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Publisher: IDW Publishing
Issue Date: August 2012
Series: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero
Issue Number: 181

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Darklon is being held captive at The Pit, Python Vipers wearing fourth generation Python uniforms free him, or so they think. Duke lets Darklon escape on purpose. Pale Peony was captured by a Blue Ninja and finds herself rescued by her teammates Zarana and Road Pig.

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Notes of Interest

Darklon’s helmet is surgically attached.

Introduction and First Appearance of Pale Peony (Her real name is Margarita Shiro)

(Her first appearance was in the DDP Storm Shadow series written by Larry Hama, not in this continuity.)

Major Players

GI Joe: Duke, Mainframe, Scarlett, Stalker, Snake Eyes, Lifeline, Psyche-Out, Roadblock, Tunnel Rat, Tripwire, Tollbooth, Dusty, Lt. Falcon, Barbeque, Outback, Ambush, Muskrat

Cobra: Road Pig, Zarana, Destro, Baroness, Zartan, Cobra Commander

Additional Characters: Pale Peony, Darklon

Creative Team

Writer: Larry Hama
Artist: S.L. Gallant
Inker: Gary Erskine
Colors: J. Brown
Letters: Shaun Lee
Editor: Carlos Guzman

Cover Credits
Cover A: Artist: Ron Frenz & Sal Buscema, Colors by Romulo Fajardo, Jr,
Cover Company: IDW

Cover B: Artist: Herb Trimpe, Colors by Romulo Fajardo, Jr,
Cover Company: IDW

Cover C (Retail Incentive): Artist: Larry Hama
Cover Company: IDW

Full Details

The Pit, Duke is debriefing Snake Eyes, Stalker, and Scarlett about the mission in San Diego. Mainframe is providing the information via a video that was posted on the internet. The video was of an interview with a cosplayer. The fight took place behind her.

The climax of the mission, seen in the video, shows Snake Eyes battling with Pale Peony, who escapes. Duke questions why she was let go. Scarlett and Stalker defend Snake Eyes’ actions. The ninja, recognizing Snake Eyes Arashikage forms, changed her own to nonlethal counters. Snake Eyes, picks the pocket his adversary getting the Kryton flash drive. Since she was obviously a trained Arashikage ninja, he let her go out of respect and in turn for her changing to non-lethal methods in their fight.

Duke accepts the explanation, but is bothered that they were not able to interrogate the individual identified now as Pale Peony. Mainframe digs up the intel on her. She is trained as an Arashikage, her name is Margarita Shiro, she has Yakuza ties and her mother was connected to the Russian Mafia. They watch as she gets abducted into a van by a Blue Ninja on the security cameras.

In the security section of the Pit Lifeline and Psyche-Out discuss Darklon’s helmet. It is surgically attached and has a GPS. They surmise that the depth of the Pit underground render it useless, but are still concerned.

In Darklonia, Darklon’s troops have located him and they have AGPs piloted by Python Patrol equipped personnel standing by. The signal is a diagram of the Kryton device.

Back at the Pit, Tripwire and Tunnel Rat study the Kryton device by creating a 3-D model. They find out that it is completely wireless. Tripwire says the device will work as designed but the nano-transmitters and receivers are too powerful for their designated purpose. It is more like they were designed to communicate with a similar device in the same building.

Tollbooth is driving an 18 wheeler to the Pit loaded with supplies, it looks like the coast is clear and he signals Dusty to let him into the Pit. Two stealthy AGPs come up behind the truck and two Python Vipers jump onto the truck. They use their Fourth Generation suits to disappear. Soon they are in the Pit.

In San Diego a Blue Ninja is talking to Pale Peony who is being held in a small cargo container in the kitchen of a house for sale. When she tells him she does not have the Kryton device, nor does she know where it is; he attacks. He uses his monofilament saber to slice open the container. Pale Peony crams herself into the corner of it and he misses her. The loud noise of motorcycles pulling into the driveway distracts him. He looks, only to see two empty bikes. Road Pig kicks down the door and the Blue Ninja slices his cement block weapon in two. Road Pig grabs him by the neck and rips his arm off. He uses the saber still being held by the now detached arm to kill the Blue Ninja and free Pale Peony. Zarana explains to Pale Peony that it was important to keep the hunt for the Kryton under wraps until the Joes constructed a test model.

Lifeline watches as the supply truck is unloaded. He gets an alert that Darklon needs attention. He has Roadblock get Darklon out of his cell and escort him to sick bay. Darklon attacks and knocks out Roadblock then meets up with the two invisible Python Vipers. Roadblock lets Lifeline know he is ok because he was ready for the assault.

In Castle Destro in Scotland, Destro is fencing. The Baroness interrupts the match. She found an elaborate bait for a Trojan horse operation hidden in the information given to Duke by Destro about the Kryton.

The Pit is under attack, there are explosions on three levels and the elevators are compromised. Duke hopes Darklon has not already escaped the Pit. He asks Mainframe to check the cameras. Darklon met up with two Python Vipers and the audio picked up a mention of AGPs in a holding pattern somewhere nearby. Duke sends Muskrat, Ambush, and Outback out in a Hammer. Darklon slips under the Hammer and rides out of the Pit. The Python Vipers are captured, but Duke says it is a low priority. His intent is to turn the Trojan horse around and track Darklon in an attempt to take down their network.

Broca Beach. Cobra Commander stands in the ruins of the Boardwalk (issue 178) He is about to board a Cobra transport chopper and leave the soon to be casino. Zartan wheels up on a motorcycle and lets the Commander know Darklon has escaped the Pit. The Commander finds the news interesting but not that interesting. Zartan goes on to tell him that Darklon is now working with Pale Peony, Road Pig, and Zarana. They are planning on going into business for themselves and cutting Cobra Commander out of the deal.