Origins issue 11
|First published||January 20, 2010|
|Cover date||January 2010|
|Written by||J.T. Krul|
|Art by||Klaus Scherwinski|
|Letters by||Neil Uyetake|
|Assistant editor||Carlos Guzman|
Who is Beach Head?
On the banks of the Río Dulce in Guatemala, a wounded man washes up on a beach. He is found and taken to a nearby hospital, where he awakens... and panics, realising that he doesn't remember who he is. As he scrambles to escape his hospital bed, the man is sedated, sending him into dreams of being a child beaten by bullies, who was inspired to fight back on seeing an army recruitment poster; when he next awakens, he is met by an English-speaking man who identifies himself as "Doctor Anderson". When the patient admits that he can't remember anything, the doctor suggests using something to jog his memory... like the United States Army uniform he was wearing; and suddenly, the memories come flooding back.
He isn't just a soldier — he's an Army Ranger. He and his three squadmates were in Guatemala doing recon on the up-and-coming drug lord Manuel Montenegro. As part of their mission, they set up camp in a local village, doing what they can to provide the villagers with supplies and assistance... but not everyone is happy. One boy, Tito, believes that the soldiers are just using them, and despite his friend Roberto's objections, he runs off to alert Montenegro's men; but after a brief crisis of conscience, Roberto tells the four Rangers about the danger they are in. The four immediately make to leave, calling for extraction, but as they do, the man realises that the villagers are in danger — Montenegro will have them killed for harboring the soldiers. Ordering his teammates to get the villagers into hiding, he doubles back, setting up a distraction for the drug baron's men; and though he manages to kill several, his slim hope of an escape is foiled when his path takes him onto a cliff high above a river. Shot several times in the back, he falls into the water below...
When Doctor Anderson asks what the soldier remembers, he lies and says that he remembers nothing, despite Anderson seeing through him immediately. Anderson assures Wayne that he isn't a security threat... and the soldier starts at hearing the doctor say his name. As he removes the fake mustache and wig he wears, the doctor explains that the soldier's name is Wayne Sneeden... and that he's been declared killed in action. "Anderson", in fact, is not a doctor, but another U.S. soldier — one who has no name, but who tells Sneeden to call him Duke! Sneeden is confused and disoriented, thinking that he's being interrogated, but Duke explains that he isn't: he's being recruited, into an elite special forces organization battling global terrorism. Sneeden isn't sure why Duke's unit want to recruit a guy with no memories, but Duke sees it as a fresh start — an opportunity to join without any grudges or scores to settle... except for one, as Sneeden points out. Duke sees what he's saying, and notes that he didn't come alone...
As Sneeden and his new teammates are transported towards Montenegro's camp, he notes to Duke that, though he's ready, he doesn't much care for the codename he's been given... but Duke is quite frank that his opinion doesn't matter. The name he got was taken from what the nurses at the hospital called him when he washed ashore: "Cabeza de Playa"... and so, as he pulls on his balaclava, the man reluctantly tells the others to call him Beach Head.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"Montenegro's camp is ten miles out. You ready?"
"I'm ready, but I wanted to talk about the codename you gave me. I'm not a fan. I was thinking something more like Night Ranger or even Wolfman."
"I'd be happy to take those under consideration, if your opinion mattered. It doesn't. Get used to it."
- —Duke and the newly-christened Beach Head
- Beach's amnesia was first brought up in G.I. Joe #1; this issue fills in the details of how it came about.
- Beach Head is declared KIA, as is SOP for G.I. Joe.
G.I. Joe references
- "Wayne R. Sneeden" was Beach Head's name in classic media, as given on his original filecard.
- Cover A: Beach Head bleeds out a question mark, by Tom Feister.
- Cover B: Beach Head in a shredded mask, by Klaus Scherwinski.
- Cover RI: Virgin version of Cover A.