Target: Snake Eyes Prelude

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Target: Snake Eyes Prelude
Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow #17
SnakeEyes-17 regcvr.jpg
"Target: Snake Eyes Prelude"
Publisher IDW Publishing
First published September 26, 2012
Cover date September 2012
Written by Chuck Dixon
Art by Atilio Rojo
Colors by J. Aburtov and Graphikslava
Letters by Neil Uyetake
Editor John Barber and Carlos Guzman

The Coil are inaugurated as Cobra's new force of assassins. Their first mission: eradicate the Arashikage!

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

In the secretive Temple of Golobulus, Serpentor, the lord and master of the Coil, pontificates to the Order of the Basilisk — the most elite of the Coil's followers. Ritually branding the newest of their number with the Order's symbol, the unblinking eye, Serpentor tasks them with a new mission in the name of Cobra and Golobulus — exterminating the clan of heretics known as the Arashikage. As one, the Coil's soldiers raise their blades and chant Serpentor's name.

In the Hard Master's deli, the master is none too pleased with Alondra's implications that they should close up early. When a fairly ordinary-looking man enters the store, however, he seems to change his mind, and allows Alondra to go home — in fact, he insists on it, even giving her her pay early to get the confused girl out the door. The anonymous customer, and two friends, close in on the Hard Master, drawing rifles on him, but the old man blows his three attackers away with a blast from the shotgun he keeps below the counter; the master takes a moment to collect himself, noting the eye-shaped scar on the foreheads of the attackers, but his peace doesn't last long when many more men burst into the store, weapons firing! The Hard Master flees into the back room seconds before the store is destroyed in an explosion, alerting Alondra; she returns to what remains of the deli, searching desperately for the Hard Master... and finds him shaken, but alive, hiding in the shop's safe.

The meditation of Tomo and the Soft Master in a Cambodian dojo is interrupted when the master realises the presence of men outside, emerging from the surrounding rice paddies in diving gear. The master kills several of the men with arrows while Tomo reluctantly hides in a hidden door in the dojo's fountain, but eventually he is overwhelmed and captured by the soldiers, who take him back to be imprisoned in the Coil's Carpathian Sanctuary. Serpentor doesn't think much of the Soft Master, assuming his name to mean that he is weak or "pliable", and is certain that the older man will break and hand over his secrets in team; but the Soft Master disagrees, having no fear of the Coil and believing that he is capable of leaving whenever he wishes, leaving behind only a grave.

Alondra drives the Hard Master's RV through New Hampshire despite her lack of a driving license, heading towards Maine on the master's instructions. The two soon realise, though, that Arashikage ninja are clinging to the side of the bus... but though the Hard Master intends to defend himself and get Alondra to safety, the first ninja to enter the vehicle is none other than Snake Eyes! The Hard Master explains his encounter with the Coil's soldiers to Snake Eyes and his Arashikage retinue, who had long believed the Hard Master to be dead — a situation that he much preferred. When Juro explains that the Coil have captured the Soft Master, the Hard Master is shocked, but observes that they will not learn anything from him — but even so, the news is troubling, as the Soft Master may use the situation to his own ends and strike at his enemies. Thanks to Snake Eyes' intervention, Alondra and the Hard Master are allowed to go free, and they stop for the night in Baxter Park; the master explains to his student that Snake Eyes opposed the Soft Master and helped him to escape the clan. And though his counterpart's name seems funny to Alondra, the Hard Master assures her that it is anything but.

In a Macau club, a loudmouthed tourist is rendered unconscious by a Chinese woman that he is making clumsy efforts to flirt with, who is secretly a member of the Arashikage. He awakens to the sight of Storm Shadow, who asks questions for him over money laundered for Cobra by his employers, Vendri... and as the woman hints, it will be very painful for him if he refuses.

At the Soft Master's dojo, Tomo examines the bodies left behind by the Coil. He is startled by the voice of a woman who he can't see, who proposes a partnership to try and locate Tomo's hated enemy Snake Eyes together; and who, when she approaches, catches the arrow he fires out of the air. Her identity: Agent Helix, former ally of Snake Eyes!

Featured characters[edit | edit source]

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

G.I. Joe Cobra Arashikage Others

Quotes[edit | edit source]

"So... show us your sword, ninja man."
(The Hard Master blows all three attackers away with a shotgun.)
"This is New York City. And this is my sword."

—A Coil soldier and the Hard Master

"Master, I do not wish to go. I will stay with you and fight."
"You will do as I tell you, Tomo."
"This makes me a coward."
"Leave and be thought a coward. Stay and be thought a fool. It matters little to me. But I have decided and you will obey."

Tomo and the Soft Master

Notes[edit | edit source]

Continuity notes[edit | edit source]

  • Tomo was tasked with killing Snake Eyes by his mother in the last issue.
  • Issue 12 of this series noted that Snake Eyes helped the Hard Master to escape the Arashikage; here, it's revealed to be specifically because he opposed the Soft Master. Just how bad is this guy?

G.I. Joe references[edit | edit source]

  • The "Carpathian Sanctuary" of the Coil is presumably located in the Carpathian Mountains, but may also be a reference to the fictional country of Trans-Carpathia, which appeared in the Marvel G.I. Joe comics.

Covers (2)[edit | edit source]