Option 38 Stuff

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#38- "Judgements"
Writer: Larry Hama
Penciler: Rod Whigham

In Springfield, Billy is on trial for trying to assassinate Cobra Commander. Zartan suggests that they strap him into... the Brainwave Scanner! Billy almost gives away who set him up for the hit, but quickly blocks it out by reliving early memories of when his dad was beginning Cobra. Instead of seeing his past broadcast on TV, Cobra Commander orders the machine unplugged and Billy taken back to his cell. Storm Shadow is intrigued and sneaks in to help Billy escape. After facing off with Destro and some Cobra guards, Storm Shadow and Billy leave Springfield.

In the Pit, Hawk has a special resuce mission for four Joes; rescue Dr. Adele Burkhart from Sierra Gordo. Stalker leads Rip-cord, Gung-Ho and Roadblock into a parachute drop into the jungles of Sierra Gordo. Jungles?! Yup, as soon as they land they run into Recondo, who's already been scouting the place and has made some native friends, the Tucaros. Recondo lead them to an old Cobra fortress, where Burkhart is being held.

Also at the Pit, Duke leads a small assault team into a Staten Island Cobra safehouse-- home of the agent who tipped Cobra off to the Joes' presence at the circus, last issue. After a firefight, Tomax, Xamot and a Crimson Guardsman bust through the front window and escape. The Joes recover all kinds of Croba crap, but suddenly, Candy (Bongo the Balloon Bear) shows up and wonders why a buncha' soldiers have just shot up her FATHER's house!


  • Lot of action in this issue and some old connections. The Brainwave Scanner makes its return and once again, something COOL happens when someone is plugged into it. It's only four panels long, but the flashback pre-Cobra scenes are very interesting. The closest thing we ever got for "Cobra Commander origin"
  • In the flashback, CC is complaining about how the government is restricting his pyramid scam. He also complains about how the government says: "an honest man can't work as much as he wants to and earn as much as he wants to--it's wrong!!' So basically, he's like a psycho libretarian.
  • The flashback also takes place in Springfield at the ARBCO offices. So it looks like Arbco was around, first? Interesting. That explains why he would chose COBRA as the name for "an organization that will coil around the world". Cuz' "Boa" would make more sense, but wouldn't be nearly as scary.
  • Weird how Billy clearly recalls all of this stuff and knows that CC is his dad. In issue 33, Billy seemed surprised that CC was his dad. In previous appearances, he seemed to think that they were two different people (#29). He probably blocked out some memories or had previous encounters with the Brainwave Scanner (remember, he was locked in a Cobra cell back in issue 10).
  • This is the first big step Storm Shadow takes in his good guy conversion. Ever since issue 27 he hadn't gone on any missions for Cobra or opposed the Joes.
  • This issue explains Recondo's sudden disappearance after issue 33.
  • First appearance of the Tucaros, primitive tribesmen who would return to help the Joes over the years.
  • Like a few Joes in issue 1, Rip-cord has some reservations about rescuing the ultra-leftie, Dr. Burkhart.
  • The VAMP appears and while it doesn't have the "Mark 2" missile rack, it does have the doors and canopy over the driver's cage. So I'll score it as the VAMP Mark 2.
  • In the safehouse assault, Junkyard makes himself useful by grabbing a live grenade and chucking it down the garbage disposal before it detonates. I love Junkyard.
  • The Joes take the secret back gate out of Ft. Wadsworth this time. They figure someone might be watching the front. Someone is, as we see another Fred, briefly.
  • Some confusion here, as it appears that the Joes are assaulting Fred's house. It will take a few months for it be apparent that it wasn't Fred's house-- it was ANOTHER, separate house in Staten Island.
Characters (figures):Hawk, Duke, Cover Girl, Lady J, Blowtorch, Mutt, Junkyard, Snake-Eyes, Flint, Footloose, Stalker, Rip-cord, Gung-Ho, Roadblock, Recondo, Cobra Commander, Destro, Baroness, Major Bludd, Wild Weasel, Firefly, Zartan, Ripper, Torch, Storm Shadow, Tomax, Xamot

Characters ("comic-only"):Billy, Bongo/Candy, Candy's Dad (as a Crimson Guardsman), Fred II (cameo)

Vehicles and stuff (toys): APC, VAMP Mark 2, Cobra Ferret
Vehicles and stuff (not toys): C-130 plane, Bongo's Balloon Van

Characters:Candy's dad
Vehicles: VAMP Mark 2

Rating: Rating: 4 Flag Points

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