Snake Eyes issue 5
|First published||September 28, 2011|
|Cover date||September 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 sets out to find the source of a Cobra-engineered virus to save Duke's life.
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
On the upper floors of a Ray-Pharm office building in Berlin, Germany, G.I. Joe ninja-commando Snake Eyes crashes out of a window with a struggling businessman under his arm. Descending to ground level via a tether around his ankle, Snake Eyes cuts through it just in time to drop into the back of a pickup truck being driven by his partner, Agent Helix. As the truck speeds away with their captive, Snake Eyes dissuades anyone from following them with an RPG that blows out the windows of the building and sends the guards scattering. Beneath an isolated bridge, Helix sets the businessman, Dieter Stossel, down, and starts talking: his division of Ray-Pharm Ltd. was responsible for trialling a new drug for HIV-related illnesses in Kariba, Zimbabwe. She cuts to the chase, pointing out that the Kariban citizens have been infected with a bio-engineered retrovirus, something that must have been supplied to the company by Cobra, who the Joes know that they do business with. Stossel denies knowing anything of Cobra or any virus, but a silent threat from Snake Eyes quickly has him spilling his guts: the man responsible is Dr. Rodrigo Vargas... who, unbeknownst to Snake Eyes and Helix, is one of the candidates to become the new Cobra Commander!
On the outskirts of Kariba, United Nations troops maintain a quarantine, using rubber bullets and tear gas to force back the infected citizens, so deep in their violent dementia that they will no longer listen to reason. As a reporter for WNN describes the international protests towards the extreme measures used against the infected, Dr. Vargas — watching the news feed from his own labs — approves of the resulting chaos. Recording his findings to transmit to the Cobra Council, Vargas is decontaminated and dressed in a clean white suit, before heading out to meet with his date, Ms. Sandei. En route to their chosen restaurant, Sandei starts to show signs of memory loss... which, Vargas casually reveals, is thanks to a parasitic worm designed to inhibit free will, that he placed in her drink when they met a month previously. Though Sandei struggles to resist, she is unable to avoid telling him that she is an agent for VEVAK, Iran's intelligence service, and Vargas offers her a final choice: she can have a slow, painful death as the worm eats away at her motor functions, or she can have an instant death by jumping out of Vargas's car, now moving at 90 kilometers per hour. And moments later, the doctor is cheerfully changing his reservation to a table for one...
Having returned to Ramstein Air Force Base, Snake Eyes irritably snatches his mask from another Joe who's playfully imitating him, while Iceberg sits next to Alpine's hospital bed, full of regret over failing to stop his fellow Joe's legs from being amputated. Alphine insists that he's going to go back to active duty, which Iceberg thinks is delusional; but his reasoning is made clear when Doc comes in, with what he describes as Alpine's "new legs"...
United Nations forces overseeing Kariba come to a conclusion: there's no evidence of surviving, uninfected inhabitants. At UN command's orders, a jet drops two bombs on the only bridge into Kariba, isolating the city and the infectees from the outside world. Watching from afar, Vargas uses the destruction to illustrate his own qualifications for the position of Cobra Commander to the Council; with minimum expenditure, "Orphiophagus retrovirus Z" has reduced a city to mayhem; and when one of the Council members questions the virus's name, the doctor explains: it's the latin name for "king cobra".
Inside an isolation chamber, Duke is being treated with cutting-edge pharmaceuticals; but, as Doc admits, he has no cure for the retrovirus. Duke refuses to give in, though, and proposes a solution: Doc fixes him up with a more powerful cocktail of the anti-virals, and, using the intel collected by Snake Eyes and Helix, he and the ninja will track down the source of the virus in the hopes of finding a cure, or at least destroying their facility. Doc objects, saying that a powerful enough dose to let him walk out of there would quickly deal irreparable harm to his body; but, as Duke argues, he has nothing left to lose. Acceding, Doc injects Duke with the drugs through a state-of-the-art haz-suit, though he warns that Duke only has two days at best; Duke appreciates the doctor's help, but he has one problem: the bright yellow haz-suit isn't his colour... something solved when Snake Eyes unveils a can of gray spray paint. Some time later, Lighthorse is awoken with an assignment to Ramstein hangar three... where he isn't happy to find Duke and Snake Eyes waiting for him, the ninja having requested him by name.
Struggling with his choices in Ramstein's mess hall, Doc overhears a news report on the events in Kariba, and discovers from it that the virus causes violent dementia in its later stages. Running to intercept Snake Eyes' team Foxtrot, he finds that they've been gone under radio silence for over twenty minutes, and is left wondering in horror what he's done...
Featured characters[edit | edit source]
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Quotes[edit | edit source]
"I'm Snake Eyes yo, I'm the baddest Joe,
When I roll up in your grill an' you best be chillin'
'Cause if you're Cobra, it's you I be killin'
Got a ninja blade, I'm ninja made.
Don't leave a room, I just fade.
I'm Snake Eyes yo, I'm the baddest Joe."
- -An unnamed Joe raps in-character as Snake Eyes
Notes[edit | edit source]
Continuity notes[edit | edit source]
- Duke contracted the virus in issue 4 of the concurrently-running G.I. Joe series.
- Alpine was rendered injured on a mountain in the previous arc of Snake Eyes; seems that it resulted in his legs having to be amputated.
Errors[edit | edit source]
- Several of the Ray-Pharm guards wield fully-automatic firearms, despite them being prohibited under German gun law. Admittedly, it is a corrupt, Cobra-backed business, but you'd think they'd be more cautious than to use them so publicly, right?
Covers (3)[edit | edit source]
- Cover A: Snake Eyes has a knife (and a sword), by Robert Atkins and Simon Gough.
- Cover B: Snake Eyes and Stossel go out the window, by Agustin Padilla and Simon Gough.
- Cover RI: Snake Eyes and Helix reenact the cover of The Uncanny X-Men #141, by Danny Cruz and Simon Gough; part of a month of RI covers homaging the iconic cover, along with G.I. Joe #5 and Cobra #5.