Snake-Eyes has been shrouded in mystery since the first issue. Issue 26 is the first part of this origin story. Please make sure to read that one first.
In addition to the Snake-Eyes origin story, the ongoing covert actions in the Florida swamps near Zartan’s cabin continues. Issue 25 (“Zartan!”) ended with Junkyard coming right to the cabin door. Zartan was brandishing his pistol and was about to put the “stray” out of its misery. Issue 26 ended with Junkyard leading the Cobras into a pit of quicksand.
On to the issue
We begin with the Baroness, Destro, Cobra Commander, and Zartan all shooting at Junkyard while sinking in quicksand. Ol’ Junkyard led them into a trap, and now he was scattering to catch up to Mutt and get out of danger.
Firefly and Wild Weasel are still on the loose and the Joes are chasing them. Cobra Commander, Zartan, Destro, and the Baroness are on the Joe’s track. Firefly sets a trap. Junkyard runs past Mutt and ends up springing the trap.
At the Pit, Stalker and Hawk relate recruiting Snake-Eyes and some locals referring to him as a hermit or the old werewolf fellow.
Listening to logger camp town gossip would prove embarrassing for Hawk.
Hawk enters the cabin and addresses Snake-Eyes’ friendly wolf Timber. “Snake-Eyes?” Stalker replies: “That’s just a wolf, Hawk.” The first time I read this I almost fell out of my chair laughing. He actually thought Snake-Eyes was a werewolf transforming back and forth at will.
That could have only been more awkward if Hawk had shot Timber dead in his home, and THEN tried to recruit Snake-Eyes while his gun was still smoking. At any rate, somehow, they recruited him. So far, his family gets killed in a car wreck, and this Hawk guy shows up. Now out of nowhere, Hawk is in his secluded cabin. Snake-Eyes had to get some type of warning vibe about going with them.
Stalker makes some nice observations about wolves. Perhaps it was Lonzo who did the convincing.
Scarlett adds to the story, relating a memory of training. It appears Snake-Eyes is bested in a sparring match, but Scarlett relates she realized he let her win to keep her from losing face. If you read the last Issue, Snake-Eyes did the same for Storm Shadow. He is altruistic, and doesn’t care what people think of him. He wants others not to be embarrassed.
After Snake-Eyes let Scarlett win a sparring match in hand-to-hand combat training, she got him to go for a walk with him after hours. He admitted to studying martial arts in Japan, but was still brooding about the loss of his twin sister and parents, but not much more.
Evidently, even when he could talk, Snake-Eyes didn’t say much.
Later, the Joes are sent on a rescue mission to help free hostages.
This mission bears striking similarities to a rescue mission authorized by President Jimmy Carter to get the US hostages held by Iranian revolutionaries. It similarly ended with two special forces helicopters crashing and the mission ending pre-maturely.
Evidently, they should have listened to Grunt and put sand dust filters on the engine intakes, but they didn’t. The helicopters both failed and started crashing into each other. Some Joes jumped clear. But the door slammed shut on Scarlett’s gear.
Instead of listening to Scarlett to jump clear and save himself, Snake-Eyes tried to be heroic.
But the rotor of their chopper hit the engine of the other one, and the result was catastrophic.
Snake-Eyes took a burst of burning fuel to the face and neck.
Snake-Eyes rescued Scarlett from a burning helicopter crash. But he lost his face and the ability to speak.
Back in the swamp, Cobras and Joes have converged and a firefight ensues. Junkyard makes a dash for it, solidifying his earnest claim as smartest character in that story thread.
Back in Harlem, the Soft Master tells Snake-Eyes again he saw Storm Shadow running and yet he was trying to reconcile that with the Hard Master denying it was him with his dying breath.
He also mentions he thinks Storm Shadow is right outside the window. And he instructs Snake-Eyes to get him. NOW!
Holy care for innocent passersby, Batman! Snake-Eyes violates more than one of the TABK firearm safety rules. But he is a ninja, and a commando, and an airborne ranger. And nobody got hurt, so we’ll let it slide for the moment.
Snake-Eyes reloads and takes out nearly the whole side of the story, the deli counter and everything behind it.
The Soft Master tried to stall the police officers as Snake-Eyes discovers the basement crawlspace hidey hole that Storm Shadow had slithered through while Snake-Eyes was reloading. There are several pages of a humorous ninja chase including Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow getting caught in a Street Sweeper as well as one little kid mistaking them for “Moon Knight.”
The chase scene continues on top of a commuter train, and the weapon of choice has shifted to knives. Scarlett and Wild Bill try to track them in the Dragonfly helicopter.
As this unbelievable ninja chase fight scene continues on top of the train, we see the train approaching a tunnel. Storm Shadow can’t see it since he is focused on Snake-Eyes, with his back to the tunnel. As he keeps talking to Snake-Eyes, Snake-Eyes flashes back to Vietnam and the time Tommy Storm Shadow saved his life.
At the very last moment Snake-Eyes dumps his knife and starts leaning back. Storm Shadow charges him, and Snake-Eyes pulls them both to safety between two train cars.
Storm Shadow reveals to Snake-Eyes that it was not him who killed his uncle the Hard Master. But it was an agent working for Cobra that he saw flee in a Cobra helicopter. He has been working his way through Cobra’s network so he could be trusted enough to discover the secret.
Storm Shadow talks about revenge, and then reconciliation with his brother in arms Snake-Eyes.
Scarlett and the Joes wait for the train Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow were fighting on to come to the station. She jumps on to the small connecting plate between cars and finds Snake-Eyes sitting alone and asks herself why she asks him questions when he never answers.
Back in the Florida swamps, we see that the Cobras still frustrated by the elusive Joes Zartan says it is time to call out the Dreadnoks. His biker gang lackeys may be of help in the chase.
And the story is continued for the next issue.
Issue 27 continued the awesome work of Issue 26.. Larry Hama tied together the origin of the mysterious Snake-Eyes from multiple points of view but also kept that Junkyard/Zartan swamp story going. To be honest, Junkyard comes out as the smartest of either the Joes or Cobras in the non-origin part of the story. Firefly is cunning, but Junkyard makes him appear foolish.
I hope you enjoyed this issue and will tune in soon for Issue 28.
Now You Know – a little more about ”Snake-Eyes: The Origin, Part II.” Feel free to let me know what you thought of this issue after you MAKE THE JUMP to the forum.
Bonus retro advertisement on the Postbox the Pit letters page