The '80s live on in this all-new series that spins out of the Free Comic Book Day issue 155½ and hearkens back to the beloved Joe comics from your childhood! Larry Hama returns to script Real American Hero even as Cobra wins the bid to provide internal security for a terrorist-beleaguered USA. First order of business: put out a secret assassination order on the disbanded G.I. Joes. Snake-Eyes isn't taking it lying down and overreacts maybe just a tiny bit...

—The description as originally solicited by IDW Publishing.

Detailed summary

Duke driving through a small town is stopped by a Cobra Trooper, who is openly wearing the traditional blue uniform with red face mask and also openly carrying a machine gun. The Cobra trooper is actually letting a group of children cross the road. As Duke turns the corner he sees a dead body outside of a bank with the yellow tape around the scene and crowd looking on. The Trooper uses his radio to call in Duke's truck license plate. As Duke pulls out of town he is listening to the news on the radio.

From the radio:
Martial Law is working. A few minor freedoms have been sacrificed, but we have secured our domestic tranquility and preserved most of our basic democratic ideals. Thankfully, our thinly stretched National Guard units have been augmented by independent contractors such as ARBCO Security Systems, Springfield Armed Response Associates and C.O.B.R.A. (Coordinated Order By Righteous Americans). In local news, another bank robbery by anarchist terrorists has been thwarted by vigilant C.O.B.R.A. troopers. Government Sources indicate that a secret US military Special Operations unit may have gone rogue and could be supporting the terrorists This "G.I. Joe" team is reputed to be...

Duke turns off the radio and calls into the Pentagon to get ahold of Hawk through what he believes is a secure cellphone to a secure line. The phone rings in the office of General Clayton Abernathy, Quartermaster & Supply Oversight Committee, an empty office except for a Cobra Tele-Viper and Crimson Guard soldier. The Tele-Viper answers the phone. Duke hangs up.

The Tele-Viper calls in Duke's location and within moments a police car with its lights on is behind Duke in his small pickup truck. A Cobra soldier just opens up on full auto from the car. Duke allows the car to pull even, he pulls out a grenade launcher and fires it directly into the Cobra soldier in the passenger seat without it blowing up. As the Police car slows down Duke pulls away. He gets enough distance to fire his grenade launcher this since the range is longer, it blows up the car.

He pulls over and confirms the soldiers are dead. He then changes his license plate and puts in a new sim card for his cell phone and calls Hawk again.

Outside the Pentagon, a Cobra trooper answers his phone, it is actually Hawk, and he tells Duke that Cobra tired to get him also, but failed. A police car pulls up to Hawk, he kills the two Cobra soldiers and takes the car. He then continues telling Duke that he was starting to send out a secure link to all Joes but wasn't able to before the Cobra troopers showed up. He gives Duke the mission of spreading the codeword "Anabasis" and that all Joes should head to the rally point and use alternate communication codes. Duke starts by trying to warn Roadblock, Stalker and Mainframe. As he is making his calls, Duke is repainting his truck, as Hawk drives away from the Pentagon.

Roadblock receives Duke's phone call just in time as he is cooking a meal when two Cobra agents show up. Using the meat clever he does away with them and confirms to Duke that he will head to the rally point.

Duke then calls Mainframe, who is literally hanging off the edge of the Berlin TV Tower upgrading the microwave system. Duke tells him to notify Stalker. Mainframe confirms he will as two Cobra troopers come at him at the top of this tower. The Cobra troopers open up full auto but miss Mainframe, he swings around grabbing the nearest trooper to use a shield. That trooper is killed by his partner but Mainframe uses the microwave transmitter to kill the second trooper. He then hacks into the system using his laptop to call Stalker.

In the Hindu Kush, Stalker receives the call from Mainframe. But Stalker is literally sitting with his sniper rifle under camo with a spotter waiting to find the Cobra sniper hunting him. The spotter is shot in the head as Stalker sneaks away leaving behind what looks like himself waiting. Then he takes out the Cobra spotter. And the sniper battle is really on.

Duke arrives near Snake-Eyes' cabin in the Sierra Nevadas, he sees a crashed Jeep with letters to Shana O'Hara in them. Three Red Ninjas pop out with night vision goggles and a mix of machine guns and swords. As they make the first move, Duke is faster, killing one of the sword-holding ninjas with his gun, and dodging the other sword. The one with the machine gun gets killed by Duke as the one he dodged gets an arrow through the neck. It is a crossbow bolt from Scarlett.

She tells Duke that she saw 10 more headed to Snake-Eyes' cabin. Duke rushes off giving her the Anabasis codeword. Moments later they arrive at the burning cabin. Three dead ninjas lay outside, three more inside burning and the tracks of three more running out the back of the cabin. Snake-Eyes is surrounded by three literally burning Red Ninjas with machine guns. Snake-Eyes drops his sword and with the speed only a real ninja can use dodges the bullets and shoots all three of them. Duke arrives telling Snake-Eyes that there has to be one more out there with a sniper rifle. Timber bites the rifle. Now there are no Red Ninjas left.

The Cobra sniper sneaks up on Stalker inside his camo tarp from behind and shoots directly into the camo tarp.


Featured Characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

G.I. Joe Cobra Others
  • Spotter (8)

Memorable quotes

  • None yet.

Other notes


  • No errors known.

Items of note

  • No special items of note.

Real-world references

  • "Anabasis" is a Greek term for an expedition from a coastline into the interior of a country. It is also the title of Xenophon's famous work, which involves a group of soldiers, cut off from home and with their leaders dead, trying to return to friendly territory.

Footnotes and References

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.