GI Joe Extreme -- Volume 2, Issue #2:
Red Scream Part Two: Shake Hands with Satan:
Originally Written by Straightedge and posted here : http://www.geocities.com/thefreighter89 ... satan.html and updated by Jamar Miller
Opening Page: full page panel at Interalliance Weapons Testing. On the building is a three or four story high wanted poster of the nine Joes that reads: "WANTED FOR TREASON." The characters are pictured in the following order:
First row: Lt. Stone, Sgt. Savage, Black Dragon
Second row: Mayday, Quick Stryke, Harpoon
Third row: Metalhead, Freight, Ballistic
Missing are Tall Sally and Short Fuse, who died in the fourth issue of the first miniseries.
"Dudes," says Metalhead. "The head honchos at Interalliance could have picked better pictures of us, dontcha think?" as he and a group of Joes sneak out of the compound.
Metalhead continues on, saying that Interalliance is probably just sore that they not only broke out of their trial but that they also raided 'en for their weapons back.
Stone tells Metalhead to stow it before they're spotted -- which of course means that they're spotted in the next panel when an Interalliance chopper bears down on them.
The Joes scatter, Ballistic fires at the chopper, deliberately missing and scaring the chopper off for the moment. The Joes make it to a hidey-hole that Iron Klaw told them about. Inside, Rampage, Wreckage and Inferno are waiting, somewhat impatiently, for them.
Sgt. Savage yells that it's a trap, but Stone tells him and the other Joes to stand down. These men are their allies.
Iron Klaw steps out of the shadows, admonishing Stone to see that his people remember their alliance. Naturally enough, the various underlings are not pleased by these arrangements. Stone and Iron Klaw sort out the fussing and feuding, sending their respective people off on their various assignments.
Rampage whines, wondering why he and Mayday can't be assigned together, since they're destined to be together.
"In your dreams," says Mayday. "And my nightmares."
"Team assignments are final,' says Stone. He tells the others that they'll rendezvous here at 2400 hours tomorrow.
Iron Klaw thinks: "You give the orders now, Lieutenant -- but our alliance is over the instant we have vanquished Red Scream...or perhaps even earlier."
Meanwhile, at Interalliance's headquarters, a nameless (in this issue at least) commander tells Clancy that there's been a reported sighting of the Joes and that her people are going after them.
Clancy acknowledges the report, but says he can't believe the Joes are guilty. He cautions the Commander to make sure she brings the Joes in alive. The commander says that she'll try, but that in the end it's up to the Joes.
As the Commander leaves, Clancy looks down at a set of dog tags, thinking "I've done all I can to help them. Now it's up to the Joes themselves...and whatever aid he can give them." We're not told who "he" is, but the dog tags are probably a hint.
We join the first team on their mission, already in progress:
Sgt. Savage, Mayday and Inferno are sneaking into some place, we're not told where. Sarge tells the others to be quiet. Inferno says he prefers a less subtle approach. A few sticks of dynamite, a gallon of napalm or two -- noisemakers...
Mayday tells Inferno it'll take subtlety to get a confession out of the tribunal that convicted them.
Sarge tells the others to stop. He's spotted a group of guards talking. Guess who gets to be their ticket in?
The group takes out the guards. Or, rather, Mayday and Sarge take out the guards; Mayday teases Inferno for standing aside while she and Sarge do all the work. Inferno sulks that he's the brains of the outfit, as Mayday and Sarge get dressed.
Inside the building, Premiere Standak turns as "Red Scream" enters the room. She's come to make sure that Standak and the others on the tribunal do not betray her.
Inferno and Sarge whisper to each other as Mayday/Red Scream goes into her act. Sarge is worried about the costume fooling Standak, since they only know what it looks like thanks to Iron Klaw's description. Inferno, on the other hand, is more worried about the way that Mayday is chewing up the scenery.
Standak swears to Mayday/Red Scream that he is still her ally in the effort to throw off the chains of Interalliance. He's about to say more when the window he was standing in front of shatters and the real Red Scream walks in. A firefight ensues, during which Standak is shot. The fight becomes a literal firefight when Inferno proceeds to bring the house down with his flamethrower.
Standak manages to choke out a deathbed clue "Doppelganger,' and then dies conveniently.
The Joes escape.
Second Team: Metalhead, Harpoon, Ballistic and Rampage arrive at the refugee camp that the Joes supposedly trashed. No, not just trashed, trashed big-time. Harpoon doubts that they can find many clues here. Ballistic agrees, whoever really totaled the place didn't leave much to search.
Rampage taunts the Joes for playing martyrs: "Why not just admit you got tired of walking the straight and narrow? My way is more fun -- and it pays better."
Harpoon threatens Rampage, but Ballistic breaks it up as Metalhead picks up a signal coming from -- Rampage?
As it turns out, Rampage has managed to pull a fast one on the Joes and Iron Klaw. The signal is emanating from him; it's a homing device designed to lead Interalliance to him...and the Joes.
An Interalliance group, apparently led by the commander we saw earlier, shows up, leveling guns at the Joes. The commander says she's glad to see Rampage kept his word. Rampage counters that his word is always good -- so long as he can turn a profit by it.
Rampage is planning on turning the Joes in for the price on their heads; he figures that as long as Iron Klaw doesn't find out, he's ahead all around.
Harpoon protests that if the commander looks them up, the real creeps will get away with it. As the commander takes Harpoon's weapon, Metalhead sets his guitar-weapon to feedback, shorting out the Interalliance's weapons and allowing the Joes time to escape.
The Joes take their weapons back as Rampage protests their escape. After all, he promised Interalliance a captive. The Joes turn on Rampage, blasting him. If he promised Interalliance a captive, he can be the captive. They turn to leave him behind.
Rampage, being a weasel of the first water, begs the Joes not to leave him behind. The Joes turn around and start bargaining with Rampage. They agree to take him with them for double the price he'd have gotten for them, a piece. Whimpering over the loss of money, Rampage agrees.
The Joes and Rampage leave, not having discovered what "Doppelganger" means -- but hey, with the money they swindled from Rampage, they can hire someone to find out.
Team Three: Outside of Project: Mainframe, Black Dragon, Quick Stryke, Freight and Wreckage are preparing to break into the compound. They're hoping to find out what "Doppelganger" might mean, since it could be a computer code.
Quick Stryke is grumbling about this. Black Dragon says "Ours is not to reason why, Quick Stryke, Ours is but to do or --"
"Don't say it!" Quick Stryke says.
Wreckage is not keen on the number of military guards, as the military made him what he is. (And he's not talking in an "Army of One" kind of way -- or rather, he *is* but not in a good way).
There are too many guards for them to go in via a frontal assault. So, instead, they go in via a pipeline. Quick Stryke mentions that the manhole is sure to be wired. Freight says he can blow an opening into the pipe, but Wreckage says no, his way will be more accurate and draw less attention. "His way" consists of him using a finger-laser to slice a hole in the pipe.
Black Dragon goes in first, only to discover that it's not a water pipe...
Meanwhile, also outside Project: Mainframe: Stone and Iron Klaw are waiting. Stone isn't happy about using his men as a diversion. Iron Klaw tells him that he's too emotional; that history teaches us that soldiers are nothing but chessmen, pawns in a larger game. (Y'know, I'll bet that's in the SKAR Christmas card too.)
Stone counters by saying: "The best leader I ever had taught me that your men are your allies -- your brothers in combat. You value their lives as you would value your own."
Iron Klaw asks what happened to this leader.
Stone says that he disappeared on a mission, years ago. Stone is sure that this leader is dead.
Iron Klaw says :"You see? You regard him a king, but to his superiors, he was just another pawn."
Back in the pipes, Black Dragon and crew reach their destination. Or at least what they think is their destination, since they're still in the pipe. Wreckage cuts them a second opening. Black Dragon leaves the pipe and says to Wreckage: "Do me a favor, you ever want something from me, just ask okay? Don't point!"
Quick Stryke bemoans his befouled state and Freight teases him about his smell. Wreckage watches with some bemusement: "The way you men banter -- joke amongst yourselves...it's not like the way Iron Klaw's troops treat each other."
Freight says that he guesses that's just one of the differences between the Joes and SKAR.
The group arrives at their destination. There are two guards. Again, a frontal assault would be useless; raising the alarm before th Joes could do anything. So, Black Dragon sneaks around the guards and knocks them out. He sprays one guard in the face with a sleeping gas of his own invention. The other guard he just clocks.
Freight blows the door in question, causing a group of Interalliance guards to come streaming out after them. They apparently weren't supposed to get into the mainframe. Instead, they are the distraction.
Stone and Iron Klaw take the alarms from inside the compound as their cue to go in. No one will notice a few more alarms in the chaos, they figure. This way they're hiding a tree within a forest. Clever plan, actually...
Stone and Iron Klaw break into the mainframe room and Iron Klaw nearly wets himself thinking about what all naughtiness he could get into with the information contained therein. Stone tells him to back off, they're there for information on Doppelganger and that's it. He tells Iron Klaw that he'd turn them both in to keep Iron Klaw away from the other information.
An Interalliance officer tells his men to occupy the area and secure the mainframe. Iron Klaw prepares to do battle with the Interalliance folks; Stone on the other hand says he won't shed innocent blood.
Luckily, Mr. Clancy shows up and shoos the guards off. He then tells the Lieutenant to hurry along.
"Clancy?" Stone says, gobsmacked by the man's presence.
"Not quite...Sgt. Stone,' says the man, pulling off his rubber Clancy mask and holding up a set of dog tags. Those of us who've read "From the Ashes," this nameless stranger will be immediately recognizable as "GI Joe" the last surviving member of Project: GI.
Stone flips; it's his old officer. Iron Klaw tells Stone to get his mind back on the mission.
Stone agrees, their mission is almost over. Except that the data they came to retrieve has suddenly been erased by what seems to be a system failure. Stone and Iron Klaw realize that the Red Scream has thwarted them. Iron Klaw suggests they leave before they too are 'erased.'
Cut to: some girl we haven't met this issue but who is most likely the real Red Scream since she has part of her outfit hanging on the wall next to her, is sitting back and gloating after her close call erasing the Doppelganger data. "If the GI Joes want so badly to know what Doppelganger was about...they'll have a fine opportunity to see its results!"
The Joes arrive back at their hideout; using various bird-themed code signs to check in (Hawk, Phoenix, Eagle and Condor). As they enter their headquarters, Stone gripes "One step forward, two steps back! This Red Scream character has seen us coming every time...we're gonna have to put our heads together and --"
"Uh, Lieutenant?" Mayday interrupts. '...I think they'll be willing to do that for us!"
"They" is a group of, well, copies of the Joes. Evil copies (you can tell they're evil copies because their eyes have are just solid white).
Next Mission: Lt. Stone has come close to deciphering the "doppelganger" code, but he hasn't cleared his team's name yet. One thing's for sure, the 'Joes haven't seen many days like this! They must fight alongside their hated enemy, face evil versions of themselves, and to top it all off, the person who framed them may be someone they believed to be an ally.
On the whole, I liked this issue.
Rampage's attempted betrayal of the Joes was a nice twist. And I like how the Joes squished the attempt. Hah-hah Rampage.
Now what can I say about Red Scream other than RED SHADOW ROCK!. This being the bridge issue and all. Good look at both the Joes and SKAR forces though. I like it over all.
Extreme Times call for Extreme Heroes!
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