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#157
Writer: Larry Hama
Penciler: Augustin Padilla

Summary:
In the Hindu Kush, Stalker uses a decoy to sucker in the Cobra sniper (similar to the trick he used wayyyy back in issue 13 of the Marvel GI Joe series). He beats the tar out of the sniper and gets him to report in to Cobra Commander that Stalker is now "dead".

In Washington DC, Hawk continues to get the band back together. This time, he meets up with Rock & Roll, who's fresh from thwarting a Cobra pursuit (in a Hawaiian shirt, no less) across the mall.

South of the Sierra Nevada, Duke, Scarlett and Snake-Eyes run across a Cobra checkpoint. The Cobras are searching some perceived "illegal immigrants". After checking their papers, the Cobras let them go, which irks some local militia types (think of Arizona's "Minutemen"). The militia attacks the Cobras and the "immigrants". Duke, Scarlett and Snake-Eyes return and take out the militia (even killing some of them). The "immigrants" turn out to be Americans. The Joes, Cobras and the "immigrants" all agree to go along their ways and forget the incident ever happened. Shortly after, Storm Shadow is leading a Cobra crew through the area and picks up Snake-Eyes' trail.

Finally, at the Silent Castle, Dr. Venom's trojan horse program is giving Dr. Mindbender fits. Taking its own Max Headroom-like persona, it can now talk. Some of the program's dialogue is identical to words that Billy speaks. Billy is conducting a sword sparring session with the Baroness...which culminates in a kiss.

Notes:

  • Well, guess we know how Larry Hama feels about the recent Mexican immigrant controversy.
     
  • Interesting subplot with Dr. Venom's virtual presence in the form of a computer program. I'd be okay if this "Virtual Venom" ends up taking out Dr. Mindbender and resuming his role as Cobra's chief scientist. The romantic advance on the Baroness is interesting as well. As long as Dr. Venom does NOT come back in a physical form. Keep his body dead and have this computer offspring be a disembodied villain.
     
  • Something To Think About: Billy spent a LOT of time wired into the Brainwave Scanner, back in the day.
     
  • Storm Shadow appears in a white three-piece suit, similar to his appearance in the GI Joe: Rise of Cobra movie (of which we shall not speak).
     
  • Rock & Roll is pursued by a "Cobra Rage", which resembles an armored SWAT van. It's mentioned by name, but I'll have to score this as "Rage II". I don't follow the toy line too well, so I'm not sure if a "Rage II" has been produced.
     
  • We get a quick close-up of the Rage driver, and he looks like one of the recent Alley Viper figures (with a primarily blue outfit). Nice detail to include.
     
  • Also important to note that, so far, most of the Cobra flunkies have been depicted in their original 1982-1986 helmet/scarf uniforms. So it looks like the 1986-1992 "Viper" look has been discarded.
     
  • Timber is mentioned by Storm Shadow's flunkies, but he does not appear in this issue. He doesn't appear to be with on the road Duke's crew, either. Now that I think about it, in the comics, I believe Timber only ever appeared at Snake-Eyes' cabin up in the mountains. Remember: that "poor animal" is a wolf. He don't need no walkies and he thinks Alpo is for sissies.
     
  • This issue closes out with a 5-page preview of IDW's "Dungeons & Dragons" comics. So IDW thinks their audience is a buncha' nerds. Thanks.
     
  • I just noticed that IDW doesn't seem to give each issue a story title.
     
  • Once again, three covers were produced for this issue. "Regular" cover with Rock & Roll, "second" cover by Rod Whigham with a HISS tank, and a "sketch variant". If they keep doing this for every issue, I'll probably stop citing it.
Appearances:
Characters (figures): Hawk, Rock & Roll, Duke, Snake-Eyes, Scarlett, Stalker, Cobra Commander, Baroness, Dr. Mindbender

Characters ("comic-only"): Billy, Dr. Venom (virtual).

Vehicles and stuff (toys): Cobra HISS
Vehicles and stuff (not toys): Cobra Rage II

Firsties:
Characters: none
Vehicles and stuff: Cobra Rage II

Rating: 3 Flag Points

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