The first of a series of back-stories and secret dossiers on the characters from this summer's biggest action hit! Before he was code-named Duke and was brought into the G.I. Joes, he was the top kick of a special ops team. Join him as he fights his way in and out of a jungle hell in a mission that goes wrong in every way possible.

—The description as originally solicited by IDW Publishing.

Detailed summary

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A C-5 Galaxy plane flies over the Sealisi region of Papua. A team of rangers led by First Sergeant Hauser perform a night HALO jump into the jungle below. Hauser gets his parachute caught in the tree branches. After a clumsy landing, he joins his right-hand man Weems and the other Rangers.

Lopez takes position as the point man. Soon enough, they encounter a pickup truck filled with skinnies carrying machine guns. They figure those people are not supposed to be there. Clarkie is concerned about the complication but Hauser tells him missions like this never go as they should. They decide to follow a stream away from the road to better keep their presence unannounced.

Some time later, Lopez smells something being cooked and they spot smoke coming from a campfire most likely from the skinnies they encountered earlier. Soon enough, they reach the skinnies' camp and find the trailer with the computers used to redirect one of the US spy satellites. Since the skinnies are not capable of something like that, a quick lookaround reveals several Russians in the camp to be the ones responsible. As there is more force than anticipated and the lack of time for reinforcements, Hauser becomes concerned but his men assures him they can get the job done.

Ronjon captures one of the skinnies and the team finds out the skinnies are all hired guns. At that point, Hauser becomes more concerned about screwing up the mission and the situation becoming like the one mission where they lost Rex. Weems tells Hauser he's not responsible for what happened and none of the men of the team came on the mission because of that. Hauser gets his head back in the game and the team conjure a plan.

While the team may be outnumbered, the skinnies are composed of men with guns and hardly any military training. Several guards are sleepy and easily taken care of. Clarkie shoots flares into the night air, blinding and confusing the men around the campfire. Instead of confronting the enemy, the skinnies pick up and run away much to the frustration of the Russians. Hauser, Weems and Stewie reach the trailer but a large Russian managers to injure Weems. Not willing to damage the equipment in the trailer, Hauser deals with the man hand-to-hand and a knife. After taking care of the enemy, Stewie gets to work. Their mission is to reprogram and reroute the spy satellite back to American control.

The Russian in charge routes the skinnies back to camp to face their attackers. While Hauser's team is capable, the numerical superiority of the skinnies will soon overwhelm them. Stewie completes the rerouting just in time before the computers are shot in the firefight and injuring himself in the process. Explosives were planted around the camp and especially in the trailer. Hauser activates them to bring more confusion and discourage the enemy from pursuing them.

The team escapes. Four days later, they are picked up by Black Hawk helicopters and back onto the aircraft carrier. After de-briefing, Hauser talks with an unidentified man who makes him an offer to join an elite unit made up of the best volunteers. Hauser turns down the offer but the man is certain he will change his mind soon enough.


Featured Characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

G.I. Joe Army Rangers Others
  • Big Russian (9)
  • Skinnies (7)
  • Small Russian (8)

Memorable quotes

"I trust any of them with my life. My car. Maybe not my sister."

--Duke has his priorities straight.

"Damn. What do these bugs eat when we're not here?"

--The insects love Ripcord.

Other notes


  • No errors known.

Items of note

Photo cover.

  • An alternate photo cover exists, which features actor Channing Tatum in his Reactive Armor, not seen in this issue's story. The covers were shipped in a 50/50 ratio.
  • The story takes place prior to events in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
  • A reference is made to Rex Lewis.
  • The mission takes place in a country called Papua. While it could be assumed it's Papua New Guinea, it is never made specific and could refer to several other locations named Papua. Additionally, the Sealisi region does not seem to be a real location, nor Burua a real dialect.

Real-world references

  • After a brief reflection on a past failure, Duke apologizes for "the Oprah moment," referring to Oprah Winfrey, noted daytime talk show host known for eliciting weepy interviews from emotional guests.
  • After boarding the Navy evac helicopter, Duke says the team was "over international waters before you can say 'Condoleezza.'"

Footnotes and References

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