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G.I. Joe #24- "The Commander Escapes"
Writer: Larry Hama
Penciler: Russ Heath (!)

Summary:
The Joes set-up a remote prison for the Commander, in the Colorado Rocky Moutains (I pissed myself as a kid), using the "pre-fab fortress". Meanwhile, Storm Shadow is flying around in a converted bomber, searching for the Commander. In Springfield, Major Bludd reunites Destro with the Baroness and the three scheme to take over Cobra. Bludd planted a homing device in Storm Shadow's sword hilt, so they dispatch new operatives Firefly and Wild Weasel (un-named) to track it down. Back in the Rockies, Storm Shadow uses the CLAW and the help of the Commander's helmet radio to rescue him. Roadblock manges to clip one of the CLAW's fuel tanks. With only enough fuel for one man to make it back to the Cobra bomber, Storm Shadow stays behind. Duke pursues the CLAW in the new Skyhawk, but two FANG copters arrive to distract him. The Commander makes it safely to the bomber and escapes. But Roadblock's beaten the crap out of Storm Shadow, so they have another prisoner. They find that Storm Shadow had a packing slip addressed to Choholoskee, Florida. Back in Springfield, Firefly and Wild Weasel report in; they've traced the homing device to a swamp shack near Choholoskee. The Commander suddenly arrives in Springfield and annonces that he knows all about the guy in the shack--- Zartan! Zartan appears and holds-up Firefly and Wild Weasel at gunpoint.

Notes:

  • The Pre-fab fortress has some slight modifications from last time. Namely, anti-aircraft guns.
      The Baroness
  • This issue was expertly drawn by Russ Heath, a longtime comic artist who worked on stuff like G.I. Combat, All-American Men of War and even that "132 pc. Roman Soldier" ad. He also did the designs for the G.I. Joe cartoon. So his Destro looks exactly like the TV version. Most memorably, he does a knock-out portrayal of the Baroness. Before, she had always been depicted like a creepy schoolteacher, but now she looks slut-tastically hot.
     
  • He's only been in three stories, but already Storm Shadow's been taken out by Scarlett and Roadblock.
     
  • Cobra has a spy outside the Joe's McGuire AFB. He looks like a Hell's Angel, but I suppose you could twist this and say that it was really an un-named Dreadnok. If you want it to be a Dreadnok, it probably is. Otherwise, it's just another Cobra spy.
     
  • Cobra Commander talks about his helmet's defenses. It's lined with plastic explosives to prevent tampering and also has little openings that allow him to sip through a straw.
  • The FANG pilots holler "All Hail Mighty Cobra" before they launch. I dont think I've mentioned it, but this was sort of Cobra's battle cry since the comic began. They also greet their superiors in a Nazi-like salute. Some of the Marvel Cobra's neo-Nazi tendencies. Kinda' like HYDRA.
     
  • This might be the final appearance of the Pre-Fab Fortress
     
  • I believe this issue marks the end of Mike Vosburg's stint as penciller. They have a rotating art crew for the next few issues, then Frank Springer and Rod Whigham do a little tag-teaming.
     
  • I picked up this issue during Spring Break 1984, when I was stuck at my Grandparents' place. Must've read it 48 times that week.
     
  • This issue was another promoted by a TV commercial. It was the first new "toy jam" commercial/comic for the 1984 wave of figures. After the comic was off the shevles, they spliced up the commercial and used it to sell some new toys. However, in the commercial for the comic itself, Destro and Cobra Commander are talking about their "new team"...as we see Storm Shadow, Baroness, Firefly, Major Bludd and SCRAP-IRON walk on screen. Scrap-Iron wouldn't debut until roughly two years later.
Appearances:
Characters (with figures): Duke, Roadblock, Gung Ho, Grunt, Rock n Roll, Wild Bill, Airborne, Ace, Cobra Commander, Storm Shadow, Destro, Major Bludd, Firefly, Wild Weasel, Zartan (cameo)

Characters (no action figures, or "comic-only" characters): none

Vehicles and stuff (toys): Pre-fab Fortress (G.I. Joe HQ), Skyhawk, Cobra Water Moccasin (cameo)
Vehicles and stuff (not toys): Cobra spy bomber, G.I. Joe C-130

Firsties:
Characters:Zartan (cameo), Firefly, Wild Weasel
Vehicles: Skyhawk, Cobra Water Moccasin (cameo)e

Rating: 4 Flag Points

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