Publisher: IDW Publishing
Issue Date: October 2012
Series: G.I. Joe Cobra Vol. 2 Cobra Civil War
Issue Number: 18
The Oktober Guard takes over a Cobra facility in Russia. Flint briefs his team on this incident, which Tomax appears to have known about in advance. We learn about Ronin’s past through a series of flashbacks.
Notes of Interest
Joes: Flint, Lady Jaye, Ronin, Firewall, Clockspring, Chameleon
Oktober Guard: Gorky, Daina, Horrorshow, Shturmovik
Other: Tomax Paoli
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
Cover B (Retail Incentive): Art by Joe Eisma and Juan Castro, Colors by Simon Gough
Cover D (Retail Incentive): Art by David Williams
At a Cobra bunker in Russia, a Viper is complaining to one of his fellows that he signed up to be a mercenary to be in the heat of action, not guarding a building for six months. He wishes he was in Nanzhao, but his companion tells him that things went bad there, and there were rumors of ninjas. The Viper expresses disbelief in ninjas, stating that no one could take his high tech firearms with a sword. Expecting a reply, he turns to see his fellow Viper has been slain by Oktober Guard agent Gorky, with a sword.
Outside, the base is overwhelmed with explosions, and key officers are taken out by Oktober Guard sniper, Daina. The massive Horrorshow moves in with a heavy machinegun, mowing down Vipers, while Shturmovik blasts the area with ordnance from his helicopter before landing. A defiant, heavily injured Cobra officer declares them mad for attacking a Cobra fortress, but Shturmovik declares the Cobra forces to be mercenaries and butchers with no loyalty, and that the Oktober Guard came to give Cobra a message, before shooting the officer dead.
Flint and Lady Jaye learn of the attack on Cobra’s Russian base, to Flint’s ire, on the television news. He goes to get Ronin, who is upstairs training.
As Ronin goes through her kata exercises, she recalls moments from her past. As a child, she seeks out training from a martial arts sensei, who turns her down because she wants to learn to fight rather than defend herself. He tells her that anyone who resorts to fighting has already lost. Sometime later, she is attacked and beaten by some bullies; she thereafter begins training in gymnastics, aikido, and kendo, becoming a fierce competitor, and at age 16, she is asked to compete in Japan. There, she attracts the attention of underground organizations that finally teach her the kind of fighting she’d wanted to learn all along. She becomes a silent infiltrator and deadly combatant, remaining in training for seven years. When she returns to America, she joins the Army, and this memory brings her back to the present.
At a briefing, Flint discusses the situation in Russia with his team, stating that Cobra was attacked by “unknown forces”. Tomax informs them that it was a single force, the Oktober Guard, and he learned details from having a telephone conversation with a former associate, Colonel Shtern, the night before. Firewall is angry that he made a call of that nature without it being brought to her attention, and Clockspring admits that although Tomax’s calls are monitored, they are watched by low level techies. Tomax continues by informing Flint it was this same Oktober Guard who attacked the prison Flint had been visiting and kidnapped Major Bludd, and feigns surprise that Flint didn’t know this. Angry, Flint has Lady Jaye escort Tomax out of the briefing room, and tells Firewall, Clockspring, and Chameleon to go over every second of the recording of Tomax’s call.
Flint then tells Ronin he wants her to infiltrate the captured Cobra base, which is in the same region of Russia they had previously rescued Chameleon from. He tells her to remain hidden and gain information, covertly taking a member of the Oktober Guard if possible. Ronin appears pleased with this assignment.
Summary by Patrick Duke