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Publisher: IDW Publishing
Issue Date: May 2010
Series: G.I. Joe Season 1
Issue Number: 18

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Stalker sends a group of Joes, including Cover Girl, Downtown and Tripwire, out on training mission in the desert above The Pit. Two Vipers, which appear by the MASS Device, proceed to kill and get killed by GI Joes.

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Notes of Interest

Introduction and death of Hammerhead.

Major Continuity Differences

Major Players

GI Joe: Cover Girl, Duke, Downtown, Hammerhead, Scarlett, Stalker, Tripwire

Cobra: Two Vipers, Dr. Orizama, Copperback (Glynis MacDougall)

Creative Team

Writer: Chuck Dixon
Artist: SL Gallant
Inker: Gary Erskine
Colors: Andrew Crossley
Letters: Chris Mowry
Assistant Editor: Carlos Guzman
Editor: Andy Schmidt

Cover Credits
Cover A: Artist: Kelsey Shannon
Cover Company: IDW

Cover B: Artist Robert Atkins
Cover Company: IDW

Cover C (Retail Incentive, Virgin Cover): Artist: Kelsey Shannon
Cover Company: IDW

Full Details

Stalker is standing in front two groups of Joes in the desert directly above The Pit. He reminds them that the last two times Joes have gone up against Cobras they lost Bazooka and Scarlett, Duke and Snake Eyes all barely survived. He wants them to get tough. He is sending them out into the desert with nothing, no water, no rations but with their guns, which are filled only with paint balls. The first Joe team, black shirt ones, will deploy outside the perimeter of The Pit and are tasked with trying to gain access to The Pit. The White shirt team is tasked with defending The Pit.

Cover Girl, Downtown and Tripwire are with a group lead by Hammerhead. Stalker drives them way out into the desert. On a cliff above the Joes, two Cobra Desert Vipers appear out of nowhere, courtesy of the MASS Device. They are tasked with discovering why a mysterious "army" base in the desert is so secret.

The two Vipers watch Stalker unload the white team. None of there GPS equipment is working nor is their communication. It is all being jammed.

Hammerhead a very big tall Joe takes charge of the group but Cover Girl questions his leadership and decides to hang way behind the group, Downtown follows her. Hammerhead leads the rest of the group with Tripwire pulling drag duty.

Downtown and Cover Girl get to know each other. Downtown is a lawyer who went to ROTC (Reserves Officer's Training Corps)and is a part of JAG (Judge Advocate General)Corps. Cover Girl spent time in Ft. Bragg's survival school and WHISC (Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation). Downtown is very thirsty but Cover Girl tells him to suck on a pebble to keep his mouth from getting dry and his mind off thinking he is thirsty. She then starts leading him to a potential water source.

Hammerhead spots one of the Vipers as he walks towards them, he assumes that Stalker has throw something unexpected into the exercise. He orders the Joes to open fire on the Viper, they do and make several deadly hits, but since they are paint balls it has no effect on the Viper. Hammerhead stands up from behind cover and screams at the Viper that he is supposed to retire when he gets hit. The Viper just guns down Hammerhead and four other members of the team. Downtown hears the gun fire and pulls Cover Girl to a safe area before they are spotted by the second Viper. The last remaining Joe of the group is Tripwire, who has fired all of his paint balls. The Viper drops his real gun, knife and pistol to engage Tripwire in hand to hand combat. Tripwire only lasts one move before the Viper kicks him in the head knocking him down and almost out.

Downtown fires his paint gun directly at the masked cover of Viper temporary blinding him as Cover Girl stabs him in his leg. Downtown then hits him in his head with the butt of the gun. They immediately begin stripping him of his weapons. After tying up Tripwire the second Viper comes up to them just as Cover Girl & Downtown escape around the corner.

After bandaging his leg the very injured Viper is helped back to where Tripwire is tied up. They begin walking. Cover Girl watches them walk and she figures since they left Tripwire alive they are trying to gain access to The Pit. Downtown tells her that their is only four bullets in the Viper's gun, since she is the better marksman, he gets the two grenades.

The healthy Viper is interrogating Tripwire on the location of The Pit by holding a blade to his bare foot. Tripwire's answers are sarcastic and he gets his foot cut by the Viper.

Downtown walks up to them with grenades in both hands. As the Viper comes out from cover he spots Cover Girl's shadow above him, he quickly turns and shoots her as Downtown throws his grenades at the Viper. Tripwire with bloody cut up feet, and tied hands, attacks the injured Viper, who can barely move because he has lost so much blood. He successfully steals the pistol and as the Viper is turning back around to fire at Downtown now completely defenseless. Tripwire kills the Viper.

Later just after the sun has set, Cover Girl with her injured shoulder and Downtown are carrying Tripwire as the come in contact with the black group. Stalker spots them first, immediately understanding that the drill is over, he calls for a medic.

Hours later as the sun rising, Stalker, Duke and Scarlett find the bodies of the two dead Vipers. The buzzards have been eating them, as the MASS Device begins to bring them back to Section Zero. Scarlett sees in person the effects of the MASS Device that Brainstorm and Snake Eyes informed her about. Both of the Vipers completely disappear. Everything gear, body parts all of it.

In Section Zero, Copperback (Glynis MacDougall) and Dr. Orizama are waiting to receive the Vipers but all they get are the dead partly eaten bodies.

summary by Josh Eggebeen