Serpent's Tale Part Three: Green Dreams

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G.I. Joe: Cobra #7
"Serpent's Tale Part Three: Green Dreams"
Publisher IDW Publishing
First published August 18, 2010
Cover date August 2010
Written by Christos Gage
Art by Sergio Carrera
Colors by Peter Dawes
Letters by Chris Mowry
Editor Carlos Guzman

To help show him what The Coil can mean to people, Venomous Maximus shares with Leonard the story of the Croc Master.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

What Venomous Maximus feels most people don't realize about The Coil is that everyone has a place in the organization. True believers are at the heart of The Coil, yes, but there are plenty of people who don't buy into every aspect of their faith, Venomous included. Underneath it all, The Coil is just one big family, one that welcomes lost souls from all over. And Venomous Maximus knows just the story to help get that across...

Deep in the Florida everglades is the Croc Master's Alligator Farm, one of the few places you can still buy baby alligators. Having chosen the name as a matter of branding to make him stand out from the other gator farms, the Croc Master works with his son, who he claims is too stupid to be worth sending to school. As you might imagine, the abuses the Croc Master heaped on his son didn't end there. He was essentially slave labor to his father, who got no shortage of enjoyment of tormenting his son. He didn't have a mother to speak up in defense of him, she'd disappeared several years earlier before her son was old enough to really remember her. Despite the abuses he faced, the boy still felt a special kind of fulfillment in taking care of his father's animals. What really made him feel alive though were the moments he spent among the few crocodiles his father kept to justify his name. He cared for them in the way his father never cared for him, and with this care both the boy and the crocodiles thrived.

Unfortunately, this special relationship between boy and croc wasn't to last. One day, the boy, now in his teens, returned home from the swamps to find that his father had slaughtered and skinned his favorite crocodile. When the boy reacts in horror, the Croc Master tells his son to man up and explains that a customer offered him $2,000 for the animal's skin. When the boy continues to refuse to dispose of the carcass, his obstinance earns him a punch across the jaw, a gun in his face, and a threat that he'll be reunited with his mother. With that, the boy pretends to go along with tossing the carcass into the feeding pit but purposefully screws up in such a way that knocks his father in with it. As his father demands help out of the water, the boy rakes a hook across the chain link fence to tell the gators its feeding time... and watches with delight as the animals devour his father alive. When the man who ordered the death of his pet returns to the farm, the boy kills again, chucking a harpoon through his chest and again feeding the body to the animals.

Having now taken the mantle of Croc Master for himself, the boy no longer sold his pets and he turned to a life of crime to support himself. Though some of his criminal associates would occasionally get the idea to kill the Croc Master and take over his operation, the threat of being immediately descended upon by dozens of ravenous gators and crocs after doing so kept them in line. Once he had enough money, the Croc Master began pursuing his true passion, taking action against any and all who would harm the natural world. Land developers, poachers, licensed hunters, were all the same to the Croc Master. All of them harmed the environment and all of them needed to be killed for their crimes against nature. As Croc Master grew more and more infamous, he eventually earned the ire of Xamot Paoli, CEO of Extensive Enterprises.

Visiting the Croc Master's shack with a full compliment of Crimson Guards, Xamot informed Croc Master that if he had his way, he'd be long dead. Fortunately, others within the organization Xamot was part of thought they could use a talented eco-terrorist on their side and he'd traveled to extend an invitation. Disgusted by this corporate vulture, Croc Master pulled a gun on Paoli but before his Guards could gun him down, another voice ordered them to hold their fire. Stepping out of one of their vehicles, Venomous Maximus introduces himself to the Croc Master and apologizes for Xamot's behavior, admitting he was likely the wrong man for a job such as this. Relating to his hatred for humanity and the way they bring ruin to the environment, Venomous invited Croc Master into The Coil, informing him that they could help him kill as many corporate vultures as he liked...

Back at The Coil's headquarters, Venomous asks Leonard if he sees the point of his story. While he seriously doubts Croc Master buys into any aspect of The Coil's faith, he nevertheless joined them and found a place where he was free to be himself. A place he could call home. And though he still hasn't accepted it, Leonard has found the same thing...

Featured characters[edit | edit source]

Characters in italic text appear only in flashbacks.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Quotes[edit | edit source]

"I'd be shocked if he believes any part of our faith. And yet he's found peace with us. A place where he's accepted. Where he is free to pursue the things that fulfill him."
"You mean mass murder."
"The world is a beautiful and mysterious place, my friend. Who are we to judge what brings happiness to another?"

-Venomous Maximus explains to Leonard Michaels that some people become homicidal eco-terrorists to cope.

Notes[edit | edit source]

Continuity notes[edit | edit source]

  • Croc Master returns! The man what has mastery over crocodiles previously appeared in the first issue of Cobra II before appearing to be gunned down by Erika Le Tene in issue #3. Venomous Maximus talking about him in the present tense at this issue's conclusion, however, implies that the Croc Master still lives! His survival would later be confirmed in the second issue of Cobra vol. 2.
  • Xamot still appears to be a dead ringer for his twin brother in his scene in this issue, placing it sometime before the makeover he underwent in the Cobra Special issue from the first Cobra miniseries.
  • It isn't too surprising a reveal given that characters like Serpentor are historically associated with the organization, but Xamot and Venomous Maxmimus' association confirms that The Coil is part of Cobra.

G.I. Joe references[edit | edit source]

  • Both this story's subtitle and Venomous Maximus' description of what the Croc Master gets up to now that he's part of The Coil reference a unique piece of wording from the original Croc Master toy's bio.

Real world references[edit | edit source]

Other notes[edit | edit source]

  • This issue is solely the work of Christos Gage without his usual co-writer on this series Mike Costa.

Covers (1)[edit | edit source]