G.I. Joe Comic Book Archive

GI Joe: Tales from the Cobra Wars
Speed Trap

March 2011 (Cobra Special II Sept 2010)

Speed Trap
Short Summary

Skidmark is given a mission to drive from Amarillo, Texas pick up a passenger in Flagstaff, Arizona and arrive in Boulder City, Nevada with him safely in less then 9 hours. A Cobra agent in an armored and weaponized SUV chases him the entire way.

Major Players

GI Joe: Skidmark, Dial Tone

Cobra: Interceptor Three, Red Head Watcher

Additional Characters: Aunt Maria, Becky Campbell, Kyle Campbell (Becky's son), Dr. George Sykes

Notes of Interest

Introduction of Skidmark
Released in September 2010 in the Cobra Special #2 and then re-released with the anthology in March of 2011.

Major Continuity Differences

Completely new characterization of Skidmark.

Creative Team

"Speed Trap"
Writers: Duane Swierczynski
Editor: Max Brooks
IDW Publishing

Long Summary

Part I: Challenger

Cyril Colombani, otherwise known by his GI Joe code named Skidmark, is sitting at the Amarillo International Airport awaiting his commercial flight back to GI Joe headquarters. He has just finished a rare 3 day leave. This is even more rare since unlike most of the Joe team he is not considered dead to his family. Upon arrival at the airport all of the flights in the Southwestern United States were canceled, due to some mysterious unforeseen weather patterns. He called Dial Tone at The Pit and she told him to sit tight. So as he sits at a bar, a red head with green eyes asks him if she can borrow his cell phone. He declines by lying saying it is dead. His phone is biometrically programmed to only his use, so no one can use it except him.

She then asks him why he is in Amarillo. Skidmark explains that he was at his Uncle John's funeral. Uncle John was a major inspiration to Skidmark when he was boy regarding driving. His Uncle John had a major fascination with the famous Route 66, in fact it was the reason Uncle John lived in Amarillo. Skidmark had driven all of the Route that he could and also fell in love with Route 66 but even more Skidmark fell in love with driving. Since he first got his license it has been all he has done. And now driving is his career, he is GI Joe's top driver, he drives everything and anything for GI Joe and he does it fast and on time. Skidmark hates being late.

His phone rings and Dial Tone is on the line with an assignment. She tells him he will have a pick up along the way back to The Pit, which is in the middle of the Nevada desert, approximately 950 miles away by car. And he needs to be there by sundown. It is noon Amarillo time, the drive is normally 14 hours, he has 9. And all of the rental cars are taken due to the airline delays.

His only real option is to take a taxi back to his Aunt Maria's house. So Skidmark politely excuses himself and takes off on his mission.

The red head, actually known as the Watcher, is disappointed she didn't get his cell phone. But she gets a copy of his fingerprints from his glass, DNA sample from his straw, pictures of his eyes, ears and face from her cell phone as well as a voice recording. All of the things needed to identify a person.

Skidmark felt like jerk asking to use Uncle John's 1970 Dodger Challenger. Uncle John had kept the car in mint condition for nearly 30 years. He always said that someday in the future there will be a reason to use the car. And his Aunt Maria understood that Skidmark's need for the car was that reason, so she happily gave him the keys with no questions asked.

This was the car Skidmark dreamed about driving. It is black, two door, hard top and fast, able to nail 99 miles per hour in the quarter mile. This car was Uncle John's prize possession and it only had 4 miles on the odometer, the 4 it took to drive from the dealership to the garage.

In another part of Amarillo, another garage was being opened and out of that garage appeared a very normal looking SUV but this one driven by a driver with name of Interceptor Three, has a lot of modifications. Interceptor Three had a quick surgery to adjust his voice box and laser modifications to change his fingerprints all to match Cyril Colombani.

Skidmark rocketed the Challenger down the road, opening it up to it fullest, he felt free when he was driving fast. He looked in his rearview mirror just as he was crossing the New Mexico border and spots a black SUV closing in on him. Interceptor Three driving the SUV has a mission to collect Skidmark's cell phone undamaged. So using the weapons of the SUV, like the heat seeking rocket launcher and machine guns wouldn't work.

Because Skidmark drives for a living, he spends all of his free time studying road conditions, speed traps, police patterns, downhill grades and construction zones on all of the routes into The Pit. He knew when to go fast and when to slow down and it was time to slow down, so he pulls over to the right lane and lets the SUV pass.

But the SUV pulls right up on his bumper and opens up the front mounted guns. They are designed to destroy tires. Before Skidmark realizes what is happening both his back tires are blown out. He impresses Interceptor Three with his driving skill at handling the busted up car. But then he fires a rocket and flips the car.

After collecting his phone, Skidmark crawls out of the destroyed car. Interceptor Three is right there to knock him unconscious. Taking the phone using his fake fingerprints and voice box he accesses Skidmark's phone and leaves the scene to complete the next part of his mission.

Part II: Captives of the Road

Becky Campbell was headed to the Grand Canyon when a stranger jumps in the backseat of her car. The stranger points something sharp into her waste and tells her to get back on the highway and drive fast. Skidmark is the stranger and his military ID is the sharp object he poked into her side.

Becky's car is a 2010 Prius, he choose her for several reasons it wasn't loaded down with baggage, has a full tank and is a more reliable car for a high speed chase even if doesn't have the necessary speed. Still recovering from the accident Skidmark stumbled to the gas station and his only option is to high jack Becky and her car. What Skidmark didn't notice until they were already driving was that Becky's 5 year old son, Kyle, was in the backseat.

Kyle tells Skidmark to put on his seat belt and Becky begins to drive fast as requested. Skidmark takes Becky's cell phone and calls Dial Tone who wonders what is happening since she just talked to him. Skidmark informs her of the attack, Dial Tone informs him that the subject he is supposed to pick up is in Flagstaff and a picture on Skidmark's cell phone is the evidence he needs to get the subject in the car and be taken to The Pit. Skidmark's new mission is to some how beat Interceptor Three to the subject.

So Skidmark asks Becky to speed up knowing that he is in one of the safe police free zones. Once the Prius hits 100, Kyle tells Becky that is a speeding violation and she realizes that if she gets pulled over by a cop then her problems are solved so she continues to drive fast. The bumps in the road are continuing to effect Skidmark. He notices a mile marker and tells her to slow down. She doesn't, he uses the ID card again as a knife to get her to slow down. Kyle points out that it isn't a knife.

Doing the math in his head Skidmark realizes that the SUV has a 20 mile lead on him, when an idea hits him, he uses Becky's cell phone.

Interceptor Three is cruising along watching the miles count down until his mission is a success, when a police car pulls up behind him to pull him over.

Skidmark had called in the SUV as being a terrorist on a mission, so when the police officer pulls him over he asks him to get out of the car. Several additional police cars pull up and those cops help surround the SUV. Interceptor Three pushes one of his many buttons, this is a new and untested device called the ADS (Active Denial System), this system sends out rays that slightly cook the outer layer of the skin causing intense pain. So when it turns on all 6 cops are immediately filled with pain and drop to the ground. A side effect is that it also effected the cars driving by and it creates a 40 car pile up. Interceptor Three doesn't really care but one of the cars crashes into the back of his SUV. The Prius arrives at the crash scene and Becky is told to drive onto the medium and pulls up to the SUV. Skidmark gives the one figure salute as he drives past.

Part III: The Empty Sky

As the Prius blasts past, Interceptor Three tries to break his SUV free, he hits everyone with another blast of ADS and then fires his rear rocket launcher blowing himself free.

Skidmark has Becky stop at hotel/gas station and lets her and Kyle out of the car, writes her a nice note and thanks her for the car. Now Skidmark is back where he is supposed to be in the driver's seat.

Interceptor Three is racing at top speed hell bent to catch up to Skidmark.

After a phone conversation with Dial Tone that leaves both frustrated because they are communicating on an open line. Skidmark spots the black SUV. But this time Skidmark is ready and he dodges the bullets and the SUV with his expert driving skills that make him GI Joe's best driver. Next, Interceptor Three tries rockets, which also miss because of Skidmark's driving skills. But all of sudden Skidmark starts to feel pain. Interceptor Three had turned on the ADS.

In complete pain, Skidmark slams on the brakes smashing the Prius into the SUV. The accident causes the ADS to malfunction and sends its pain waves directly into Interceptor Three, he passes out from the pain.

Skidmark wakes up driving a few miles later, driving is so hardwired into him that he actually continued to drive though he was passed out. Even he is surprised.

Dial Tone calls saying she has figured out a way to communicate with him, he needs to stop for gas and use his gas card. As he is filling up with gas, the read out starts asking him questions. It is Dial Tone who has hacked into the system and gives him the name of the person, George Sykes, Room 109 American Hotel.

Later at the American Hotel, Skidmark passes all of the tests and the very old George Sykes agrees to leave with Skidmark. Having stolen a Camaro, they race out of Flagstaff headed to The Pit by way of the Hoover Dam.

Dr. Sykes marvels at the air amazed that there are no planes flying. And he is the cause of it. He came up with a system to use particles to keep airplanes from flying. No one would listen to him, so he did the test on his own and Cobra found out about it. But couldn't track him down and that is why they attempted to fake Sykes out with Interceptor's change of voice and fingerprints.

They are headed for Boulder City where Dr. Sykes will turn off his machine. They have to cross over the Hoover Dam. The newly complete but not yet open bridge over the Colorado River directly over the Hoover Dam is also another option. Dr. Sykes needs to be near the Dam to shut off the transmitter that is keeping the planes grounded. Skidmark spots the SUV in his rear mirror, now Interceptor Three's mission is to kill Sykes and Skidmark. Skidmark jumps his car onto the new road that leads to the bypass bridge. Thinking the SUV couldn't possibly follow, he sees it rocketing over a car on the road and begins to chase and open fire with his guns.

The SUV keeps gaining ground and successfully hitting the Camaro with its guns, parts are flying everywhere as he races towards the bridge, hoping that it really is finished. As expected, Interceptor Three fires his heat seeking rockets and Skidmark uses this to his advantage by slowing down and then gunning the car at the last possible second the rockets smash into the bridge creating hole that the SUV has no time to avoid. Interceptor Three and his SUV plunge 900 feet down in to the Colorado River.

Waiting on the other side several members of the Joe team take Dr. Sykes to his device, which he turns off. Skidmark has completed his mission. He thinks back on all of the violations he has broken including damaging the bypass bridge. But the destruction of the Challenger will be his biggest challenge since he promised that he would return it without a scratch on it to his Aunt Maria.

Summary by Josh Eggebeen.

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