The origin of G.I. Joe. This historic first issue chronicles the forging of America's most elite fighting force and reveals for the first time how these wildly different characters formed an unbeatable team! Join Duke as he meets his new warrior brothers - Hawk, Stalker and Scarlett. And who's the other new guy giving everyone the silent treatment...?

—The description as originally solicited by IDW Publishing.

Detailed summary

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A C-130 plane flies high in the dead of night. Hawk puts Scarlett and Duke in a training exercise, a test and a mission in one. Failure is unacceptable. Stalker issues the two's parachutes but does not hand the gear to them but instead throws them out of the plane. Hawk gives each of the two a code word to memorize as they are clues to what their mission is. Scarlett's is "buick" while Duke's is "NLVCH". The two jump out of the plane to go after their chutes. Stalker has his own mission and jumps out with a parachute only to be told over the radio that his gear doesn't work. Hawk tosses out the working parachute.

Duke and Scarlett manage to secure their parachutes and land on the ground safely. Scarlett figures they are in Nevada.

Somewhere else in Texas, a house is surrounded by ATF and FBI forces. They are met by a couple of men from the Army CID. One of them informs one of the ATF that the man in the house has been on the run for seven years. The man is, in fact, very rich but has recently lost an energy company built from pyramid scheme. A mere two days ago, he also murdered his family and stole something from the military. The man's military skills are demonstrated as he snipes a member of the ATF in the head. The FBI attempt to barge in the house but their training proves useless against the man's sharpshooting. As a FBI and the CID man find themselves under fire, the CID man reveals more than the wanted man is also a doctor and a Green Beret. The two men find a mutilated painting.

Back in Nevada, Scarlett hitches a ride with a woman driving a van. Just when the woman thought Scarlett would be the only passenger, Duke shows up also about to get in. She panics and steps on the gas, forcing Duke to run after them. She brandishes a gun and points it towards Scarlett. The woman had thought the two were attempting some kind of carjacking. Scarlett tries to convince the woman she's from the Army but is unable to convince her. When the woman threatens to take them to the police station, Scarlett takes matters into her own hands. She disarms the woman, the two struggle and the van hits a road sign. Duke reaches them and finds the woman not going for any confrontation. She became convinced they are good people when Scarlett didn't kill her when she had the chance and figures the two are on an operation of some sort. As it turns out, the woman is from the Army too. Duke admits they don't even know what their mission is but reveal to her the code words they were given. She figures she could help them.

In Texas, things don't go well for the FBI and CID as the man has effectively taken out any one who would go after him. The FBI, fearing he would get loose, wants a picture of the man posted on the wire immediately. The CID tells him that is useless as the man had recently had plastic surgery and have changed his look. They only knew this from a tip by an Army Ranger who was also in the same clinic recognized the man. The clinic was blown up, obliterating anyone who knew and any record of what he now looks like. The man, who now calls himself "Chimera", blows up the building and kills the rest of the survivors. He then heads to Las Vegas to tie up loose ends.

NLVCH, it turns out, stands for North Las Vegas Community Hospital and Buick is actually an acronym for Burn Unit Intensive Care. Duke and Scarlett are to look for someone in Bed K. They are shocked to find a Ranger who suffered extensive burn injuries. Duke has serious doubts about recruiting him. The injured Ranger writes a note telling them to get him out of there. Connie, the woman who helped the two Joes, takes the Ranger's place in the bed and the two wheel him out of the hospital.

Chimera arrives in the hospital, kills Connie and then go after the Ranger. He is slowed down by the Ranger throwing a bag of saline to his face and disarming him with the saline stand. Duke had hoped to go one on one with Chimera but the police are arriving and they are forced to leave. Chimera then swears revenge. In the van, Duke and Scarlett learn the Ranger's name is Snake Eyes and welcome him to the team.

Back at the NLVCH, Stalker is talking with the fire department telling them he's from the Department of Defense coming to claim the body in Burn Unit's Bed K.


Featured Characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

G.I. Joe Government agents Civilians
  • ATF men (5)
  • CID men (7)
  • FBI men (6)

Memorable quotes

"It's the fast lane to a wash-out. There's no recycle in this program. Get it in the wind, Stalker. You've got a slipstream to catch... and by the way, the 'chute you strapped on doesn't work either... the testing part of this exercise includes you as well."

--Dag, Hawk, that's cold!

Other notes


  • Duke's pants become shorts in one panel .

Items of note

Cover B

  • The "B" covers on the first five issues of this series feature single characters standing in front of a stylized letter, spelling out "G-I-J-O-E." This issue features Duke and G.

Real-world references

Footnotes and References

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