Option 38 Stuff

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#43- "Crossroads"
Writer: Larry Hama
Penciler: Rod Whigham

Summary:
Wade Collins and Stalker recount the unfortunate incident that split the LRRP patrol. Stalker believed the other three had died. Dickie and Ramon did, but while Wade was shot-up across his chest, the VC hauled him away and he became a POW for years. Disillusioned and returning home to nothing (his wife even divorced him), Wade wandered around the country, until he landed in Springfield. He joined the new Cobra organization and had plastic surgery to become a "Fred". Wade wants to turn his old buddies over to Cobra. But Stalker talks him out of it. They drive back to Staten Island, where Wade sees the error of his ways and agrees to change his life. His new "family" also agrees. Instead of interrogating "Fred" for information, Stalker and Snake-Eyes send their old buddy off to live his new life peacefully.

In Springfield, Soft Master finds out who killed the Hard Master, but before he can speak it, more Cobra cops barge in. Soft Master leads them on a chase to the edge of Springfield. There, at a train crossing, Softie makes it over the tracks, but a drunk driver swerves and hits a pole. A drunk driver who had picked up TWO hitchhikers: Billy and Candy. Buzzer, Scrap-Iron and Firefly climb the telephone pole on the other side of the tracks and blow all FOUR people away with missiles.

Notes:

  • You can start to see a pattern developing: A few issues of Hama and his subplots, then a few issues of selling toys (or "Hasbro issues"). Overall, I'd say the series ends up being about 40% Hama issues, 60% Hasbro issues.
  • Death of Soft Master, Candy and Chuck the drunk. Billy was thought dead. But he pops up about two years later, minus an eye and a leg.
  • No way this cover was selling toys. It featured the Grim Reaper with a machine gun. Like something from "GI Combat" or "Weird War Tales".
  • More Hama coincedences: as three characters converge on the same area. Chuck, Candy and Billy had been heading back to Springfield to return the Soft Master's forgotten luggage.
  • More Hama gun-love. As Stalker and Wade narrate the LRRP patrol, they recall precisely what type of ammunition and weapon each member was carrying.
  • Chuck's presence is basically a PSA for "don't drink and drive". Call it "CADD: Comics Against Drunk Driving"
  • Finally, the long-delayed debut of Scrap-Iron (he had been teased in the commercial for issue 24). Oh, and he's NOT Phil Garner (I'm sure all of ONE person will get that reference).
  • It seemed rather random that Firefly was involved in the chase tht killed the Soft Master, but remember that for about...oh, EIGHTY-FIVE issues from now. Sheesh.
  • I always thought this was a pretty weak way for the Soft Master to die. Although he tries to save the other three innocent people. I was okay with Candy and Billy croaking ..but Softie had become one of my favorites.
  • Wade's revelation and happy ending makes up for the death n' destruction. For once, the Joes made a positive difference in someone's life. Wade and his family did in fact live "happily ever after". They played a big role in the final issue and Wade's adopted son is still around today, as Kamakura. They only saved a small family, but the Joes beat Cobra without firing a single shot.
  • Buzzer arrives in Springfield, knowing the location of GI Joe HQ, but the town is still shut down.
  • The letters page acknowledges that Larry Hama appeared in that episode of MASH. Along with an old Saturday Night Live episode that starred Martin Sheen. Never knew about that second one. I'm guessing Sheen did a skit about this "Apocalypse Now" character. Hama must've been hanging around and was brought in to play an extra in that skit. All speculation on my part, but that'd fit.
Appearances:
Characters (figures):Stalker, Snake-Eyes, Buzzer, Firefly, Scrap-Iron

Characters ("comic-only"):Candy, Billy, Soft Master, Chuck the drunk driving traveling salesman.

Vehicles and stuff (toys): Vamp M2, Cobra Ferret
Vehicles and stuff (not toys): none

Firsties:
Characters:Scrap-Iron, Ramon Escobedo and Dickie Saperstein (both in flashback). They were mentioned last month, but they actually appear this month.
Vehicles: none

Rating: Rating: 4 Flag Points

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