Snakes and Tigers, Part 2

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G.I. Joe: The Cobra Files #2
CobraFiles2 cvrB.jpg
"Snakes and Tigers, Part 2"
Publisher IDW Publishing
First published May 22, 2013
Cover date May 2013
Written by Mike Costa
Art by Antonio Fuso
Inks by Emilio Lecce
Colors by Arianna Florean
Letters by Neil Uyetake
Editor Carlos Guzman
Editorial consultant John Barber

With the help of Cobra Commander's son, the G.I. Joe intelligence unit have pinpointed their latest lead: a "tiger team" known as the Night Creepers.


Billy Kessler-Latta is in deep trouble. G.I. Joe agents Lady Jaye and Ronin have him manacled to his bed and want answers from him about his father Cobra Commander; and though their superior Firewall calls them off after Billy objects that he doesn't know anything, she is no more sympathetic and leaves him in silence for hours. The next time he awakens, however, it is to the much friendlier face of Chameleon, who sympathises with Billy; she, too, is distrusted by the Joes, thanks to her former association with Cobra. The intelligence agent offers to help the young man find a way that they can both get out of there... all of which is part of Firewall's plan, having Jaye and Ronin play the "bad cop" so that Chameleon can play the good. Though Tomax Paoli sneers at the tactics, Firewall knows that Chameleon is perfect for the role she's playing; and she is proved right when Chameleon's suggestion that Billy must have discovered at least something small about Cobra bears fruit when Billy asks if she knows what a tiger team is.

A man dressed as an elevator repairman arrives at a Los Alamos office building. Despite the security guards' suspicions, he is allowed through, and enters the elevator, where he begins hacking into its camera and re-routing it. Over the radio, another man, "Aleph", notifies him that his teammate will be touching down in 90 seconds, though it takes "Gimel" five minutes to arrive thanks to the difficulty of his HALO jump. Having killed the staff who remain in the building with a pair of swords, Gimel uses a stolen identity card and biometric data to reach his target: a nuclear device, which he drops onto a waiting truck outside before destroying the room with shaped charges. With their prize strapped down as they drive away, the infiltrators ram past oncoming police and fire a balloon attached to a magnetic tether into the sky, where it connects with an incoming stealth jet! In a matter of moments, the truck is lifted up and carried away by the tether, leaving the bewildered police wondering what just happened.

Having reported her success in gaining Billy's trust to Flint, Chameleon notes that they have a few hours to themselves, though Flint admits that he isn't sure that their budding relationship is a good idea. The watching Tomax, however, is much happier, and immediately makes a visit to his "friend" Clockspring to let him know the good news about Billy's recovery. Clockspring is surprised by Paoli's good mood, having assumed that he would be worried for his position as the Joes' sole source of intelligence, but Tomax quickly turns the conversation around to the subject of Clockspring's feelings for Chameleon. Though he "sympathises", he claims to Clockspring that Chameleon is a manipulative seductress who uses sex to manipulate men with power, and is currently seducing Flint; he invites Clockspring to look at the security footage of Flint's quarters, but though the IT specialist refuses and asks him to leave, his cursor lingers over the link to the footage...

Though his father was Cobra Commander, William Kessler-Latta was never actually involved with Cobra, and only has vague knowledge of the organization — with one exception. After his father's death, Billy was extorted by a "tiger team" — private contractors who vet security systems by attempting to bypass them — who wanted him to follow through on a deal they had with Cobra Commander; known as the Night Creepers, the group would sell on the information they gathered on security systems to Cobra, or simply launch break-ins themselves. The problem that the Joes face is that the Night Creepers, who stole exotic materials from Los Alamos only a few nights ago, are a small faction within the private security firm Bezalel International, and the only way to know which of their employees are members of the Night Creepers is to hire them to infiltrate a compelling enough target that they'll be baited into breaking in for real. Lady Jaye assumes that Flint is suggesting having them break into the Gemini to test their security, but Flint would never allow such a highly skilled team to break into their headquarters... so instead, he's having them break into the Pentagon!

Featured characters[edit]

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

G.I. Joe Night Creepers Others


"Just because I'm not an American citizen doesn't mean I don't have rights. International law clearly defines —"
""International law"? The outfit you're currently a prisoner of doesn't even officially exist. You see this woman? She kills people with a sword. You think either one of us is clutching our pearls about "international law"?"

Billy Kessler-Latta and Lady Jaye

"I was trying to explain to them — you have to understand, I was sheltered from —"
"Your father killed a lot of my friends."
"And your friends seem like such charming people..."

Billy Kessler-Latta and Firewall

"Aleph said 90 seconds. It's been five minutes."
"I just did a HALO jump onto a rooftop that would be smaller than a postage-stamp if I could have seen it from the jet, which I couldn't because it's night. You had to re-wire a camera and ride an elevator. Get off my case."

Bet and Gimel


Continuity notes[edit]

  • Billy refers to Lady Jaye and Ronin kidnapping him from his office, setting it on fire, and taking him to a dark room where he was shot; all this happened in Cobra vol. 2 issues #15-16.

G.I. Joe references[edit]

  • The Night Creepers are a heavily re-imagined version of a group from the later years of the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero line: a syndicate of high-tech ninjas who specialise in corporate espionage. Fitting the far more "realistic" tone of The Cobra Files, this series takes the same basic concept but mostly strips out the "ninja" aspect — though "Gimel" does still wield twin katanas, which Flint alludes to by describing the Night Creepers as including ninjas.
  • The Night Creepers' names are all taken from the letters of the Semitic abjad, which was also the case in their Marvel Comics and Devil's Due appearances (most prominently in the form of their leader, Aleph).

Real world references[edit]

  • In keeping with the Hebrew-influenced names of the Night Creepers, Bezalel International is named after Bezalel, chief artisan of the Tabernacle.


  • While future issues will make clear that the weapon that the Night Creepers stole was a nuclear device, it's incorrectly labelled with a biohazard symbol.

Covers (3)[edit]

  • Cover A: Flint and Chameleon, by Michael Lark.
  • Cover B: Bombs fall above the G.I. Joe Intelligence unit, by Antonio Fuso.
  • Cover RI: A look inside Cobra Commander's head, by Dan Matutina.