WARNING – THERE ARE SPOILERS ABOUND.
If you have not yet read any of my fanfic/dio-stories, you will see major story and character spoilers in the timeline below. Proceed with caution!
The Story so far….
– Marvel Comics #1-155
– The “Final Battle”; With the PITT supposedly decommissioned and the Joe team disbanded, COBRA pushed forward and ramped up operations on COBRA Island, preparing for a major offensive. Coordinating their cells from all over the globe, the entirety of the COBRA main strike force gathered on the Island to get ready to make their move. COBRA Ninja Force, headlined by the brainwashed Storm Shadow, Zartan and Billy go into action in New York City, preparing to cripple the business capital of the United States.
Unknown to COBRA, the Joe team’s disbandment was a ruse, and now free to operate without reprocussion, they scrambled to counter COBRA’s new resurgence. Snake Eyes led the G.I. Joe Ninja Force to counter act the New York City operations while the bulk of G.I. Joe military’s force deployed immediately to COBRA Island for the face off that would define the decade-old battle between the two sides.
The COBRA Island conflict reaches it’s ultimate conclusion as the COBRA hierarchy rushed towards a hidden submarine, preparing for escape. COBRA had not been expecting the full force of the G.I. Joe team to come upon them, and were taken by surprise. COBRA ground forces put up a fierce fight, but it became obvious that the battle was not to be won. As COBRA forces rushed through cavernous mazes, heading for escape craft, Joes took chase. Flint and Lady Jaye were in close pursuit with Destro and the Baroness deep within these caves, when Destro did what he had to do to ensure his escape. A pair of wrist rockets bore down on Flint, who barely jumped out of the way in time. What Flint did not realize was that Lady Jaye was close on his heels, and when he narrowly escaped the red streaks, she was caught in the blast. As Flint cradled his dying teammate in his arms, Destro and the Baroness slipped away with the rest of the COBRA hierarchy.
An air team immediately dispatched from the USS Flagg and launched a barrage of water-born ordinance, which seemingly destroyed the escape submarine, and it was thought that all COBRA upper brass died at sea. However, what the Joes didn’t know at the time was that the sub was a decoy, and the COBRA upper echelon had slipped away again.
In New York City, the two teams of martial artists clashed fiercely. As sneaky as ever, Zartan managed to get the drop on Snake Eyes with his compound bow. The sight of him launching a fatal arrow towards his sword-brother snapped Storm Shadow out of his brainwashing…he threw himself in front of the arrow and died at his “brother’s” feet while Zartan slipped away.
There were significant losses, but it appeared as if COBRA had been stopped again…this time for good. As always, appearances can be deceiving.
The Price of Peace
Years have passed, and the Joe team has officially been disbanded, it’s members scattering to different armed forces and different divisions. COBRA has been quiet, and has slowly faded from American conscience. But slowly, some clues start to surface…a Detroit operation with blue-suited terrorists reveals crates belonging to M.A.R.S. Other minor assaults here and there…something was brewing, and that something wasn’t good.
The call goes out, and Joes from all over the country start coming together, preparing to counter whatever COBRA has planned. However, COBRA’s plans are moving faster and are far more sinister than they ever have been before. Even before the Joes know what’s hit them, COBRA makes their first strike…and their first strike is the President of the United States.
In spite of COBRA’s garish assault, the US Government was hesitant to launch a full scale attack without proof of COBRA’s existence. Calling in all of the “Best of the best” Hawk gets detailed satellite imagery, and finally there is a breakthrough. COBRA activity on COBRA Island was revealed, and the full scale assault was green lit.
A well-coordinated attack hit COBRA Island and the battle was on.
For what seemed like forever, the two sides traded combat-assaults and traded casualties. Joe and COBRA hardware clashed, setting the very island ablaze. In the end, the G.I. Joe team drove deep into the COBRA compound. Flint pursued Destro closely, determined to get a measure of revenge for what happened to Lady Jaye. After a brief hand-to-hand combat session left Destro at his mercy, the Baroness, following close behind, coldly shot Flint in the back and rescued her mate.
Within the COBRA complex, Hawk’s strike team cornered COBRA Commander, and things came to a head. The General of the Joe team personally gunned down the terrorist leader and the Joes were again successful. But was COBRA stopped for good?
The Cost of War
Vypra and Scrap Iron have been captured by the Joes and are being transported to a maximum security facility. Vypra and Hit & Run have become fast friends, although he has not been able to convince her to cooperate with the Joes. She is still strongly loyal to her COBRA ties, in spite of her new found feelings for him.
A quick strike team made up of Major Bludd and his new mercenary group the “Bluddhounds” hits the transport convoy and rescues the two COBRA operatives, then disappears
COBRA makes a triumphant return, raiding the Nuclear storage vault and stealing a radioactive isotope…COBRA Commander himself makes ransom demands, putting aside thoughts that he had perished after the events in The Price of Peace. But is it really COBRA Commander? Hawk has his doubts…COBRA Commander’s demands are simple. He wants General Hawk himself to deliver the ransom money. The meet is planned.
The Joes meet at an out of the way park in Boston, but a COBRA ambush is waiting. The firefight is brief, but Hawk is saved…however COBRA makes off with a hostage: Hit & Run. Hit & Run will remain a COBRA captive for a long, long time.
An insert team is assigned to infiltrate COBRA Island for recon purposes while Psyche Out analyzes COBRA Commander’s ransom request video…Psyche Out joins Hawk in having some doubts about the Commander’s true identity. Falcon, Dusty, and Ripcord successfully land on COBRA Island and go underground to a hidden COBRA facility, attempting to uncover COBRA’s current activities. Instead they run into a lone COBRA Viper… Satchel. Someone who was injured in the last major battle during The Price of Peace. Since then he’s been alone on the island with a squadron of B.A.T.s, who have in essence, become his “children”. After a brief clash with the B.A.T.s, Satchel states that he has no desire to be part of this conflict, takes his “children” and leaves.
COBRA takes center stage as COBRA Commander is talking to Mindbender and Zartan, who have their own questions about the Commander’s identity. But conversation quickly moves to the “Phoenix Project”, a mysterious operation that could have insidious consequences…
Meanwhile the Interrogator is paying Hit & Run a visit, trying to pry information out of him…and Vypra stumbles upon the event, shocked and horrified that he’s been captured. Meanwhile, Hawk gets some valuable intel from Falcon and their trip to COBRA Island…they’ve tracked down a potential location for one of COBRA’s remote bases. Hawk calls Scotland Yard and Big Ben…COBRA is in Scotland, and they’ve got to stop them. Hawk starts putting together a team, starting with Mercer, fresh from Langley. Their operation is international, and as such, would have to be kept totally off the books, so the General is looking to his dirtiest players to try and find out what they might do in this situation.
Back in Scotland, while a Medi-Viper looks at Hit & Run’s injuries, the COBRA hierarchy is discussing “Project Phoenix”. The radioactive isotope stolen from the Nuclear Storage facility has been refined and engineered by Mindbender to bond with dna and rebuild the molecular structure of life…with the right alterations, in can actually bring the dead back to life! They already have a corpse…but who is in the coffin? As the Joes land in Europe, Interrogator takes a couple more cheap shots at Hit & Run, much to Vypra’s dismay. Under Destro’s orders, she is monitoring him, making certain that Interrogator doesn’t push his luck. Meanwhile a COBRA scout team has spotted the Joes landing in their country and COBRA Commander has been notified. The Joe team has spotted a MARS warehouse and is staking it out, even as Project Phoenix continues unimpeded. COBRA Commander addresses his forces…after a motivational speech, he decides to escape the scene in his private aircraft while his troops risk their lives for the COBRA cause. A small Joe recon/attack squad is sent in to take a closer look.
Suddenly a COBRA HISS squad shows up, emerging from the trees. Hawk calls in the reserves, and the main Joe assault squad moves into action as the Recon team is confronted by a trio of deadly HISS tanks. Wild Bill and Airborne arrive just in time in the Locust, quickly destroying two of the tanks and moving in on the third. However a Firebat suddenly shows up and disrupts the counter attack! The battle is on as the Joe main force arrives and bullets start flying.
Back inside, Interrogator is assigned to “clean up loose ends”, and takes that to mean that he needs to finish off Hit & Run. He moves into his cell and takes a swing, but Hit & Run makes his move. He disarms him, beats him at his own game, and escapes! Back outside as the battle continues, three Fangs drop cables on the warehouse…the non descript brick building was merely a façade! Underneath there is a fully armed Terror Drome!! Suddenly the sky is on fire. However, the Joes are not helpless…Hawk puts the call in to… the USS Flagg! In no time Joe aircraft are en route.
Duke convinces Hawk that they need to take a more delicate approach…he wants to put together a covert ops team to infiltrate the ‘Drome from the rear while COBRA counters with full force from the front. The infiltration team makes their way inside in a Hammer while Hit & Run continues to try and make his way out. As those events transpire, Mindbender is overlooking the awakening of their subject from Project: Phoenix…Mindbender must make his escape, but he leaves a Firebat just in case his mystery man needs to use it. Outside, Destro and Baroness are making themselves scarce, but not before Duke spots them, wanting a measure of revenge for what The Baroness did to Flint at the end of The Price of Peace.
While the battle gets up close and personal outside, the Joe infiltration team reaches the COBRA laboratory…finding it empty. The evidence of Project: Phoenix is everywhere, but the subject is nowhere to be found. As Joe aircraft decimate the Terror Drome defenses outside, the infiltration team reaches an ornate COBRA throne room…but they are not alone. The mysterious benefactor to Project Phoenix suddenly appears, and he’s not happy. This strange bald man moves like lightning…he uses highly developed martial arts techniques and swiftly eradicates the infiltration team in hand-to-hand combat, brutally shattering Bazooka’s spine in the process! Outside, Destro and the Baroness are narrowly escaping…but not for long. Duke rustles up a rocket launcher and fires a shot at The Baroness’ HISS…and annihilates it. Destro is awestruck as his companion is apparently wiped off the face of the Earth.
Inside the Infiltration team meets a squad of Alley-Vipers lead by the Alley-Viper Commander, one of COBRA Commander’s right hand men. Thanks to Mercer they quickly get the upper hand, even though the Alley-Viper leader slips away. Outside, a somewhat shell-shocked Joe attack force is making their way towards the flaming Terror Drome, but is intercepted by Scrap Iron in a lone HISS, eager to make a name for himself by taking out the Joe leadership. On the ‘Drome itself, Zartan is barking orders at the last of the Vipers, desperately hoping for one last push. The infiltration team shatters those dreams as they barge into the upper level and make quick work of the security detail there, taking control of the Terror Drome, though Zartan narrowly escapes.
Down on the ground, Scrap Iron is about to take the shot to make his career, but Alpine makes his move as well, leaping down from above. He nails Scrap Iron in one smooth move and the Joe team has won the skirmish. Scrap Iron is about to be taken into custody as Hit & Run makes his way through the Terror Drome, desperately trying to escape.
But Hawk gets the phone call he’s been dreading since they made this Atlantic flight…Agent Wilkens, their liason with the Government has uncovered their unauthorized operation. He radios Hawk and orders him to pull back his troops, release all prisoners and get back to Washington immediately. Duke and Hawk are insensed…but Big Ben has no choice. His government has ordered him to bring them back immediately. All prisoner searches ceased, all operations halted. The retreat must be full and immediate. Quite reluctantly, they pull back, leaving a smoking and flaming battle field behind.
But that’s not all they leave behind…. Just as the Huey’s take off, Hit & Run emerges from the smoldering Terror Drome…he stands, non-believing, as his buddies take off, leaving him behind. As he stands there, agape, Interrogator catches up to him, informing him that he’s going to be his prisoner for a long, long time.
Hawk is briefing the Joe team, giving them the lowdown after their last operation. He introduces Big Ben, Sidetrack, Crossfire, Double Blast, and Sgt. Six (Airborne) from the Sky Patrol as new additions to the team. He also introduces the UAF (Urban Assault Force) currently being led by new recruit Sure Fire. The introductions are interrupted by Agent Wilkens, who has his own newcomer to bring to the table. General Flagg, son of the infamous General Lawrence Flagg, who was killed by Major Bludd during an early G.I. Joe operation. Flagg will remain in full charge of the Joe team, working in tandem with General Hawk, and ready to replace him if it comes to it.
Meanwhile, Destro and COBRA Commander are meeting to discuss their new endeavors into Urban Operations. The Commander has made a deal with the Headman, something that does not impress Destro in the least. However, with the death of the Baroness recently, Destro has become withdrawn, and more determined than ever to bring down the Joes. He meets with Mindbender to discuss their own operations. Mindbender continues to work with the Project: Phoenix subject who successfully escaped Scotland, while Destro has a shipment of old B.A.T. parts he wants to use. An small Iron Grenadier detachment informs him that they have returned from COBRA Island…not only do they have the B.A.T. parts he wanted, they have Viper Satchel (from Power Struggle and The Price of Peace). Destro is elated… his own project, “Project: Overkill” can now begin!
Meanwhile the Joe UAF is meeting to discuss this new focus on urban operations. Undercover agents Mace and Nightstick (a new Joe member) are old partners and old friends, happy to be fighting side by side once again. But their happy reunion doesn’t last long as they get the intel that the UAF is about to go into full action for their first operation. The Game is on.
The story starts with an undercover mission as Mace, Bullet-Proof, and Nightstick move deeper and deeper undercover into the Headhunter operation, trying to work their way into COBRA. The undercover op goes incredibly wrong as Gristle gets nervous and gunfire starts erupting. Gristle tries to force Mace to kill his own partner, and it goes even further south as Headhunters, Headhunter Stormtroopers, and Joe urban operatives all clash in a convenience store front for the Headhunter operation. But Mace’s defiance is all for naught as Gristle callously blows Nightstick’s head off in front of him. At the end of the brief skirmish, Headman is in custody, Gristle has escaped, and the first UAF operation can only be considered a mixed success.
General Flagg makes the dubious decision to transport Headman to a maximum security facility which rubs the Joes (particularly Sure Fire) the wrong way. However, they have no choice but to go along. COBRA Commander gets a call from an informant that quickly relays this information, and he gets Bludd and the Bluddhounds together to prepare an immediate interception.
The escort team is in a Hammer, transporting Headman…but their quiet drive doesn’t last long. Headhunter Stormtroopers show up suddenly on speedbikes and the fight is on. Sure Fire shows his guts as he fights off the infiltrators, but the counter attack is short lived as Bludd arrives in a FANG II. In short form, Headman is liberated and the escort team is left behind, nursing their wounds.
In the Amazon, COBRA Commander and Destro are having severe debates about the moral ambiguity behind working with the Headhunters. Destro discovers that the Commander is actually working with Headman to create a new more addictive drug to hit the streets…he is repulsed to say the least. However, a few key components for the creation of the drug are still in their New England convenience store headquarters…they must return to the scene of the crime, where the UAF is stationed, monitoring. As the Headhunters arrive at the shop, so does the UAF, in full on battle gear, and the fight is, once again, on! Making short work of the Headhunters in the backroom, the UAF emerges into the storefront itself, ready to take on all comers…and it’s a good thing they’re ready, because the store is filled with almost two dozen COBRA soldiers. The UAF is vastly outnumbered. Quickly the surveillance team makes their own move, picking off a few soldiers with well-placed sniper shots, while Mace and Sure Fire move in swiftly rattling off their own shots. Chaos erupts! During a massive firefight, COBRA weapons are spontaneously jamming, radar jamming disappears, and everything seems to be going the Joes’ way.
Gristle and Headman start sneaking away from the firefight, so Mace and Sure Fire decide to make their move and pursue. In the backroom, Sure Fire and Headman trade punches while Gristle and Mace face off in the alleyway outside. Even as Sure Fire takes down the Headhunter commander, Major Bludd intercedes, guns down Mace, and escapes with Gristle aboard his motorcycle.
The story ends with Sure Fire holding Headman at gunpoint…the UAF has stopped this new operation and the Headhunter leader is once again in custody.
However, it doesn’t end there…we move to COBRA headquarters in the Amazon, where Destro is being briefed by his Annihilator Commander, Commander Wade. Wade informs him that the Headhunter ploy failed miserably. Destro reacts positively as we find out that he sabotaged the COBRA weaponry and surveillance at the convenience store in an attempt to stop this operation from happening…he is pleased with the outcome.
A short arctic-based story with a Joe cold-weather team is transporting some top secret locations for field research installations. Their transport op doesn’t last long as a COBRA winter ops team intercedes. A firefight transpires, and while the Joe team does fight off the COBRA threat, a Night Creeper and Firefly work together to make off with the installation locations…
We start off at the Pentagon, where the Joes’ headquarters is now located, and Hawk and Duke are getting dressed down a bit by General Flagg. They stopped COBRA’s urban operation, but the installation data was still stolen. Duke is not taking any of this well, especially considering how they left Hit & Run “high and dry” in Scotland, due to beurocratic problems. His short fuse is lit, and he lashes out, striking Agent Wilkens. While Hawk pursues Duke, Flagg discusses confidential information with Wilkens, unaware that Mercer is standing in the hallway, eavesdropping.
Hawk catches up with Duke to get to the bottom of his recent personal issues. Duke informs him that Flint has “fallen through the cracks” and he suspects that his long time friend has died, alone and unattended at one of the various VA hospitals. This does not sit well with Duke, and everything is finally taking it’s toll on him.
Back at the COBRA installation, Destro hears from Commander Wade that the arctic team retrieved the documents from the Joe arctic team. He is pleased, and intends to test out his new experimental B.A.T.T. on the upcoming operation. As he is preparing for Project: Overkill, he needs to run some field tests to perfect certain aspects of the Artificial Intelligence system. Meanwhile, COBRA Commander grows concerned about the resurrected soldier from Project: Phoenix. He suspects that it may be Serpentor…someone designed to replace him as the leader of COBRA. In fact, the resurrected man begins to wonder himself just who he might have been in his previous life. He vows to find out. The subject proceeds towards Mindbender’s hidden lab, making short work of Viper security teams. He continues to use advanced martial arts techniques, speed, and strength to dispatch of highly trained COBRA operatives. Destro is watching with curiosity. Desperate to prevent him from discovering the truth, Destro orders his elimination.
Shortly Zartan and the mystery man are facing off in Mindbender’s undersized office lab….the conflict is fierce and violent, with each man trading blows, punches and kicks. Both men bloodied and beaten, Zartan draws a pistol and prepares to fire the killing shot. But Mindbender intervenes, desperate to keep his subject alive. Mindbender and the mystery man speak, the subject curious to know who he was and how he came to be…Mindbender decides the time has come to reveal his past. Mindbender and Destro hash this out while the mystery subject puts on a uniform Mindbender has prepared… the time comes…he reveals himself. Storm Shadow has returned!
The story ends with Hit & Run being moved to a prison location in the Amazon COBRA headquarters…he briefly attempts an escape, but the Interrogator interrupts that attempt, breaks his spirit and drives him back to the floor.
New Blood Cold Steel
A busy COBRA Command center in the Amazon is host to a brisk discussion between Destro and COBRA Commander. Tensions are high. Destro speaks with the Commander about renewing the “Shadow-Viper” project, something they were doing in The Price of Peace…and shockingly, the Commander seems not to have any recollection of that project, much to Destro’s surprise.
In Virginia, we get a first hand view of G.I. Joe’s new base of operations, deep under the Pentagon. Using the prefab pieces of the old Joe headquarters, they have created an ops Center in the Pentagon basement. In this new headquarters, Hawk is gathering together a group of new recruits and Joe members just off of leave, assigning them to escort duty for Gears, a high-ranking experimental weaponry expert working on Project: Cybersoldier. Gears educates the team on the background for Cybersoldier, informing them of the “Mega Marines” an experimental government operation a few years back that has since been abandoned. Their mission is to take him to a top secret warehouse research installation.
Back at the COBRA Command center, Destro and Zartan are talking about the Shadow-Viper project and more specifically, about Destro’s new pet project, the B.A.T.T. Zartan is quite taken aback by the B.A.T.T.’s appearance.
As the escort team leaves the Joe headquarters, Hawk gets word from Dial Tone about the documents that were stolen (in Dio-Story #4, Bitter Cold)…and the unfortunate news is that COBRA has the location for this secret installation…and they know the Joes are coming. As Mainframe and Dial Tone attempt to communicate with the escort team and warn them, they get unwelcome news…communications are being jammed. From within!
A short distance away, the insert team arrives at the Research warehouse, only to find their communications are also being jammed, something that rubs them the wrong way…as well it should, since Zartan is monitoring them from a nearby field, with a Shadow-Viper squad in tow. As the team slowly works it’s way through the warehouse, Tripwire stumbles on something…something that Destro has been waiting for. Destro’s mysterious “B.A.T.T.” has been laying in wait, and it decides to strike. Destro reveals that this Battle Android Trooper: Transformable is essentially a testing ground for his new Overkill project…the B.A.T.T. will analyze fighting techniques, absorb intel and process data to help build Overkill’s stratagem database. But the only way to do that is to fight.
In the prison sector, Hit & Run is returned to his cell (where Satchel is also being kept), but Satchel is taken away. Back at the warehouse, the escort team is in a full on firefight with the COBRA B.A.T.T., and it’s taking every bit of punishment that they can dish out. But Gears has a plan…he brings Gung Ho back to a storage room where he plans to utilize the “Mega Marine” suit that was being stored there…but the suit is gone. Gears’ personal bodyguard as decided the take the suit himself…but as it turns out, he knows how to use it. As it turns out, Gears’ bodyguard is none other than Mirage, former member of the “Mega Marines” and he quickly dons the battlesuit and prepares to fight back against the B.A.T.T.
But the B.A.T.T. has a surprise of it’s own…one quick transformation later, and they’re not dealing with a robotic snake, they’re dealing with a massive robotic warrior!
Mirage turns it on and launches his all out attack, taking the fight directly to the B.A.T.T. For a few moments he takes charge, but it doesn’t last long, and soon enough the B.A.T.T. is pounding on the Mega Marine, leaving him a bloodied mess. Mirage doesn’t want to give up…but he’s laying there bloodied and broken, with the B.A.T.T. ready to create chaos. Gears has other plans, however. He shows up just in time, a fusion power pack in his hands, pulled from one of the Power Fighters laying in the storage room. Meanwhile, outside, Zartan, Gristle, Shadow-Vipers and Alley-Vipers are all preparing to launch their own attack on the warehouse team.
Inside, Gears approaches the B.A.T.T. with this power cell, but doesn’t make it far, quickly getting cut down by a B.A.T.T. laser blast.
Desperate to find a way to stop the B.A.T.T., Mirage launches a desperate attack, barely able to stand. The Joe greenshirts all realize what Gears was trying to do and start running towards the power cell. Back at the Joe HQ, Hawk gets a radio call from Lifeline, who is transporting a team of new recruits back towards the Pentagon. They received a general distress call from the greenshirts, and request permission to intercept. Hawk gives them the permission. Back at the warehouse, Crossfire gets his hands on the power cell while Mirage tries to buy them some time. He ends up getting brutally slammed through a concrete support column, but that gives Crossfire the space he needs…Crossfire throws the power cell, Gung Ho unloads with his weapon, and it detonates, totally destroying the B.A.T.T. robot.
But they’re not out of the woods…the robot is dead, but Gears and Mirage are both down, almost out. The escort team starts their evacuation…but runs into Gristle and his team of Alley-Vipers! They desperately unload their firearms, retreating back into the safety of the warehouse. But things aren’t so safe…Zartan and the Shadow-Vipers are waiting inside. Suddenly these new recruits are between a rock and a hard place as they desperately try to fight their way through the Shadow-Vipers without being able to retreat outside.
But just in the nick of time, Lifeline shows up with another squad of new recruits, all aboard the Night Rhino! Gristle puts a Razorback in action as the Night Rhino and Desert Striker bear down on the Alley-Viper team, guns blazing. Inside and outside, the conflict rages, but the small COBRA attack teams cannot hold off against both squads of Joes. They are dispatched, and the Joes stand victorious, though Gears has lost his life, and the Mega Marine project is dead for good.
At the COBRA base in the Amazon, Vypra is bemoaning the fact that Destro has appointed a personal watchdog…a badly scarred Viper veteran now has the designation of being her personal bodyguard, someone who is never far away, making certain her friendship with Hit & Run doesn’t compromise his prison sentence.
In another part of Central America, a Joe recon team is spreading out, doing their own search for Hit & Run. Using captured intel and behind the scenes sources, the Joes are performing quick strike attacks on COBRA cells, looking for possible locations for their missing comrade. This is all being done off the books and totally hush hush. The recon team of Claymore, Recoil, Recondo, and others disrupts a COBRA patrol and prepares to continue their search.
Back at Joe HQ, Dial Tone and Mainframe are working hard to uncover the suspected traitor in their midst…the man who jammed their communications so that the escort team was left high and dry during New Blood Cold Steel. At the COBRA Amazon base, Mindbender is overseeing the progress on Destro’s new Overkill project…and the progress isn’t pretty. A sheet is removed, revealing the COBRA Viper “Satchel” strapped to the bed, being given some involuntary surgery. A few levels below, Interrogator is having some more fun with Hit & Run, which Vypra interrupts. Interrogator informs her that Destro has a Joe spy on the way from the States, and soon enough Hit & Run’s services will no longer be required…
A little further north, the Joe recon team is continuing their search through the Central American wilderness, when they uncover a most unpleasant site…a COBRA Terror Drome.
Back at the Pentagon, the Joe tech team finally digs through the levels of encryption…and uncovers Mercer as the Joe traitor! A security team is sent immediately to pick him up. Back in the Amazon, Vypra is making her way to Hit & Run’s prison cell, but is interrupted by her Viper guardian. Already unruly, Vypra lashes out, and the conflict quickly turns heated, putting her face-to-face with the veteran Viper, a machine gun in her hand. In the Pentagon, the Joe security force hunts down Mercer, but he is already gone.
Back in the Amazon, Vypra walks into the motor pool, again escorted by her Viper guardian in full uniform. She is looking for a vehicle. She seems quite irate that there is nothing currently available. Down below, in the prison sector, Interrogator is paying another visit to Hit & Run, finding him laying in bed, apparently asleep. Approaching the prone body of the Joe prisoner, he turns him over…but it isn’t Hit & Run! It’s Vypra’s watchdog!! But if he’s down here, then who is the one escorting Vypra around?
Vypra and her “guardian” infiltrate a small communications room, and the Viper sends a distress signal. In the Pentagon, the Joes are liberating Mercer’s personnel files, seeing if they can uncover where he might have gone and what he might be up to. Further south, in the SouthEastern United States, Beachhead is stationed at an army base, scouting potential new recruits for the Joe team. The communications team at this base intercepts a signal and brings it immediately to his attention. Beachhead seems shocked at the message, and takes off immediately. Beachhead relays the intel to the Pentagon, where Hawk is stunned! The message is apparently from Hit & Run. Hawk begins barking orders…Wild Bill is going to leave immediately, pick up Beachhead, intercept the recon team, and get to Hit & Run’s coordinates ASAP. The rescue is on!
But first, Hit & Run and Vypra need to get out of the COBRA base alive. As they approach an exit, they are intercepted by a gun-toting Interrogator, who has no intention of letting them leave alive. Vypra orders Hit & Run to go on without her while she holds off the COBRA. Hit & Run starts to refuse, but has no choice in the matter, and he leaves. Meanwhile, in Central America, the deep recon team gets the call that Wild Bill is on the way to evac them to reroute them to Hit & Run’s location. They have direct orders to clear an LZ for him…however, clearing that LZ means going head-to-head with a Terror Drome…
Back outside the Amazon headquarters, Hit & Run, disguised in his Viper uniform, makes his way through a security checkpoint, hijacks a 4 wheeler, and makes a run for it. Inside, Interrogator and Vypra fight tooth and nail, but Interrogator just proves to be too much for her, and he leaves her a broken heap on the floor, then immediately calls in to patrol teams to converge on the temple perimeter and stop the prisoner from escaping! In Central America, the deep recon team makes it’s move.
Hit & Run, down in the Amazon, finds himself in being closely pursued by more COBRA troopers than he can count. Night-Vipers on motorcycles, Stinger jeeps, the whole nine yards. Back at the Terror Drome, thanks to the timely arrival of Wild Bill in the Tomahawk, the recon team fights off the COBRA squad there, and gets exfiltrated into the air, en route to intercept Hit & Run’s location further south. Back at the COBRA base, Destro is irate about Hit & Run’s escape, but Interrogator keeps the truth to himself…he wants to hold Vypra as his own personal prisoner, and has no desire to turn her over to COBRA. Back outside, Hit & Run is ambushed by a COBRA squad, thrown to the ground, and is backed up on a cliff…there appears to truly be no escape. But the Tomahawk arrives just in time, sweeping from below! Desperately providing cover fire the Tomahawk crew lands swiftly and grabs Hit & Run, scrambling to evacuate before the incoming COBRA swarm can overcome them! Before the COBRA’s can cause too much damage, the Tomahawk is airborne and quickly transporting Hit & Run to safety…
Then, the Liberation “Epilogue” begins…
COBRA Commander hasn’t been seen since the events at the beginning of New Blood Cold Steel. We find him being flown to a remote office outside of Philadelphia by his bodyguard, the Alley-Viper leader. But as COBRA Commander and the Alley-Viper leader enter this office, they are rudely interrupted… by COBRA Commander?!?
Apparently things are not as they seem. This new COBRA Commander is upset…irate…downright incensed. He’s not so much angry that this other Commander has impersonated him, more that he’s impersonated him badly. COBRA is a laughing stock…their missions are failing, their stock is falling. Things don’t look good. This new COBRA Commander wants to turn things around, and he’s not afraid to break a few eggs to make his omelette. Without hesitation, this new Commander brutally guns down the Alley-Viper leader, shooting him directly in the forehead. And before the body can even hit the floor, Big Boa moves in and removes the old COBRA Commander’s hood… Overlord is revealed! He has been impersonating COBRA Commander all along!
The new Commander…the REAL Commander berates Overlord, demands information on the Joe team…and when he doesn’t get it, a quick nod to Big Boa. Overlord’s neck is snapped, and COBRA’s gameplan just got a lot more intense.
Across the world, G.I. Joe teams are being assaulted, ambushed, and attacked. From the arctic north, to the swamplands Joe operations are interrupted, damage is done, men are killed. COBRA is striking fast and hard, and seems to know where the Joes are before they get there. Meanwhile, Mercer returns to the COBRA fold, inquiring about these missions all over the globe. Destro informs him that he knows nothing about it whatsoever. He does introduce him to Overkill.
Outside the COBRA base Croc Master leads a small team of infiltrators…Swamp Vipers. They make quick work of a COBRA security force and move inside. In the medical wing of the Joe HQ underneath the Pentagon, Hit & Run is being looked after by Psyche Out and the Joe med staff. To everyone’s dismay, he simply cannot remember anything about his time as a captive at the Amazon base. Interrogator’s methods (not to mention the technological advances in his helmet) have rendered his short term memory fuzzy at best. Back in the Amazon, COBRA Commander interrupts a meeting of COBRA higher ups, discussing a plan for the new Overkill project and his B.A.T.s, who are currently being staged in a stateside warehouse. Destro informs the Commander that he knew he was being impersonated, but was playing along to his own benefit. COBRA Commander shows his gratitude by shooting Commander Wade dead.
Back at Joe HQ, a tech team is working with the state of the art Viper body armor that Hit & Run brought back with him from captivity. As they leave to grab some last minute chow, the Viper armor emits the slightest sound…almost as if a device is hidden within. At the COBRA Amazon base, Destro is outlying the new B.A.T. android troopers and Overkill’s capabilities. He is proposing a brazen attack on United States soil, mostly to measure response time and defensive capabilities, to use it as a research tool when preparing future attacks. He is so certain that the response will be outgunned by his android troopers that he is willing to risk COBRA’s security by the attack. Meanwhile, in the U.S., the Pennsylvania warehouse where the B.A.T.’s are being housed is under scrutiny for some mysterious power fluctuations. The state workers sent to investigate call the police when they notice what appear to be weapons inside. At the COBRA base, Destro is notified of this fact, and he orders Overkill to be activated immediately. And activated, he is.
Coincidently enough, not far away, the G.I. Joe Urban Assault Force is patrolling the location of a large peace march…the very march that COBRA was planning on attacking. As they are patrolling the streets, they overhear radio chatter about the Overkill attack and respond immediately.
Back in the Amazon, Destro is preparing to leave for Philadelphia to take the B.A.T. matters into his own hands. COBRA Commander interrupts him and demands status updates. COBRA Commander asks point blank how Hit & Run could possibly escape from a totally secure COBRA facility. Destro replies with a shocking answer… he allowed him to. Incredulous, COBRA Commander demands more information…and Destro lays it all out for him. Hit & Run stole one of the prototype Viper suits…a prototype suit which has a transponder, which can be reconfigured to be tracked by one of COBRA’s satellites. As they speak, Destro informs him that two COBRA operatives have already infiltrated the G.I. Joe basement headquarters…and are preparing an attack from within. In fact, if the timing is as Destro suspects, the strike is imminent…
The explosion tears apart the basement headquarters…the casualties are bad. And the clean up begins.
In the medical wing, the explosion rattles some nerves, but no one is hurt. Hit & Run already knows who the intruders are after. Nunchuk and Kamakura are inside as well, seeking aid after a training incident. Stalker leads a small detachment of security through the hallways, checking to be sure everyone is okay. As the med team leaves immediately for the scene of the explosion, two COBRA infiltrators sneak down into the medical center…Firefly and Storm Shadow. In Philadelphia, the UAF busts into the storage warehouse and finds only dead bodies…no B.A.T.’s, no COBRA.
As the headcount, triage, and clean up continues in the main headquarters, Firefly and Storm Shadow reach the Med center and come face to face with the small team of Joes standing watch around Hit & Run. Storm Shadow takes on Nunchuk and Kamakura who try and uncover how he could possibly be alive…it becomes apparent that he has also been a victim of the Brainwave Scanner yet again, and does not know the true story of his death and rebirth. Storm Shadow, however, seems unwilling to listen, and brings up the tempo. He works hard and fast, and lays to waste the other Joes fighting against him. Firefly callously turns towards Hit & Run with pistol in hand…the young Joe actually seems somewhat relieved as Firefly puts a bullet in him.
Stalker makes one last attempt to reason with his friend, but the attempt is for naught, and the two COBRA operatives leave unhindered, their mission accomplished.
In Pennsylvania, the UAF maintains a post at the warehouse, and sees a COBRA Night Raven make it’s approach, dispatching a drone along the way. Back in the Amazon, COBRA Commander has reformed the “Python Patrol” and sends them to the States, to make certain Destro’s mission goes off as planned. Back in Philadelphia, the UAF spots a small team of Iron Grenadiers who infiltrate the warehouse to perform a clean up operation. They desperately try to radio in to Joe HQ, unaware that it’s been hit. They manage to get a signal bounce, which reaches Duke. Duke starts to assemble a team to intercept Destro, but is informed none too kindly by General Flagg that this will not be happening. Duke is not deterred, though, and recruits Barrel Roll to assist him with a little operation. As the two Joes arrive in Philadelphia with the aid of a pair of jetpacks, Destro and Mercer also make their presence known. Duke decides right then and there to fully go against Flagg’s wishes and launch their attack. Duke, Barrel Roll and the UAF move in on the Iron Grenadier team, throwing down lead…Duke takes the fight directly to Destro, running through gunfire and coming face to face with the COBRA weapons’ supplier.
Destro killed Lady Jaye…Duke returned the favor with The Baroness…now these two men had scores to settle, and they would settle them with their fists.
The fight is harsh and furious…and at the end, Destro lays on the floor, bruised and battered, but only slightly more the worse for wear than Duke. The UAF polishes off the rest of the Iron Grenadiers, and the Joes have the upper hand. Or do they? Suddenly a voice speaks…everyone turns, shocked.
The Baroness? Alive? Apparently she is…but she’s not saying how. She’s letting her rifle do the talking! She unloads a trio of shots, but before she can hit Duke, Mercer leaps in the way and takes three rounds to the chest. He falls to the ground as the new Python Patrol moves in on the warehouse and takes down the rest of the Joes…with victory at their grasp, COBRA has moved in and stolen it from them!
Afterwards, Duke monitors the clean up in the streets outside the warehouse…General Flagg and Agent Wilkens arrive, none too happy about going against their orders. Wilkens advises Duke in no uncertain terms that Mercer was, in fact, a double agent working with them…they were integrating him into the COBRA fold all along, he had never been a traitor. Duke is stunned, and Flagg is upset, to say the least. Right there on the streets of Philadelphia, General Flagg informs Duke that he is no longer welcome on duty and to be prepared for a dishonorable discharge. His career with the G.I. Joe team is over.
We start off with a prologue…a dark and stormy night as it were. Falcon is walking Duke back from one of his hearings in regards to his performance of recent months. His constant insubordination, disregarding direct orders, and aggression towards his superior officers. Things do not look good, but Falcon is doing the best he can to help his friend…but there is nothing he can do to help when the two men are accosted by Headhunters in the alleys of Arlington. They both fight back briefly, but by the end of the fight, Falcon is beaten into unconsciousness…and Duke has been gunned down in a dark alley. The last thing Falcon sees as darkness overcomes him is his friend laying bloodied and near death on the pavement a few feet away…
Back in the Amazon, Destro and COBRA Commander are having discussions about the benefits and downfalls of technology vs. training…the Commander has suspended progress on the Overkill and B.A.T. project, preferring to recruit and train skilled operatives over technologically superior machinations. Destro agrees to a certain degree, but feels the steps are too strong. The Commander sends the Baroness to meet with “Raven” an ex-special forces operative who has piqued his interest.
Stateside, we see the Mobil Command Center, deep under the Utah desert, the old location of the PITT III. Falcon is leading a command team deep inside, where they are setting up their new base of operations, ever since the destruction of their basement headquarters under the Pentagon. We’re introduced to Colonel Courage, General Flagg’s new man in charge, replacing Hawk “in the field” while he recuperates in the hospital from being injured in the Pentagon bombing. As Barrel Roll makes his way through the Command Center, trying to find his bearings, he is greeted by Alyssa, his younger sister. She informs him that she’s working as a liason with the Joe team. We also find out that their brother has had some rough times as of late.
Back at the COBRA Command center, Firefly makes himself known by sneaking in and revealing to COBRA Commander that he’s heard some uncomfortable rumors through the mercenary circles…rumors about the “Black Dragons”. The Commander seems somewhat disturbed. We also find out a bit about the “Venom Protocols” some experiments COBRA has been doing infusing human beings with animal DNA in an effort to engineer superhuman soldiers. Ghost Bear, one of the candidates, is now working with Firefly…but supposedly there are only three current living candidates left…
In Alaska, Barrel Roll’s sister (who goes by the codename Bombstrike) joins a Joe arctic team on their mission to Eielson AFB…but they are quickly intercepted by a COBRA team. When the brief firefight is over, COBRA has been defeated, but Bombstrike is missing in action. The report comes back to Joe HQ, and Flagg makes the tough call to call off a search at the moment. Barrel Roll just happens to overhear the conversation, and doesn’t like what he hears at all. In fact, he decides to take matters into his own hands, fighting off a security team and taking off to look for his sister himself.
Meanwhile a Joe team ventures to the Sierra Nevada mountains to talk to a former friend…Snake Eyes. However, they’re not the only ones looking for him and they run into a COBRA attack squad. They hold their own and fight off the infiltrators, and convince Snake Eyes and Scarlett to come back to the fold. COBRA Commander speaks with Mindbender back in their Command Center while a new operative Blackout makes his presence known. COBRA Commander asks him to assist in transporting a Joe captive…his own sister. In his own way, the Commander gives him a test…and Blackout eagerly agrees to do what he asks. In the swamps outside the COBRA Command center, Swamp-Vipers, Swamp Rats, and Croc Master perform their nightly patrols, somewhat increased since Firefly’s warning about the Black Dragons. However, even the increased patrols don’t do the deed…the Black Dragons have made it to COBRA central command, and they’re getting closer!
Back at the Mobil Command Center, Courage lets General Flagg know about their plan to fake Barrel Roll’s escape so that he can work his way undercover with COBRA, masquerading as “Raven”, the man that COBRA is supposed to meet with in the Everglades.
In the Amazon, COBRA security forces are being overrun by a mixture of Black Dragon Troopers and Night Creepers, who are all now apparently working together. Croc Master puts up a strong fight, but eventually Black Dragon himself takes him out as well. COBRA Commander realizes he’s about to have visitors. And sure enough, the visitors come…in a quick and violent attack, the Black Dragons and Night Creepers move in on COBRA Commander’s inner sanctum, taking out many of his personal guards. They end up face to face, but the meeting doesn’t last long as COBRA Commander’s Imperial Guard arrives and makes short work of Black Dragon’s support team. Eventually we’re left with a standoff between COBRA Commander and Black Dragon himself. We learn that Dragon was COBRA Commander’s mentor in his younger terrorist years…and that after his wounding in the events of “The Price of Peace”, Black Dragon nursed him back to health and supported him during his “rebuilding”. Black Dragon is now interested in collecting on the assistance he provided to him over the years. The two strike up a deadly bargain…
In the Everglades, the Dreadnoks are looking for the mysterious “Raven”…and they find him. But “Raven” gets much more than he bargained for when another COBRA operative shows up…and he has a familiar face.
Taking up right after Reunions, Barrel Roll (disguised as Raven) and Blackout are approaching the Dreadnok compound. While Falcon meets up with the Sky Patrol, coordinating an operation, a small recon force in the Everglades is keeping an eye on that same Dreadnok compound. In that compound, Barrel Roll is being given a hard time from the Dreadnoks and Blackout, who is threatening to remove his helmet.
As Falcon works with Sky Patrol forming a recon and recovery team, Barrel Roll’s helmet is removed and Blackout immediately identifies him, and does not hesitate to put a gun to his head. The small recon team has no choice but to act before their backup can arrive. The fight is on!
The small recon team goes into action against the Dreadnoks and a reserve of COBRA troopers as Barrel Roll slips away and escapes into the woods, Blackout hot on his trail.
With the Night Attack Chopper and a strike team on their side, the Recon team presses forward. Blackout and Barrel Roll clash in the woods, two brothers going at each other’s throats. The battle ends with Blackout plummeting from the rocks where they fought and falling several feet to his apparent demise.
As the Joes overpower the COBRA’s at the Dreadnok compound and capture Major Bludd, Barrel Roll returns just in time to see Zarana take his sister prisoner and threaten to kill her. Without hesitation, the Joe sniper takes his shot, killing Zarana. The Joes are victorious, but as Zandar watches from the shadows, you have to wonder what the repercussions of Barrel Roll’s actions will be…
…time has passed. There are new players in the game. A mysterious Covert Ops team calling themselves “The Renegades” has appeared. Made up of some ex-G.I. Joe team members and other special forces mercenaries, the Renegades strike fast and strike hard, taking no prisoners. What will happen when the Renegades and the G.I. Joe team confront each other on the battleground? What will the Joe team think when men thought dead are found to be alive, and fighting for another side? What kind of threat could they be?
Determined to take the battle straight down Cobra’s throats, General Hawk and his new Renegades team work alongside the Steel Brigade to systematically remove several of Cobra’s operations around the world. They strike hard and fast, but before long the Renegades and the G.I. Joe team end up on the same operation.
Already the Headhunters, The Cobra ECO Terrorist team, and the Air Commandos fall victim to the quick strike tactics of the Renegades, which leads them to a complex Cobra operation designed to bring illegal immigrants into the country for some nefarious purpose.
While Hit & Run tries to convince his superiors to send him on this next mission, on the Cobra side, Vypra’s brother Carlos (the Venom subject Razorclaw) is attempting the same.
Meanwhile, Blackout and Zartan have formed a flimsy partnership, both with the same goal in mind – the elimination of Barrel Roll!
In the bowels of the Cobra temple, Interrogator continues Vypra’s secret imprisonment, using her for his own twisted schemes.
In the Southern United States, Cobra begins their immigration operation, and we meet Eel Commander Samon for the first time, leading his group of Cobra divers into American territory.
Striking fast, all three sides, Cobra, The Renegades, and G.I. Joe slam together into a quick and decisive battle, leaving two of the sides facing off against each other. Meanwhile, Hit & Run has vanished into the woods to chase down Razorclaw, who had made a quick escape. They clash briefly, but once Razorclaw learns who he is, he pulls back and offers to help so they can get Vypra free of the Interrogator’s clutches.
G.I. Joe and The Renegades come together, and the secrets of The Renegades team leaders are finally revealed, much to Falcon’s anger and the G.I. Joe team’s resentment. Learning that Duke and Flint (not to mention Mercer) are still alive is a mixture of relief and rage at the continued secret keeping.
In Zartan’s cabin, he has successfully captured Barrel Roll and he and Blackout are taking turns interrogating him, trying to break him before properly punishing him for the killing of Zarana. While in Utah, General Hawk comes back to the fold and is revealed to be one of the secret heads behind the nefarious “Renegade” team, much to the Joe’s dismay.
Cobra Commander and Black Dragon are putting together the final pieces for Operation: Eclipse, completely unaware that both Hit & Run and Razorclaw are revealing those details directly to the G.I. Joe upper brass. When Zartan has to leave, Blackout is swiftly overcome by Barrel Roll, and the NSA contractor escapes, a secret Cobra laptop tucked under his arm.
All of the pieces have fallen into place. Cobra is on the cusp of their most sinister plan ever, but the G.I. Joe team has intel about it, and is already on the move to disrupt those plans.
Everything will come to a head as we move forward to “Darkness Falls”, but not everyone will make it there alive…