#06 ICEBOUND, CHAPTER TWO: EARLY THAW
Publisher: Devil's Due
Issue Date: 2003
Issue Number: 6
As the Joe team continues to investigate the Operation: Coldfire laboratory, they are discovering weird frozen bodies, secret rooms and budget documents. Scarlett & Lifeline are attacked by a large hairy creature. Lifeline is slashed by the creature and could possibly be infected. Scarlett discovers some caves and the Joe team splits up to explore the caves. Lifeline has a theory that the scientists have crossed their human DNA with polar bears.
Notes of Interest
Duke's first mission to the Coldfire Laboratory was in 1995.
The Joes: Airtight, Duke, Frostbite, Lifeline, Scarlett, Snake-Eyes
Duke's 1995 Team: Officers Mull, Shapiro, Akins, Silver & Cormwell (all deceased)
Story: Dan Jolley & Drew Johnson,
Script & Letter: Dan Jolley,
Pencils: Drew Johnson & Tom Feister,
Inks: Ray Snyder,
Colors: JD Mettler,
Cover: Tony Harris
At the Operation Coldfire laboratory on the top of the world, Duke, Snake-Eyes, Scarlett, Airtight, Lifeline and Frostbite have come to the conclusion they are not alone. Someone or something caused the cave-in that seems to have trapped them in the building and Duke wants to find out who did it.
The Joes split into pairs to search the labs, and Duke and Snake-Eyes head off to explore the mysterious staircase they found last issue.
Meanwhile, Lifeline and Scarlett find more frozen corpses - but as Scarlett says, they seem a lot more "hairy" than the ones they saw previously. Lifeline is developing a theory on what sort of gene therapy was used here, but wants to keep it to himself for now. Scarlett finds the radio that sent the distress signal the Joes responded to last issue, and a generator; although it's shut down now, she informs Duke that she will try and get power restored and get the temperature rising.
Elsewhere, Airtight and Frostbite find more frozen corpses, and Duke and Snake-Eyes find a secret room with documents showing the facility was doing some serious budget tampering. The most interesting find, though, is a file folder stamped with a Cobra logo.
Just as Scarlett gets the power restored, she and Lifeline are attacked by a large, hairy creature. She calls the others for backup, and manages to nail the creature with a couple of bullets and a crossbow bolt - but it keeps coming.
Duke and Snake-Eyes arrive on the scene, and upon seeing the creature, Duke flashes back to his last visit here - and the crazed scientist he and his team came across.
Back in the present, faced with a barrage of fire from the Joes, the creature retreats. Snake-Eyes manages to stick a sword through its hand but it escapes, with Snake-Eyes and Airtight on its tail. Scarlett checks out Lifeline, who was slashed by the creature's claws, but he assures Duke it's just a minor laceration.
Snake-Eyes and Airtight chase the creature to a large hole in the floor of the lab. The others arrive on scene, and as Scarlett goes down to check out the cavern, Lifeline explains his theory to Duke and the others - he thinks the scientists human genes with polar bear genes.
Scarlett re-emerges to tell them the cavern is actually a whole system of caves, and while there was no sign of the creature that attacked them, her scanners registered a human being somewhere in the caves. Duke orders Lifeline and Airtight to stay behind while the rest of them go exploring.
As Airtight tries to lighten the mood with humour, Lifeline tells him he's not feeling too positive right now - after all, it seems obvious to him that Duke left him behind because, when he was scratched by the creature, he may have been infected with whatever it is the creatures have.
In the corridor outside, as the temperature rises, more creatures emerge from their thawing blocks of ice.
Summary by: Josh Kern