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GI Joe #169

Writer: Larry Hama
Penciler: S. L. Gallant

GI Joe 169


Snake-Eyes, Billy and Storm Shadow investigate a splinter dojo of the Arashikage clan in Brooklyn. They have the I Ching symbol and everything. After a friendly combat challenge, the 3 are welcomed as "masters". Turns out, this is actually a Russian splinter group.

The Joes' Arctic crew lands at a US base in Thule, Greenland. When asked for ID, Iceberg simply presents a black card with the name "Iceberg" on it. On the back is a phone number, a direct line to the White House (I hope the Pres picks up consistently).

In the Chrysler Building, Mainframe, Joe Colton and Jane try to stop Firefly and Crystal Ball. Using hostages and a bit of hypnosis, the Cobras manage to ellude capture. At one point they run right into the good guys and Joe takes a bullet to the chest from Firefly. Joe is shown to be wearing a bulletproof vest, though.

More on the Sneak Peek subplot, as he was supposedly in Darklonia to keep tabs on the ruins of Castle Darklon. OK, but Sneak Peek "died" circa issue 120 and Castle Darklon was ruined circa issue 144... so there's a gap of about 25 issues there.

Also a cameo by Dr. Venom from within the Brainwave Scanner, where he's hounded by Kwinn. It appears even Dr. Mindbender wants nothing to do with him. Mindbedner appears ot be scrapping the Brainwave Scanner and letting it (and Venom) sit in the scrapyard.


  • This issue is basically a "Loose Ends" issue as it just fills in some details and advancement on 3 subplots, while tossing in the new Russian Arashikages.
  • Russian/Japanese ninjas? Certainly different, but at least Hama seems to be expanding his ninja stuff, instead of re-hashing it. Last time he added something new to this was with Firefly in 1992; which he claimed to have been saving since the mid-80's. This group seems entirely separate with no new "Masters" or guys connected to the famous "Arashikage Photo" from 1987 or so.
  • I'll admit that I thought the dojo they were investigating was actually the one opened by Ninja Force at the end of the Marvel series. I think that was in Harlem, so I'm curious if any of those guys will hop the bridge over to Brooklyn for this new arc. I don't want to see see them, so I'm perfectly fine if they're over in Harlem doing their thing and living happily ever after.
  • Snake-Eyes is back to wearing his old rubber mask with the sunglasses.
  • The code words for getting into the Pit's security section are: "Cholera" and "Marquez", a reference to the book "Love in the Time of Cholera" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
  • The Arctic crew still has Cobra captives with them. One is a Strato-viper and the other appears to be an Astro-Viper. Notable, because I don't believe an Astro-Viper ever appeared in the Marvel series. I stopped scoring the "firsties" of the various Cobra brigades circa issue 60 or so... so feel free to correct me.
  • Roadblock is wearing either his 1986 "V2" gear, or his re-colored early 90's "BattleCorps" gear. I'm guessing penciler S.L. Gallant knows his little plastic men and toys, as he really seems to be putting in a lot of detail on the various vehicles and characters we've seen. Whenever we're shwon the Pit, he continues to work in fun little background cameos of old Joe vehicles.
  • Dr. Mindbender is working with a little robot, similar to R2-D2...or 7-ZARK-7 or whatever that thing's name was from "Battle of the Planets (G-Force)".


Characters (figures): Snake-Eyes, Storm Shadow, Mainframe, Blizzard, Stalker, Sneak Peek, Chuckles, Frostbite, Iceberg, Blizzard (cameo) Cold Front (cameo), Wild Bill (cameo), Cross Country (cameo), Cobra Commander, Dr. Mindbender, Firefly, Crystal Ball

Characters ("comic-only"): Billy, Joe Colton, GI Jane

Vehicles and stuff (toys): VAMP, HAVOC (cameo), RAM (cameo), Skyhawk (cameo), Bridge Layer (cameo), Sky Striker (cameo), Cobra Wolf
Vehicles and stuff (not toys):Cobra C130

Vehicles and stuff: none

Rating: 3 Flag Points

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