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G.I. Joe #20- "Home is Where the WAR is!"
Writer: Steven Grant
Penciller: Geof Isherwood
Clutch, excited at his upcoming furlough, enthusiastically leads a squad through a training course. Clutch arrives back home in "Jersey"(presumably Asbury Park) and meets his old buddy, Billy Kline. Billy now works for Watash Automotive as an industrial big-wig. Clutch is invited to stay at the plant and soon finds out that its run by Cobra, who have taken Kline's wife and kid hostage. A group of Cobras capture Clutch, then sends him into the sky with what Kline was designing for them; a slim fanny pack-sized jetpack. Clutch survives then calls in a few favors. First, he visits his old shop teacher, Mr. Vilsky and rigs up a B.A. Barracus worthy armored car. He saves Mrs. Kline and the junior Kline, then calls in the Joes to raid the factory. After a goofy scuffle and a mid-air jetpak duel, Clutch decides that he'd rather return to active duty.
- Complete filler garbage. I hated this issue as a kid and I hate it now. Big disappointment, since Clutch was fairly popular. I'd speculate that this story was originally slated to run in "Assitant Editor's Month", but due to scheduling and the big "toxin" storyline, it was pushed back a month.
- The plot reads like something that would've run in the second season of the cartoon series (1986). In other words, it's awful. A Cobra officer even says: "Ha, you fools!"
- When the Joes storm the factory, they all begin fist-fighting with the Cobras. Umm...yeah.
- It looks like Short-Fuse, but everyone calls him "Doc". Big mix-up as a WHITE guy is supposed to be the African-American Doc. Thus, I rank his appearance as "Doc-Fuse"
- Mr. Vlitsky says : "Lance Steinburg?! They still call you Clutch?!" Sort of a validation that some members' code-names were just their nicknames. Snake-Eyes, Scarlett, Wild Bill or Short-Fuse were all names that they could've had before enlisting. But makes ya' wonder about "Stalker", doesn't it?
- Aw crap... Billy Kline is perfect "Devil's Due Fodder". Hope I'm wrong.
- In the letters page, a fan asks about "Duke, the new GI Joe Team Leader" and the editor mentions that Duke will debut in issue 22. Ugh.
- The letters page also answers an "FAQ" by announcing that there will be no action figures of Scar-Face or Kwinn. Kwinn eventually got his figure, about 23 years later.
- The cover was done by John Byrne. During the mid-80's, when GI Joe and Byrne were hot, some dealers would try to push this issue as significant for that reason alone.
- In the training course, Scarlett fires a cable-arrow out of her crossbow. One of the effects of the cartoon, where Scarlett suddenly became Green Arrow (or Hawkeye) with an arsenal of trick arrows.
- Wild Bill is also on the training course. One of the few times in the series where we'd see him scuffling along on the ground with the rest of the "infantry".
- When the Joes come off the training course, Hawk is shown next to a General-type man. He's not named, but he has dark hair and a distinguishing general's hat. Probably a slip-up as the artist drew General Flagg. Another clue that this story might have been lying around the offices as a "filler" or "dreaded deadline doom" helper.
Characters (with figures): Clutch, Flash, Scarlett, Wild Bill, Gung-Ho, Hawk, Grunt, "Doc-Fuse", Rock n' Roll, Airborne
Characters (no action figures, or "comic-only" characters): Billy Kline, Lori Kline, Klines' kid, Mr. Vlitsky
Vehicles and stuff (toys): VAMP, Falcon Glider
Vehicles and stuff (not toys): Clutch's armored car, Billy's hot rod, the Cobra jetpak.
Characters: The Klines, Mr. Vlitsky
Rating: 1 Flag Point
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