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Writer: Larry Hama
Penciler: Rod Whigham
Storm Shadow's dead body is scooped up by Dr. Mindbender, who doesn't want to see "such good genetic material go to waste". In the lower levels of the Pit, Zartan comes to, takes out Doc and uses his quick-change disguise powers to confuse the Joes. Zartan makes it up to the surface and the motor pool facade. Zartan mimicks Gung-Ho and everyone is confused. The newly arrived Sgt. Slaughter picks one of the two Gung-Hos and cold-cocks him with one punch. 50/50 odds and Sarge was lucky.
In Springfield, the Dreadnoks belive that their "Zartan" (Rip-cord) is simply delirious. "Zartan" beats the crap out of Buzzer, yelling "he took my Candy!". They take "Zartan" for a ride in am ambulance. While at a diner, Rip-cord sneaks away and calls the Pit with the location of Springfield and the news of the Zartan/Rip-cord switcheroo.
In DC, the Cobra Legal Troopers have opened diplomatic negotiations with the US. Why should the US recognize Cobra Island as a sovereign nation? Well, if they don't Cobra would have no problems leasing beach front missile property to someone else. Later, Hawk is called before the secret cabal of Pentagon generals known as the "Jugglers". Their orders: stay away from Cobra Island.
- This story could have emulated issue 3, which was a "tour of the Pit", with Zartan's escape attempt. But instead it's full of goofy crap like: "wait...YOU'RE here? But we just passed you in the hall!"
- One of the clichés of all action movies is present here: the ventilation ducts can always fit fullsize people and can take you anywhere in a facility, undetected.
- Most of the Joes in the Pit appear out of combat fatigues and in their khakis.
- Attempted symbolism early on, as Snake-Eyes accidentally knocks over a shaker or salt at the Ft. Wadsworth PX.
- Scarlett is trying to cheer up Snake-Eyes over Storm Shadow's death and sums up one of the book's main themes perfectly: "Storm Shadow made vengeance the sole purpose of his existence. That's what killed him in the end. You can't base a life on hate. You have to leave room for love". So far, Storm Shadow, Fred and Kwinn have died finding this out. Wade Collins was on that track, but was saved.
- In Springfield, Rip-cord brains Buzzer with a bed pan. Ha!
- Two state troopers chase after the Dreadnoks' roadtrip for a bit. Would've been too much if it had been RL and the Sheriff from issue 28. Although they DO look vaguely similar to that duo. This time out, the portly guy is named "Earl", with no name given to the skinny guy. So it could be the same guys.
- For the past few issues, Dreadnok has been spelled "Drednok".
- The Dreadnoks all think that "Zartan" is literally talking "candy", i.e. Russel Stouffer's or Gummi Bears. I'll give Rip-cord the benefit of the doubt and guess that he got really close with Candy, off-panel. Otherwise, he's being a complete Obsessive Stalker Dude over some chick who he went out with once or twice.
- When Doc takes samples of Zartan's DNA (ewww..how'd he do that? Give him a cup?), he discovers that it's "like chameleon DNA". Zartan also tells Gung-Ho that his strength is "quite inhuman"
- ATEN-HUT! Sgt. Slaughter looks nothing like his real-life counterpart. He's wearing normal camofaluge khakis and aside from his Smokey the Bear hat, mustache and sunglasses, you wouldn't know it was the Sarge. He's not even drawn with that mutant jaw.
- First appearance of the "Jugglers" who would remain a thorn in the Joes' collective sides from now on. No names are given to them and we never see their eyes. They're basically the bueracratic branch of the military or "deliverers of bad news" to the servicemen. As Hawk describes them: "When politicians tell you to throw away troops in a fight they don't want to win, you decide how many and who". More of the Dark Shit that you'd never expect in a "kiddie comic".
- Clarence the Chaplain's Assistant makes an apearance. He first appeared awhile in issue 45 and the joke is that the chaplains assistants are a buncha' sissy boys who are appalled at the rough behavior of the guys from the motor pool with all those weird vehicles.
Characters (figures):Hawk, Scarlett, Snake-Eyes, Doc, Tripwire, Cutter, Recondo, Stalker, Alpine, Torpedo, Roadblock, Quick Kick, Duke, Breaker, Rip-cord, Barbeque, Blowtorch, Crankcase, Heavy Metal, Clutch, Steeler, Bazooka, Sgt. Slaughter, Dr. Mindbender, Baroness, Destro, Zartan, Ripper, Torch, Buzzer, Storm Shadow (carcass).
Characters ("comic-only"):Clarence the Chaplain's Assitant, The Jugglers
Vehicles and stuff (toys): APC, AWE Striker, Silver Mirage Motorcycle, VAMP Mark II, Cobra HISS
Vehicles and stuff (not toys): none
Characters:Sgt. Slaughter, Jugglers
Rating: Rating: 2 Flag Points
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