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GI Joe #203

Writer: Larry Hama
Penciler: S.L. Gallant

GI Joe 203


Cobra Commander meets Zartan at the California State Railroad Museum to make an exchange: Zarana for Destro's "head" (or mask). Zartan and Destro pull a switcheroo on CC, take out his Crimson Guard escorts and turn the tables on him. Destro threatens him, but doesn't kill him because "the power vaccum you leave behind would be bad for business". Destro even shows that he has CC's own personal pooper under surveillance and could blow it up at any time. Zartan is equally upset with CC, but decides to lock him in a room with Road Pig, instead.

In Olliestan, Torpedo, Long Range, Alpine and Muskrat are on an extraction mission. They rescue their target, Dr. Adele Burkhart, from an insurgent camp, but things don't go as planned as their escape proves complicated.

In two final segments, a "Fred" meets his new family in Seattle. In San Francisco, Tyrone's little brother Raymond arrives at the Arashikage dojo, wanting to study in the same clan as the Blind Master. Budo "considers his request".


  • This issue is saved by the extraction mission with Torpedo. Otherwise, it was steering towards a "2".
  • The cover is now on my personal shortlist for "Worst. Joe. Cover. Ever". The prespective is weird, as it makes Dr. Mindbender's teeth look like the size of a beer keg. Also, Mindbender isn't even in this issue, so maybe Zarana beats the tar out of him next month?
  • We still don't know what the Joes saw behind the blast door at the end of issue 200. Worse, it hasn't even been mentioned. I'd be okay if they at least spoke of it and built some suspense. As it is, it seems like it's a forgotten plot element.
  • Cobra Commander is still wearing his silly beret and glasses disguise. To which Zarana asks him: "what are you supposed to be, a retro urban hispter?"
  • Zarana's leg cast has some insults scribbled over it. "Hope you drop dead", "Get stuffed" and a target that says: "Hit Here".
  • The sequence with Raymond is weird, only because Budo is implied to be tied to the Arashikage clan. He doesn't say that he is, nor does he deny it; but the implication is that he is. I think it was clarified, circa issue 88, that Budo was not a ninja or tied to the Arsahikages... but no official backstory has ever been written for him. It could turn out that he has some distant connection, but then why hasn't it been brought up before? In his appeaance in the Marvel run, it just seemed like he was an regular recruit who happened to REALLY be into samurai swords.
  • Dr. Burkhart remembers Torpedo from last year and issue 188. Yes, they use her correct first name of "Adele" this time.
  • Long Range operates as a sniper. Strange, because he's only been a vehicle driver or artillery guy before (and as confirmed on his file card). Low-light or even Sci-Fi (in the European Missions comics) would have been a better casting choice... but considering the hint that a character death is coming, I suspect there's a reason why they picked Long Range.
  • The extraction sequence reads a little like the climax of "Zero Dark Thiry". Also of note is that Torpedo is wearing what most people would consider "Navy SEAL gear" (or "Chief Torpedo gear" if you're into the 2003-ish figures), not his scuba suit.


Characters (figures): Duke, Chuckles, Mainframe, Stalker, Lady Jaye, Scarlett, Torpedo, Alpine, Muskrat, Alpine, Budo, Cobra Commander, Destro, Baroness, Zartan, Zarana, Road Pig

Characters ("comic-only"):Dr. Adele Burkhart, Raymond, random Olliestan "insurgents"

Vehicles and stuff (toys): none
Vehicles and stuff (not toys): none

Characters: Raymond
Vehicles and stuff: none

Rating: 3 Flag Points

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