#23 THE LAST STAND (2 OF 4)
Publisher: Devil's Due
Issue Date: November 2003
Series: G.I. Joe the Real American Hero, Volume 2
Issue Number: 23
Serpentor has Zandar capture Cobra Commander. The Joes call in all forces and make many raids on Cobra. Destro takes over command of Cobra. Snake-Eyes and the convoy team are prisoners of Cobra.
Tim Seeley Fold Out Alternate Cover
Notes of Interest
The creation of Serpentor's forces, The Coil, is explained.
Overlord is introduced.
The Joes - Bazooka, Chuckles, Cover Girl, Duke, Firewall, Flint, Hawk, Heavy Duty, Lady Jaye, Lifeline, Mercer, Roadblock, Rock 'n' Roll, Scarlett, Spirit, Snake-Eyes, Stalker
Cobra - Baroness, Cobra Commander, Destro, Dr. Mindbender, Firefly, Major Bludd, Overlord, Overkill (SAW viper), Serpentor, Storm Shadow, and Zandar (pictured only Zanya, Zaranna, Zartan, Firefly, and Wild Weasel)
Additional characters - Billy, Hannibal, The Serpentor Clone Kids: Julius, Alexander, Genghis, Ivan, Attila, Vlad, Phillip, Napoleon, and Thomas
Story: Josh Blaylock with Brandon Jerwa,
Pencils: Brandon Badeaux and Tim Seeley With Mike Norton,
Inks: Andrew Pepoy,
Colors: Brett R Smith of Color Fusion,
Letters: Dreamer Designs,
Graphic Design: Mike Norton,
Miltary Consultation: Tilman Goins
Cover A: Artists: Brandon Badeaux, Inks by Andrew Pepoy, Colors by HiFi,
Cover B: Tim Seeley
On Cobra Island, Cobra Commander attempts to escape the clutches of Serpentor. His ever-faithful bodyguard, Storm Shadow, dispatches of would-be ambushers long enough for the Commander's boat to arrive. Storm Shadow stays behind to give the Commander time to escape.
Once on board the boat, however, the Commander sees he's been tricked again - the driver is one of Serpentor's operatives!
At G.I. Joe Headquarters, Hawk shows Duke and Flint Lady Jaye's videotaped briefing of the events in Utah. Five Joes, including Daemon, were killed in combat and several others - not to mention the children - are missing. Additional tape from the vehicle cameras clearly show that Serpentor is back. Flint says it's time for some answers.
Back on the Island, Serpentor and Mindbender discuss all the events that led them back together. The boys were test subjects, created when Mindbender was developing Serpentor. They were to develop at a slower rate than normal. The oldest boy, Hannibal, and Serpentor, were the mature clones, developed at an accelerated rate.
Although Cobra Commander ordered Hannibal and the test subject destroyed, Mindbender instead kept them alive in his facilities. When the Joes raided Cobra Island, they found Hannibal and the children and took them back to the States.
Mindbender says it's ironic that he created Serpentor, and yet now he too is a product of the same cloning process. Serpentor reminds him they are not artificial life - they are evolved, higher than men. He also explains how it was he who hired Firefly to steal the BAT, all in an effort to lure Mindbender back to him, so he could see if Mindbender was still loyal. And now he sees that he is, and that, thanks to the cloning process, they are closer than family - closer than blood.
At Joe HQ, Hawk debriefs the Joes - finally - on what's been going on. He tells them all about the boys and the Joes that were killed or captured trying to protect them.
Stalker comforts Scarlett who's worried about Snake-Eyes. She needs to make sure he knows that the ring he gave her - the one she threw in his face a few issues ago - still means something to her.
Duke notes to Hawk that he seems a little intense. Hawk explains that he's put out "the call" to every available Joe to return to duty - including Mercer, the former Cobra Viper who betrayed Cobra to the Joes once before. Hawk wants to talk to him about Cobra Island...
On the Island, the Joes are getting antsy sitting in their cell. Roadblock comforts Firewall, Snake-Eyes does pull-ups, others play cards... they all agree they need to sit tight and see what develops.
In his control room, Serpentor explains to Mindbender the next step of his plan - distract the Joes by giving them the location of Cobra bases around the world. The Joes play their part, and invade and capture Broca Beach, Extensive Enterprises, Dreadnoks in Kansas, a research base in Frusenland, and outposts in Borovia and Delhi Hills.
Eventually, Destro comes to the realization that he must lead Cobra. He begins gathering known Cobra operatives together, including the Crimson Twins, Major Bludd, and Storm Shadow. He asks Storm Shadow what his part in the coming war will be. Storm Shadow declares his devotion to Cobra, but says he will sit this one out - his body is willing, but his mind and soul are tired.
Meanwhile, Serpentor introduces Mindbender to his troops, and his most trusted general, Overlord. Overlord reveals that they have Cobra Commander - thanks to Zandar, who was disguised as the pilot of the Commander's boat. As the Commander is brought before him, Serpentor sarcastically calls him the creature he owes his life to. The Commander tells him to enjoy it, because he's going to take it away soon.
Soon he tells the Commander how returned to the land of the living. Mindbender put a decoy of Serpentor's body on ice, which was then left in the buried freighter. Then, Cobra scientists - on Cobra Commander's payroll, but still loyal to Serpentor - revived him. He's been subverting Cobra bases around the world, whose technicians have been developing new weapons - for him.
He shows the Commander a new electromagnetic pulse weapon, which he intends to use in his new campaign. He will use it on major cities, plunging them into darkness, then deploy into the streets to take control of them. Cobra Commander says it will never succeed, but Serpentor tells him he merely lacks vision.
He turns to Overlord, telling him to assemble the units - the first strike comes tonight!
Summary by: Josh Kern
Short Summary, Notes of Interest, and Major Players by Josh Eggebeen