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Nipponophile
Apr 8, 2009


So apparently if you neglect a thread for most of a year, it will be closed and locked automatically. Who knew???

Those of you joining us for the first time will want to catch up on the previous thread, located here.

Let's read Issue #28!



No doubt you guys will remember that the Joe team has tracked Cobra Commander, who escaped their imprisonment with the help of Storm Shadow, to a shack in the Florida Everglades owned by a certain master of disguise named Zartan. The Joes' recon squad made contact and exfiltrated despite heavy resistance from Zartan, Destro, Firefly, and the Baroness.



Duke and Roadblock arrive on the freighter via Wild Bill's copter, and Duke starts making plans to assault Cobra head-on. Zartan surmises that the recon squad will be followed by heavy attack forces and decides to get the gently caress out with his Dreadnoks. He tells Cobra Commander he can keep the shack.



Elsewhere, a stereotypically Southern police patrol car is stuck at a train crossing. The good ol' boys inside are surprised to see Breaker atop one of the boxcars asking if they know where Route 56 is. When he gets his answer...



The other Joe heavy support launches in the form of Wild Bill's Dragonfly chopper and the Water-borne Hovercraft Assault Landing Experimental - W.H.A.L.E.



Back at the oil tanks, the Baroness shows what preparations she has made.



Destro and Wild Weasel take two of the Rattlers toward Zartan's shack to pick up Cobra Commander and Firefly. The Baroness flies the third homewards to Springfield to prepare for their triumphant return.

In Zartan's shack, early warning devices pick up the approach of Joe heavy assault force. Firefly struggles with the system controls only to discover that they're all fake, connected to nothing.



Meanwhile, on the highway...



Wild Bill picks up the approaching Cobra jets on radar and lets Duke know to expect company.

Firefly has just about sorted out the controls he uncovered, as Cobra Commander recalls hearing Zartan talk about a secret robot project he'd made plans for. Apparently, he had done more than just plan.



Buford and R.L. continue to try to pull over the MOBAT, but they are quite rudely interrupted.



Let it not be said that Southern lawmen are slow on the uptake.



Duke, in the WHALE, gets Steeler's call for backup and diverts overland to rendezvous with the other team.



Steeler tries to get the local cops to clear out, but they've got other plans.



As Cobra makes a bombing run, the Joes and cops take cover under the treeline.

After arriving in Springfield, the Baroness grabs a ride to the detention center.



Well, that's hardly ominous.

Destro and Wild Weasel loop back to get a lock on the thermal signatures of their targets now that they've lost visual.



Steeler's crazy plan works, and Destro loses lock-on before he can attack. Buford and R.L. aren't so lucky, barely managing to flee their patrol car before an air-to-ground missile takes it out. They flee into the swamp, hoping to take cover in a nearby abandoned shack.

The WHALE makes the scene just in time for Deep Six to land some solid hits on Destro's Rattler, but these tankbusters are built for survivability.



Most of the Joes in the WHALE are wounded, and Roadblock's turret is knocked out. Deep Six tries to track Destro as e makes another pass, but his turret is damaged and unable to elevate! As Destro closes in, Roadblock takes things into his own hands.



The damage proves too much for Destro's Rattler, and he is forced to eject. Meanwhile, Wild Weasel has landed to retrieve Cobra Commander. Unfortunately, there's no room for Firefly to ride along. After assuring Firefly that such a "resourceful" man should have no trouble making his way out, Cobra Commander muses that he'll need to remember to re-stock his supply of lackeys back in Springfield.



But what of Zartan and his Dreadnoks, you ask? They have a plan.

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Nipponophile
Apr 8, 2009


Don't get accustomed to this update pace, but...

Let's read Issue #29!



That's a really great cover. I don't even know who did the art, but the composition, the clean lines... Isn't it neat?



The G.I. Joes have pulled into the nearest fishing port to make emergency repairs on the WHALE, and they're taking some flak from the locals. Don't worry, though. The Joes don't have time for that poo poo.



Back in the swamp, Destro fills Firefly in on the location of Cobra's headquarters: a nice little town called Springfield. And looking in on Springfield...



Remember that kid? You'd better check the first thread!

The Joes continue to work around the clock in the sleepy fishing port of Ehrlinger's Cove. When resources run low, good old American ingenuity takes the stage.



Meanwhile, Destro and Firefly have stumbled across a poacher.



Faced with those threats, the poacher tells them the closest place is a spot called Ehrlinger's Cove...

Back in Springfield, Cobra Commander leads a rally, giving us a glimpse into the greater machinations of Cobra.







At the cove, Cutter finishes repairs on the engine, while Roadblock continues to weld the armored plating. In the midst of this activity, the poacher's boat with Cobras aboard drifts alongside. Cutter is outclassed in hand-to-hand with Destro, denting his knuckles on Destro's beryllium steel mask. Firefly gains a turret and turns in on the other Joes, but Roadblock is quick to react.



Fortunately, Wild Bill arrives just then with supplies. Duke hops aboard the chopper to pursue the WHALE and orders Roadblock to guard Cutter until medical support arrives. Cutter, however, has other plans. He hops into an unattended shrimp boat with plans to head back to their support freighter, the G.I. Jane.



Destro is taking the WHALE overland, following roads for ease of navigation.



Wild Bill and Duke in the chopper catch up to the WHALE as Cutter makes it back to the Jane. He realizes that Destro is making for a channel leading to the open Gulf, and the chances of catching them out there go down dramatically.





Yeah, that's one mighty "special" freighter the Joes are running.



The WHALE is trapped between the Jane and the Dragonfly, but rather than surrender, Destro fires his wrist rockets at Wild Bill's copter. The engines are knocked out, forcing Bill into a dangerous gamble. He points the crippled craft directly at the Jane.



Cutter sees what Bill is trying to do and holds his course steady in the face of a flaming helicopter bearing down on him.



As the Joes extinguish the wreckage and secure their friends, Firefly hatches a desperate plan.



The Jane picks up the WHALE in its well deck, but no one seems to be aboard. The Joes cautiously search the boat, aware of Firefly's reputation as a master saboteur.



Tripwire lifts the detonator out, but realizes that it has only seconds to go.



Roadblock's hunch proves right, and the bomb bounces overboard to detonate harmlessly. He's not too happy about Tripwire's actions, though.



The Joes realize too late that Destro and Firefly must have been in the two depth charges that were fired off earlier, but as they attempt to mount a search...

Nipponophile
Apr 8, 2009


On the broader subject of comics, DC is having a buy-one-get-one-free sale on digital copies of most of their comics today, and Marvel is offering 20% off a year's subscription to their Marvel Unlimited service.

I've had Marvel Unlimited for around a year now, and it's one of the reasons I stopped doing these updates for so long. I was busy running through the world's largest backlog.

Nipponophile
Apr 8, 2009


I've been pretty busy the past couple weeks, but with Cyrano taking a well-deserved break from Ringo, I'll crank out some updates in the meantime. The next couple years worth of issues have some really good stuff in them, and I'm eager to see people's reactions.

Until then, here's some file cards for our newest characters.

Code Name: MUTT
File Name: Perlmutter, Stanley R.
SN: RA757793443
Grade: Sp-4
Birthplace: Iselin, New Jersey
Primary Specialty: Dog Handler
Secondary Specialty: Infantry

Mutt is a natural with animals. He likes them and they like him. The problem is that he gets along better with dogs than he does with humans. Graduated Jungle Warfare Training School. Attached as cadre to Special Ops School and as advisor to Security and Enforcement Committee. Qualified expert: M-16, M-14, M-1911A1 Auto Pistol, MAC-11.

"If you're sitting next to Mutt in the mess hall, don't try filching anything from his tray--he'll bite your leg off!"

---

Code Name: CUTTER
File Name: Stone, Skip A.
SN: RA403540688
Grade: Lieutenant J.G
Birthplace: Kinsley, Kansas
Primary Specialty: Hovercraft Captain
Secondary Specialty: Special Services

Cutter badgered his congressmen for two years to get into Annapolis. Then realized his family lacked two essential ingredients: power and influence. Opted for the Coast Guard Academy instead.

Wanted a life at sea even though hometown is as far away from either ocean as you can get (exactly 1,561 miles from San Francisco and NYC). His iron will and contrary nature, laced with a truly bizarre sense of humor; might explain why.

Found out the Joe team didn't have any Coast Guardsmen. Raised such a stink that the Coast Guard top brass had to pull every string necessary to fix it. It also gave the brass a way to get Cutter out of their hair.

---

Code Name: DEEP SIX
File Name: Willoughby, Malcom R.
SN: RA226960917
Grade: PO 2nd (Master Diver's Rating)
Birthplace: Baltimore, MD
Primary Specialty: Diver
Secondary Specialty: Small Craft Pilot/Motorized

Deep Six never won any awards for being friendly. Became a Navy diver so that "I could be alone." Enjoys bottlecap collecting, solitaire, and the New York Times crossword puzzles. Only 12 out of 50 Navy divers passed the strict requirements for the coveted diver position on the Joe team. Eight washed out in the practical application testing. Of the 4 finalists, Deep Six could hold his breath the longest.

Torpedo says: "Down in the depths where light doesn't reach and the water pressure can crush you like an eggshell--that's where Deep Six likes it!"

Nipponophile
Apr 8, 2009


Barely squeezing in an update before the weekend's over, let's read issue #30!



Thanks to my early impressions of Australia being shaped by Mad Max and Crocodile Dundee, that's basically what I imagine a typical Qantas ground crew looks like on the job.



Taking Buzzer's word for it, Zartan says he's going in to check it out.



The chopper turns out to be bring back two wounded Joes from the Florida job.



Zartan hurries off to avoid further scrutiny and gets in touch with Cobra Commander. The Commander remembers that the transport plane that flew him to his prison in the Rockies launched from McGuire AFB. He comes to the logical conclusion that G.I. Joe must be headquartered at McGuire! He orders Zartan to keep his Dreadnoks in the area and keep an eye out. They set up camp in an abandoned gas station.



Fans of anagrams, don't knock yourselves out trying to work on Fred's last name. Also, it turns out the Broca family is moving in right next door to Fort Wadsworth, home of a certain Chaplain's Assistant School.



As Fred and family set up their gear, the ambulances carrying the wounded Joes arrive at the Pit. Wild Bill is more than a little surprised to see a familiar face there.



Hawk confirms that he's been at the Pit all day working on new security programs, and Scarlett verifies it, raising the question of just who Wild Bill actually saw at McGuire...

Cobra Commander has been working on moving his forces into position with the trademark Cobra subtlety.



I included that panel mostly for the "How did this get past the editors?" factor.

Back in friendly old Springfield, a familiar face is rifling through the files at the Arbco Bros. Circus head office. He discovers incriminating evidence, but is interrupted by...



Zartan relays orders for the Dreadnoks to recon the perimeter fence at McGuire and cut open a section in advance of the main Cobra assault force. They're to avoid contact and run quiet, but come on, we all know that's not gonna happen, right?

As Cobra moves their forces into position, Fred Broca receives unwelcome news.



I guess they don't teach anger management at Crimson Guard school. Ironically, if they had kept the equipment hooked up just a few minutes longer, they would have caught a G.I. Joe armored column making its way towards McGuire AFB. Hawk has put two and two together and realized that his doppleganger could be the work of Cobra's new hologram expert.

At McGuire, the Dreadnoks do not stick to the plan. Who could have seen that coming???



But it's OK! They have a plan of their own!



As the Dreadnoks do their thing, the Joes continue their trek to the airbase, and Cobra Commander arrives on site.



Cobra Commander briefs his troops that he wants this insertion to be so stealthy that they should be in place before the Joes have a chance to react. Unfortunately for them, Buzzer manages to saw through precisely the wrong thing just about then.





The Dreadnoks, realizing they've hosed up, make a break for it. They zoom past the Cobra forces on their way in, rationalizing that if they were to stay and fight, the chances of Cobra Commander being around to be mad at them later are that much higher.

Just as the Dreadnoks are about to get away clean, the cavalry arrives on the scene.



Hawk gets word on the main assault on the airfield and breaks off to assist. Their support comes just in the nick of time for the tower crew.



In all the ruckus, Cobra Commander gets so engrossed in lining up a shot on Hawk that he fails to notice Steeler lining up a shot on him.



While Cobra beats a hasty retreat, we check back in with Destro and Firefly, who must have had quite the journey in their stolen shrimp boat.



Next issue: More Snake-Eyes!

Nipponophile
Apr 8, 2009


What's that you say? You need more info on this crazy Cobra-affiliated bikey gang? Well, I aim to please.

Code Name: ZARTAN
File Name: Unknown
Alias: Too numerous to list
Birthplace: Unknown

Zartan can alter his skin color at will to blend in with his environment. He is also a master of make-up and disguise, a ventriloquist, a linguist (over 20 languages and dialects), an acrobatic-contortionist and a practitioner of several mystic martial arts. Very little is known of his background and origins, but most security agencies agree that he must have had European military academy training (probably St. Cyr).

Psychological Profile: Extreme paranoid schizophrenic. Grows into various multiple personalities to such an extent that the original personality becomes buried and forgotten.

---

Code Name: TORCH
File Name: Tom Winken
Birthplace: Botany Bay, New South Wales, Australia

Subject was remanded to Borstal* at age fourteen. Escaped and went to sea in the Merchant Marine where he learned the use of the cutting torch.

Torch is an illiterate, unrepentant thug whose penchant for sudden and unexpected violence is matched only by the utter depth of his stupidity.

Specialty and M.O.**: Works with Oxy-Acetylene torch as a general cutter mostly on remodeling stolen cars and occasional safe crackings. Scavenges the swamps for fun and profit.
*Reform school
**Modus Operandi

---

Code Name: BUZZER
File Name: Dick Blinken (Richard Blinken-Smythe)
Birthplace: Cambridge, England

Buzzer was an extreme left-wing Cambridge sociology don who went to Australia to research the biker gang phenomenon only to be transformed into the very subject of his research. Years of intellectual displeasure caused repressed psychotic anger, manifested in an intense desire to chainsaw apart the expensive geegaws of technological society.

Specialty and M.O.*: A scavenger of the swamps, Buzzer can cut through steel, wrought iron and any metal (except armor plate) with his diamond-toothed chain saw.
*Modus Operandi

---

Code Name: RIPPER
File Name: Harry Nod
Birthplace: Grim Cape, Tasmania

There are devils in Tasmania and Ripper is probably the meanest of them all. Was expelled from nursery school for extorting candy from his schoolmates and spent most of his adult life in various correctional institutions. He is a professional criminal motivated by greed and a malignant dislike for the niceties of civilization-except for motorcycles.

Specialty and M.O.*: Edged weapons and cutting tools. Is known throughout the swamps for using his blade like a cross between a fireman's axe and a can opener to unlock gates and crack safes.
*Modus Operandi

---

Huh, didn't someone just mention something about punny names?

Nipponophile
Apr 8, 2009


One last update for 2015? Why not? It's not like I've got gently caress-all else to do tonight! Let's read Issue #31!



Looking pretty ominous there, Destro.



So apparently our favorite Crimson Guardsman Fred has had to go back and set up all his surveillance gear again after he set it up that one time and then broke most of it.



Cobra Commander tells Fred to expect the arrival of two guests and to provide them his full assistance.

The G.I. Joe team, meanwhile, is making an off-the-records flight. Snake Eyes plans to take some leave at his mountain cabin, and Hawk agreed to give him a lift in the team's C-130. Little do they know, the plane's movements are being tracked by a transmitter that Zartan planted aboard it while his Drednoks were tearing up the airfield last issue. He relays this information to Cobra Commander, who is all too happy to have something good come out of that debacle.



Back at the Broca household, Fred's daughter informs him of the arrival of two visitors.



Spirit notices the transmitter and destroys it before he and Airborne jump, but not before Zartan passes on its last location to Destro.



Spirit and Airborne gripe a bit about having to move their camp back again. Between the wolf's nose and Snake Eyes' vision, their assignment to keep a discreet eye on Snake Eyes is proving impossible.

Just down the road, Fred and company ask around with the locals for help finding their "old army buddy".



Hey, it's been a while since we've checked in with the Baroness and Major Bludd. Let's see what they're up to...



Ah, good times...

Fred and friends have located the cabin they're looking for and, fortunately for them, Snake Eyes has changed out of his casual wear back into his work clothes.



Seriously, the story kind of falls apart here if they pull up and see a guy in flannel and a boonie hat playing fetch with his pet wolf. But they didn't, and so it's on.



Airborne and Spirit notice the gunfire and begin rushing to assist right away, however they're still miles away.

Fred asks if they should try to rush the cabin, but Destro knows what a stupid idea that would be.



The situation quickly changes when Snake Eyes' return fire ignites the gas tank on the Cobramobile they'd been hiding behind.



As Destro covers the windows, Firefly lobs in a frag grenade. Naturally, Snake Eyes isn't going to stand for that.



Whoops, butterfingers. Good thing help has arrived on the scene!



I'm not sure whether this firefight was supposed to have taken much longer than it seemed, or if these guys set new land speed records for the ten miles from their camp.

Anyhow, Snake Eyes manages to knock a table down between himself and the grenade, but the concussion still leaves him dazed and at Destro's mercy. And after that rescue job way back in issue #21 made Destro look bad in front of Cobra Commander, he's not feeling particularly merciful. But somebody's been forgotten in all this excitement...



Outside, the Joes notice Firefly moving to drop an satchel charge down the chimney. Airborne moves to stop him, but doing so allows Fred to outflank him.



Don't worry, guys. They'll be fine. They have action figures. I'd save your concern for the people who didn't get toys made.



Like Fred here. RIP Fred.

Destro shrugs off the wolf and makes a break for the door, and as he and Spirit exchange fire, everything goes red...



Next issue: MORE DREDNOKS!!!

Nipponophile
Apr 8, 2009


Happy birthday, Dr. King! Let's Read Issue #32!!! (In observance of MLK Day, Roadblock, Stalker, and Doc have been given the issue off.)



The DREDNOKS



...actually don't have a lot to do with this issue. We open with the aftermath of the firefight at Snake Eyes' mountain cabin. A mysterious figure arrives on the scene and begins to tend to the wounded survivors. Destro, however, may be a little less wounded than he seemed.





The Soft Master orders Destro to help Firefly haul their friend off the mountain. Good sport that he is, he even lets them keep their guns.

Back at the "Pit", finishing touches are being place as the renovated G.I. Joe Headquarters prepares for its official reopening.



Clutch is actually curious about how Snake Eyes is doing. Hawk reassures him that Spirit and Airborne were sent along to keep an eye on him, but Scarlett doesn't seem too happy to learn this fact.



Oh, look! Fred's not as dead as we all thought! I was playing the unreliable narrator last update. Fred Broca is in this for the long haul, you bet. Also, Destro has clearly seen enough movies to know that you never antagonize a wizened old Asian man, especially if he's smiling at you.

Speaking of...



Beneath the happy suburban streets of Springfield, a conspiracy plays out.



The Soft Master has Spirit assist him in digging through the rubble of Snake Eyes' cabin. He knows a proper ninja would have an escape route prepared, and they soon discover a trap door beneath the debris.

Further down, Destro explains that there is no dishonor in retreating when outmatched, but his fellows don't seem to agree.

Ah, here's the Drednoks. I knew they had to be around somewhere.





Cobra Commander has a proposition. He wants the Drednoks to work as his personal bodyguards. Zartan asks about Storm Shadow, who previously filled that role, but Cobra Commander believes him to still be a prisoner of the Joes on Alcatraz. "Besides, he was getting too nosey. He might have found out something dangerous about his uncle!" Little does the commander know, Storm Shadow has escaped and is eavesdropping from atop the truck.

Snake Eyes and his wolf are pulled from their bolt hole, unconscious from the blast and weak from lack of oxygen. Though badly wounded, Spirit knows he is the most capable among them at wilderness survival and so goes to search for firewood.



Beneath Springfield, the Cobra mobile office pulls in to an isolated stretch of the underground, and Major Bludd and the Baroness watch from a distance as Storm Shadow reveals himself to Cobra Commander.



Spirit's action figure originally came with an eagle accessory for authentic Native American communing with nature action fun!

Anyway, Storm Shadow explains his escape. He straightened springs from his mattress to use as an extendable lockpick.



I don't know why Baroness is so confident in this kid. It's not like he's got a long string of successful assassinations under his belt.

As Destro and Firefly try to track down Fred, they come upon Spirit following the same blood trail. They are surprised that his only reaction is to calmly tell them to turn around and walk away.



Whoops!



Fred seems to be pretty OK with the idea of murder, but the Soft Master continues to stand in his way.

The bear has treed Destro and friends, but Firefly has a foolproof way to handle things.



Spirit realizes that an explosion at the base of a tree they're currently 30 feet up might not be the best of ideas.



Unfortunately for the Cobras, the bear doesn't buy it. As Spirit makes his break, the bear continues to claw at the base of the tree. Well, for about five seconds before it vaporizes.



So Cobra Commander seems to know more than he lets on. I guess you don't stay in his position without a healthy sense of paranoia.

Weakened by the blast, Destro's tree collapses as he and Firefly cling on for dear life. The snow cushions their fall enough that things are looking pretty good as the tree slides further downhill. Oh, except for the sudden cliff, that doesn't look so good.

As Spirit makes his way back to the cabin...



RIP Fred. He's dead for sure this time.

Destro and Firefly zoom over the edge of the cliff... and into a river. They struggle aboard a log raft floating downstream and reflect on their luck.



Scarlett isn't very happy with Lady Jaye's attitude, and is even less happy to learn that she is a new permanent assignment to the G.I. Joe team.



Well would you look at that. Fred's OK after all. Gosh, I just love a happy ending, don't you?

Nipponophile fucked around with this message at 02:24 on Aug 26, 2016

Nipponophile
Apr 8, 2009


Personally, I've always loved that last page. Instead of beating you over the head with how eeeeevil Cobra is, it presents a completely understated juxtaposition.

We're shown a classic, all-American suburban nuclear family, the purest and most wholesome thing in the world. Yet with a few simple words, the full picture is revealed. The family are mere pawns in the machinations of Cobra, an organization who thinks of family as nothing more than a convenient vehicle for its purposes. The new Fred stands willing to mold his life, his very identity around the role his masters order of him.


As for the comics, you can buy them through Comixology, which was recently purchased by Amazon. Here's the listing for the compiled volumes I'm using. Right now, we're a little under halfway through volume 4.

Nipponophile
Apr 8, 2009


Well, I was going to have another update ready tonight, but imgur is being a dick and not letting me upload pictures right now.

I'll try to post it up tomorrow night. In the meantime, you guys will have to settle for this picture of Roadblock making canapes.

Nipponophile
Apr 8, 2009


OK, time to get these parties started. Let's Read Issue #33!







The three in the infirmary are those wounded last issue. Snake Eyes is recuperating by cleaning his Uzi, while Airborne flips through the Encyclopedia Britannica and Spirit seems to be getting some shut-eye. Scarlett bursts in and says that she needs to have a little chat with Snake Eyes. She's been speaking with the Soft Master and has some questions. Airborne takes the hint to make himself scarce, but when he tries to wake up Spirit, he finds only pillows stuffed beneath the blanket.



Spirit leads the others into a florist's shop where he believes he can find the "herbs" he needs.



Ha, kids say the darndest things! While the new Fred and his new wife discuss the difficulty of talking to children about things like "Your real father was actually a secret agent for an anti-government terrorist organization who went and got himself killed on a botched assassination mission but that's OK because Cobra sent out a new daddy who looks and sounds just like the old one," Spirit notices them through the window and goes out to ask some awkward questions of his own, like "Didn't I bury you in an unmarked shallow grave last week?"

Meanwhile in Springfield, everyone is preparing for the big rally tonight. Billy is getting some last minute instruction in diction and also shooting people in the face.



Major poet? Ha ha, get it? No one likes your poetry, Bludd.

As the Baroness makes her way through the tunnels, who should she run into but her old pal Destro. He seems bothered by the distance between them lately, and she has concerns of her own.



Confronted with the raw masculinity of a man in an open-chested shirt with a giant collar and huge gold medallion, she swoons into his arms. No, seriously, that is literally what happens.

One trip to the ice cream shop later, and Fred's kids have done a complete 180 on their attitudes. It's almost eerie how well Hama understands children.



Spirit wants to take this guy in for questioning, but that was some really good ice cream...



Rip-cord and Blowtorch help Spirit up and they take off in pursuit.



The decoration committee doesn't even have any streamers to hang up because they're waiting on Rip-cord and Blowtorch to get back with them. Let's see how that's going.





Bongo the Balloon Bear will be a very important recurring character throughout this next story line with a rather tragic character arc.

As Storm Shadow oversees the stadium security setup, the Baroness reveals the details of the assassination plot to Destro, who turns out not to be a fan. I mean, he likes the part about shooting Cobra Commander well enough, but he's not too keen on involving children.

The chase continues through the streets of Staten Island, and Fred shows off some of the little extras that come factory standard on new model Cobramobiles.





Bongo manages to pull alongside the car, and Rip-cord initiates boarding action. A few pistol rounds through the roof don't shake him off, so Fred tries something else.



Spirit pulls Rip-cord back aboard, but Bongo has had enough of this poo poo.



Later that night, the fateful Cobra rally commences.



All eyes are on the Cobra youth brigade as they approach the podium, especially Destro's...



Hmmm, I wonder what's got him all bothered? Regardless, Destro plows his way through the crowd trying to get to Billy. Watching from the rafters, Storm Shadow picks up on Billy's nervousness and begins to make his move. Once all involved notice the gun, all hell breaks loose.



Man, Destro seems really bugged by this. He's usually pretty chill. I wonder what's going on?



Oh, of course, that's Cobra Commander's son... Wait... WHAT???

Meanwhile, at the opening ceremonies for the Pit, General Austin prepares to give his speech, but has his thunder stolen by the arrival of...



After the party's had some time to settle down, Gen. Austin has an important announcement to make.



Those mentioned, all original members of the team, are receiving a promotion... and reassignment to staff duty. Along with Hawk, they'll be working from the Pit in support roles from now on. Snake Eyes, of course, was far too popular to retire and will continue to be a ninja commando.



Once the party winds down, Rip-cord suddenly remembers that they left a bear in a party hat sitting alone in a construction zone several hours ago.



Next issue: DANGER ZONE!

Nipponophile
Apr 8, 2009


Are we on a new page yet? First page is getting crowded. Let's meet some of these new guys.

Code Name: Blowtorch
File Name: Hanrahan, Timothy P.
SN: RA527341209
Grade: E-4
Birthplace: Tampa, Florida
Primary Specialty: Infantry Special Weapons
Secondary Specialty: Small-Arms Armorer

Blowtorch is thoroughly familiar with all military incendiary devices and flame projection equipment. To Blowtorch, the use of fire in warfare is a science that predates the bow and arrow. Qualified expert: M-7 Flamethrower; M-16; M-1911A1 Auto Pistol.

"Blowtorch can't sleep unless he's near a smoke detector. Cigarette smoke drives him bananas! He always sits near the exit in movie theaters and refuses to live anywhere where he can't safely jump out the windows. This is not irrational to him. These are actions based on intimate knowledge."

---

Code Name: Rip-Cord
File Name: Weems, Wallace A.
SN: RA148231056
Grade: E-4
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio
Primary Specialty: Airborne Infantry
Secondary Specialty: Demolitions

Rip Cord joined the Civil Air Patrol in high school. Discovered skydiving and joined the G.I. Joe team so he could jump from much higher altitudes. Qualified expert: M-16; M-1911A1 Auto Pistol; Carl Gustav 9mm parabellum; Browning high-power.

"Let's say you got a trouble spot-you can't sail, walk, or ride in. So you send a plane in so high that it can't be seen or heard. Rip Cord jumps and drops like a rock for thousands of feet, then opens his chute at the last possible moment to avoid visual and electronic detection. What he does once he hits the ground you don't want to hear about."

---

Code Name: Recondo
File Name: LeClaire, Daniel M.
SN: RA158230074
Grade: E-4
Birthplace: Wheaton, Wisconsin
Primary Specialty: Infantry
Secondary Specialty: Intelligence

Recondo hates the cold. He loves hauling a rucksack through the bush and sweating through his cammies. When he's in the jungle, he owns it. Anybody else is trespassing. Cadre member at Jungle Warfare Training Center. Qualified expert: M-16; Swedish K; grease gun; M-1911A1 Auto Pistol; M-79 grenade launcher.

"A jungle is like some single, gigantic, hostile organism. It can sense when you fear or hate it--and it is wholly without mercy. When Recondo steps into a jungle, it sings to him like a mother soothing a troubled child."

---

Code Name: Lady Jaye
File Name: Hart-Burnett, Alison R.
SN: 853-71-6749
Grade: E-4
Birthplace: Martha's Vineyard, Mass.
Primary Specialty: Intelligence
Secondary Specialty: Personnel clerk

Lady Jaye graduated from Bryn Mawr and did her graduate work at Trinity College in Dublin where she acquired the faint Gaelic lilt that adorns her speech. An accomplished actress and mime as well as a studied linguist, she can easily pass as a native in France, Italy, Poland, Russia, Germany, Afghanistan, Spain, and Portugal.

Airborne and Ranger qualified, graduated intelligence school Fort Holabird. Qualified expert: M-16, M1911A1 and reflex crossbow.

"Lady Jaye doesn't go in for that phoney wig and rubber mask brand of disguise like those jokers on Mission Improbable...She becomes the subject: body language, subtle gesture, correct shading of dialect - The right look in the eye. Cloaked and sandaled, she can squat down with a basket of oranges, in any Middle Eastern marketplace and blend in perfectly."

---

The next few issues are all standalone, so it's a bit of a diversion from the "main story". Don't worry, though. We'll find out what happens to Billy soon enough, and the next issue, despite being "filler" is one of my favorites.

Nipponophile
Apr 8, 2009


Quick bump and apology for the delay. I've been real wrapped up at work and also spent the last couple weeks with a nasty sinus infection. I'm trying to get back on track this weekend.

Incidentally, the thing y'all are discussing in the last few replies happens issue after next, so look forward to that.

Nipponophile
Apr 8, 2009


Hi guys! Let's Read Issue #34!



This issue's opening is rather detached from the tumultuous events of our last episode. As Ace prepares to take Lady Jaye up in order to field test the latest electronics installed in the G.I. Joe Sky Striker, Wild Weasel readies the Baroness for a recertification in the latest model of Cobra Rattler. What could possibly go wrong?



Lady Jaye is surprised to hear a mysterious voice warning of a collision hazard...



Meanwhile, Wild Weasel is showing off the capabilities of his craft to the Baroness.



While demonstrating the nap of the earth flying capability enabled by the radar-autopilot linkage, the Cobras stumble across a startling surprise.



Ace picks up the radar beam on the Sky Striker's ECM, but can he react in time?





The Joes drop chaff and flares, but one missile slips close enough to damage the vertical stabilizers. Control surfaces aren't damaged, but the transmission antenna is destroyed, so calling for backup is no longer an option. By dropping into a high-G turn, Ace gains a firing position on the Rattler.



While they stick to the tail of the Rattler, the Joes can't use missiles while they're over a suburban area. Ace tries to keep position and wait for his chance...



The damage to the Sky Striker is enough to keep Ace distracted...





-----

If you all could indulge me for a brief moment, I'd like to relate a scene from my high school days, some decades ago...

I was in Navy Jr. ROTC during high school, and every summer our unit took a trip across the country, mixing traditional touristy stuff with whatever military activities we could get involved in. On this particular trip to San Diego, our commander had gotten us the opportunity to participate in a dependent's day cruise aboard an amphibious assault carrier. These cruises are traditional for ships headed out on a long deployment, like this one which was bound for the western Pacific for six months. The crew are allowed to bring their families on board, and the ship sails out to sea for the day. All the various departments put on demonstrations of their equipment, and the mess crew laid out a loving luau on the flight deck, whole roast pig and all the trimmings. Anyhow, the pertinent thing is that the captain of this carrier was a former pilot with friends at NAS Miramar. As part of the day's demonstrations, since we were far enough out to sea not to bother anybody, he had arranged for a supersonic F-14 flyby.

We were out on the flight deck, having enjoyed an amazing meal of pork ribs and fixings when the call came over the intercoms: "Flyby inbound, port side." I strained my eyes and spotted a moving speck on the horizon that got larger much faster than logic dictated it should.

Now I've been to plenty of airshows in my life. I've seen the Blue Angels, the Thunderbirds, and numerous other aerobatic teams and demonstrations. One thing they all have in common is that planes are loving loud. Whether it's a modern jet engine or a 50 year old radial propeller plane, the act of drawing a plane through the sky seems to require that the craft howl its defiance to the world, singing a "gently caress you" to gravity in the key of thousands of horsepower. That's what made this Tomcat's approach so eerie. It closed in complete silence. All around me were the sounds of people chatting and finishing their meals, the ocean splashing about, but nothing at all from this tremendous force of technology bearing down on us. As it drew nearby, it seemed that time itself slowed down. My head turned to track the craft in slow motion as my ears struggled to catch a strain of the sound that this unnatural beast must surely be making. Many others on deck had not paid attention to the announcements and were blissfully unaware of the F-14's approach, even as it passed a scant few hundred yards away, but the Tomcat would not be ignored.

--BOOM--

Oh sure, it seems like a simple enough thing when written down, and most of us are conceptually aware of how a sonic boom is formed, but I don't know that anything could quite prepare one for the reality of the experience. Children screamed. People fainted. All across the ship, a palpable wave of force shook us to our very core.

I doubt that I ever in my life will witness a furious Norse god hammering out a lightning bolt on his divine anvil... but I'm pretty sure I know exactly what it would sound like.

-----



Having lost his advantage, Wild Weasel heads back down to the deck and tries to lose his plane in the ground clutter. Ace walks Lady Jaye through using the Sky Striker's advanced radar systems to scan the terrain and filter out any objects which are moving at a different relative velocity than their craft. In his hurry to escape, Wild Weasel doesn't notice that his course is carrying him out over open ocean. With no civilians in the line of fire, Ace's options open up...



Rather than continuing to flee, the Rattler makes a bold move.





While evading, the Sky Striker's radar loses track of the Cobras. It seems Wild Weasel had one more trick up his sleeve.



Ace's hunch pays off, and he catches up to the Cobra plane over a scrapyard. With no civilians to worry about, he readies the last of his radar-guided missiles, but Wild Weasel salvos his remaining missiles as well!









Tune in next time, when there'll be Drednoks and poo poo!

Nipponophile
Apr 8, 2009


I hope y'all will forgive a bit of a digression tonight. Who else remembers The 'Nam?

At the time it was launched, Vietnam nostalgia was at a high. Movies like Platoon and Hamburger Hill were at the theaters and Tour of Duty was on TV. As comics go, it was fairly forgettable, which is a shame. The 'Nam launched with a high concept premise which didn't really translate to a comic publishing model.



So the idea was to have the comic move in real time. Each issue equals 30 days, and the run of seven years would cover the extent of the American involvement in the war. While the comic did reach 84 issues, the idea of moving in real time fell apart at some point, to the extent that the contemporary editor expressed some surprise that the title was being cancelled after issue #84. After the initial year or so of good buzz, The 'Nam dropped in circulation as the renewed interest in Vietnam waned and eventually comics entered the black hole of the '90s where nothing of quality escaped.

Anyhow, despite it's failings, The 'Nam did a lot of neat stuff. The initial art direction stated that the characters themselves should be drawn in an exaggerated, caricature-like style. Notice the smooth lines and gentle angles on the newbie Ed Marks.



In contrast, equipment and weapons were drawn in a severely realistic style.



Anyhow, Marvel's started putting it up on their online Unlimited service, so maybe I'll do some 'Nam posts when I need a diversion from G.I. Joe. Or maybe I'll do some other stuff. There's a ton of quality comics out there, and I can only scratch the surface.


Nipponophile
Apr 8, 2009


Somehow in all that, I managed to forget to mention that The 'Nam was edited by Larry Hama, our G.I. Joe writer, which was the whole point of me bringing it up in the first place.

Before G.I. Joe launched, Hama had been working solely as an editor, but was desperate to get back into the creative side of things. He has explained in interviews that no one liked working on licensed properties both because of oversight by the licensing company and because the licensing fees meant less money was available for the creative teams. When Marvel went looking for a G.I. Joe writer, every single writer in the office turned it down. They then went office to office asked every editor until reaching Hama, the very last in line. At that point, he said he was so eager for a full-time writing job that he would have written Barbie if he'd gotten the offer.

After the success of G.I. Joe, Larry Hama went on to write several of Marvel's more traditional books, including Wolverine and The Avengers, but his lasting legacy will always be his stories of Roadblock and friends.

Nipponophile
Apr 8, 2009


I do appreciate the kind words, and I owe you guys an explanation of why my update schedule has been completely wrecked.

See, originally I had planned to do all this as a downtime thing at work. When we don't have any big projects going on, I spend a few hours a day sitting at my PC waiting for something to break so I can go fix it. That's why I have time to post nonsense on internet forums, like now for example. Unfortunately, not long after I started my previous thread, the office web filter started blocking imgur and every other reliable image host I know of, which hosed that plan right up.

So now, I do all the image cropping and uploading from home during my own precious free time. Normally, even that's not a huge deal, since this is something I'm really into and I enjoy sharing it with others. Unfortunately, the past few months have been kind of a massive shitshow at work, and when I get home in the evenings I am utterly drained to a level that I can't even describe. Anything more complicated than playing a video game or reading a comic book is off the table. Even the more complicated games are too much.

One way or another, the work situation will eventually sort itself out, and I'll free up some time to get back to weekly updates, but until then things will be sporadic as all get out. I appreciate whatever patience you can give me.

Nipponophile
Apr 8, 2009


Now where did I leave off... Hmm... Oh, right... Let's Read Issue 35!!?



You'll remember that last issue the Joes had sent a team to investigate New Moon, Colorado, a city suspected of being a Cobra front. Things rapidly went south, and the team is forced to escape.



Cobra gyrocopters close in, but Roadblock does his best to keep the skies clear.



Before Stall can get back to the van, he takes a bullet through the shoulder from a Cobra sniper.

Back at the military hospital, Hawk has an unexpected visitor...



He tells Hawk that Duke and Snake-Eyes have been running rogue operations, and Hawk is less than pleased. Hawk has been trying to keep watch on the shadowy cabal of generals known as the Jugglers, and unsanctioned missions may tip his hand. Kamakura is disappointed to hear that from Hawk and expresses his concern that maybe Hawk is more worried about his own skin.



As he leaves, Kamakura lets drop that the Jugglers expect to see Hawk in two weeks, and they will require an accounting.





Wraith's boasts are baked up by some real skills, as he seems to have Snake-Eyes on the ropes.

Back in the van, as they attempt to rendezvous with Snake-Eyes, tensions are running high.



Man, those guys have never gotten along, but it's just all blowing up now. And speaking of blowing up, Roadblock drops another few choppers with a little help.



They're closing in on Snake Eyes, but will they get there in time? Things are looking bad...





I guess they will. Wraith slips away as Roadblock is distracted checking on Snake Eyes. The Joes let him go as they only have minutes to reach the LZ for the evac chopper. That's not going to be easy though. Major Bludd and Scrap-Iron are in hot pursuit in a couple of HISS tanks.



As usual, the cavalry arrives just in the nick of time.



Bludd is quickly on the comm to Cobra HQ to report that the town has been compromised and to request a "shutdown". In the chopper, Wild Bill notices a massive heat spike beneath them and worries that it might indicate SAM emplacements. Not quite...



Everything is shaping up to be a complete disaster for G.I. Joe.



But wait, it gets worse.



The footage has been leaked to news networks, framing the story as an attempt to capture a Cobra operative that spiraled out of control, and the Pentagon is demanding a public apology of the team. Needless to say, General Colton is not happy.



Unfortunately, no one can answer Flint's question.

The field team prepares to return to HQ, but the trainee Stall won't be joining them.



there, Mirage.

Let's check in with Destro in his role as acting Cobra Commander while the real one is imprisoned.



Destro's preparations are interrupted by the arrival of the Cobra doctor Scalpel, who requests a private conversation. It seems recent medical testing on the Baroness has turned up something unusual.



Man, talk about your cliffhangers! I can't wait to see what Alexander does with this information.

Nipponophile
Apr 8, 2009


Now where did I leave off... Hmm... Oh, right... Let's Read Issue 35!!!



Something I just noticed while putting this update together: the cover for this issue was apparently drawn by the legendary John Byrne. During the '80s, Byrne had critically-acclaimed runs on X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Superman, among others. I don't know if it was an indication of the popularity of the G.I. Joe book at the time that led to such a popular artist doing a cover, but it sounds good to me.



Buzzer doesn't seem too scared of Zartan and wastes no time taking a seat.



He explains a bit about Zartan's fancy hologram projectors that allow him to change his appearance in addition to tricks like the bike.

But of course, it can't be a G.I. Joe comic without some G.I. Joes in it, so let's peek in on a few of our crew heading out west for some well-deserved leave.



As they stop for gas, we get the exchange that you guys were talking about a couple pages ago.



Eh, I don't think that's all that bad, considering. I've known far too many people in my life who have convinced themselves that their lovely life would completely turn around if only they could <X>, where <X> may be any of: join the army, get married, go to college, move overseas, etc. On the rare occasion that they do get their poo poo together enough to achieve said goal, it turns out they're still living the same lovely life in a different place. Having said that, my life would completely turn around if I got a new job. Please help me get a new job. TIA.



Sorry, this is the only mention of "current events" in this issue. It'll be a while before that tribunal convenes. Anyhow, Zartan's just pissed here because he noticed his bike was missing. Obviously, Cobra Commander will be of no help, and Major Bludd laughs in his face.

The Drednoks are tearing down the highway wreaking havoc, when by crazy coincidence they run across none other than...



Rock 'n Roll isn't just going to take that sitting down, so he races off in hot pursuit. When the road narrows to a tunnel, however, he is met with a fierce surprise.



It's a pretty serious wreck, but just where did that big rig come from?



The Drednoks drive off and leave the Joes trapped in the flaming wreckage.

Suddenly, elsewhere...



There's just something about that page out of context that makes me think it would fit in perfectly with one of the alt-sci-fi mags like 2000AD or Heavy Metal.

Our wacky Drednoks notice an Air Force base up ahead, and if there's one thing they like, it's grape soda. But if there's two things they like, it'd be smashing up airplanes. Ripper wants to smash through the fences, but Buzzer has a more subtle plan in mind.



Fortunately, medical help is able to get to the car crash in time to rescue our heroes. As they ride the ambulance, each one tries to reconcile the image of the ghostly 18-wheeler they saw, but perhaps it wasn't just a hallucination?



At the AFB, the Drednoks have exercised their typical lack of caution and made a couple of F-15s explode. As base security responds, they find others already on the scene.



Again, by the strangest of coincidences, the Joes' ambulance happens to cross paths with the security convoy.



Rock 'n Roll notices the license plate and catches on that something's not right. Commandeering the ambulance, he runs down the Drednoks. Since EMTs are tragically short on weaponry, he is forced to improvise as best he can with an oxygen bottle.



With Buzzer down and Zartan's bike trashed, the holographic camouflage fades, but before anyone else can react, a new player arrives on the scene.



Naturally, it was Zartan all along. But who was that sweet old lady?



What??? A ninja master? Don't be ridiculous! I don't see what place ninjas have in this very serious comic book about America's premier counter-terrorist fighting unit.

NEXT TIME: No ninjas! I mean it!

Nipponophile
Apr 8, 2009


I just found out today that Larry Hama and Michael Golden will both be guests at the Mississippi Comic Con next month, just a few hours away. Right now, I am in the process of trying to convince myself that it is not worth the six hour round trip, convention tickets, and hotel costs just to get a couple comic books autographed.

The much closer and more convenient Louisiana Comic Con has poo poo for guests lined up.

We'll hit issue 36 sometime this weekend.

Nipponophile
Apr 8, 2009


Did I say "this weekend"? Actually, I meant "I'M A loving LIAR!!!"

Let's read issue #36!





The G.I. Joes are on an important mission in the Gulf of Mexico, but their stalwart efforts in the defense of democracy are rewarded only by a salvo of missiles from Cobra air superiority.



The W.H.A.L.E. hovercraft gets word of the attack on the G.I. Jane, but they've got their hands full at the moment.



Pretty tense stuff, but let's ignore all that now and move far to the north where a certain lady Joe is passing time with a certain IDENTITY CLASSIFIED.



Certainly an idyllic setting... if it weren't for the fact that the COBRA elite were onboard...



Back in the Gulf, the Whale outmaneuvers the Cobra artillery positions, but to what avail?



Meanwhile, near Staten Island, the mysterious blond fellow (almost certainly not a ninja) seems to be handling up on the Cobra party crashers.



With teamwork like that, I hope Cobra at least drills in the basics of firearm handling.



Oh...

After taking a missile hit to the G.I. Jane, Deep-Six seems to be on a mission while Doc and Tripwire make every effort to defend themselves.



Scarlett isn't giving up, and the mysterious blond soldier certainly seems vested in giving a go at things.



But what was Deep-Six trying to uncrate? An anti-aircraft missile battery? What possible use could that have right now? ... Oh ... Oooooohhhh...



The WHALE is still struggling against Cobra forces, both at land and at sea...



But who has time to worry about that when serious things are happening aboard the Staten Island ferry?



Doc and Tripwire rush to repair the Gatling, but the targeting circuits are shorted out. Doc's going to have to manually aim the cannons while Tripwire shorts the firing circuit... assuming he can find it in time!

Naval maneuvers pay off for the Joes when the Whale catches Cobra by surprise.



With one threat thusly resolved, we return to New York, where another dangling plot thread is put to rest forever, never to be revisited.



Yep, that's certainly the last we'll see of Fred II. Don't expect him to ever show up again ever...



But what's with this oddly positive vibe from Cobra? Did they have a mission go right for once?

We'll have to answer that question later, because the Whale returns to find only a floating oil slick where the G.I. Jane was supposed to be...



NEXT TIME: because you demanded it... the return of Bongo the Balloon Bear!!!

Nipponophile
Apr 8, 2009


I can't tell you how much I hate it when people abandon Let's Play/Let's Read projects.

LET'S READ ISSUE #37!!!





Siegfried (or is it Roy) explains that Y.E.C.H. is an acronym and points them in the right direction, but disaster strikes! The van's side door spills open and Bongo's balloons begin to bolt. Only through some quick thinking and quicker trampoline work by Rip-Cord are the balloons secured. Riveting stuff.

Bongo steps out of her van to explain to these acrobats why she's got a handful of military dudes in uniform helping her wrangle balloons. Something to do with them jacking her van to chase terrorists last issue.



In a nearby tent, a mysteeeerious fellow wearing a Cobra logo tells his brother that the "balloon girl" has led the Joes right to them just as planned, but there is no one else nearby... SpooOOoooky...

Meanwhile, back at the G.I. Joe testing ground, Roadblock and Lady J command captured Cobra tanks in order to give the new G.I. Joe minitank a trial by fire. Naturally, the "Armadillo" passes with flying colors, and we meet its driver, a new transfer to the G.I. Joe unit. (GET THE NEW "ARMADILLO", ON SALE NOW AT YOUR LOCAL T.G.&Y.!)



Flint drops a line on Lady J, but walks right off when she snaps back at him. Lady J seems to think that he doesn't have much of a backbone, but Roadblock assures her that he's far different in a real fight... "he gets mean..."



Spooky Cobra guy resumes spooky communication with his identical twin, and they hatch a plot to capture the Joes without any assistance from HQ. Unaware that they are being targeted, the Joe party splits up to enjoy the fair, with Blowtorch and Gung-Ho boarding the roller coaster as Rip-Cord takes Bongo into the House of Mirrors.



There's a brief interlude as another new Joe by the name of Footloose arrives at the Chaplain's Assistants' Motor Pool and checks in with Wild Bill. Bill ropes him into riding shotgun as he makes a pickup which coincidentally takes him past a particular fun fair.

Back at the House of Mirrors, Rip-Cord's elite survival training kicks in as he notices dozens of identically-dressed men moving to surround him.



Unawares, the pair on the roller coaster are heading towards an ambush of their own.



Flint hops off to take on the assassin hand-to-hand, while Footloose sets down in the Armadillo to provide supporting fire. Rip-Cord and Bongo flee into the big top, but realize that they may have only narrowed their potential escape routes. One of the twins confronts them, only to double over in pain as Flint secures a chokehold on his brother on the coaster. Tomax speeds off to help his twin, leaving Rip-Cord to face down a squad of Crimson Guardsmen.



While Rip-Cord grabs Bongo and takes to the rafters, Footloose finds himself facing down Tomax.



Tomax chickens out first by turning into a tent. When Footloose follows, he loses his quarry but provides a much needed distraction, allowing Rip-Cord and Bongo to make a break for it.





While the Joes regroup, the CGs appear to have pulled out. The troops on the ground are frustrated, but Wild Bill is still overhead and has picked up a fleeing target.



Though he makes a clean shot, Tomax and Xamot manage to duck inside a sewage tunnel at the last second. Bad guys and their escapes, amirite?





Next issue: poo poo KICKS OFF. Filler issues are done, and we're back to the serious plot. We return to Springfield as the Cobra elite hold an inquest into the recent activities of one Billy and a squad of Joes is sent to Central America to find someone we haven't seen since all the way back in issue #1.

Oh, and since I always end these posts with an update schedule that I literally never meet, I'll say for this one that I plan to cover up through issue #50 by the end of the year.
Hahahaha, there's no way I'm doing that. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Nipponophile
Apr 8, 2009


It's a Christmas miracle! Let's Read Issue #38!!!





Cobra Commander seems eager to prove his detachment from the matter at hand, but Destro seems just as eager to get to the bottom of things. He argues that Billy must have had inside help to infiltrate the ceremony and acquire the .357 with mercury-tipped explosive bullets that he was caught with. Major Bludd and the Baroness, the true conspirators, can only watch and squirm.

Back at Ft. Wadsworth, Rip-Cord whines about his career interfering with his ability to get with balloon girls in bear suits, but his self-pity is interrupted by Stalker, who calls him in for a mission briefing.



Remember her? You can go back and read issue #1. I'll wait.

...

...

Back yet? OK.



I'm not gonna wait for you to go back and read issue #10 though. We have to keep this thing moving.

The Baroness protests the use of the brain-wave scanner, ostensibly out of concern for Billy, but Cobra Commander overrules and moves the inquest to the late Dr. Venom's lab.

As the Joes make their drop into Sierra Gordo, Rip-Cord voices his concerns, but Stalker is quick to shut him down.



As the scanner picks through Billy's mind, he struggles against its probes. Like Snake-Eyes before him, Billy dredges up painful memories to disrupt the scan.





People are always so eager to put leaders who "tell it like it is" into power, aren't they?

Cobra Commander, visibly shaken, stops the playback, citing the "irrelevance" of the material and a concern for classified Cobra secrets. Billy is sent back to his cell until a new method of interrogation is decided. Storm Shadow is impressed with Billy's tenacity, especially considering that his co-conspirators have completely left him hanging.

Duke and a handful of Joes mount up and roll out of the Pit, yet strangely avoid the base's front gate. Good thing, too, since Fred has a close watch on the gates. (Y'all do remember Fred, right?)

Stalker's team hits the dirt and proceeds stealthily through the jungle. Well, maybe not that stealthily...



Back in Springfield, Billy's jailers show little sympathy for the boy.





Cover Girl explains that the mission is a raid on a suspected undercover Cobra agent, specifically the one responsible for the circus ambush last issue.

Meanwhile, in Sierra Gordo, Stalker engages in a dick-waving contest with the mysterious new stranger, only to discover that he had not accounted for all the dicks involved.



One quick ninja murder spree later, Storm Shadow has freed Billy from his cell.



The quiet suburbs around Ft. Wadsworth suddenly become a lot less quiet as the Joe team surrounds their target house and prepare a forced entry.



Back in the jungle, the jauntily hatted stranger introduces himself as a member of the G.I. Joe team and advance scout for the rescue mission.





Not only can he out-race a bullet, but he can do it while dragging a kid along. This is one ninja you do NOT want to gently caress with.

As the team out front exchanges fire with Cobra house, Mutt and Snake-Eyes breach the back door. When they draw the enemies' attention, Junkyard proves himself to be a very good boy indeed.



Stalker's team, led by their Tupari guides, gets their first look at the bunker where Dr. Burkhart is being held.



Recondo proposes a strategy that's just crazy enough to work. Since Cobra's defenses all point away from the mountainside, all they need to do to bypass them is scale down the sheer mountain cliff!

Storm Shadow sneaks Billy through the Springfield sewers and directs him to get to safety in the next town. Billy protests, as he wants to stay and fight.



Ninjas are nothing if not logical.

With the additional pressure from both sides, the suburban firefight is tipped in the Joes' favor, and the Cobra agents also opt to fight another day.



With their ride wrecked and unable to pursue, the Joes instead search the house and find all manner of Cobra equipment and uniforms. As they're cataloging their findings, a very familiar van races up to the curb.



Next issue: The battle for Dr. Burkhart and more ninja poo poo!!!

Hahaha, but seriously, there's no way I'm going to get through issue #50 by the end of the year. Haha, get real.

Nipponophile
Apr 8, 2009


It's a Christmas mira- wait, poo poo, I used that one already...

Let's Read Issue #39!!!





Initial infiltration proceeds smoothly while the three Tucaros maintain watch from the clifftop.



At least until a guard sergeant shows up with coffee...



America's most elite counterterrorist unit does not gently caress around when it comes to noise discipline.

Recondo swaps into the sergeant's uniform and slips downstairs to take a look around.



Before the interrogation can proceed, Recondo makes quick work of the guards. The rest of the team joins him as they try to figure out how they're going to make it out alive.



The mental chess game continues as they make their way down to the street.



Stalker decides to go with the daring plan of "wait until shift change and then walk right out like we belong here". The sloppy local troops don't notice anything amiss, but a couple of Soviet "advisors" are a bit more perceptive.



Dimitri and Gregor draw a bead on the Joes with their Dragunovs, but Recondo's Indian friends lay down suppressing fire from the clifftop.



They are rewarded for their assistance by several rounds of 7.62 in the face. Before the Russians can turn their guns back downward, Gung-Ho takes out the legs of their watchtower and sends it crashing as the Joes escape to the treeline.

Meanwhile in Springfield, Destro has no good news for Cobra Commander. Billy and Storm Shadow are nowhere to be found.



I don't think "Crimson Guardsman With The Special Knowledge" ever got an action figure. Probably couldn't fit all that on a file card.



Stalker's team runs into a river which they'll need to bridge in order to get Dr. Burkhart across. Recondo muses that if one of his Tupari friends were alive, he would be making an offering to the river spirits to ensure safe passage for the souls of the others.



Rip-Cord swims the gap with a lead wire in order to get their bridge started.





Meanwhile, in what I can only assume is a typical everyday occurrence in 80's New York City...



So ninjas are basically Jedi.

As the Joes finish crossing the rope bridge, Recondo emerges from the bush, and he seems to be carrying something...



Back at the Pit, Duke and Lady J are giving Rip-cord's crush Candy the third degree. She claims total ignorance when confronted with all the Cobra material that was stashed in her father's house.



After hitching a bus towards the local airport, the whole situation starts to catch up with Dr. Burkhart.



Just in case the first time was too subtle for you.

Upon arrival at the airport, the Joes are surprised to see some familiar faces.



Next issue: Gulf War! Um, but Mexico, not Persian...

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Nipponophile
Apr 8, 2009


Can't stop, won't stop, Let's Read Issue #40!!!





You know, even though it was the Mississippi River, I'm pretty sure the 1980s is way too late to be using paddle-wheelers to transport cargo.

Anyhow, Roadblock has no idea how to handle this thing, but fortunately there's a sailor around to set him straight.



Meanwhile, Cobra Commander is observing the operation via periscope aboard a nearby submarine. He seems oddly smug about the whole situation.



The Joes spend a while securing their seabase to the legs of an old offshore drilling platform, while back at the Pit, Duke is still busy interrogating Bongo the Balloon Bear. Oh, also Buzzer the Drednok is there. He got captured a few issues back.



Obviously a pre-Patriot Act America.



The Cobra sub surfaces inside the sunken freighter, revealing a secret Cobra seabase.

Meanwhile, aboard the Joes' new seabase, Shipwreck isn't ready to take a break yet.



Oh, and also Barbecue is there.

A prisoner transport leaves Ft. Wadsworth with both Buzzer and Bongo the Balloon Bear onboard, and Buzzer quickly takes advantage of the rise he gets out of needling Candy.



Back on the Gulf floor, the important Crimson Guardsman completes his evil scheme.



He isn't worried about his daughter at all because she knows nothing of his true mission. A mission which goes into effect as he flips a switch and a sinister beam begins to broadcast into the Gulf. Miles away, the Joe team notices dead fish floating to the surface, and their specialists rapidly conclude that the beam transmission is killing all aquatic life in the Gulf of Mexico. A team heads out on the WHALE to pinpoint the source.

And what of those cargo crates? Turns out they contained Cobra hydrofoils, which immediately proceed to give the newly-established G.I. Joe seabase a hard time.



Deep-Six launches to investigate the source of the transmission, while Cobra high command remains oddly cheerful about all this.



The hydrofoil attack causes explosions and fires to erupt all over the Joe seabase. Good thing they just happened to have a new fireman along, huh?

Deep-Six in the SHARC and Cutter in the WHALE launch a coordinated attack of torpedoes and depth charges, but fail to make a dent in the reinforced bunker.



Cobra's hydrofoil attackers have knock out the weapons platforms on the Joe seabase, and they now circle it arrogantly.



Things look pretty serious back on the Flagg...



Scrambling for any alternative to dropping a nuke in the Gulf of Mexico, Doc of all people comes up with a clever plan.



The hydrofoils are driven off after fierce boarding actions, and the entire G.I. Joe air wing is mobilized for a massive bombing strike.



The Cobra bunker is destroyed, and the fish-killing signal silenced, but there seem to be unforeseen consequences resulting from the detonation of hundreds of tons of ordnance on the ocean floor.



Next issue: the astonishing answer

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