G.I. Joe #8 "Operation: Sea Strike!
Story and Pencils: Herb Trimpe
Cobra Commander and the Baroness are scouting the coast of Cape Canaveral in their SRV boat (Submersible Recon Vessel). It's a boat! It's a sub! It also has a sea plane! They float back to their giant underwater seabase-- the first of many bases that Cobra plans to build to "rule the cosmos!" The US government has found out about the base and plans to launch a satellite into orbit that will not only locate any sea bases, but also destroy them. Cobra is planning an attack on the space shuttle at dawn and the Joes are called in for support. They split into two teams, with all 13 members and all vehicles accounted for (except the FLAK again). Flash and Breaker draw shuttle duty and are launched into space.
Cobra attacks the shuttle launch in their SEA (Surprise Engage Attack) Legs-- tall mechanical two-legged walker that are similar to either the Star Wars Scout Walker, or the giant tripods from War of the World (minus one leg, obviously). The Joes make quick work of them, along with Cobra's amphibious assault guns (amphibious tanks. Or an early, early version of the BUGG). A lone missile fired at the shuttle itself is blown up by Hawk (another Sgt. Rock-ism, where a well-placed machine gun can trump anything). The Joes all hop in their Aqua Chopper and chase the Cobras back to their seabase. Cobra Commander fires another missile. This time, into orbit and the shuttle itself. Flash uses his jetpack to give the missile a hug and send it off course. The Cobra seabase self-destructs, while Cobra Commander and the Baroness escape. The Joes float away in rafts, until Cobra Commander tries to ram them with his SRV. Zap gets one shot and blasts the SRV with his bazooka. But Cobra Commander flies away in the SRV's detachable seaplane.
The plot is basically "here comes something! Shoot it! Now let's go here. There's something else--shoot it!" Aside from Flash's jetpack trick, the Joes use no creativity in fighting the Cobras.
Cobra was definitely mis-cast in this story. They're more like HYRDA-- out to take over the world. An ambitious goal and one that wasn't repeated (at least in the comics). They're also not the sneaky guys we've come to know, they're a straight-up "Evil Army that Attacks ya'"
The Baroness's beauty mark is gone, again.
The MMS Missile Launcher finally makes its appearance. Although only part of it is shown. In the very next panel, it gets blown to pieces by Cobra.
Rock n' Roll makes his first big appearance since #1. Once again, he's the "driver" of the RAM.
Once again, Stalker is mentioned as being the top guy on the battlefield. It's been pretty well established that he's the "top sergeant". I think I can quit citing it, now.
The "MOBAT team" is broken up! Breaker is sent into space, Clutch drives his VAMP and Steeler has Grunt in the MOBAT.
When shooting down the missile, Hawk mentions that he's been in the army for 30 years! Wow...that'd make him about 48 at this point.
The SEA legs and the SRV continue the early examples of whipping up goofy comic-only machinery with acronyms. Fits into the toys' standard, with stuff like HAL and MMS.
No name is cited for this specific space shuttle.
Before being assigned to Cape Canaveral, the team is training in simulated Arctic conditions.
Short-Fuse has his first speaking role since issue #1
The Aqua Chopper looks pretty cool-- it's a big transport helicopter-- but it gets blown up after one page.
While briefing the team, Hawk concludes his instructions with "let's be careful out there"-- a famous catchphrase that was used by Sgt. Phil Esterhaus in daily briefings on NBC's "Hill Street Blues". This reference would be lost on anyone under the age of 30. And if you haven't heard of it, it's definitely worth checking out.
I'm sure I was like a lot of other kids, when I converted my Star Wars Scout Walker toy to become my own version of the Cobra SEA legs.
While I absolutely loved this issue when it came out, it hasn't aged well. It's cool to see the entire team acting like a military force, but GI Joe wasn't an ordinary military force.
I give it a boost of one Flag Point in the ratings, since this was the first G.I. Joe comic I ever read.
Funny how the book that hooked me on GI Joe comics was one of the few not written by Larry Hama.
Appearances: Characters (with figures): The entire Joe team. Cobra Commander, Cobra flunkies
Characters (no action figures, or "comic-only" characters): Baroness.
Vehicles and stuff (toys): VAMP, HAL, MMS, MOBAT, RAM
Vehicles and stuff (not toys): SRV, Cobra's amphibian tanks, SEA legs. GI Joe Aqua Chopper.
Vehicles (toys): MMS
Vehicles (not toys): SRV, Cobra's amphibian tanks, SEA legs. GI Joe Aqua Chopper.