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At the top of the world, a team of Joes match wits with a wily mercenary.
An American research station in the North Pole was raided in a paramilitary style, all personnel killed and records are missing, prompting General Austin to send a team of G.I. Joes to investigate. The only other nearest installation to the research station is another one owned by the Russians. Since the team can't initiate contact with the Russian scientists, they could only wait and observe the station. Six hours later, an Eskimo with a dog sled arrives at the station. For a moment, they presumed he was lost on his way until they noticed the .30 caliber machine gun he's carrying. He goes inside the research station for a minute and immediately leaves with the door open. This gives the Joes all the reasons to finally move in and see what's going on inside. The researchers are dead, all the research records taken and they spot a ultra-low frequency transmitter with a key part missing. The transmitter is capable of affecting human brainwaves and, ultimately, human behavior. Snake-Eyes spots a planted explosive and the Joes barely made it out of the station.
They finally decide to go after the Eskimo. Along the way, Breaker's new radio equipment prints out the dossier of the Eskimo who is a mercenary named Kwinn. They catch up to Kwinn but the mercenary forces them to surrender with a bag of C-4 explosives and a fail-safe detonator in his hand. He takes all their ammo and supplies. Since the Joes have no hope of making out of the frigid wasteland alive, he reveals to them the true nature of his mission. The Russians were experimenting with fear waves but their transmitter shielding broke down and they eventually succumbed to their own experiment. Kwinn was hired to eliminate all evidences by stealing the records in the American research station and the Russian's frequency modulator. He leaves the Joes to their fate and heads for the submarine that will pick him up.
Stalker is not one to give up and orders his team to strip whatever useful material they can from the broken down plane that brought Kwinn to the Arctic. The team is able to cobble together an ice sailboat and, with good wind, actually managed to outrace Kwinn's dog sled. With a couple of hidden bullet clips in Snake-Eyes's boot, they set up an explosive trap at an ice bridge, hoping to trap Kwinn under the ice. The trap worked but the mercenary proved to be too smart as he sent his dog sled as a decoy. Snake-Eyes manages to get one of his uzis in the dog sled and fires at Kwinn to no effect. As it turns out, Kwinn took out the firing pins and added them to his weasel skull necklace as a form of good luck. He admits to the Joes his great respect for them as fighters and detests the assignment he took as he doesn't like what the Russians were doing with fear waves. But being an honorable man, he would follow his contract to the letter.
An hour later at the coast, Kwinn meets up with his Russian contacts. He gives them the records and the frequency modulator and, in turn, they give him his payment in gold. Rather than wait for the submarine, he packs up and starts to leave which angered the Russians as they found out the Joe Team is also on the way. Kwinn admits he held up to his contract and hinder the Americans in any way. He tells them that he left his weasel skull necklace in a cairn about one mile from their present location. The necklace was offered to the spirits in hopes of that fear would vanish from the world. The Joe Team is still about four miles from the cairn's location compared to the Russians' one. Their only hope is to find it before the Joes do. Kwinn leaves giving the Russians little credit of being able to find the skull necklace and, ostensibly, the firing pins.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Featured Vehicles & Equipment
- --Stalker, introducing a catchphrase.
- No errors known.
Items of note
- First Appearances: Kwinn, behavior modification device
- The technology for the behavior modification device would be revisited again in G.I. Joe #67.
- This issue has the first indication that Snake-Eyes has some form of facial disfigurement.
- "Panic at the North Pole" was reprinted in G.I. Joe Digest #2, Tales of G.I. Joe #2 and in the G.I. Joe vol. 1 trade paperback.
- This issue was also the subject of a 2004 Comic Pack that included a reprint of the comic and Snake-Eyes, Scarlett and Tracker Kwinn action figures.
- No references.
Footnotes and References