Threat Matrix, Part 2 of 4

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G.I. Joe vol. 3 #8
GIJoev3-8 cvrA.jpg
"Threat Matrix, Part 2 of 4"
Publisher IDW Publishing
First published August 28, 2013
Cover date August 2013
Written by Fred Van Lente
Line-art by Steve Kurth
Inks by Allen Martinez
Colors by Joana Lafuente
Letters by Shawn Lee
Editor John Barber
Editorial consultant Carlos Guzman

G.I. Joe pursue the leads from the Threat Matrix, unaware that they are being masterminded by Mad Monk.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

In the middle of New York Harbor, Doc hails the Cobra watercraft ahead of them with a megaphone, ordering them to surrender — and when they make no response, Duke has Roadblock open fire on them. Though Roadblock gets in a number of direct hits, and even headshots, on the pilots, they seem unaffected — because, though G.I. Joe don't know it, the pilots are not normal Cobra agents, but robotic B.A.T.s! Deciding to deal with their opponents up close, Duke orders Shipwreck to bring the Killer W.H.A.L.E. around for a boarding action, but the sailor seemingly ignores him and instead pulls out to a distance... before grabbing a RPG launcher from the hovercraft and firing it at the frontmost enemy ship, destroying it in a massive explosion! As Duke realises that the submarine must have been packed with explosives, Shipwreck explains that, thanks to Duke's distraction, he didn't notice the fact that the enemies they were facing were drones rather than humans; the attack on the Statue of Liberty was just a decoy to draw the Joes into a boarding action, where they could be wiped out in one go. Irritated, Duke has the other Joes grab rocket launchers to destroy the other two submarines, before insisting that they share their information with him rather than acting categorically... even if he does seem distracted.

With the help of Cobra mysticist Crystal Ball, Mad Monk has spread Cobra teachings in the form of a digital textbook called "The One" throughout the criminal communities of New York City. Of those who have downloaded the textbook, three have schemes on the verge of execution: the Heathens, planning an arms deal on Randall's Island; militant refugees from Nanzhao, who have assembled a dirty bomb in Flushing; and a group of far-right "America-Firsters" intending a chemical or biological attack on the Roosevelt Island tramway. Hints of these plans have been dropped across the internet by Crystal Ball, allowing G.I. Joe's Threat Matrix to pick up on it, causing Hashtag to explain the threats to the G.I. Joe field team. Monk thanks Crystal Ball, who claims that he does not need thanks, believing Monk to be the future; but when he signs off from the video call, his wife accuses him of insincerity; of faking his emotions, pretending to be "human" to blend in.

At Castle Destro, the sleeping Baroness is awakened by a B.A.T. dressed as a maid, which informs her that Destro requests her company on the moor. Outside, the laird greets the Baroness, informing her that Mad Monk's power is growing in disturbing ways; he has deployed M.A.R.S. B.A.T.s in New York City, having purchased them from the organisation's Stuttgart branch, despite Destro's orders to not deal with him. He now has had the Stuttgart executives brought to his castle, where he has his B.A.T.s load them into a giant catapult so the laird can shoot them down in a grotesque parody of skeet shooting... which the Baroness is more than happy to join him in.

On Randall's Island, following "The One"'s teachings, the Heathens are buying powerful weapons from a new supplier: the Dreadnoks Zandar and Zarana! Though they plan to make war on the Pennsylvania police with their new weaponry, the Dreadnoks don't care, only wanting their money... but they get more than they bargained for when the gathering comes under attack from Duke and Quick Kick! With the Joes busy with the Heathens, Zandar and Zarana flee on their motorcycle — realising too late that they never got their money from the Heathens — but are quickly faced with Shipwreck, bearing down on them in a R.H.I.N.O.; the Navy S.E.A.L. orders them to pull over, but instead, the Dreadnoks activate hidden technology on their bike... and vanish from sight!

In Flushing, Nanzhao nuclear strike survivor Lin prepares to take his dirty bomb onto the New York subway despite last-minute nerves... but before he can even exit the triad's warehouse, he comes face-to-face with Roadblock and Tunnel Rat, moments before Cover Girl comes crashing through the window. Lin flees back into the warehouse as his collaborators provide covering fire; and once they are subdued, Cover Girl — searching for Lin in the warehouse — finds a tablet computer with "The One", the "Cobra training manual", on it. Cover Girl is concerned, but Tunnel Rat observes that they have more pressing issues when he finds an access tunnel directly into the subway in the back of the warehouse!

At Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia, headquarters of G.I. Joe's Special Missions unit, Mainframe calls unit commander Scarlett over to look at his findings. Though Scarlett is still skeptical about Cover Girl's suspicions, she can't deny the validity of what Mainframe has found: Duke is paying for his wife's care from an anonymous account, set up before he ever joined G.I. Joe, by Colossus World Security — a known Cobra front! Scarlett has Mainframe put Special Missions on high alert... because the next time that Duke comes up on the radar, they have no choice but to take him down.

Featured characters[edit | edit source]

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

G.I. Joe Cobra Other terrorists Others

Quotes[edit | edit source]

"He's already deployed MARS' Battle Android Troopers in the heart of New York City — what kind of a madman does that? Worse, he treats them like disposable drones — sinking them like toys in a child's bath tub — instead of the sophisticated weapons systems they are!"

Destro, surrounded by B.A.T.s wearing tuxedos. The irony is apparently lost on him.

"We do not need to hear your life story."
"Your life story we do not need."
"Your money will suffice."
"Just give us your money."

Zandar and Zarana talk kinda funny.

"Scarlett? I think... well, "I think you'll want to see this" is not quite accurate..."
"What, our witch hunt of Duke on behalf of her highness Miss Princess Cover Girl has uncovered something? Let me guess: inappropriate sexting? He takes a home office tax deduction when he only uses it for business 80% of the time?"

Mainframe has found something, but Scarlett has her doubts.

Notes[edit | edit source]

Continuity notes[edit | edit source]

  • Roadblock notes that the B.A.T.s are resilient enough to shrug off direct headshots from his heavy machine gun. Their borderline immunity to anything short of an airstrike was established in G.I. Joe vol. 2 #6, the first time that they engaged with the Joes (not counting their previous encounters with Chuckles and Psyche Out).
  • Cobra occultist and general creepazoid Crystal Ball has made several appearances before in IDW, mostly in the second Cobra series. He last appeared in a brief cameo in Cobra vol. 2 #8, discussing his prospects under the new Cobra Commander with Serpentor.
  • The name of "The One" is obviously based on Monk's rating of 1 on the Lome Scale. A similar reference previously appeared in Origins #21, in which Horvath referred to Monk as "the one" to take down Krake.
  • The nuclear devastation of Nanzhao occured during the Cobra Command storyline.
  • Shipwreck is riding in a R.H.I.N.O., which made a cameo appearance back in issue #1 in the Governors Island armory.
  • Colossus World Security first appeared in Origins #21, in which it was the private mercenary company and vector through which Monk was brought into Cobra. Well, THAT ain't suspicious at all.

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

  • Zandar and Zarana are Dreadnok characters from the classic Joe line, in which they (but mostly Zarana — Zandar didn't appear that much) were portrayed as the siblings of Dreadnok leader Zartan — which, thanks to IDW Zartan's esoteric origins, they can't be in this continuity! Though they didn't appear in the Special Missions story in which the IDW Dreadnoks made their first full appearance, they do sport the Devil's Due Publishing-era Dreadnok symbol on their belts (a mashup of a skull and Zartan's hooded face), and would be confirmed as Dreadnoks in the next issue of this series.

Real life references[edit | edit source]

Covers (3)[edit | edit source]