Option 38 Stuff

G.I. Joe #25- "Zartan"
Writer: Larry Hama
Penciler: Frank Springer

Summary:
The Joes take Storm Shadow to Alcatraz for their own specialized prison. A few hours later, he mysteriously disappears.

Meanwhile, Cobra Commander, Destro and the Baroness arrive in the Florida Everglades, where they meet Zartan and the Dreadnoks. The Joes have also arrived, in their freighter the GI Jane, which they use to stage their operations. The Joes use two Dragonflys to drop a recon team of Tripwire, Torpedo, Mutt and Junkyard (Mutt's dog) into the swamps. Zartan detects the Dragonflys on his radar and sends the newly-freed Wild Weasel and Firefly out in the Water Moccasin to fight 'em off. The Cobras' vessel is blown away by Deep Six in his new SHARC. Deep Six returns to the Jane, where he gives Wild Bill and the rest of the team the silent treatment.

Wild Weasel and Firefly run into the swamps and are promptly tree'd by Junkyard. The Joes tie up Wild Weasel and Firefly, while Junkyard takes off running. Junkyard walks right up to Zartan's porch. Zartan opens the door and prepares to SHOOT Junkyard!

While all this was happening, Snake-Eyes visited the injured Gung-Ho in Bethesda Naval Clinic (he was sliced by Storm Shadow, last issue). Gung-Ho notices that Snake-Eyes has a tattoo similar to Storm Shadow's. Snake-Eyes seems startled and instantly runs out of the hospital.

Notes:

  • Cobra Commander mentions that he tossed Major Bludd in a dungeon below Springfield. Upset with him over their incident in Switzerland in issue 23. When the Baroness asks why she was spared, CC says "you're much more charming". In reality, he's afraid that the Baroness will squeal to Destro about the assasination attempt from issue 16. Baroness keeps this threat to gain leverage with the Commander for the next year or so.
  • This was a second consecutive "toy jam" issue, complete with a commercial. Zartan was given a heavy push in each version of the commercial.
  • The inside of Zartan's shack appears like a typical hunting cabin, but he instantly changes it into a high-tech command center.
  • Zartan demonstrates one of his worthless powers by absorbing Firefly's camo pattern.
  • The Commander has apparently known about Zartan for quite awhile.
  • The SHARC closely resembles the protype version that was first seen in the cartoon. It has more ventilation slits and looks more like a spaceship than its toy counterpart did. This version actually had a pointed "shark fin" on the rear.
  • Storm Shadow's shown with the Cobra insignia on his left breast. Last issue, it was on his right.
  • Frank Springer seems to have trouble with Zartan. In every scene, Zartan's face appears differently.
  • Four or five Dreadnoks are shown, mostly in background roles and without any names. Three are clearly displayed as Buzzer, Ripper and Torch, though
  • The three Joes (and Junkyard) are dropped into the swamp after riding the skids of the Dragonflys. HOW in the hell was Junkyard able to hold on to helicopter skids? One panel shows the Dragonfly in mid-air, with Junkyard simply standing on the skids.
  • Junkyard appears like a black lab in this story. His appearance would vary, depending on the artist.
  • I'm being hard on ol' Junk, but he and Mutt were two of my favorite characters. I used their figures for years, always finding a way to work them in. I think my Mutt figure has loose joints everywhere. "Junkyard" was actually one of the names I considered for my dog.
  • Zap flies the second Dragonfly and Wild Bill tells him "it's like riding a bike". Zap repeats his famous line of "but I always fell off my bike".
  • During this time (April 1984), a comic store actually opened up at my neighborhood mall. From here on out, I would religiously pick up G.I. Joe comics every month, as they hit the racks. Finally!
  • Pretty terrible issue, overall. Zartan the goofball is introduced and the Joes have several "Scooby Doo" moments with Junkyard running through the swamp. Only thing that saves it is the fight between the Water Moccasin and the SHARC, plus the Snake-Eyes subplot.
Appearances:
Characters (with figures): Duke, Roadblock, Gung Ho, Short Fuse, Steeler, Grunt, Rock n Roll, Wild Bill, Airborne, Tripwire, Torpedo, Deep Six, Cutter, Mutt & Junkyard, Snake-Eyes, Scarlett, Hawk, Cobra Commander, Storm Shadow, Destro, Baroness, Firefly, Wild Weasel, Zartan, Ripper, Buzzer, Torch

Characters (no action figures, or "comic-only" characters): possibly some unknown Dreadnoks.e

Vehicles and stuff (toys): SHARC, Dragonfly, Water Moccasin (called "Swamp Cruiser"), Zartan's Swamp Skiier Chamelen)
Vehicles and stuff (not toys): G.I Jane Freighter

Firsties:
Characters:Mutt & Junkyard,Deep Six, Cutter, Zartan (full), Torch, Ripper, Buzze
Vehicles: SHARC, G.I. Jane, Zartan's Swamp Skiier

Rating: 2 Flag Points

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