GI JOE A REAL AMERICAN HERO #169
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Issue Date: August 2011
Series: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero
Issue Number: 169
Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow and Billy discover an Arashikage dojo and investigate. Sneak Peek begins a debriefing of his secret mission in Darklonia. Firefly and Crystal Ball battle the Joes in the Chrysler Building. Iceberg's team concludes its mission as Dr. Mindbender finally and completely destroys the Brainwave Scanner.
Notes of Interest
This issue continues the A Real American Hero (ARAH) continuity series that was originally finished in 1994 with issue #155, often called the Hamaverse.
Sneak Peek returns alive and well to explain his secret mission in Darklonia.
The introduction of a new sect of the Arashikage Ninja Clan that Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow & Billy are unaware of.
GI Joe: Blizzard, Chuckles, Cold Front, Cross Country, Frostbite, Jane Colton, Joe Colton, Iceberg, Mainframe, Roadblock, Snake Eyes, Sneak Peek, Stalker, Storm Shadow,
Cobra: Cobra Commander, Dr. Mindbender, Dr. Venom (Digital version), Firefly, Crystal Ball
Additional Characters: Billy, Kwinn (Digital version), Master of the Arashikage Dojo
Writer: Larry Hama
Artist: SL Gallant
Inker: Gary Erskine
Colors: J. Brown
Letters: Shawn Lee
Editor: Carlos Guzman
Cover Artist: SL Gallant & Gary Erskine, Colors by J. Brown
Cover Company: IDW
Cover B: Artist: Herb Trimpe, Colors by J. Brown
Cover Company: IDW
Cover C (Retail Incentive): Artist: Larry Hama
Cover Company: IDW
Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, New York; Storm Shadow, Snake Eyes and Billy drive to a building with a Cyrillic (A Russian language) sign that when translated reads as "Storm Shadow's dojo." Japanese writing on a window graphic reads "Arashikage Dojo" in Japanese and has the familiar I Ching symbol that represents the Arashikage Ninja Clan. They are not familiar with this dojo and move in to investigate. Snake Eyes stops Storm Shadow and signals them to wait in the car. He is going to go in the back way first by himself. Billy and Storm Shadow wait outside in a Chevelle.
In Broca Beach, New Jersey, Dr. Mindbender is tinkering with the damaged Brainwave Scanner. A team of intelligent robots assist him. Cobra Commander barges in, ordering Mindbender to stop and to focus on repairing the damaged Soviet low frequency sound weapon. Dr. Mindbender persists in repairing the Brainwave Scanner convincing the Commander that it would be the only way to keep Billy and Storm Shadow in check. Cobra Commander now swayed, gives the doctor an hour. Dr. Mindbender returns to his work when a robot points to a monitor with Dr. Venom pleading for help.
Midtown Manhattan, New York; Crystal Ball and Firefly use Crystal Ball's hypno-shield to hypnotize the fake office staff. At the top of the of Chrysler building Mainframe, Joe Colton and his wife Jane Colton try to figure out a way to find the intruders using infrared scanners.
Thule, Greenland; Iceberg and Frostbite are holding guns to the head of the Cobra pilots of the Cobra transport plane they are forcing to land. They communicate with the tower regarding landing at the US air base. Iceberg sends them a code that allows immediate clearance. The plane is quickly surrounded by American military. Iceberg deals with the officer in charge, showing him his ID. He examines a blacked out card with only his code name and a direct phone number to the White House on the back.
In Utah at The PIT; Stalker is riding the elevator down to one of the lower levels, he walks past Cross Country who is fixing a vehicle and into a secure area where Roadblock allows him access to a room. Chuckles opens the door and Stalker hand delivers the ultra secret file he has been ordered to hand deliver. Chuckles thanks him and closes the door.
Chuckles turns to a Joe sitting in the room and tells him that this is the secret NSA information that he requested. The file contains the information that Sneak Peek collected when he was on his deep cover mission in Darklonia. Sneak Peek then begins to tell of how he set up an observation post at the Zbrigo Inn, just outside Castle Darklon.
In flashback: Sneak Peek arrives on motorcycle carrying a guitar case on his back in Sterile Mufti, a small village in the Darklonian Alps. He finds the local village inn and asks the inn keeper for a room with a view of the ruins of Castle Darklon. He introduces himself as a Canadian. He pays in advance for six weeks. Once inside his room he uses his surveillance scope to begin investigating the ruins. Back at Brighton Beach, Storm Shadow and Billy observe a group of thugs make a wide berth to avoid the dojo, concerned; Billy opens the door to the car but Storm Shadow tells him to stay put. Inside the dojo men dressed all in red are sparring. They notice Snake Eyes paying his respects at a shrine of a sword with tea cups that are under the Arashikage symbol. They recognize that he is wearing a mask. The Master is an older gentleman, he has a mostly bald head, except for around the ears, and a grey beard. He understands Snake Eyes body language that he is there to test them in a match. He says "He wants to test our talent." to his students.
In the Chrysler Building, Firefly and Crystal Ball have hypnotized the office staff into forming a human shield around them. Unexpectedly, the elevator doors open in front of them and they confront the Joes inside the car. Firefly gets the drop first and fires into the chest of Joe Colton as Mainframe pushes the door closed button. Joe Colton was wearing a Kevlar vest and it saved his life but he has multiple broken ribs, bullets in his arms and possible internal bleeding. The elevator opens on the bottom floor and Jane rushes out; machine gun in hand to get revenge. Joe Colton just laughs and jokes that Cobra is trouble now.
At the dojo, Snake Eyes prepares to fight. The Master recognize his form as "baiting the tiger" Snake Eyes shifts and he sees that he is now in the posture "hidden talon". The Master, studyies Snake Eyes' Arashikage based form and immediately recognizes it as perfect. He is able to deduce the outcome of the battle in his mind. Seeing his students slain in the vision, he stops the match before it starts and declares Snake Eyes the winner. He says, "Decision in favor of the challenger."
Jane finds Firefly and Crystal Ball. Firefly reveals a detonator, as he does Mainframe calls Jane and tells her that they found the hostages all tied to a satchel charge. Firefly has the advantage.
Snake Eyes has Billy and Storm Shadow enter the dojo. The Master is sitting with his students in a semi circle around him as the three Arashikage Ninjas enter the circle. The Master explains the history of the dojo. "We are the last adepts of a mystic style passed down from a ninja who was captured in Vladivostock during the latter days of the great war against fascism. Our style was taught secretly in the gulags and when the camps were closed we continued on always sub-rosa (in secret). You are the first practitioners of this form we have ever encountered who, may we ask are you?" All at once Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow and Billy pull the sleeves of right arms up point their arm to the ground and show the Master and students the Arashikage tattoo. The students and Master bow to the true masters of Arashikage.
In Broca Beach, Dr. Mindbender listens as Dr. Venom tells him how he can gain immortality through technology and the Brainwave Scanner, in the monitor from behind him a ghostly Kwinn calls to the Weasel saying "Come weasel, the bear is angry. The ice is hungry. The darkness waits." The Eskimo cups his hand over Dr. Venom's mouth and drags him back into the world of the scanner. Witnessing that, Dr. Mindbender destroys what remains of the machine and walks away.
Summary by Ted Jacobson