Origins issue 5
|First published||July 8, 2009|
|Cover date||June 2009|
|Written by||Larry Hama|
|Art by||Mike Hawthorne|
|Color assist by||Erik Swanson|
|Letters by||Neil Uyetake|
G.I. Joe confront the Chimera at long last, but are presented with a terrible choice.
The team and their opponents all pause in their combat as Scarlett's grenade bounces into their midst. Rock & Roll throws himself on the explosive device, but Heavy Duty heaves him off, allowing Duke to instead punt it towards the mercenaries. From across the room, Chimera has a gun to Scarlett's head, and her attempt to break free ends with her being slammed into the floor. However, the masked terrorist is still on edge, having deduced that the intruding aircraft was carrying Snake Eyes. And indeed, in the desert above, Snake Eyes has reached the facility, blowing through a mercenary on his way into a concealed access hatch.
Back underground, Duke's team has regrouped, and realizes that Scarlett is missing. Nevertheless, Duke insists that the mission is their priority, and that they cannot go back to find her until it is complete. Their renewed assault has the Chimera's remaining troops pinned down, but the rebels and mercenaries still intend to follow their leader's battle plan: luring the enemy into a dead end and then bringing the roof down with explosives. As they prepare, Cahill remarks to one rebel's shock that the whole enterprise is simply a get-rich-quick scheme for the Chimera. Elsewhere in the facility, the Chimera himself marches Scarlett at gunpoint to a computer terminal, where he announces to her the culmination of his plans: Operations Poison Pen and Poison Gas...
In the storage area, Duke spearheads a final push, narrowly avoiding a sniper's bullet thanks to Stalker. In short order, the surviving rebels and mercenaries are pinned down behind a single crate, but Cahill refuses to surrender, and shoots one teammate when he suggests otherwise. Soon, the disfigured man is the only one left, and Duke calls out that he will be fairly treated upon surrender. However, Cahill claims that events from his past in black ops make that impossible, and pulls a grenade, blowing up himself and the crate of explosives. With the threat over, the team sets off to find Scarlett, surmising that if the Chimera has her, they will be in the base command center.
In said command center, Chimera monologues to Scarlett about his two plans: Poison Gas will release deadly neurotoxin in ten major cities, causing millions of deaths, whilst Poison Pen will send an email to thousands of finance professionals detailing an entirely legal method to make a fortune on sub-prime mortgages, with dire consequences for the world economy. As he has been speaking, however, Scarlett has removed a flask of solvent from her belt, and as Chimera activates the two protocols, she flings the liquid at his face. But at the very same moment, Snake Eyes leaps from the shadows, and the Chimera's reaction causes the solvent to instead hit Scarlett's ally, soaking the bandanna that covers his scarred visage.
The two men grapple, and Chimera attempts to shoot his opponent point blank. The bullet narrowly misses, but the muzzle flash ignites the solvent on Snake Eyes' mask, and the man falls to the ground, his head wreathed in flames. Scarlett barges Chimera to knock a killing shot astray, but then finds the gun pointed her own head... Suddenly, Snake Eyes rises from the floor, still aflame, and tackles the mad terrorist, sending the two rolling into a vast cargo elevator shaft!
The fight ended, a stunned Scarlett is greeted by the rest of her team. At the computer terminal, prerecorded video of the Chimera lays out the threat of Poison Gas and Poison Pen, even as the countdown clock for their activation ticks down. Breaker announces that he may have time to stop one, and only one, of the programs activating, and as team leader, the decision falls to Duke: millions of deaths from binary nerve toxin, or a global financial meltdown that will itself likely kill millions. With the seconds ticking away, Duke makes his decision, and orders Breaker to shut down the neurotoxin. He manages it, with mere seconds to spare, even as the Poison Pen email successfully sends.
Back at the elevator shaft, a distraught Scarlett is shocked as Snake Eyes hauls himself over the edge, his face a smouldering mess. As she cradles him in her arms, Breaker finds the lighting controls for the base, and remarks that with the lights on, the place is surprisingly homely...
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"Rock & Roll, you sure put me on the spot. I don't even like you... and now, I gotta respect you."
- —Heavy Duty is in two minds about Rock & Roll's self-sacrificial actions
G.I. Joe references
- Duke (see 'Errors') name-drops American football player Jason Elam when kicking the grenade.
- Heavy Duty's dialogue suggests it should be Duke kicking the grenade on page 2, but Breaker is drawn in his place in both relevant panels.
- On the same page, the dialogue of the mercenary thrown onto the grenade suggests Cahill should be doing the throwing, but one of his nameless colleagues is drawn instead.
- Cover A: The G.I. Joe team, by Andrea DiVito and Chris Sotomayor.
- Cover B: Snake Eyes in front of the letter E, by Tom Feister. Part of a series of covers spelling "GI JOE".
- Cover RI: Virgin version of Cover A.