Inception: The Cobol Job is a prologue to Inception: The Big Under, and thus to Inception as well. Written by Jordan Goldberg, the comic was illustrated by Long Vo, Joe Ng, and Crystal Reid of Udon. The comic was originally published online on the Inception official website and at Yahoo! Movies, but has since been taken down.
It details the heist on Mr. Kaneda's mind by Nash, Cobb, Arthur, and several Cobol Engineering thugs. The dream world takes the shape of a downtown area complete with skyscrapers, a bank, and an office building.
The comic begins with a narrative about Miles teaching Cobb about dream sharing to prove that "creativity knew no bounds" and that "creation should be for the sake of creation, not for profit." This narrative is accompanied by the dream world of this downtown area. Cobb, in this dream world, is tempted by Mal to look at her and as he resists, a passenger bus manifests itself and nearly runs over Cobb. It would have killed him if Arthur, reliable as ever, hadn't pulled him out of the way. In the interest of the job, Cobb won't let Arthur know that he saw Mal.
Cobb and Arthur meet with several of Cobol Engineering's thugs who act as tourists, making sure the job gets done, even at the expense of the job. Arthur and three thugs stick up a jewelry store, demanding that the silent alarm within it be turned off. The police soon arrive at the jeweler's as Cobb meets with Nash, an unreliable architect, but the only one available, who gives Cobb directions to the office of the paranoid Kaneda. As Nash creates a diversion by running through employee-only rooms, Cobb and a Cobol thug find Kaneda's office, where Kaneda calls the police. When the police are in the jewelry store, still tied up in Arthur's distraction.
Cobb threatens Kaneda for the password to his computer, shooting his tourist to prove his seriousness, then unveiling a bomb. The police leave the jewelry store, making their way to Kaneda's office. As one of Arthur's tourists shoot themselves to leave the dream, Arthur improvises into the first floor of the office building, shooting police left and right to create diversion. Nash is found by Kaneda's receptionist, who hits him with an ax. Once Nash is dead, the dream starts collapsing and Cobb hurries things along. Kaneda unlocks his computer and Cobb searches for RDS-1 Energy Expansion Program. Upon finding it password-protected, Cobb demands a password, but Kaneda doesn't know it. He says the Expansion Program was Saito's idea and only Saito knows the password. The bomb goes off and Cobb wakes up on a cot in a 'hostage room' where he spins his totem to confirm reality, but its spin is interrupted by a thug attempting to beat Cobb.
Woodruff, head of Cobol Engineering, calls off the thugs and, alone with Cobb, Arthur, and Nash, asks for the information. Cobb explains that only Saito has the information and Woodruff reveals the information was going to be used to buy Fischer Morrow's financial backing on an oil pipeline up the entire eastern coast of Africa. With the stakes revealed, we can see that Cobb's totem has stopped spinning. Cobb agrees to the job, on the condition that there be no tourists. Everything needs to be Cobb, Nash, and Arthur. Saito is trained in dream-share, which means he'll be onto them from the start. Cobb already has a plan in mind and the comic ends with a narrative, that this is no dream and Cobb cannot fail.