The Dark Sister
|"Snake Eyes, Agent of Cobra Part Two:|
The Dark Sister"
|First published||February 25, 2015|
|Cover date||February 2015|
|Written by||Mike Costa|
|Art by||Paolo Villanelli|
|Colors by||Joana Lafuente|
|Letters by||Neil Uyetake|
Chameleon's efforts to live a normal life are disrupted when Snake Eyes drags her into the search for Cobra Commander's son.
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
Four years after she left G.I. Joe, Erika Le Tene is still struggling to adjust to civilian life, always fearing that her past will catch up with her... and now it has, as she is approached by a Japanese man in a Berlin park. As the man reflects on Berlin's war-torn history and notes that the park was used as an airport during the Berlin airlift, he rolls up his sleeve to reveal a distinctive tattoo, and — pointing out that the former Chameleon's sloppiness with regards to security indicates that she's had enough of hiding — makes it clear that he is there to recruit Erika... or, if she refuses, to kill her. With few options, Erika reluctantly agrees to the man's terms, and comes to work for the Yakuza.
Snake Eyes, however, isn't interested in Erika's history, only wanting her help in tracking down Billy Kessler-Latta. Erika doesn't know where he is, suggesting that he probably died in the collapse of the Gemini casino, but quickly admits that she doesn't actually believe that; he was most likely taken under the protection of the disappeared G.I. Joe operative Ronin, but Erika can't help the ninja find her, either. Though Snake Eyes continues to stand in expectant silence, Erika refuses to help him beyond giving him what files she has, as his very presence compromises her to the Yakuza... but as she looks furtively out of the window, the glass is shattered by an arrow that hits her in the throat!
Diving out of the window with the injured Le Tene, Snake Eyes leaves her in the care of two startled auto-rickshaw passengers before leaping into action once more, slicing a hail of arrows out of the sky with his sword. Effortlessly scaling the outside of a building, he impales one of the archers, then pursues three more in the process of fleeing; grabbing a fuel canister and a fire bowl from a street food vendor, he hurls both at the assassins, who are consumed in a firey explosion; though one survives the blaze and leaps at him, he kills the swordsman with his sword, making sure to retrieve Erika's singed files before he leaves the raging inferno.
Erika Le Tene has long expected to die at the hands of faceless goons to protect pointless secrets, but now — in the back of the frantically-moving rickshaw — it doesn't seem so bad; the streets of Jakarta remind her of her peaceful, quiet youth in Chon Thahn, raised by the doting groundskeeper Pham. But this is not the end for Erika — she awakens in a hospital bed, her neck bandaged and Snake Eyes standing nearby in a silent gesture of support. Noting the arrow head on the ground nearby, she wonders who the assassins — evidently not the gun-wielding Yakuza — were; and she is shocked at Snake Eyes' response, traced in the dust of the wall: a trigram symbol formed of nine lines.
Deep in the jungle, two more Arashikage warriors report the deaths in "glorious battle" of their brothers, but their leader is unimpressed; the woman may yet live, and their erstwhile brother is now aware of them. Dismissing the two warriors as useless to him, their master Storm Shadow declares that he will take care of Snake Eyes.
Featured characters[edit | edit source]
Characters in italics appear only in flashback. (Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Quotes[edit | edit source]
"Ronin was one of the most capable field agents I've ever seen. She's got a ninja thing going on, so if you can't find her, I don't know what you're expecting from me. This trail has been cold for four years."
(Snake Eyes stands silently.)
"So this is what it is with you? You just sit there and force people to have both sides of the conversation?"
- —Erika Le Tene is unimpressed with Snake Eyes' strong-and-silent act.
"I can't say I expected to die this way specifically... but getting killed by faceless people for stupid reasons... protecting secrets. Telling lies. It's close enough."
- —Erika Le Tene
"Our brothers fell in glorious battle. We will see them in the afterlife."
"Only as servants. They were fools. They thought to humble and humiliate our lost brother by killing the woman in front of him. Now they are dead, the woman might yet live, and he is aware of us. The fact that you see this as worthy of praise means you are of as little use to me as they were."
- —An Arashikage ninja and his colleague get chewed out by Storm Shadow.
Notes[edit | edit source]
Continuity notes[edit | edit source]
- As noted on the page for the last issue, Billy and Ronin fled from the destruction of the G.I. Joe Intelligence unit's headquarters in the final issue of The Cobra Files.
- Erika notes that Ronin has "a ninja thing going on"; Cobra vol. 2 #18 showed that she had been trained in the arts of stealth and assassination by "clandestine groups" in Japan.
- Erika's neglectful mother, and the fact that she was raised mostly by Pham, were established back in Cobra: Special #2.
- Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow have a long-standing feud going, which first came up in IDW continuity during "Cobra Command"; though Storm Shadow seemed content to leave him be following his faking his death, that apparently only applied as long as he stayed in hiding.
Real life references[edit | edit source]
- Erika says that "the Olympics are coming to Japan in a few years", referring to the 2020 Summer Olympics, first announced to be in Japan in September 2013... though this is another instance where the Hasbro Universe makes the timeline weird; it was evidently written assuming that the 5-year timeskip placed the events of this series in 2018, but the timeline in Revolutionaries #1 set it in 2014, which makes it a little odd that she'd say "in a few years".
- The Yakuza group that recruited Erika was apparently the real-life organization, the Yamaguchi-gumi.
- Erika is rushed to hospital in an auto rickshaw, a popular form of transportation in Jakarta, where it is known as a "Bajay" or "Bajaj".
Covers (2)[edit | edit source]
- Regular cover: Snake Eyes and the smirking face of Destro, by Paolo Villainelli and Joana Lafuente.
- Subscription cover: A game of cat-and-mouse between the Joes, Cobra and Arashikage in an homage to Jim Steranko's cover for Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. #1, by Drew Johnson and Romulo Fajardo Jr..