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#135- "Ninjas Own the Night" (Part 1 of 4)
Writer: Larry Hama
Penciler: Andrew Wildman (or, we may as well call him "Robbed Liefeld", since that's all he does from here on out)

Summary:
Scarlett walks out of the Ninja Force's training dojo, citing a lack of respect and frustration. She hops into a cab where Hawk explains to her that this is the first step in a new plan.

In New Jersey, Night-Creepers assault the testing lab of Amalgamated Super-Conductor Corp, stealing a railgun and kidnapping its creator, Dr. Sidney Biggles-Jones, a female scientist. All around the world, Night-Creepers lead thefts of old warheads (and presumably, other WMDs) that have been flushed out into the open.

Back in New York, the Ninja Force observes a team of Night-Creepers sneaking up into Storm Shadow's old (and unoccupied) watertower hideout.

Notes:

  • This is the unofficial kick-off for the 12th year (1993)
  • Big price increase with this issue as it jumps to $1.75! It also came polybagged with a "live action" trading card. Other than that, there was no justification for the price increase.
  • The trading card has a picture of an actor dressed up like Duke for the "GI. Joe; Search & Destroy" campaign. This was a series of live-action commercials that ran in early 1993. I think there was even a 15 minute video available, if you sent in a buncha' Flag Points from the toys. I was WELL removed from the toys at this time, so I'm nowhere near 100% on the video.
  • Another big change is the logo on this issue. It's now: "GI Joe: Starring Snake-Eyes and Ninja Force". After 134 issues, the most popular character gets top billing... but ironically the stories begin to suck even more.
  • Snake-Eyes debuts his FOURTH costume in this story. Scarlett also appears in her second costume-- a green and yellow outfit that makes her look like Zealot from WildCATs.
  • As mentioned in the credits, Andrew Wildman compeltely apes the Rob Liefeld/Image style that was hot at the time. It's a shame, because Wildman's first 10 issues or so on the title weren't half bad. Sad to see him trade in his own style for a copycat technique.
  • The Night-Creepers appear in their second outfits--ones which make them look like Cylon Raiders from "Battlestar Galactica".
  • Aleph is mentioned as being a leader of the Night-Creepers, again.
  • There's a fun little plot device in use, where we're mis-led to the identity of Dr. Biggles-Jones, or "Dr. Sid". It's set up to the readers that Dr. Sid is the old balding man, and the cute assitant is just eye candy. So it's a neat little twist when the roles are reversed and we find out the cute assistant is the doctor.
  • Zarana tells Cobra Commander that Slice & Dice let Firefly "slip through their fingers". So I guess Firefly was NOT killed at the end of last issue. Good idea to have him still out there. With all this juicy connections, I feel that Hama would've eventually brought back Firefly, had the series continued past 1994.
  • Cesspool is mentioned by Zarana, but he isn't seen.
  • Jinx is now officially a member of the Ninja Force. Before, it had been Stormie, Snakes, Dojo, Nunchuk and Tjbang. Jinx was part of the "ninja team" in the Benzheen war, though (Scarlett was too, for that matter).
  • While there's a pretty interesting plot brewing with Cobra's acquistion of warheads and new weapons...too much of the issue is spent on stupid "action poses" of the Ninja Force in sparring scenes.
Appearances:
Characters (figures): Snake-Eyes, Storm Shadow, Scarlett, Hawk, Nunchuk, Dojo, Tjbang, Jinx, Cobra Commander, Zarana, Road Pig, Slice, Dice

Characters ("comic-only"): Dr. Biggles-Jones, lab assistant (dies)

Vehicles and stuff (toys): none
Vehicles and stuff (not toys): none

Firsties:
Characters: Dr. Biggles-Jones, lab assistan
Vehicles and stuff: none

Rating: 2 Flag Points

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