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GI Joe #174

Writer: Larry Hama
Penciler: S.L. Gallant

GI Joe 174


In Benzheen, the Joes, the "Oktober Guard" and the locals use a little trickery and savvy tactis to fend off the HISS invaders. Aftr winning the first round; and using up most of their ammo; they prepare for another wave. Just as the second wave enters the city, they receive word that the Emir has been overthrown and the rebels are being backed by Trucial Abysmia. As one background character clearly states it: "The government of Trucial Abysmia has recognized the new interim government of Benzheen and is opening talks for peaceful settlement of border disputes!"

The Joes, Guard and their equipment are not allowed to leave, though. They are all captured by the (former) Benzheen rebels.

In Broca Beach, Cobra Commander holds a formal funeral for Billy. He plans to track down the Blue Ninjas, feeding some intel to the Joes. For now, at least. In Scotland, Destro hears about Billy's death; yet the Baroness seems aloof about the news.

Storm Shadow, Snake-Eyes and Boris (the Middle Master) follow a lead on the Blue Ninjas by sneaking into the offices of Revanche Robotics. They find an android (think: Terminator robots) that awakes as soon as they discover it.


  • Once AGAIN, a big battle is called off by last minute "off-field" dealings. This has happened way too much over the course of the book (Cobra Island, Benzheen, Frusenland, original Benzheen War, etc) and is a terrible plot crutch.
  • Really, as I was reading the tank duel in Benzheen City, I kept thinking: "I sure as hell hope they don't do the last minute call-off gimmick again". But they did and the story suffered for it. I get the cynical point about how the "real" battles are fought with money and bribery, but this horse has been beaten to death way too many times in the book. I'm sick of it and would like to see a different end, for once. It's like whenever Larry Hama writes himself into a corner he just thinks: "boom! Last minute deal. The fight is over!" Almost like that hack Judd Winnick and the way he uses bombs as a plot crutch.
  • As such, I dug the action and scenarios in this issue. The ending stunk and lowered my overall rating.
  • There is some clarification on all the different HISS models, this month. Five distinct models are seen and mentioned. I've outlined them, below, yet they seem to include everything but the 2004 "HISS IV" toy that popped up during the "Devil's Due/GI Joe vs. Cobra/SpyTroops" era. As such, I'm officially skipping over that one and counting five HISS models. We exclude the "HISS IV" (and the "HISS III" with "Rip it" from 2001) for now.
  • This also clarifies that the "New Model HISS" that I cited back in issue 161 was an actual toy release. I'm somewhat contradicting myself by now calling it: "HISS IV". So whenever I cite the numbers from now on, I plan to include their version in parenthesis, as shown below. Aside from "I" and "II", these HISS numbers are un-official and completely up to debate and further modification by myself :)
  • The Joes talk about hiding their tank in a building; saying it's inspired by "that guy in the movies with the hat and bullwhip". Wildcard (I think) retorts: "...but I don't think those movies did well in this part of the world for ethno-sociological reasons". Nice to see the title's trademark humor chiming in.
  • Really...I'm forgetting the Indiana Jones scene where he hides a vehicle in a secluded alley or building. Was that in "Raiders of the Lost Ark"? Haven't seen it in about 9 years (when that awful DVD set hit the shelves).
  • A "Colonel Bin Ismael" from Trucial Abysmia is working with the Cobra tanks. It appears he gets blown away by the Joes, so we'll see if he makes it out alive and turns up again.


Characters (figures): Snake-Eyes, Storm Shadow, Cross-Country, Steeler, Wild Card, Cover Girl, Cobra Commander, Dr. Mindbender

Characters ("comic-only"): Daina, Billy (dead; complete with Cobra Casket accessory), Middle Master ("Boris"), Colonel Chikatilo, Malyenkiy, Emir of Benzheen

Vehicles and stuff (toys): Cobra HISS, HISS II, HISS III (DTC), HISS IV ("Resolute" version), HISS V ("New Model" version), MARS DEMON (cameo)
Vehicles and stuff (not toys):Abrams tank, Russian T-90

Vehicles and stuff: none

Rating: 3 Flag Points

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