COBRA #5 - SERPENT'S TALE PART 1: THE NEST
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Issue Date: June 2010
Series: G.I. Joe Cobra
Issue Number: 5
Stephen Minasian, leader of The Coil, is interviewed on TV by Dana Abrahm, who asks him questions that he doesn't like. Leonard Michaels, known as Scoop to Hawk, is hired by him to investigate Stephen Minasian and The Coil in Los Angeles.
Notes of Interest
Even though it is issue #5 this is actually the first of issue of the regular monthly series. It follows Issue #4 of the Cobra II mini series but has reverted back to just using the Cobra title.
Serpentor is given a real name, Stephen Minasian.
Major Continuity Differences
Serpentor's involvement with The Coil.
The whole nature of The Coil as a religious organization.
GI Joe: Scoop, Hawk
Additional characters: Dana Abrahm (TV newscaster), Judge Hickman, Police Detective Hendel
"Serpent's Tale Part 1: The Nest "
Writers: Mike Costa & Christos N. Gage
Artist: Sergio Carrera
Colors: Lovern Kindzierski
Letters: Robbie Robbins
Assistant Editor: Carlos Guzman
Editor: Andy Schmidt
Cover A: Artist: Antonio Fuso
Cover Company: IDW
Cover B: Artist: Ben Templesmith
Cover Company: IDW
Cover C (Retail Incentive, Virgin Cover): Artist: Ben Templesmith
Cover Company: IDW
General Hawk is stunned to find he has lost contact with Special Agent Chuckles, whose mission was to infiltrate the mysterious evil organization Cobra. With few clues about the true nature of the shadowy organization, Hawk is forced to turn to unorthodox measures in his quest to find intel essential to bringing Cobra down.
Serpentor in full armor with green cape is in a dark basement in front of a fire screaming COBRA-La-La-La-La-La. My blood is frozen by revelation . . . and the scales fall from my eyes.
Later in a news station's studio, a TV reporter, Dana Abrahm, is interviewing Stephen Minasian on camera regarding his position as the founder and principle figure in the religious organization The Coil.
She welcomes him to her program and opens with a question about the considerable fame and controversy that has been attributed to him. Bald and wearing an expensive suit, Minasian responses with clearing up a common misconception that The Coil is not a religious organization. He goes on to explain that it is a system of knowledge and self-improvement that embraces all faiths. Dana responses with another question about how his critics accuse him of running a cult. His answer is that he has over a million strong membership, which includes doctors, teachers, artists, assembly line workers who are all functioning members of society. Dana asks a follow up question that points out that he has many high profile movie stars and recording artists and their membership is part of what brought attention to The Coil. He answers by explaining that The Coil's system helps create successful people and it would be tacky and unfair to mention any names of his members.
Dana then asks him why he chose to use the snake as its motif. Minasian explains that the snake is a symbol misunderstood for a millennium. He references the Garden of Eden snake and that is where the devil reference and creepiness comes from. He reminds her that was written in the book Revelation nearly 500 years after it happen. He lifts his hand to show a coiled snake tattoo on his hand. He continues explaining about snakes. The original symbol of the serpent is of wisdom & change. He then shifts to blaming the large bureaucratic systems that have suppressed the status quo. He says that The Coil promotes wisdom and change.
Next, Dana directly confronts him about the high costs for those results and that The Coil is estimated to bring in 1.2 billion dollars a year. Stephen Minasian, now annoyed, tells her that his members pay what they can afford to pay and a considerable amount of that money is funneled back into their charities, drug free programs and famine relief.
Dana asks on last question. She brings six faces up on the screen and asks him why a large number of people associated with The Coil have simply disappeared. Minasian, now pissed, answers directly telling her that many of the people who come to The Coil are troubled souls to start with, many find success but other don't he has no idea where they have gone. He also points out that many of these people maybe choosing to not contact their relatives on purpose.
He turns to the camera and urges the audience to go to their local nest, there are 300 in the US and more growing internationally, where they will be welcomed with open arms, they can help you find what you are looking for in one of The Coil's circles. He smiles at the camera and the interview is over.
Sitting in a beat up car in a dark street late at night, a man is thinking to himself as he watches the house of a man he believes is cheating on his wife. He is paid to be there by her, he is a private investigator. He has already discovered the criminal record of the husband that the wife didn't know about. And now he is just waiting to get his photographic proof. The husband spots him and rushes out threatening him with wrench, the PI quickly grabs the big husband slamming his head into his car breaking off his teeth. A little later he is sitting the back seat of a Los Angeles County Sheriff's car, as the husband is giving a statement to an officer. But the PI knows the Police Lieutenant and the busted up husband has two domestic priors, so they let Michaels (the PI's last name) go, plus they hand him back his busted camera. Michaels just lost a $2000 camera and the job only paid $1500.
In his office, Leonard Michaels is doing research online. The woman never paid and even ended up going back to her busted up husband anyway. The phone rings, he answers Michaels and Sons, even thought he doesn't have any sons and the caller knows it. The man on the other side of the phone is General Hawk of the GI Joe team. He asks Michaels to investigate The Coil and especially Minasian. Michaels protests wondering what the point is all about. He gets angry because before he was a PI he was an investigative journalist who exposed people like Hawk and his super secret off the books military position. He tells Hawk he doesn't like him or working for him. Hawk doesn't care he can call another washed up loser whose file he has on his desk. He tells him that the job pays $40,000, which immediately changes Michaels tune and he accepts the assignment. After arrangements for information drops are made, Michaels asks Hawk to make sure his PI license stays current. Hawk agrees and hangs up looking down at his desk which has three file folders with pictures and names on them. The first is Michaels with the name Scoop under his picture, the other two; a blonde woman with the name Understudy and a dark haired woman named Mimic.
Scoop, Leonard Michaels, is doing research on Stephen Minasian through the internet. He discovers 7 court cases about the people that disappeared who were associated with The Coil and only one judge ruled in the favor of prosecution. Outside of the famous LA Police building, Scoop confronts Judge Hickman about the case, but of course he refuses to give any information. Scoop expected this but the information he does get he sees on the face of the judge, Fear.
Scoop, visits a small town north of Los Angeles called Ojai, where the first enclave of The Coil was formed. The compound has been deserted for years. He visits many of the locals who lost relatives when The Coil moved south and they moved with them, never to be heard from again.
He then visits Hendel, a police detective, who investigated a few of the disappearances and he doesn't get much.
He walks into The Coil Center, the public headquarters, asking for help. A nice lady comforts him and shows him in. She shows him a coiled snake on the wall (the same as the tattoo on Stephen Minasian). The snake has a weird hypnotic effect that is broken as he is ushered into a large research room filled with regular people and people wearing yellow jackets. He watches people with the yellow jackets being admitted to a private area, so he steals a yellow jacket and walks in accepted as one of them.
The next room he enters is a cafeteria that is huge, he sees famous TV stars and a movie star whos movie just opened at #1 with a $70 million opening. But one hallway off to the side had several people walk down it but no one walk out. So he investigates the hallway. He discovers a secret hidden side door that leads down.
He can only see a shadow of a caped figure and hears "We are having a serious communication crisis here. We have to stay on message tonight! Incidentally spread the word. No one is to go on Dana Abrahm's show. I want her off the air in six months. Furthermore, she has to be younger then fifteen this time we can't have. . . " the voice trails off as it walks away from Scoop. After waiting a little while he steps into the room. He sees an alter that is covered in human blood. He turns around and is totally startled by a large painting of a half man with the lower half of his body being the body of a snake.
Summary by Josh Eggebeen