EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES PART (2 OF 2)
Publisher: Devil's Due
Issue Date: February 2007
Series: G.I. Joe: America's Elite
Issue Number: 20
Duke and General Rey gain from Zandar information on where to look for Rey's missing history. They go to talk to Rey's psychologist Dr. Stevens, who turns out to be Crystal Ball. Crystal Ball explains Rey/Serpentor's past, Rey beats up Duke, tells him to kill Duke and instead of shooting him knocks out Crystal Ball. Rey's hypnotic hold is busted when he refuses to kill Duke.
Notes of Interest
Data Desk File: Crystal Ball General Rey/Serpentor story is revealed and clarified. Re-appearance of Stalker's Family Lydia, Jamal & Alvin First appearance of Spirit's family. Cover Girl & Shipwreck are dating. 2 page preview of American's Elite #21 with new Writer Mark Powers and new artist Mike Bear.
The Joe Team: Gen. Rey, Clutch, Cover Girl, Duke, Footloose, Grunt, Hawk, Mutt & Junkyard, Law, Roadblock, Rock 'n' Roll, Shipwreck, Stalker, Spirit, Wild Bill Cobra: Crystal Ball (Dr. Stevens) Dreadnoks: Zartan, Zandar, Zanya, Buzzer, Torch, Ripper, Road Pig, Thrasher In flashback: Cobra Commander, Destro, Dr. Mindbender, General Gibbs, Major Bludd, Flint, Shockwave, Firewall, Mercer, original Serpentor (Marvel), 2nd Version of Serpentor (Devil's Due) Additional characters: Spirit's family
Writer/Editor: Mike O'Sullivan, Pencils: Tim Seeley, Javier Siclia, Inkers: Robert Q. Atkins, Nick Nix, Colorist: Chris Summers, Letters: Brian J. Crowley, Military Advisor: Phil Kost, Special thanks to Dan "Counselor" Billings and Brian "Beanie" Torney, Cover: Tim Seeley, Robert Q. Atkins, Stephane Peru
In the Florida Everglades, Zartan has given his brother Zandar to General Rey and Duke so he can answer questions they have about Rey's past. After a knife fight, Rey is able to pin Zandar and Zandar starts talking.
Zandar explains several things: his persona James Nurss was used when he worked for the Coil and Dr. Mindbender, using Nurss he brokered a deal between Mindbender and the Jugglers, he made a big delivery and finally he tells them to talk to Rey's psychologist Dr. Stevens.
At the Rock, Spirit is looking at digital photos of his family, his family has been relocated and even he isn't allowed to know where they are located. Hawk expresses his apologies for sending Spirit on the mission to find Cobra Commander. That mission turned into a tortured year that he doesn't remember much of but as he remembers more he completely blames one person, Cobra Commander.
Stalker at his home is trying to sleep when his son Jamal jumps on him. His wife Lydia and other son Alvin also come into the room all wanting to know if he is going with them to the pool. He agrees, the kids leave and Lydia understands that Stalker is feeling the loss of not seeing them grow up. She reassures him that the work he is doing is important and she is very proud of him.
In Las Vegas, Shipwreck and Roadblock are at the annual Joe poker game sitting at their table is also Rock 'n' Roll, Clutch and Cover Girl. Roadblock asks when they are finally going to meet Shipwreck's mysterious girlfriend. Cover Girl speaks up saying that she is dating him. Everyone is completely surprised.
Duke and Rey confront Dr. Stevens.
Rey wants to know why Zandar would be sending him to see him. Rey attacks and Stevens says the word "Draculea", Rey's eyes gaze over and Stevens orders him to kill Duke. Rey immediately attacks Duke. As Duke and Rey fight, Duke keeps asking why Rey is attacking him. Eventually, Rey gets the upper hand putting a gun to Duke's head. Stevens says "It is good to see you be your true self again. Now its time for you to embrace your purpose to reclaim the role and title that is rightfully yours. My emperor. Your destiny calls with killing this Joe you reclaim your true name Serpentor."
Holding the gun to Duke, Rey asks Stevens to tell him the truth. Stevens then begins explaining the Rey/Serpentor story.
Serpentor is an amalgam of the greatest warriors of history, Julius Caesar, Napoleon, Attilla the Hun, Alexander the Great, Hannibal, Genghis Khan, Ivan the Terrible, Vlad the Impaler and even Storm Shadow. Dr. Mindbender and Destro collected the DNA from all of these leaders (see Marvel GI Joe #49). Mindbender created 12 clones and aged two of them. The DNA was mixed into the aged synthetic clone. One of the clones became the 1st Serpentor. The second one Mindbender changed the look and with Crystal Ball's help programmed a series of post hypnotic triggers into this additional clone. Then Zandar was recruited to create the James Nurss identity that brokered the sale of the altered synthetic to General Gibbs of the Jugglers. The deal was made during the first Cobra Civil War. The 1st Serpentor was killed and that body destroyed in the buried freighter. (See Marvel GI Joe #75 & #126) Later, Cobra Island was seized by the UN and the 10 remaining unaged clones confiscated. The Coil using clandestine operations continued Mindbender's work creating the 2nd Serpentor (actually a new clone), which was eventually beaten and nearly killed by Cobra Commander in the second Cobra Civil War. (See DDP #22-25) The body of that synthetic also came into the control of US government. The US government activated their first synthetic and sent him after Cobra agents, assigning him to lead the GI Joe team and gave him the name General Phillip Rey. (See DDP #36-41) Later, the 2nd Serpentor and Jugglers were killed by the Red Shadows (see DDP #42-43). Eventually, Crystal Ball using the Dr. Stevens identity became Rey's psychologist, but this time Cobra Commander was in charge disguised as the Chief of Staff to the President of the United States. Using one of the post hypnotic triggers they activated Rey and used him to attack the Joes at The Rock (see America's Elite #14).
Now Crystal Ball is asking Rey to kill Duke so he can truly become Serpentor. Then they can destroy Cobra Commander and he can claim his rightful place as emperor of all. As Crystal Ball screams "DO IT" at Rey, Rey looks at Duke, then he knocks out Crystal Ball. Rey says "My name is not Serpentor. My name is Philip Rey."
Later, Duke and Rey are talking. Rey believes that he broke the hypnotic trigger by refusing to kill Duke, Crystal Ball was going to use Rey to gain power and Rey is now an unknown element. Duke feels like he should arrest Rey but at the same time Rey has shown great abilities in defending democracy. He needs to consult with General Colton, but he is willing to leave him as General Rey. But as they shake hands Duke says "I see even a trace of Serpentor and I will take you out permanently. Don't make me regret this" Rey's response "I won't let you down."
Summary by Josh Eggebeen