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Publisher: IDW Publishing
Issue Date: October 2011
Series: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero
Issue Number: 171

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The Joes are sent to capture Darklon alive at all costs. They invade Castle Darklon unnoticed at first thanks to Sneak Peek's intelligence gathering. The attack is in progress as Sneak Peek is being debriefed by Chuckles. The threat to the Arashikage clan is revealed.

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Notes of Interest

Introduction of the Blue Ninjas.

Major Players

GI Joe: Chuckles, Flint, Joe Colton, Jane Colton, Lady Jaye, Lift Ticket, Recondo, Roadblock, Snake Eyes, Sneak Peek, Storm Shadow, Wild Bill,


Additional Characters: Billy, Katya, Darklon, Blue Ninja, Russian/nameless master, Darklonian guards Python Vipers

Creative Team

Writer: Larry Hama
Artist: S.L. Gallant
Inker: Gary Erksine
Colors: J. Brown
Letters: Neil Uyetake
Editor: Carlos Guzman

Cover Credits
Cover Artist: S.L. Gallant, Colors by Gary Erksine
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

Full Details

Lady Jaye, Flint, Recondo, and Roadblock are being flown in a Tomahawk piloted by Wild Bill and Lift Ticket. Their destination is the ruins of Castle Darklon in Darklonia. The purpose of their mission is to bring back the once thought dead Darklon alive and kicking. They are spotted by a border guard on a bicycle as they fly in.

In Utah deep inside The Pit, Sneak Peek continues his summary of his mission in Darklonia. He tells of how he dealt with the Innkeeper's daughter Katya. His room was searched by the border guards but thanks to Katya all they found in the case he kept his scope in was a guitar with her name on the head stock.

In Darklonia deep below the Castle Ruins, Darklon is in a control center, he orders the castle defenses activated when the troops identify the invading helicopter as a GI Joe Tomahawk. Missile platforms pop out of the ground.

In flashback: Sneak Peek tells of his growing relationship with Katya, he confronted her about the name on the guitar. She is coy and admits nothing but tells him she hid his telescope in the woodpile. The Tomahawk lands and Flint, Lady Jaye and Roadblock quickly get out.

In flashback: Now that Sneak Peek's cover has been blown he has a decision to make, pull up stakes or stay committed to his mission. The ordeal he put his family through should not be for nothing (See Marvel Issue 113). A week later he and Katya are at the carnival and talking, where she invites him to go on a picnic with her at the ruins of the castle. The Joes break into a cottage where they find a hidden door to a cellar. The Darklonian troops have lost track of the Tomahawk cause it has just disappeared of their radar. This makes Darklon suspicious.

In flashback: Sneak Peek and Katya have their picnic. She offers to show him more of the area. Darklon orders surveillance. Yet another doorway this time a more modern looking one made of steel is found by Flint. Darklon orders the search perimeter widened.

Chuckles reprimands Sneak Peek for involving a civilian. Sneak Peek continues.

In flashback: Katya tells Sneak Peek of the suspicious nature of a certain guard who came to the Inn for ale and how the house he resided in was built over the drainage ditch that was covered up after the castle was destroyed. Darklon realizes the Joes must be using the drainage ditch bolt hole. He orders the blast doors shut. Too late, Flint catches on to what is going on and lobs a grenade over Roadblock's head.

In flashback: One day Sneak Peek notices some workers loading trucks, however these are no ordinary workers, they are wearing Python patrol trousers. He follows the truck they loaded and the tire tracks lead directly into a wall and just end. Python Vipers are sent after Flint and his team, they find the carnage left by the grenade attack. The Vipers look over a body to make sure the Joes did not switch uniforms and play possum. The body is booby-trapped with a satchel charge that goes off.

In flashback: Sneak Peek spies a sensor array near the castle, it alone is not proof of Cobra so he calls on Joe Colton and G.I. Jane. They use the weapon in Manhattan (See Marvel Issue #169) to destroy the array. Python Vipers scurry out to check on the array. Now Sneak Peek has what he needs. The Python Vipers continue their search for the invading Joes. All sensors are out. When the Darklonians check the Python cams worn by the vipers they work briefly until the signal suddenly goes to snow. Roadblock's diversion works in sector 3. This has left a skeleton crew in the control room with Darklon. Flint and Lady Jaye attack and Darklon finds himself on the biting end of a taser's electrodes.

In flashback: Sneak Peek puts away his scope and is packing up, the border guards arrive. Next we find Katya driving a van she winds up shooting the guards. Alerted by the shooting Sneak Peek jumps out of the back of the van. Katya orders him to get back in and keep quiet. Wild Bill & Lift Ticket lands amidst hostile fire to pick up Lady Jaye, Flint, Roadblock and the now captured Darklon. Roadblock tosses him into the chopper, as Flint faces the last of the Python vipers.

In flashback: Katya hands Sneak Peek the papers he will need to escape Darklonia. She admonishes him not to say he will come back for her. She reveals she is a member of the Darklonian underground. She tells him to take the intel she gave him and put it to good use, that would mean more to her than to try to return for her. A wounded Python Viper grabs his rifle and fires one last burst at the chopper. Darklon and Lady Jaye are both seriously wounded in the attack. Recondo says there is only enough plasma and anticoagulant on board to treat one of them. Flint says it's his call.

In Brighton Brooklyn in the Russian version of the Arashikage Clan dojo, Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow and Billy are talking about the history of this lost clan with the Russian/nameless Master. A Blue Ninja drives up and fires an RPG into the front of the dojo, there is a massive explosion.

Summary by Ted Jacobson