Origins issue 3
|First published||April 29, 2009|
|Cover date||April 2009|
|Written by||Larry Hama|
|Art by||Mike Hawthorne|
|Color assist by||Erik Swanson|
|Letters by||Neil Uyetake|
G.I. Joe launch into battle against the Chimera's forces, but the sinister mastermind has made extensive preparations.
At the motel room, the three newest members of the team make their introductions: Heavy Duty, Rock & Roll, and Breaker. Hawk calls the friendly bickering in the room to a close to begin his briefing, explaining how he and Heavy Duty tailed the bank-robbing tax-resistor, who they believe to be working with the Chimera, until they got a satellite lock on the vehicle. The satellite has now tracked the vehicle to a mysterious moth-balled military base in the middle of the Nevada desert, the original purpose of which even Hawk does not know.
Snake Eyes then interrupts the briefing by turning up the TV news: a National Guard convoy has been attacked and an anti-tank missile launcher stolen, surely the work of the Chimera. Meanwhile, in northern Utah, the Chimera uses that very missile launcher to attack an armored truck transporting sacks of money, which is quickly loaded aboard an escape vehicle. A short time later, Hawk's team sees the second attack on the news, and the general quickly surmises that the Chimera is making his way towards the desert compound. Declaring the team officially operational, Hawk immediately dispatches them to interdict Chimera at the base, with only Snake Eyes and the general remaining at the motel.
As the others leave, Hawk sends Snake Eyes, who has moved into a wheelchair, to the vending machines. In the motel reception, the wounded soldier encounters the manager Bob Light, a combat veteran. When Snake Eyes shows interest in the katana mounted on the wall, Light explains that it was brought back from the Second World War by his father, and then offers to share some of his own war stories with the mute man. Light tells tales of the Vietnam war until eventually Hawk arrives at the reception, still waiting on his soda.
The rest of the team are inbound for the desert base aboard a C-130, with Stalker running an equipment check. In short order, the team parachutes to the ground, and begins the six kilometer hike to their target. Elsewhere, Chimera and the rebels rendezvous with a group of mercenaries. The hired guns have nothing nice to say about the amateur "yahoos", and when one of the rebels retaliates, he gets his neck snapped for his trouble. The group drives onward to the base, where Chimera activates a switch hidden inside a fake cactus to open an cavernous entry ramp down into an underground facility. With the main blast doors offline, the group continues on foot into the subterranean base, bringing with them a hostage: the daughter of a state governor who factors into the Chimera's future "business plans". The Chimera explains their current end-game to his companions, describing how they will take control of a major bank and buy up sub-prime mortgages, prompting other banks to follow suit. Bankers will push for deregulation, and eventually, when the sub-primes begin to default, financial chaos will break loose.
As dawn breaks, Duke's team arrives, and quickly finds the now-closed hidden entrance. As Scarlett spots the kidnapped woman's shoe, alerting the team of a hostage situation, the Chimera's forces below detect the six intruders, and deploys a virus to fry their communications gear. Breaker identifies the attack, making it clear to the team that they no longer have the element of surprise. However, Duke insists that the hostage means they cannot wait for backup, and leads the team to the decoy base on the surface, hoping they'll find another entry point there. As they move in, Hawk realizes that their systems have been compromised, but with the motel's phones all knocked out too, he and Bob are forced to drive out in search of a working phone. Snake Eyes is left by himself, but as the other men leave, the mute Ranger reaches for the katana on the wall...
Characters in italic text appear only in flashbacks.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"Why do they make these keys so tiny?"
- —Heavy Duty struggles with Hawk's laptop
- The layout of the dummy surface facility makes it clear that the mysterious underground facility is what will become the Pit, first seen in G.I. Joe #1 three months before this issue's release.
G.I. Joe references
- Bob Light is named after a real soldier who writer Larry Hama once knew. The taciturn man has previously been described by Hama as informing his writing of Snake Eyes.
- The real-life subprime mortgage crisis is here made the result of the Chimera's manipulations. The retcon of IDW's Transformers and G.I. Joe comics into the same universe means, however, that the crisis must occur earlier than in the real world – the passage of time across Joe stories means that this issue must be set over ten years before the present day 2016 Revolution incident.
- Cover A: Heavy Duty and Rock & Roll, by Andrea DiVito and Chris Sotomayor.
- Cover B: Heavy Duty in front of the letter J, by Tom Feister. Part of a series of covers spelling "GI JOE".
- Cover RI: Virgin version of Cover A.