COBRA FILES #9 THE HOUSE ALWAYS WIN – HEART TO HEART
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Issue Date: December 2013
Series: G.I. Joe Cobra Files
Issue Number: 9
Tomax's plan to destroy Flint's team has worked. The Gemini is counting down to explode as the team makes its way out of the building. Tomax confronts Chameleon (Erika Le Tene) as Ronin saves Billy.
Notes of Interest
Death of Clockspring
Death of the Night Creeper Bet
The escape of Chameleon, Erika Le Tene
Joes: Chameleon (Erika Le Tene), Clockspring, Firewall, Flint, Lady Jaye, Ronin,
Cobra: Tomax, Firefly
Others: Billy (William Kessler-Latta), Night Creeper Bet
Title: "The House Always Win – Heart to Heart"
Writer: Mike Costa
Artist: Antonio Fuso
Inker: Emilio Lecce
Colorist: Arianna Florean
Color Assists: Azzura Florean
Letterer: Shawn Lee
Consulting Editor: John Barber
Editor: Carlos Guzman
Cover A: Artist: Antonio Fuso
Cover Company: IDW
Cover B (Retail Incentive): Artist: Riley Rossmo
Cover Company: IDW
As the GI Joe headquarters in the Las Vegas casino The Gemini is being assaulted by Firefly with guidance from Tomax.
Tomax has cornered Chameleon aka Erika Le Tene, Tomax’s long time assistant in Cobra and quasi partner in the GI Joe unit, and he is taunting her. He talks about how even through the death of his brother and Chuckles and now the collapse of her world with GI Joe and her relationship with Flint, he has been the only man in her life that has continued to be there for her.
Flint is hunting the halls looking for Tomax, Ronin is dragging the still injured Billy to the escape stairwell, Firewall is dead killed by Tomax and Lady Jaye and Clockspring are trapped in a cell in the basement, where Clockspring is looking at a schematic of the building's built in explosives that are now active which will destroy the whole building killing hundreds. Clockspring can’t stop the countdown but he can turn on the fire alarm to get the building evacuated.
Tomax explains that he has manipulated the entire unit including the discovery of Billy as the former Cobra Commander’s son, although he was supposed to die, but Chameleon cuts off his rant telling him he is boring, evil scum and they are not alike. But Tomax persists pointing out to Chameleon how similar their lives have been both pre-Cobra and during Cobra. Both have lost a tremendous amount and both are very bitter. She turns the argument back on him telling him that the last thing his brother Xamot ever said to her was that he wanted her help killing the Baroness, her half sister, Crystal Ball and Tomax himself. He admits he knew that and then he tells her that he has forgiven her for all her betrayals of him, misdeeds and actions. He again points out how similar they are to each other, that GI Joe doesn’t trust her and that he is the only person in the world who see can trust. All his manipulations and maneuvers never involved her because she played her part in his plan just as he expected. That she felt like she was finding a home with women like Firewall, Lady Jaye and Ronin and the affection of men like Clockspring and Flint. She sits down as she realizes the truth and that Tomax has killed Firewall. Tomax gives her an option, stay and die in the building with the rest of the Joes and innocent people or come with him, work with him again and live. She just looks at him with tears running down her face. She tells Tomax that he is evil and that she might not be good but she is not evil and wants no part of it. Tomax completely rejected saying “I’m disappointed in you and you won’t see me again.”
In another part of the building, Firefly and Night Creeper Bet realize that Clockspring has turned on the fire alarm for the whole building. They have twenty minutes to escape. On the casino floor, Lady Jaye fires her gun into the air screaming at the gamblers to exit the building as the fire alarm blares. Ronin is dragging Billy down the stairs to the exit and safety.
On the roof, Tomax is getting into the helicopter with Firefly as the pilot when Flint tells him to freeze pointing a machine gun at him. Tomax just laughs at him taunting him about being boring and in no position to do anything to stop him or to even stop the building from being destroyed.
In the basement, Night Creeper Bet has found Clockspring still sitting in the cell even though its open.
Flint demands Tomax step away from the helicopter.
Clockspring tells Bet that he has sped up the timer on the buildings destruction just as the first explosions begin. Firefly lifts the chopper of the roof as Flint runs to grab the landing gear. Firefly swings the helicopter around to throw Flint which works buts throws him through a window of the next casino. The Gemini Casino completely collapses as people surrounding the building run for their lives. Flint bleeding from multiple cuts just looks down on the destruction.
With Firewall dead, Chameleon walks away from the destruction as Lady Jaye blends in with the crowd just missing seeing Chameleon exit the building, Ronin driving a stolen car with Billy drives pass also just missing seeing her and she looks up to see Tomax’s helicopter flying away from the building. She is walking with folders full of files and is free of both GI Joe and Cobra for now. She thinks back to Tomax’s final words to her. “You’re toxic, Erika. You poison everything around you. Where will go now?”
Summary by Josh Eggebeen