Sedition by Numbers Part 4

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G.I. Joe: Origins #23
Origins23 cvrRI.jpg
It was a shame how he carried on!
"Sedition by Numbers Part 4"
Publisher IDW Publishing
First published January 5, 2011
Cover date January 2011
Written by David Lapham
Art by Werther Dell'edera
Colors by Arianna Florean
Letters by Chris Mowry
Editor Andy Schmidt
Assistant editor Carlos Guzman

When Krake has the Mad Monk target Lester Horvath for assassination, the doctor attempts a desperate final gambit.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

As Mad Monk and his fellow Movement soldiers stare down the American special forces ordering them to surrender, one of his men — Eric Raston — willingly stands down, having betrayed the Movement to the Americans out of disgust over the hijacking of his own country's weapons. Monk doesn't intend to surrender, though, and instead has team hacker Baker prime the guidance system on the missiles they were sent to obtain; and when the American leader Duke refuses to "play chicken", Monk forcibly fires the missile himself, blowing a hole in the side of the plane! As the other soldiers are thrown off their feet, Raston barrels into Monk and sends both of them flying out of the hole in the plane; the two trade blows as they fall, with Raston tearing off Monk's parachute and flinging him away. Monk manages to angle himself back towards Raston and, clinging onto the other man, releases his parachute; though Monk's arm is dislocated and his fingers broken by the deceleration, his fall is slowed enough that he survives hitting the water below. Swimming back to the surface, Monk considers pursuing and killing Raston, but — on seeing the Americans descending on parachutes from above — instead activates a signalling device to have his employers collect him.

In an African village, Monk asks to leave the Movement and submits himself to punishment, feeling that his recklessness, stupidity and poor leadership were responsible for the botched mission; but Krake does not care that the men under his command died, as they — unlike Monk — are replacable. As they descend to an underground bunker, Krake explains that he knew the mission might be compromised, and instead used it as a test to see how far he could trust Monk; and now that he knows that he can, he has another mission for him. Having become aware of leaks within the organization, Krake supplies Monk with a list of names of the people that need to be killed... a list that ends with Lester Horvath, the man who first brought Monk to Krake's command.

A change of tone in Krake's latest telegram alerts Horvath to the fact that he is not long for this world, and so he puts together a contingency plan. After an award ceremony in Paris with the French Psychological Society, he returns to his hotel room, hoping for one more night... but his guards are dead, and Monk is there, waiting for him. While the assassin normally would have killed him the moment he stepped through the door, a photograph left on the doctor's bed — showing Monk's wife and daughter in a detention camp — stays his hand long enough to demand an explanation. Suggesting that Krake took his family to ensure his loyalty, Horvath explains that Krake, as an "eight" on the Lome Scale, has the means and motivation to remake the entire world in blood... and having searched fruitlessly for years for another eight to stop him, Horvath eventually found Michael Monk. Monk is incredulous of the idea that he is an eight, and, indeed, he isn't; he is something just as rare: a one. Hopelessly incapable of leading, but an incredibly skilled soldier, with a death wish matched only by his survival instincts, Monk sees through the deceptions that veil the world, and the existence of Cobra. Though Monk is confused by his words, Horvath advises him not to act too quickly, lest Krake find out the truth about him... and, advising him to listen for word of Section Ten if he wants to find his family, Horvath willingly topples over the balcony to his death.

As he falls, Horvath is sad that he will never know the outcome of his "experiment". Though the odds surely favor Krake, the eight, Monk is, as a one, a wildcard; he might even be able to bring the great despot down. As Albert Lome said, before he died from Horvath's poison, "in the end, we are all just meat and bone".

Featured characters[edit | edit source]

Characters in italics are shown only in flashback. (Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Quotes[edit | edit source]

"You once dismissed my Lome system. The assigning of simple numbers to a man's station. It is of no consequence that you do not believe in it. But your commander Krake does."
"This is all crap and has nothing to do with my family. Tell me where they are, or we'll go at this all night."
"If you... *kaff* if you want answers you'll have to listen to the speech. It comes with the profession."

Lester Horvath and Mad Monk

Notes[edit | edit source]

Continuity notes[edit | edit source]

  • As noted last issue, Krake previously appeared in G.I. Joe #24; appearing here in person, he wears the same blue and red tactical gear and mask that he did there.
  • Section Ten is the Cobra gulag run by Major Bludd, introduced at the end of G.I. Joe vol. 1 #16.

Other notes[edit | edit source]

  • Monk and Duke don't appear to recognise each other here, which didn't seem at all strange at the time of this issue's release; but years later, Monk would be established to have an history with Duke, which makes this rather odd in retrospect.

Covers (2)[edit | edit source]