Scarlett, Snake-Eyes and Zap find themselves prisoners of Cobra and trapped in a nice-looking town called Springfield.
The Joes are in the initial stages of assaulting a Cobra hideout in a building somewhere in Manhattan. Scarlett, Snake-Eyes and Zap are on top of the building covering against any Cobra attempts to escape by air. Hawk, Clutch, Short-Fuze, Flash and Rock n' Roll cover the entrances above ground while Stalker, Breaker and Grunt cover the underground routes. Unfortunately, Cobra has been expecting them and springs the trap. The top of the building that Scarlett's team is on is actually one huge trapdoor leading to inside of a square aircraft masquerading as one of the building's floors. The aircraft vertically lifts off and flies. The rest of the Joes are too late to save Scarlett's team. To prevent Scarlett, Snake-Eyes and Zap from making any attempt at escape, the Baroness, who is flying the aircraft, gases them unconscious.
Later, Scarlett and Zap wake up in a prison cell with a boy. Except for the boy, they are hallucinating. The Cobra guards keep them in line by drugging them with hallucinogens. Meanwhile, Snake-Eyes is attached to a device called the Brainwave Scanner. The device is basically designed to read the thoughts of the person attached to it. New Cobra scientist Dr. Venom explains to Cobra Commander and Baroness how the device works. They mean to find out the location of G.I. Joe's headquarters. Cobra Commander leaves Dr. Venom but warns that Snake-Eyes is dangerous in any condition.
Back at the cell, the effects of the drugs on Scarlett and Zap are starting to wear off. Cobra guards send in some food and water laced with the drug. The boy prevents them from drinking the water. He exposes the water to heat coming from the lightbulb to wear off the effects of the drug. In Dr. Venom's lab, Snake-Eyes frustrates Venom by thinking of memories, both happy and painful ones, anything but G.I. Joe headquarters.
After the drugs wore off, Scarlett, Zap and the boy plot their escape. The kid babbles about an anti-Cobra meeting which the Cobra guards notice. Seeing the Joes asleep, two guards enter the prison cell. Scarlett and Zap turn out to be pretending to sleep and easily overpower the guards and take their uniforms. They escape by impersonating the guards and pretending to take the boy to Cobra high command. They take a car to find Snake-Eyes. On the way, the boy explains the whole town, named Springfield, is a Cobra front and everything they see is not what it seems.
Dr. Venom's lab is actually within a videogame arcade. The Joes and the boy enter the arcade, but the kids inside immediately know they are not regulars. Inside the lab, Dr. Venom continues to monitor Snake-Eyes. He is very close to finding out G.I. Joe headquarters when a Cobra trooper nearby alerts Venom that Snake-Eyes' vital signs have drastically weakened. They are further distracted by kids attacking the Joes. The last image projected by the brainwave scanner is of a ninja explaining how to control one's body so as to appear truly dead. Venom and the Cobra soldier panic and unstrap Snake-Eyes, but he immediately awakens and knocks both unconscious and grabs the trooper's gun. In a reverse, it is Snake-Eyes who rescues Scarlett and Zap.
They leave the arcade to Springfield Municipal Airport. They tie up the Cobra mechanics checking the square aircraft that took them and grab a pilot since they don't know how to fly it. The boy elects to stay behind to find his family, Scarlett and Zap agree. The aircraft flies and Scarlett orders the pilot to take them to New York. The pilot realizes they truly have no idea where they are since they were brought in unconscious. The pilot grabs his gun hidden in his helmet and tries to shoot Snake-Eyes but misses. He gets killed by Snake-Eyes. They ride through a storm and parachute when they reach somewhere in the Eastern seaboard and take a bus to Staten Island.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Featured Vehicles & Equipment
"You're pretty good, kid. Come see me when you're eighteen and we'll have a job for you!"
- --Zap doesn't know how right he is.
- On page 2, Short-Fuze is shown without his glasses, and Grunt is wearing bodyarmor like Flash and Grand Slam's.
- Later on the same page, a Cobra trooper has an orange circle on his uniform instead of a Cobra symbol.
- On page 4, there appear to be two each of Clutch and Flash coming out of the van, and no Short-Fuze or Hawk; of the five Joes who should be present, the only one shown exactly once is Rock 'n Roll. Also, Clutch and Hawk (or rather, both of the men who look like Clutch) seem to have changed from baseball caps to military helmets with improbable speed.
- As in some other early issues, Short-Fuze's codename is (correctly in normal English, but incorrectly according to the action figure line) spelled "Short-Fuse".
Items of note
- First Appearances: Billy, Dr. Venom, Brainwave Scanner, Springfield
- The scenes extrapolated by the Brainwave Scanner from Snake-Eyes's mind are clues that would give the reader the inklings to the character's origins, and would be expanded on in later issues:
- The Brainwave Scanner would find itself continued to be uses even past Dr. Venom's death in future issues of the series.
- This issue was reprinted in G.I. Joe Digest #4, Tales of G.I. Joe #10 and the G.I. Joe vol. 1 and G.I. Joe: The Best of Snake Eyes trade paperbacks.
- Springfield is mentioned as early as G.I. Joe #5 but since it's a common name for many towns, nobody gave it much thought.
- Marsha Rosenberg was actually one of Marvel's booking agents during the '80s. Her name was later used for the supervillainess Volcana.
Footnotes and References