Snake Eyes issue 3
|First published||July 20, 2011|
|Cover date||July 2011|
|Written by||Chuck Dixon|
|Line-art by||Robert Atkins (pages 1-7, 10-11, 16-22)|
Agustin Padilla (pages 8-9, 12-15)
|Inks by||Juan Castro|
|Colors by||Simon Gough|
|Letters by||Shawn Lee|
|Assistant editor||Carlos Guzman|
With Snake Eyes held captive by Khallikhan, Helix and Iceberg must help an injured Alpine to safety.
While Iceberg hauls Alpine up a treacherous ledge, Agent Helix keeps an eye on the pursuing Cobra troopers. Though reluctant to leave Snake Eyes behind in the clutches of Vikrim Khallikhan, Helix agrees to help get Alpine to the top of the mountain, but decides that once Alpine's clear, she'll be going back for the Joe ninja. At that moment, within his mountain base, Khallikhan has Snake Eyes in chains, musing over his prisoner's arsenal and philosophy; while the ninja's armament, with its mixture of ancient and modern weapons, intrigues Khallikhan, he is even more interested in the Wehrmacht compass that Snake Eyes had with him. Opening it, he discovers a note from "Red", which he mockingly reads out, infuriating the ninja; dismissing Snake Eyes as "human after all", Khallikhan leaves the room, having his underlings sedate their prisoner as he does so.
On the mountain outside, a Snow Serpent's assessment of the Joes' trail is interrupted when he is shot through the head by Helix, taking a sniper's position from the overhang above. After a few more shots, she throws down a brace of grenades, destroying part of the ledge below and knocking several other troopers off the mountain. One trooper observes that they need air cover, but another points out that the ongoing blizzard makes that impossible; however, they have an alternative: a flying, remote-controlled drone, armed with 20 rounds, which he sends up to take out their shooter. He didn't reckon on Helix's total battlefield awareness, however, which allows her to dodge the drone's fire before smashing it, and dropping it back down on the Cobras with a lump of explosive attached, killing the remaining Snow Serpets! Radioing Iceberg to let him know that she has fulfilled her promise by covering his escape, Helix rappels down the cliff face, intent on going back for Snake Eyes, since he would do the same for her.
In his cell, Snake Eyes pulls a false layer of skin off the bottom of his foot, revealing a set of lockpicks hidden with in. Khallikhan's guards soon enter to move him elsewhere, but the ninja - who has freed himself from his shackles - surprises them with a flurry of blows, taking their weapons and escaping his cell. Khallikhan watches over a video feed as this happens, wanting to observe the full range of his foe's Arashikage skills, though Slice and Dice question his wisdom in doing so. Taking out hordes of guards, Snake Eyes makes his way through the base, only to end up in a frozen arena, where Khallikhan congratulates him on his skill; providing him with his original equipment and sword, the Raja now challenges him to a new test: taking on Slice and Dice in battle. As the fight begins, however, Khallikhan adds a final condition: if Snake Eyes loses the fight, that will not be the end of it. As soon as he read the letter, the Raja knew the identity of "Red", and he has the means to target her specifically...
At that moment, in fact, Scarlett is being radioed by Iceberg, who informs her of Alpine's injuries and that Helix and Snake Eyes have stayed behind. Scarlett doesn't blame him for getting Alpine out of there, understanding the eventualities when she approved the mission; and she has bigger worries, anyway. Iceberg and Alpine reach the mountain's peak, and make ready to head for basecamp. Iceberg celebrates the clear weather for their descent, but Alpine weakly points out a tactical reality: clear skies for them also means clear skies for Cobra. And, indeed, without the weather limiting their use, an army of Snow Serpents is taking to the skies in Flight Pods...
Characters in italics are shown only in flashbacks. (Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"Your armament fascinates me. A mix of the medieval and modern. You are a man of deep convictions and devotion to tradition. Swords... even the antiquated handgun long abandoned by your army. Do they fill the void that's left to a man with no past, Snake Eyes?"
- —Vikrim Khallikhan
"Why are you allowing him to escape, Khallikhan?"
"To witness him in his element. Snake Eyes' martial-arts skills are only a portion of his talents. He is ninja. Escape and evasion are facets of his training."
- —Slice and Khallikhan
- Mainframe's dialogue places the events of this issue around the end of issue 2 of the contemporary G.I. Joe series, with the Joes realising the presence of a second infiltrator in the Pit. However, see Errors, below.
- The scene where Mainframe tells Scarlett that Flint says there are two infiltrators doesn't make much sense — in the relevant G.I. Joe issue, Scarlett is with Flint and Helix when the second infiltrator's existence is discovered.
- We get to see that, on top of all his other scars, one of Snake Eyes' eyelids has been cut in half. Ouch.
- Cover A: Snake Eyes does a sweet backflip, by Robert Atkins and Simon Gough.
- Cover B: Snake Eyes jumps in. Wachaa! by Augustin Padilla and Simon Gough.
- Cover RIA: Uncolored version of cover A, by Robert Atkins.
- Cover RIB: Snake Eyes has two swords, by Jonboy Meyer and Chuck Pires.