COBRA #12 COBRA COMMAND
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Issue Date: April 2012
Series: G.I. Joe Cobra Vol. 2 Cobra Civil War
Issue Number: 12
Hawk reads Chuckles last report which was written just after he assassinated Cobra Commander and before he destroys the entire Cobra base. At the same, Chameleon (Erika Le Tene) discovers Chuckles report and confronts Hawk.
Notes of Interest
GI Joe: Chuckles, Chameleon (Erika Le Tene), Dial Tone, Firewall, Hawk, Jinx
Additional Cobra Appearances: Baroness, Cobra Commander, Major Bludd, Tomax
Writer: Mike Costa
Artist: Antonio Fuso
Colorist: Arianna Florean
Letterer: Neil Uyetake
Editor: John Barber & Carlos Guzman
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover A: Art by Antonio Fuso, Colors Arianna Florean
Cover B: Art by David Williams, Colors by Kelsey Shannon
Cover C (Retail Incentive): Art by Antonio Fuso
“24 Months ago, “Cobra” was just the whisper on the lips of a dying man. The largest paramilitary, organized crime and terrorist organization in the world was so clandestine, the top operatives of America’s most elite unit had never even heard of it.
However, after the assassination of their leader, Cobra elected a new Commander – one who had no use for secrecy. He marched Cobra from the shadows, invaded a sovereign country, engaged in all out warfare and detonated nuclear weapons. Cobra is now fearsome military power with legitimate political influence on the world’s stage. From a whisper to a war-zone, in the space of 24 months. And it all started with one man . . . "
(Editor's Note: What follows is a letter written to Hawk by Chuckles as his final report after executing Cobra Commander in Issue #12 of GI Joe. The quotes are directly quoted from Chuckles letter.)
“My name is Phillip M Provost. (pictured with Scarlett & Duke) I know what you’re thinking, that’s not your name anymore. Screw You. I agreed to change my name to something that was, frankly moronic. I agreed to allow my entire life to be erased. And then - and this really is the craziest part – I agreed for it to be erased again. And then I took on so many names that I couldn’t remember which line was which sometimes. You know how many times some twitchy mass-murderer I was running guns or drugs or whatever with would say my “name” and I’d just stare blankly at him, not realizing he was talking to me? A Lot.” (Chuckles sits at a campfire surrounded by those mass-murderers) “You know? How many times that made them suspicious? Every time. Every single time. So that’s enough. I let you wipe everything away and all you left me with was fear and paranoia. But I’m taking my name back now. That’s the one thing I’m giving back to myself. Here at end in my final report” Hawk is standing in a suit and tie in his office in the Washington DC reading the report.
“I was a fat kid. You know fat and always wearing clothes from the Salvation Army. Also, I wasn’t a very good student. I guess I didn’t have the best parental support. Mom left and took my younger sister with her. Guess she figured what I needed most was a strong male presence in my life (Phillip is asleep at his desk, he sits watching TV, his Mom sneaks away with a baby and his father is shown using his belt as a whip.)
“You know what fat kids, who aren’t very smart get good at? Taking beatings. And getting angry. Perfect recruit for this man’s army.” (Phillip watches a soccer game, a bully beats him up, he lifts very small weights. He stands in front of a drill sergeant.) They appreciated my ability to absorb punishment. But not so much my mouth, ultimately, the Army doesn’t have much use for a totally self-destructive soldier. But you did. You knew just what to do with me, didn’t you?” (A now very in shape Phillip does push-ups, gets chewed out by a drill sergeant and walks away in his Hawaii shirt from the military base.)
“I know your real talent, Hawk. It’s not military strategy, it’s not administration, and it’s certainly not your people skills. You see weakness. You look at a group or a person and you see exactly what will make them break. And how they’ll break when they do. Then you just balance the right people against each other, so things break in directions that benefit you. Cost doesn’t even factor into it.” (Hawk reads the report as soldiers load gear into vans. Chuckles is shown hugging Jinx and then executing her.) “You saw into me. You knew what I would do even before I did. Now you get to live with it for the both of us.”
Dial Tone enters the room telling Hawk the building is squared away. He walks out to the main hang area and sees Firewall, bandaged and walking with a cane, he gets confirmation from her the building has been cleared. He gives her more destruction and demolition orders as they walk back into his office. Erika Le Tene (aka Chameleon) is standing there reading Chuckles report. He asks Dial tone to leave.
She confronts him about what he knew regarding everything that happen between her and Chuckles as she was leaving Cobra. Hawk, completely exhausted and frustrated, sits down. He tells her to get back to work, she basically quits. He points out to her that a normal squarejon life is not going to work out for her. That she is a child of the GI Joe – Cobra war and he gives her a choice: stay with GI Joe and do something with the anger or go out into the world and in six months she eats her gun. She screams back at him that is what he is going to do. He makes a joke he is going to go consult for the movies. And she is one left saving the world.
“My mission is over. I assassinated their Commander that’s more than you asked me to do. More than you could have even expected. How about that? I showed initiative. But don’t be too proud. Cobra isn’t organized the way that we assumed. There’s no successor waiting in the wings. They elect their leaders in some weird occult ceremony. They host every seven years the current man’s been re-elected five times. There’s a nuclear-launch capable sub docked at this installation. Even if I’m able to detonate one of the warheads before I’m killed this won’t end it. They’ll be hurt, but that’ll only make them more dangerous. There’s going to be a lot more violence.” (Chuckles types his letter, gets up and by following a schematic of the facility creates a massive explosion.)
“So that’ that. Went on for while I know. Could have just told the mission-pertinent details and left all the rest out. But I needed to get his off my chest. And who else am I going to talk to? And the funny part – the really funny part – is that I know you read all of it. You didn’t skip any of it. You combed through every word, making sure there wasn’t some extra, actionable intelligence in there. And then even after you were sure there wasn’t you read it again and then again right? Of course, I’m right.”
Firewall is walking out with boxes, movers pack a truck and Hawk just sits in the chair in his office.
“How many times have you read this thing now? I don’t even want to know, you poor, lonely, bastard. I think about you there, sitting in that big chair, doing the math on how to spend thirty lives to forty. You’re the world’s bloodiest abacus. Must be neat. By no, one way or another. I’m one of the lives you spent. I’m not telling you this to make you feel guilty. I’m not an idiot. You’re not going to shed a tear over me. I’m telling you this because I want you to know this isn’t about you. This has nothing to do with you. You’re absolved of this. Every boy you sent to his death. Every widow whore cries you ignored every cold-blooded, monstrous thing you’ve ever done in the name of life, liberty – that’s the poison that sustains you now. But you don’t get to have this. This one is on me. See I know your weakness, too. Now I have a job to do. But before I sign off, I got a joke for you. How many brigadier generals does it take to screw in a light blub? Only one. He just holds it in place and the whole world revolves around him.”
Hawk says “heh” and stares off into space.