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Writer: Larry Hama
Penciler: S.L. Gallant
Working on a tip from Storm Shadow, Clutch, Gung Ho and Lady Jaye rescue Chuckles from Springfield (yes, the original, abandonded Springfield). Chuckles is being interrogated in Dr. Venom's old lab, beneath the video arcade. After a skirmish with some Cobra Troopers and a new model HISS tank, the extraction goes as planned and the Joes fly back to Utah and the Pit III.
At the Pit, Chuckles is set to interrogate Storm Shadow... but in a move reminiscent of his old Alcatraz incarceration, Storm Shadow has escaped from a seemingly impenetrable cell. The Pit goes on full alert, but they find Storm Shadow eating quietly in the mess hall. He's in possession of the Pit's self-destruct mechanism, along with Spirit Iron-Knife's blankie. Storm Shadow has no malicious intenets, he only asks for some trust.
Finally, back in the Silent Castle, Cobra is picking up satellite images that show tracks of a C-130 suddenly disappearing outside quonset huts in Utah. They decide, once again, to attack the Pit. Only this time they'll have Snake-Eyes to help them get in.
- Springfield is a ghost town, but an old movie theater marquee still has some letters advertising "Howard the Duck". See, Cobra was EVIL!
- Dr. Venom's lab and the video arcade have a lot of their old details. The original Brainwave Scanner still looks intact, along with the giant laser gun from the arcade. One video game shown is even the fun 80's sit-down/cockpit mahcine, "Red Baron".
- The money shots in this issue are the scenes of the re-activated Pit. We're shown several vehicles we haven't seen in awhile-- like the original VAMP, HAVOC, Skyhawk, Bridge Layer and even the Devilfish. If you look closely, you can even see the first-ever appearance of the Bomb Disposal Unit! By my count, it took 26 years for that lil' thingie to make an appearance!
- Another fun Easter Egg-- next to the Bomb Disposal Unit are the energy mirrors from the 1984 "Revenge of Cobra" cartoon.
- Even though it's basically just a BOX, I'm scoring the first-ever appearance of the 1985 "Ammo Dump Unit".
- While some distinctive Joes make cameo appearances, a lot of "Greenshirts" and support personnel are around.
- Clutch is in his old green fatigues and while he doesn't have his greasy beard, he's driving around in the original VAMP-- which sorta' disappeared from the comics around 1984. This "retro" VAMP has an upgraded remote control for the turret, which calls back to issue 7 and even Marvel's original pitch about "weapons that blow stuff when you simply look and say BANG".
- Gung-Ho is also back in his classic blue/green open shirt look.
- For the first time in the comics, the "Cobra Stinger Driver" is shown in full-view, with the all-gray Cobra Officer uniform.
- The "New Model HISS"....I'm not sure if this is an official toy release, since I've fallen away from the modern re-release line. Labelling it as "HISS 3" or "HISS 5" would confuse people, so I'm going to score it as "New HISS". I'm alsou putting it as a "toy", since that's my hunch for now.
- Password acknowledgement for the outer Pit gate is "Jabberwock" and "Bandersnatch". To get past Spirit Iron-Knife, it's "Frabjous" and "Frumious".
Characters (figures): Chuckles, Clutch, Gung Ho, Lady Jaye, Duke, Roadblock, Psyche-Out, Stalker, Outback, Dusty, Spirit Iron-Knife, Mainframe, Scarlett, Tripwire, Wild Bill, Slipstream (cameo), Law & Order, Cobra Commander, Dr. Mindbender, Baroness, Snake-Eyes.
Characters ("comic-only"): none
Vehicles and stuff (toys): VAMP, HAVOC, Bridge Layer, Devlifish, AWE Striker, Skyhawk, APC, Mobile Battle Bunker, Bomb Disposal Unit, Ammo Dump Unit, New HISS, Cobra Stinger.
Vehicles and stuff (not toys): GI Joe C-130
Vehicles and stuff: Bomb Disposal Unit, Ammo Dump Unit
Rating: 3 Flag Points
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