From Max Brooks, New York Times bestselling author of World War Z and masterful artists Howard Chaykin and Antonio Fuso comes the next generation of G.I. Joe and Cobra.

—The description as originally solicited by IDW Publishing.

Detailed summary for "Firefly"

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In the lobby of a high rise building, the front desk officer is watching a ballgame as he checks I.D.s. He lets a man with a large metal case through, and the man is met by another security guard who swipes a keycard and leads him into the access halls of the building. They walk past heavily armed guards, and a no-smoking sign.

A computer chip is switched.
A few small holes are drilled.
A high-powered cutting torch is used.

The security guard leads the man to his target: a toilet stall. He's a plumber, come to snake the pipes. As he works, he chats with the guard about the president's speech the previous night; the guard just checks his watch. With the guard distracted, the plumber removes a wall panel and drills a hole in the pipes behind it, then connects a simple hose.

A submarine sinks.
An off-shore oil platform catches fire.
A space shuttle explodes.

The three pipes are shown on an old blueprint: one for gas, one for water, and one for an old, forgotten pneumatic tube system. The building's floorplan shows the placement of the pipes in relation to the bathroom. The plumber finishes his work, and the security guard leads him outside.

As he walks away from the building, the plumber thinks back on the research he's done: following the desk clerk to a sports bar, he watches how engrossed he gets in the baseball game; riding the subway with the security guard, he overhears the man mention how politics bore him; watching the building through a high-powered scope, he finds a secret smoke room on the 12th floor.

Sitting in a coffeeshop several blocks away, the plumber sips his drink. In the break room, one smoker asks another if he smells something, as he flicks his lighter.

The building explodes spectacularly.

Appearing in "Firefly"

Featured Characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Cobra Civilians
  • Armed guards (4)
  • Front desk security (1)
  • Security escort (3)
  • Smokers (5)

Memorable quotes in "Firefly"

Sabotage is all about finding the flaws, and there's nothing more flawed than human beings.


"A lucky break can make a job easier, but sabotage isn't about luck. It's about the flaws. All machines have them. And the more complicated the machine... the more flaws can be found. And there's no machine on our Earth as complicated or flawed as a human being."

--Firefly has a rather poetic internal monologue.

Other notes

Errors in "Firefly"

  • No errors known.

Items of note in "Firefly"

  • First appearance: Firefly.
  • This version of Firefly is black.

Real-world references in "Firefly"

  • No references.

Detailed summary for "Tripwire"

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In a Middle Eastern city, Tormod Skoog stands before the open trunk of a car. It was called in by medical staff, who were already on edge because a cellphone tower was taken out the night before. A safe distance away, the man's fellow soldiers and an observer wearing sunglasses watch. When the observer asks about the bomb disposal robot, he's told Skoog refused to wait for it.

He looks at a sketch of a woman, and remembers her hair and her eyes.

The trunk of the car is filled with explosives, made by Halidow Inc., of Spartanburg, South Carolina. Skoog's commander yells at him for joking that the bombers buy American, and he gets to work dismantling the bomb.

He thinks of the woman's favorite art, and her favorite album.

Pulling a cellphone out of the bomb, he sees there's no signal, confirming on his own phone. He radios back to the lieutenant that the bomb must have been set by a group that didn't know the tower was going to be destroyed. He begins to joke about the bad guys not coordinating their attacks, but trails off.

He thinks of her favorite candy, and her favorite pastime. He thinks of long walks together.

Skoog finds a second detonator: totally old-school, with a timer and two wires. He considers which to cut, and the soldiers behind him get anxious as the timer ticks down. When the lieutenant yells at him to pull back, Hawk holds up his hand to stop the command.

He looks at the sketch as he leaves on an airplane. The girl watches him go, having promised to love him and wait for him forever. While walking along the street, a double-decker bus explodes, and she is killed.

The man who was observing the bomb removal earlier is now in a fine black suit, with a blonde soldier standing behind him. Skoog insists there was no risk: if he'd cut either wire, the bomb would have gone off, and the terrorists would have succeeded in killing a highly trained US operative; if he does nothing and the bomb fails to go off, it has to be handed over to local security forces, who will most likely give it straight back to the bombers.

Hawk agrees that the logic is sound, but asks what would have happened if he'd been wrong.

In Tripwire's imagination, the bomb goes off. In the midst of the flames, he and his lover are together again.

Appearing in "Tripwire"

Featured Characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

G.I. Joe Civilians Others
  • The girl (4)

Memorable quotes in "Tripwire"

I defuse explosives. What's the worst that can happen?


"Maybe these guys aren't so bad after all... at least they buy American."
"Dammit, Skoog!"
"Did I say that out loud?"

--Tripwire and his lieutenant chose a bad time to banter.

Other notes

Errors in "Tripwire"

  • Tripwire's school is shown as "Imperial College of London," rather than the proper Imperial College London.
  • The flag on the right sleeve of one of the soldiers faces the wrong way.

Items of note in "Tripwire"

  • This story was originally solicited to be about Doc - that story would eventually be published in Hearts & Minds #4.
  • Tripwire's explosives suit can be seen discarded on the ground behind him while he examines the car.
  • Tripwire's girlfriend is British.
  • This issue seems to show Tripwire's recruitment to G.I. Joe.

Real-world references in "Tripwire"

Footnotes and References

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