Publisher: IDW Publishing
Issue Date: September 2012
Series: G.I. Joe Cobra Vol. 2 Cobra Civil War
Issue Number: 17
Flint seeks Intel from imprisoned Cobra operative, Major Bludd. Bludd’s past is explored through flashback, while the Oktober Guard waits in the wings.
Notes of Interest
First appearance of the Oktober Guard in IDW continuity.
Joes: Flint, Lady Jaye, Chameleon, Clockspring
Cobra: Major Bludd, Baroness
Oktober Guard: Colonel Shtern, Horrorshow, Daina
Writer: Mike Costa
Artist: Werther Dell'Edera
Colorist: Arianna Florean
Letterer: Neil Uyetake
Editor: John Barber & Carlos Guzman
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover A: Art by Antonio Fuso, Colors by Arianna Florean
Cover B (Retail Incentive): Art by Robert Atkins, Colors by Simon Gough
In flashback to the last days of the Soviet Union, a younger Major Bludd is in a prison cell in Russia, where he has killed a fellow prisoner who attempted to steal his wedding ring. Russian Colonel Shtern comes to free him, angry that he called on Shtern for assistance, as now people can connect him to the arms dealer. Bludd explains that the arms he was running would have been traced to Shtern anyway. As Shtern frees Bludd, he makes note that the men aware he had been there would have to be shipped off to a gulag. Bludd promises the person who betrayed him would pay. Later, Bludd confronts the betrayers, a man named Danny, and Bludd’s own ex-wife, in a hotel, and murders them. Before she dies, his former wife takes a shard of glass and cuts Bludd’s eye.
In the present, Bludd, in a United Nations prison cell, is speaking to Flint, who promises him better accommodations if he supplies Flint with useful Intel.
Bludd recalls his childhood, growing up in Australia to an American mother and Australian father. Bludd grew up believing there was no opportunity for a poor working man in his home country, other than the Army. He joins the S.A.S. and works his way up through the ranks. Taking advantage of the distant hotspots he is sent to, Bludd recruits some of his men and begins providing security for local drug lords. He ignores the danger signs of his men using the product they were smuggling, until they assault and murder a bus full of missionaries due to paranoia. Knowing they are liabilities now, Bludd executes his men, leaving their bodies for the MPs to find, while Bludd himself flees to Eastern Europe to make a name for himself as a mercenary. His reputation is eventually strong enough to attract Cobra’s attention, and the Baroness comes to recruit him. He rises through the ranks of Cobra quickly, though the rest of the hierarchy find his passion for doing his own dirty work distasteful, and he’s assigned to man a prison camp. Despite this unenviable task, he runs his camp efficiently to the point that he’s able to return regularly to visit his family.
In the present, he tells Flint he is the only member of Cobra High Command to have children. Flint points out that the late Cobra Commander had a son, which Bludd acknowledges, saying this common ground is a reason why the Commander respected him enough to place him so high in the organization despite having no strong purpose. He chastises Flint for deeming him a killer, when Flint himself carries a sidearm and gets pointed at his targets while Bludd gets to choose his.
At the Joe’s safehouse in Las Vegas, Lady Jaye is attempting to train Chameleon in unarmed combat, but Chameleon has flashbacks to being attacked, and walks out. In the hall, she encounters Clockspring, who attempts to ask her to a show, but she turns him down, and instead asks if he’d do a security sweep of her quarters the next morning.
As Flint walks through the prison facility with its administrator, an explosion rocks the building. While Flint takes command of the security, the guards watching Major Bludd are killed, and Bludd is taken hostage by two heavily armed individuals: Daina and Horrorshow of the Oktober Guard.
Summary by Patrick Duke