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#145 - "Threads and Resolutions"
Writer: Larry Hama
Penciler: Phil Gosier

Summary:
In Borovia (now actually known as "Borigia/Krazny-Marengo"), Cobra rolls through in full force, taking over the strife-filled country. Cobra Commander struck a deal to back Metz, using him as a puppet. Magda and the White Clown are rounded up for a trial...but Cobra Commander steps in and guns them down!

Meanwhile, in neighboring Trans-Carpathia, Billy comes to visit Zartan, Destro and the Baroness in the Silent Castle. But before they can settle in, Cobra Commander walks in and activates old mind-control implants in both Destro and Zartan. The trigger was the sight of CC's face (although the audience doesn't see it)...as they suddenly become sadistic cronies, loyal to Cobra once again.

In Washington, Spirit and Mutt are cleared of any wrong-doing in Millville. Across town, in Arlington Cemetery, Stalker and Rock n' Roll walk through the grounds and remember all the Joes who have died over the years. Stalker: "It's our job...to do the unspeakable and be forgotten".

At the Pit, the new GI Joe Star Brigade debuts and is launched into action. Also, in the New Jersey marshes, Zarana returns to the Dreadnoks. Finally, in Spanish Harlem, the Ninja Force moves into the Soft Master's old restuarant and plan to open up a free self-defense school for inner-city kids.

Notes:

  • This issue is a great return to form for the book, which had been stuck in neutral since the end of "Destro: Search and Destroy". Lots of plots tied up and advanced.
     
  • Melancholy scene in Arlington as Stalker and Rock n' Roll talk about the "kid who bought it in the desert"-- citing BOTH Cool Breeze and Mangler.
     
  • Dodger is mistakenly mentioned as being one of the dead Joes. He was the sole BattleForce 200 guy to survive the oil field fire in Benzheen, but he hasn't been seen since.
     
  • Scarlett, Snake-Eyes and Timber are at their cabin in the High Sierras, apparently on leave. Even though he's out of his mask, we still don't see Snake-Eyes' face.
     
  • Scarlett and Snake-Eyes can see the Defiant launch into space... which is kinda' tough to figure out, since the Pit was in Utah and the Sierras are either in California or Western Nevada.
     
  • Zarana mentions that she was "let go" from Cobra.
     
  • I think this is the last we'll see of Ninja Force. It's a happy ending for them and a fitting tribute to the Soft Master.
     
  • Although we don't see CC's face as he unmasks, we see that he still has that stupid ponytail, circa issue 56.
     
  • Dr. Mindbender placed implants in Zartan after his injuries from sneaking around the first Pit (issue 48, when Sgt. Slaughter decked him). Way to sell, Zartan!
     
  • Destro's implants were installed when he was getting a wisdom tooth extracted. Mindbender apparently still indulged in his old career as a dentist for Cobra. Ha!
     
  • With Cobra Commander's face triggering the implants, it brings up the question of who has seen his face, first touched upon in issue 65 (when the Baroness was announced as the only person who knew what he looked like). But there are countless ways to No-Prize this. Most convincing: Cobra troopers were led to believe that only the Baroness knew, when in reality Destro, Mindbender, Zartan and other Cobra big-wigs knew.
     
  • The password for Star Brigade to enter the Pit (and get past Spirit) is "Bobby Heinlein", a nod to the "Starship Troopers" aspect of the new Star Brigade.
     
  • Payload appears to be a white guy, now. So the confusion about his ethnicity continues.
     
  • Grunt in on-hand, as a civilian, to congratulate Mutt and Spirit. He now has a Master's Degree in Engineering.
     
  • Debut of Phil Gossier, who would be the series' regular penciler until the end (save for a few one-shot issues after #150).
Appearances:
Characters (figures): Hawk, Snake-Eyes, Scarlett, Rock n' Roll, Stalker, Grunt, Spirit, Mutt, Duke, Storm Shadow, Roadblock, Sci-Fi, Space-shot, Payload, Hardtop, Clutch, Law, Order, Nunchuk, Jinx, Dojo, Tjbang, Timber, Cobra Commander, Baroness, Destro, Zartan, Zarana, Buzzer, Monkeywrench, Zanzibar

Characters ("comic-only"): Billy, Crank & Fader (two Spanish Harlem gang-bangers), Magda (dies), White Clown (dies), Metz

Vehicles and stuff (toys): Defiant and Launch Complex, Cobra Detonator, Cobra Scorpion
Vehicles and stuff (not toys): Cobra helicopters and jets (make and model unknown)

Firsties:
Characters: Space-Shot, Crank, Fader
Vehicles and stuff: Cobra helicopters and jets (make and model unknown), Cobra Scorpion

Rating: 3 Flag Points

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