|“||The Crimson Guard forces are the premier shock troops of Cobra. But even they can try for a promotion – to the elite ranks of the Iron Klaw forces. One determined Crimson Trooper battles his way through the deadly trials that make up the grueling qualification process. He can only succeed – or die trying!||”|
—Inside front cover.
A Crimson Guard races down a hallway. Suddenly, Snake-Eyes pops out of a doorway, dual-wielding Uzis and firing at the Guardsman. The Guard fires a grenade that hits Snake-Eyes in the chest and explodes, killing him. An Iron Klaw trooper stands behind the Siegies, clapping sarcastically. We see that "Snake-Eyes" was just a training dummy, and the Iron Klaw tells the Guard that the real Joe wouldn't have aimed for his body armor. He pushes open a door across the hallway, revealing a dummy of Scarlett, who the CG blows in half. Poking a finger in the Crimson Guard's chest, the Iron Klaw threatens "I'm keeping my eye on you."
Back in the break room, the Siegie rejoins his fellow recruits, who talk about why they're trying out for Iron Klaw status and what their remaining tests are, including "woodcraft": a run through a booby-trapped forest at night. Being chased by wild boars.
As they run, the Guard named Larry trips and is set upon by the hogs. The other three know there's no helping him and move on. They soon stop short, standing before a pit of sharpened stakes. In the pit, another Crimson Guard cries for help. Deciding the body is just a dummy, with a very convincing "recording," they continue on. The next obstacle is concertina wire, with a machine gun nest covering the field. One Guard gets his helmet knocked off, but the pigs are still behind them: as the boars catch up with the man in the drag position, he gets up to fight them off, and is shot in the chest.
The Iron Klaws lose sight of the recruits, and fire a flare to illuminate them. Unfortunately, that kills their night vision and allows the two living Siegies to circle around and get the drop on them. The Klaw leader tells them not to get cocky, and to follow him. He leads them through the woods to a water tank, telling them to leave their weapons at the gate. The CG who lost his helmet sneaks in a pair of brass knuckles, though.
In a normal underwater escape tank, students start at the bottom and have to make their way to the top - in Cobra's test, you start at the top and race to the bottom, where there's one tank with enough air to get back to the surface. When the helmetless Siegie asks how they're supposed to get to the bottom, the Iron Klaw tells him to figure it out, and kicks him into the tank. The Guard who ran the hallway earlier is slow to jump in, and says he's been thinking about the weight problem. He tackles the Iron Klaw into the water, counting on the weight of his heavy machine gun to carry them to the bottom of the tank.
The two fight all the way down through the water, eventually catching up with the man who jumped in first, and the Guard uses the butt of the rifle to knock out his unlucky classmate. He floods the chamber, shoots the chain holding the tank, clubs the Iron Klaw, and makes for the surface. As he lies gasping on the lid of the tank, the Iron Klaw surfaces and tells him it's time for the freefall qualification.
While they wait for the chopper to pick them up, the Iron Klaw gives the Siegie a new helmet and tactical vest, and explains why the test is so deadly: it weeds out the incompetent applicants. As they jump from the helicopter, the Iron Klaw says this is the hardest test, because it's all about brain power and extrapolation, figuring out the one fact he hasn't shared yet.
The Siegie responds he already figured it out: the parachute he was given doesn't work. He pulls out the pair of brass knuckles he grabbed from the man he knocked out, and slugs it out with the instructor. The Iron Klaw trooper is knocked out, but wakes up later, safe on the ground. The Crimson Guard says it was more productive to leave him alive, and aks if he passed.
The Iron Klaw agrees that he passed, but starts beating him up anyway. After a particularly savage beating, he stands over the Guard's unconscious form and asks what he expected: gratitude?
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
- None yet.
- No errors known.
Items of note
- This comic was only available through Amazon.com as a free download gift when buying G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra on DVD.
- This story was originally intended to be part of a Resolute-themed Comic Pack, apparently featuring a Crimson Guard and Iron Klaw trooper, though no such pack had been announced when the remaining Comic Packs were cancelled.
- A prototype (unpainted) Iron Klaw figure was found by HISSTank.com member Gyre-Viper in 2009 revealing well before the Comic images that a Iron Klaw / Resolute Crimson Guard trooper pack was planned. The 2010 JoeCon Hasbro Panel featured a painted prototype of the Iron Klaw figure. A Resolute Crimson Guard figure was planned to be a red Resolute Trooper body (Resolute 5-pack) + Fred Series head & removable helmet (25th Comic Pack Scarface / Fred Series Crimson Guard).
- The Crimson Guards all have different faces - either Resolute doesn't have a Fred Series, or they've all been recruited from different series.
- One of the Siegies is named "Larry."
- Assuming the recruits we meet in the breakroom are the same ones on the training run, Larry is the black guy.
- One of the Siegies is named "Larry."
- For some reason, the download file of this issue has two pages from G.I. Joe #86 embedded beneath the Resolute story pages.
- The comic has three ads for Combat Heroes.
- No references.