When Army Ranger Wayne Sneeden washes ashore in Guatemala with no memory of who he is, how he got there, or who shot him, putting together the pieces of his past shows him a future he never imagined - and a new name to go with it: Beach Head!

—The description as originally solicited by IDW Publishing.

Detailed summary

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In Rio Dulce, Guatemala, an unconscious soldier is bleeding on the riverbank. When he awakes, he's in a hospital bed, and a nurse is speaking Spanish. Looking at his reflection, he realizes he doesn't even know his own name. He tries to get out of bed, realizing that while he's thinking in English, he understands Spanish. The medical staff sedates him and put him back down in the bed.

In Alabama,[1] three bullies are beating a smaller boy on a basketball court. The boy looks at an Army recruitment poster with the slogan "Experience Your Potential," and decides to fight back.

When the soldier wakes, the doctor who sedated him is sitting at his bedside. The man introduces himself as Dr. Anderson, and says the soldier washed ashore with multiple gunshot wounds and is lucky to be alive. He explains that the soldier has amnesia, and holds up his Army jacket, which still has blood on it.

In the jungles of eastern Guatemala, Manuel Montenegro oversees a drug farm, but the Army Ranger and his team watch from the trees. He's a new face on the drug scene, not yet a major player but still large enough to send a four-man team to collect intel. The Rangers find a small village in the jungle, where the locals don't react adversely to having American soldiers set up camp.
Not everyone feels so good about the soldiers, though: one boy looks up to Montenegro for his strength, and goes to tell him about the Americans. The soldier realizes that his team isn't in danger - the villagers are. When Manuel hears they're in the village, his men will decimate the place for helping them. His orders were to avoid engagement with the enemy, but he decides to ignore them, and tells the rest of the team to lead the villagers to the extraction point, then stays behind to draw fire.
When Montenegro's men approach, the Ranger drops one of them with a skilled headshot. He leaves himself open, so the drug cartel will follow him rather than track the villagers. Using pistols and grenades, he takes out more of his pursuers, then runs for a clearing ahead, only to discover that it's actually a cliff. As he's shot and falls to the river far below, he thinks about how he never had any delusions of catching the chopper, and knew he'd probably be killed in action.

Dr. Anderson asks if the soldier remembered anything. The man plays dumb, not wanting to reveal classified information to a civilian. The doctor says he's no security threat, and tells the soldier he was Sgt. Wayne Sneeden, and that he's been declared KIA. Sneeden asks what the doc is talking about, and Anderson peels off his goatee and wig to introduce himself properly, as Duke. Sneeden asks if he's being held for interrogation, but Duke replies that he's being recruited, given the same one-time offer Duke was[2] - people with retrograde amnesia may forget a lot of details, but retain their skills and training. He has no grudges, no scores to settle. Sneeden grins and says "almost none."

Soon the Ranger is in the back of a cargo plane with several members of the G.I. Joe team, about to jump out and assault Montenegro's operation. He complains about his new codename, but Duke says it's what the nurses at the hospital called him: Cabeza de Playa; Beachhead.


Featured Characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

G.I. Joe Civilians Others

Memorable quotes

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Other notes


  • When "Dr. Anderson" sedates Wayne, his goatee disappears.
    • Maybe the glue was lifting.

Items of note

  • This story was originally solicited as Origins #12.

Real-world references

  • No references.

Footnotes and References

  1. Revealed by the car's license plate.
  2. "In Or Out?"

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