Son of the Snake, Part 2
|"Son of the Snake, Part 2"|
|First published||June 13, 2012|
|Cover date||June 2012|
|Written by||Mike Costa|
|Art by||Antonio Fuso and Werther Dell'edera|
|Colors by||Arianna Florean|
|Letters by||Neil Uyetake|
|Editor||John Barber and Carlos Guzman|
Flint and Chameleon seek to verify Tomax's information, while Firefly and Blacklight move against each other on their way to their targets.
Chameleon demands to know where Tomax Paoli found his information on the son of Cobra Commander. Paoli is unwilling to share more than he has to, but eventually explains that it was shown to him by another man within Cobra — one who betrayed Tomax to the current Cobra Commander, but may not have told him everything. Chameleon is distracted from his words by the dinner that Tomax is eating, one of far higher quality than the food she recieved from the mess; it turns out that Tomax personally hired the chef of the Gemini's five-star restaurant, from which he obtained his meal. Chameleon is alarmed, and leaves to fire everyone working in the casino who has ever met Paoli, while Tomax notes that she must be enjoying the role-reversal that the two are experiencing. On her way downstairs, Chameleon meets Lady Jaye, who she invites to get dinner with her from the restaurant before she fires the chef; over their meal, the two talk about the events in the Washington, D.C. facility a few months before, where Lady Jaye saved Chameleon's life. The conversation takes a dark turn when Jaye notes that she doesn't think they're "supposed to" survive the life they've ended up with, until she invites Chameleon to get a massage at the casino's spa... before they fire everyone there, as well.
In a prison that's much darker and dirtier than the one Paoli is held in, Flint asks after the well-being of the prisoner he's talking to; the subject — Major Bludd — assumes he's being sarcastic, but Flint genuinely wants to ensure that he's being treated well. Flint also wants Bludd to corroborate Paoli's story about the Commander's son, and though Bludd tries to bargain for better living space than a dirty cell, Flint makes it clear that he'll only be getting out and into G.I. Joe custody if he cooperates. Bludd reluctantly clarifies that he doesn't think that Cobra knows about the Commander's son, but that Tomax shouldn't be trusted an inch; Flint, for his part, wants Bludd to help them ensure the vaildity of Tomax's intel, and gives Bludd a sheet of papers, telling him to look over it in exchange for Flint getting his conditions improved. As he finishes up with Bludd, Flint gets a call from Clockspring, who notifies him of the situation — Ronin has reported in to the casino!
Back at the casino, Flint introduces the rest of the team to Ronin: their main field agent, who will have tactical command in Flint's absence. Ronin is impatient, wanting to know her first assignment, and Flint reveals it: the team is not heading to Zurich, but to Alexandria in Egypt! Chameleon is confused as to why they're going to Alexandria when they know the Commander's son to be in Zurich, but Flint's "other source" told him that their target keeps a secret residence in Alexandria, holding all of the intel on Cobra that he's gathered; however, Chameleon sees a problem: they still have to go to Zurich, as if they change focus and contradict Tomax's intel, the ex-Cobra will instantly realise that the team has another source and change tactics. Flint is frustrated that they have to make a show of spending their best agents chasing bad leads, but to Firewall, it's all part of the intelligence game that they're now playing.
At Heathrow Airport in England, Cobra saboteur Firefly is greeted by fellow operative Blacklight. Assuming that they're both headed to the same place, the two make polite conversation regarding their tactics for getting their chosen gear onto commercial flights; but the conversation turns tense, and Firefly opens fire on Blacklight with his pistol from under the table, unwilling to risk interference with his mission. Blacklight is able to knock the saboteur's gun from his hand with the barrel of his rifle, and when police officers respond to the fight, Blacklight barrels Firefly out of the upstairs window they are next to, dropping them both into baggage carriers outside. Blacklight spots police cars rushing to respond, and manages to escape, leaving Firefly to deal with the police himself; the saboteur distracts the officers by remotely detonating a bomb he left in with the luggage, before killing the police with a grenade and seeking another way out of the country. Blacklight, meanwhile, sneaks onto the plane through the undercarriage, and manages to make his way to his seat on the flight to Zurich, no-one any the wiser...
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"What are you eating?"
"The mess gave me something called a "Philly Cheesesteak" which, as far as I could tell, had neither steak nor actual cheese in it. Where did you get this?"
- —Chameleon and Tomax Paoli discuss differences in their diet
"How are they treating you here? Comfortable?"
"That a joke?"
"No, sir. I'm an army warrant officer. Special forces. You must be mistaking me for a Marine."
- —Flint and Major Bludd
"One professional to another: how do you get your gear on board a commercial flight?"
"Explosives so exotic they don't register on the grade-school chemistry sets these people have. Porcelain guns strapped under my arms where the full-body scanners can't see them. Old tricks, really. You?"
"I can break my rifle down into so many pieces that it just looks like machine parts. When I have a legit passport, nobody ever objects."
- —Blacklight and Firefly talk tactics
- Lady Jaye and Chameleon discuss the vehicle hangar shootout from Cobra vol. 2 #7.
- Major Bludd was arrested in Cobra Command, Part 9 while fleeing from Cobra after a failed coup, and was forced to shoot a United Nations soldier to get them to arrest him and take him into custody. Looks like that didn't work out too well for him!
- It's Firefly! The saboteur was introduced in his own spotlight story in Hearts & Minds #1, but hasn't seen any other use in IDW until now.
- Firefly's mysterious contact refers to Blacklight being "left out in the cold", which happened after he messed up his operation in G.I. Joe vol. 2 #1. He tried to win back the Baroness's favor by killing Chameleon in Cobra #7, but that didn't work out too well.
- On page 7, "warrant officer" is misspelled "warrent officer".
- You might think it's odd to see British police officers wielding guns, but in actuality, the Aviation Security Operational Command Unit — which handles Heathrow airport — does consist mainly of firearms officers.
- Cover A: Ronin somersaults away from Cobra troopers, by Antonio Fuso and Arianna Florean.
- Cover B: Lady Jaye and Ronin, by Joe Eisma, Juan Castro and Simon Gough.
- Cover RI: Uncolored version of cover B, by Joe Eisma and Juan Castro.