Snake Eyes issue 2
|First published||June 15, 2011|
|Cover date||June 2011|
|Written by||Chuck Dixon|
|Line-art by||Robert Atkins|
|Inks by||Juan Castro|
|Colors by||Simon Gough|
|Letters by||Shawn Lee|
|Assistant editor||Carlos Guzman|
Snake Eyes and his team head into the belly of the beast, but will everyone be coming back?
Two weeks ago, Scarlett enters the room of a meditating Snake Eyes, the ninja "cleansing his spirit" in preparation for his coming mission. Scarlett asks him whether there's room in his spirit for anything other than mission goals, like another person who cares about him... but, as ever, Snake Eyes responds only with silence.
Snake Eyes' ruse - disguising himself as Klaus the Viper - doesn't last long, but it's enough to let him get the drop on the Cobra forces of Rajahistan. With Alpine providing covering fire, Snake Eyes brings one of Cobra's HISS tanks around to wedge the hangar door open, diving to safety before the tank explodes at the last minute. The explosion attracts the attention of Iceberg and Agent Helix outside, while Alpine and Snake Eyes head deeper into the base, finding the helicopter that Mainframe deduced the existence of and several barrels of aviation fuel; with the ninja distracting the Cobra guards, Alpine uses a grenade to blow up the fuel and destroy the helicopter, but is shot multiple times in the chest in the process, and Snake Eyes is knocked to the ground by the force of the explosion.
Wanting to ensure that Snake Eyes returns from his mission, Scarlett offers him a token of luck: a compass that her grandfather took off a Wehrmacht major, passed down in her family as a good luck charm. As she leaves, she asks Snake Eyes to remember that someone will be thinking of him, no matter how bad it gets.
Having entered the hangar, Helix and Iceberg find the injured Alpine struggling to hold on to life, but can't get through the burning fuel to the unconscious Snake Eyes; while Helix wants to stay behind and look for the ninja, Iceberg needs a second person to get Alpine to safety, and she is forced to leave Snake Eyes behind, hoping that he will manage to survive by himself. On the other side, the regal Vikrim Khallikhan finds Snake Eyes' unconscious form, and orders that he be given the best of care, wanting a more fitting end for him than dying in an explosion... as well as ordering a mountain patrol to pursue the other three Joes.
In the Pit, Mainframe briefs Snake Eyes' team on what they know about Khallikhan: a near-mythical and unimaginably wealthy recluse, the "Raja" is said to have come from very old money, being rumored to be descended from Moghuls, Maharajahs, and Ghengis Khan himself. Though he uses the Noorai syndicate as his muscle, the deaths of Snake Eyes' trainees mean they're clearly not his only forces, so the Joes shouldn't take any unnecessary chances beyond getting eyes on him...
As Snake Eyes is treated by Cobra doctors, Khallikhan marvels over his scarred flesh and assortment of weaponry, fascinated by the ninja's life. One of the doctors goes to treat Snake Eyes' slow heart rate with a dose of atropine, but he suddenly jolts to life, stabbing the syringe into the doctor's chest and grabbing a syringe from the tray beside his bed, pointing it at Khallikhan's face; but the Raja is unfazed, observing that he has "other games" for the ninja, before knocking him out with a blow to his forehead. Outside, Helix wants to go back for Snake Eyes, but both Joes are needed to get Alpine off the mountain in time to save his life; and so, she reluctantly agrees to leave him.
As Scarlett leaves Snake Eyes' room, he silently puts a hand on her shoulder, before tenderly embracing her.
Observing Snake Eyes lying unconscious in a cell, Khallikhan reflects on his skill and primal instincts. As his followers observe, Khallikhan almost regrets having the ninja as an enemy... but once he has recovered, Slice and Dice will be allowed to face him as a reward for drawing him into Khallikhan's trap.
Characters in italics are shown only in flashbacks. (Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"A child of war. Look at those scars. The main is covered in skin not his own. How many blades and bullets failed to end this life only to bring him to my hands?"
- —Vikrim Khallikhan
We can't leave Snake Eyes behind. He wouldn't leave us behind!"
"He did leave us behind, Helix. He ran off to take on Cobra all by himself! Now you and me have to start thinking about how to get Alpine off this mountain before he dies."
- —Helix and Iceberg
- The recap at the start of this issue refers to Snake Eyes' students as "Team Fox", contradicting what Scarlett said last issue about them all being from separate teams.
- Cover A: Snake Eyes has a sword, by Robert Atkins and Simon Gough.
- Cover B: Snake Eyes has a gun, by Augustin Padilla and Simon Gough.
- Cover RI: Uncolored version of cover A, by Robert Atkins.