#27- "Snake-Eyes: The Origin- Part 2"
Writer: Larry Hama
Penciller: Frank Springer
Courtesy of Hawk, Stalker and Scarlett, the Snake-Eyes flashbacks continue. After six years, Hawk and Stalker looked up Snake-Eyes while they were assembling the G.I. Joe team. They found him living in a log cabin in the Sierras, with a wolf. From there, Scarlett picks up the story, as she recounts the first time she met Snake-Eyes: during a hand-to-hand combat drill, she noticed that Snake-Eyes was letting her toss him around. Intrigued, she caught up to him and they took the Staten Island Ferry to Manhattan for dinner. Jump forward a few months, as Scarlett covers the helicopter accident that scarred Snake-Eyes. A second chopper blew up and while trying to save Scarlett, a fireball blasted Snake-Eyes in the grill. Snake-Eyes then spent six month in plastic surgery.
Over in Spanish Harlem, Storm Shadow has tracked Snake-Eyes to the Soft Master's resturant. Snake-Eyes takes off after Stormie on a wild chase involving street cleaners, breakdancers and a final fight on top of a subway train. The Joes hear about this and load up the VAMP and Dragonfly to investigate. On top of the train, Storm Shadow has his back to tunnel and is about to get plastered. Snake-Eyes invites him to attack him. They tumble between the cars as Storm Shadow realizes that Snake-Eyes just saved his life. Storm Shadow confesses that he did NOT kill the Hard Master-- it was really a masked assassin who escaped in a Cobra helicopter. The assassin used the arrow that Storm Shadow had shot through the wall (see last issue). Stormie then decided to work him way into Cobra, with the intention of catching the real killer and gaining revenge. Storm Shadow disappears as Scarlett and Wild Bill find a silent Snake-Eyes between the subway cars.
Down in the Everglades, the Joes have elluded the Cobra camping trip.
- While a member of the early Joe team, Snake-Eyes again wears his LRRP Panama hat. Once again, we never get a clear shot of his face or his eyes.
- Storm Shadow says that he joined Cobra so he could have "vengeance" on his uncle's killer. Once again, the recurring theme of the series, that "vengeance is a poor purpose in life". Blinded by the lust for vengeance, Storm Shadow has joined up with the most despicable terrorist organization in the world and basically ruined his life.
- The Staten Island Ferry would be re-visited over the years. It seemed to be Scarlett and Snake-Eyes's "special date place". Indeed, when I rode the actual Ferry two summers ago, that's what I thought about.
- Another reason why Snake-Eyes is a bad-ass: he lands the Hot Chick by saying nothing. Strong, silent type.
- The helicopter crash would be the subject of a retcon almost 10 years later. When the book was struggling, they attempted to jump back to the 'glory years' by showing the conclusion of the mission. Didn't add much except confusion, as Wild Bill and Doc (new Joes who joined in issue 11) were included.
- The swamp team engages the Cobra high command in a firefight, but only one panel is shown. Next time we see the swamp, the Joes are gone and the Cobras are frustrated.
- Firefly tries to use a Malayan tiger gate to catch the Joes. Junkyard triggers it and saves the team.
- It's mentioned that Snake-Eyes had been living in the Sierras for three years. Add that to the three years he spent in Japan with the Arashikages. The Vietnam War ended around 1975 and later we're told that Snake-Eyes was over there when the final choppers left. So that'd put the start of the Joe team around roughly 1981, which works well.
- Very cool how Stalker helped Hawk select members for the team. As you've probably noticed, I just love the concept of Stalker as the #2 guy on the team. F*ck Duke.
- Snake-Eyes's wolf is his new mascot, Timber. Hawk worries about leaving it behind. Stalker says: "Hawk, that 'poor animal' is a wolf. He don't need no walkies and he thinks Alpo's for sissies". Always loved that line.
- While Stormie and Snake-Eyes are running through the streets of Harlem, a kid points at Stormie and yells: "Moon Knight!" A mom says to her son: "Don't look Elwood, they're perverts!"
- The masked assassin was assisted by a FANG pilot. I could tell you who they were... but why spoil the fun? We'll meet the assassin around issue 45 and the pilot MUCH later.
Characters (with figures): Snake-Eyes, Stalker, Scarlett, Hawk, Wild Bill, Clutch, Tripwire, Mutt, Torpedo, Rock n Roll, Grunt, Timber, Storm Shadow, Cobra Commander, Destro, Zartan, Baroness, Wild Weasel, Firefly, rest of the original Joe team as cameos.
Characters (no action figures, or "comic-only" characters): The Soft Master
Vehicles and stuff (toys): VAMP, Dragonfly, FANG (in a flashback)
Vehicles and stuff (not toys): none to speak of (Sal's streetcleaner, the NY subway)
Rating: 4 Flag Points
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