtained. As they begin, the two operatives share their enigmatic code-words with Connie, who reveals that she may be able to help.
In Texas, as the assembled forces breach the mansion, the military agents continue to discuss their target, a Green Beret and army psychologist. Even as the military policeman explains how the man begun having breaks with reality, they encounter the painting Saturn Devouring His Son, from which Saturn's face has been crudely torn. Minutes later, the agents find themselves under heavy fire from the mad billionaire, and the CID agent explains why they cannot pass their target's photograph to the wider authorities: when they picked up his trail, the man had just finished reconstructive facial surgery in Las Vegas, before blowing up the clinic and his surgeon using stolen explosives. Outgunned, the agents remaining alive retreat, even as the billionaire dons Saturn's face as a mask and declares himself to be a Chimera. With that, the deranged gunman triggers explosives throughout the house, and as he strides from the rubble, he declares that he has unfinished business in Las Vegas.
Elsewhere, Connie has led Duke and Scarlett to North Las Vegas Community Hospital, Burn Unit Intensive Care, bed K, where lies a bandaged Army Ranger codenamed Snake Eyes, rendered mute by his injuries. Unbeknownst to them, this was the man who set CID on the Chimera's trail, having shared a ward with him at the plastic surgery clinic and recognized him from an old operation. Now, the facial injuries the Ranger had just had fixed have been replaced by extensive burns from the clinic explosion. Duke and Scarlett realize their mission is to recruit Snake Eyes, and Connie takes his place so they can sneak him out unnoticed. However, the ex-military policewoman is found in the ward by the Chimera, who has come to finish off the Ranger. The ex-billionaire sets off another explosion, killing Connie, before pursuing Scarlett's party to the minivan. Snake Eyes and Duke are quick to retaliate, allowing the trio to make their escape. In the back of the van, Snake Eyes silently accepts the invitation to join the cause, whilst later, back at the hospital, Stalker poses as Defense Department to reclaim the remains of Connie, a "bona-fide hero."
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"That's right, you had best run, kiddies! I have remade myself. I'm ever-changing... Elusive... Unknowable! I'm a damned Chimera!"
- —The Chimera is pretty weird
G.I. Joe references
- As a man with a hidden face and a dead family who built a fortune on pyramid schemes, Chimera is something of an expy of the Marvel Comics version of Cobra Commander. It seems likely that he was meant to be an earlier version of Cobra's leader, but later developments make that impossible.
- Saturn Devouring His Son is a real painting by Francisco Goya. In real life, the original is held at Madrid's Museo del Prado. The FBI agent incorrectly gives its name as Saturn Devouring His Child.
- The Chimera hails from Greek mythology, and is famously an amalgam of many different animal body parts.
- The pilot of the Joes' cargo plane has a mustache that makes him look an awful lot like G.I. Joe pilot and modern-day cowboy Wild Bill. It's unclear whether it's meant to be him, but given his lack of hat or shades and the fact that he doesn't show up again in Origins, it's probably not Bill.
- Cover A: The G.I. Joe team, by Andrea DiVito and Chris Sotomayor.
- Cover B: Duke in front of the letter G, by Tom Feister. Part of a series of covers spelling "GI JOE".
- Cover RI: The G.I. Joe team, by Dave Dorman.