#51- "Thunder Machine"
Writer: Larry Hama
Penciler: Rod Whigham
Zarana and Zandar use disguises to sneak into the Pit and rescue Zartan (Buzzer still knows where the Pit is). Storm Shadow also sneaks into the Pit, undetected. Sgt. Slaughter teams up with Cross-Country and the new HAVOC tank to chase the Dreadnoks into the Jersey swamps. The Dreadnoks escape in their new Thunder Machine by blowing a hole through a passing train.
- The cover was done by John Byrne, which might have been one of his last works for Marvel at the time (he was beginning his "Man of Steel" Superman revamp over at DC).
- Monkeywrench is accidentally drawn as the third Dreadnok on the cover. He isn't in this issue and wouldn't debut for awhile.
- It appears that Sarge was left in charge of the Pit while the Joes were in Springfield.
- We also get the overdue debut of Thunder, a Joe fom the THIRD wave. Plus Tollbooth, a guy from the FOURTH wave. But Thunder's awesome Slugger tank still hasn't debutted. Always annoyed me, since that was one of my favorite GI Joe vehicles.
- Zandar's gimmick is that nobody ever notices him. Buzzer accidentally sits on him. Yuk, yuk!
- Zarana mentions that she's only interested in rescuing Zartan because he supposedly buried a cache of gold from a South American dictator in the Jersey swamps.
- A "toyjam" issue, and the story suffers immensely for it. All the characters make sure to announce the name of their vehicles. This definitely reads like a "kiddie comic". Really, really bad issue.
- TV commercial for this issue was later re-worked to sell Thunder Machine, HAVOC and Swampfire toys. "Dreadnok! Thunder Machine! Meanest machine you've ever seen! And it's out to get GI JOE!!!!"
- Returning from Springfield, Hawk dispatches a small team to help out Sgt. Slaughter. Hawk is then flown to DC to meet the Jugglers.
Characters (figures):Hawk, Sgt. Slaughter, Tollbooth, Thunder, Cross-Country, Flint, Crankcase, Alpine, Roadblock, Heavy Metal, Shipwreck, Wild Bill, Zartan, Zandar, Zarana, Torch, Ripper, Buzzer, Thrasher
Characters ("comic-only"): none
Vehicles and stuff (toys): AWE Striker, Mauler, Dragonfly, HAVOC, Dreadnok Swampfire, Dreadnok Thunder Machine
Vehicles and stuff (not toys): GI Joe C-130
Characters:Zandar, Thrasher, Tollbooth, Thunder, Cross-Country
Vehicles: HAVOC, Dreadnok Thunder Machine, Dreadnok Swampfire
Rating: Rating: 1 Flag Point
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