|“||A new beginning and a new world of threats for the fighting men and women of the elite military force known as G.I. Joe! Freedom's last hope and the first-to-fight in battle with a hidden enemy and a secret war that's already won. The world's terror underworld whispers of Cobra. Who or what is Cobra and what can the Joes do to stop an enemy they can't identify or find. Think you know Joe? Think again.||”|
—The description as originally solicited by IDW Publishing.
The story begins at a cargo container ship, the Badeaux Strait, sailing through the Gulf of Mexico where several crew members are checking out the contents of their cargo in the hope of fencing any salable items they could find. They open one of the crates only to find some sort of machine. The machine activates and starts killing the crew. The ship blows up and sinks to the bottom of the sea.
A week later at the Nevada Desert, Duke and Beachhead return from their running exercise and head to the Pit. Beachhead tells Duke that the opponents they have been facing lately are starting to disappoint him. Despite being nearly killed by an explosion in the mission in Turkey, Beachhead dismisses the event and explains that they were starting to lose their edge and he would like to see an enemy that would truly test them. Duke thinks he is being a danger junkie. As they got down to the lowest level of the Pit, they are greeted by Dial Tone, who informs Duke Scarlet wants to see him.
In the command room called the Think Tank, Scarlett and Hawk are receiving a live feed of both audio and video from Shipwreck, who with his team, is investigating the remains of the Badeaux Strait. The SEALs find evidence of some sort of attack and a cargo that no one could identify. Hawk decides to have the cargo salvaged within their mission window. As Duke enters the room, Hawk tells him and Scarlett to work on finding out more about what is Cobra, no more than a whisper in the underworld. Duke wishes Snake-Eyes was with them as the mysterious man would like the mystery.
At the Crimean Riviera, Nico, a weapons smuggler, is arguing with one of his clients on the cell phone. His contact is displeased with what happened on the ship. A masked attacker materializes in his living room and starts shooting his bodyguards. Just as the attacker is about to kill him, Nico whimpers and wishes not to die. Nico turns around to see the attacker gone and only some kind of dust and the guns lying on the floor. Scared out of his wits, he runs out, jumps into his car and leaves. A few moments later, Snake-Eyes enters the room to do his own investigation on the events.
Three days later at the Pit, Dial Tone hands Scarlett a special delivery from back channels. The only clue as from who it comes from is a tag with a picture of a pair of dice with one pip on top. The package contains the gun from Nico's attacker. Scarlett hands back the package to Dial Tone and tells her to run it through CBN. Dusty comes in and wants Scarlett's decision on what to do with cargo they salvaged from the Badeaux. The cargo appears to be some kind of folded up machinery but the team can't make out unless they crack it open. Duke's opinion is to drag the thing out to the desert and blow it up. Scarlett decides they observe full level five isolation protocol and daily report on progress of the analysis. It's not something Duke is happy about.
Unbeknownst to the team, the thing is active and they are being observed through its unseen video cameras.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Featured Vehicles & Equipment
"You want a better class of bad guy?"
"Somethin' to get my head back in the game, Duke. So's I feel more like a Joe savin' the world and less like a cop at Mardi Gras."
- --Duke and Beach Head may soon regret that wish.
"Can you multi-task on this one with us?"
"That should be my code name, sir."
- --Hawk may need to rechristen Scarlett
The camera angles from the box are all wrong.
Items of note
- First Appearances: Airtight, Deep Six, Dial Tone, Dusty, Frostbite, Scarlett, Shipwreck, Snake Eyes & The Pit.
- While Duke is field commander, it appears that second command of the Joe Team belongs to Scarlett.
- For the first time in comics, the name of our favorite ninja is spelt Snake Eyes, without a hyphen.
- There is some kind of tension between Duke and Scarlett, the other Joes notice but can't comment about it.
- Nico's full name is not given but is revealed in the following issue.
- A discussion between Duke and Beachhead alludes to the fact that Beachhead is suffering from some form of amnesia.
- There were five covers created for this issue, including a retailer incentive sketch variant and a retro cover available only at Graham Crackers Comics.
G.I. Joe references
- All the vehicles shown in the Pit are existing vehicles from G1. It is unknown at present if they will all appear in the story, or if they were just Easter eggs for old fans.
- Also in the Pit, a man wearing a campaign hat is leading a group in a run - a possible reference to the Joe team's drill instructor, Sgt. Slaughter.
- The Graham Crackers Comics exclusive cover is a Cobra-themed homage to Marvel's G.I. Joe #1.
- Scarlett asks Airtight, Dusty and Frostbite for the Wikipedia entry on the tech Shipwreck salvaged.
Footnotes and References