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#55- "Unmaskings"
Writer: Larry Hama
Penciler: Rod Whigham

In Ft. Wadsworth, Grunt officially signs his mustering out papers and becomes a civilian. He plans to attend Georgia Tech and study engineering.

Below the rubble of the Pit, Cobra Commander and Destro find the Joes' emergency back-up escape plan: an earth boring machine (actually first mentioned in the new Pit's schematics in issue 22). They use it to escape, ending up in a New Jersey mall. Donning disguises, they secure a car and head back to Springfield. A state trooper pulls them over and when CC shows his REAL driver's license, the trooper recognizes the name and connects it to an accident victim from last year: the kid known only as Billy. The trooper takes them to a hospital, where Billy is in a coma, minus his lower leg and one eye. CC breaks down and sobs, regretful over being a terrible father.

In Sierra Gordo, a small team of Joes teams up with the local "counter-revolutionaries" to attack the Terror Drome and free Snake-Eyes. Stalker leads the team, but is shot during the escape. Snake-Eyes, the next senior officer, takes command and orders the team out of the jungle. Snake-Eyes, armed to the teeth, remains behind to cover their escape.


  • This really seems like a "make it up to you issue" from Hama. Since the book had taken a nosedive since issue 48, he returned to adding some of the elements that made the Joe comics intriguing: little nuggets about the mysterious characters' pasts, a Vietnam flashback, Billy, and Snake-Eyes as a Bad-Ass.
  • The Vietnam flashback occurs with Stalker. He still feels guilty over initially leaving Snake-Eyes behind during their chopper pick-up (when Storm Shadow raced through the bullets and saved Snakes, issue 26). He feels he can't leave Snake-Eyes behind again.
  • Snake-Eyes had been plugged into the Brainwave Scanner and while painful, he was able to block all of its probes. Blame Dr. Minbender for fucking up the Scanner and making it lame. It used to mean "we'll see something cool", but it was just a torture device for Snake-Eyes and Rip-cord (issue 49).
  • Speaking of Rip-cord: while getting a big push in the 40's, we haven't heard a peep from him since he returned to the team.
  • So... why did they bother getting Snake-Eyes captured, last issue, if they were just going to immediately bust him out? Kinda' ruins their plans for intelligence.
  • Serpentor announces that Cobra will operate as a legitimate country and unveils his plans for the Cobra Consulate Building in Manhattan.
  • While all 3 guys pictured on the cover DO un-mask (Snake-Eyes, CC and Destro), the readers never sees their faces. On the cover it's implied that Destro is bald, but in the story it's implied that he has hair. For the record, both CC and Destro were regular looking guys. Yet to this day we haven't seen CC's face. Nice touch.
  • While donning their disguises, Destro sarcastically says to CC: "I notice a lack of polyester suits in your size". CC barks back: "fashion advice from a man who wears an open vest with an amulet". Awesome.
  • In the Jersey mall (possibly the same mall where Spirit, Rip-cord and Blowtorch ran into Fred), a panle of a toy store is included. We can see little figures of Astro Boy, what appears to be a Micronauts Acroyear and....the Flaming Carrot! Ut!
  • It's revealed that CC was a used-car salesman before creating Cobra. He uses his experience to legally file all the paperwork to acquire their car. "All the real stealing is done with paperwork"
  • CC's sudden change of heart and instant emotional outburst may seem weird and it IS a bit cheesy. But you have to figure the guy was left for dead by his troops and was buried under 6 levels of rubble for over a week, thinking he was going to die. Enough justification for someone to re-think their outlook on life. For the first (and maybe only) time, we feel some small bit of sympathy for CC.
  • Grunt's exit was a nice ending, but he was one of the few original members to never have a personality, so it's no big loss. Grunt will be back, although I don't think he ever officially re-enlists. Clarence wonders why an average Motor Pool guy would have so much classified junk in his folder.
  • Clutch sees Grunt off. For the first time, Clutch is shown with a full beard, not the greasy, five o'clock shadow look he always had in the comics.
  • A VERY insightful fan letter wonders why Zartan and Cobra went to all that trouble to assassinate Snake-Eyes in Japan (the Hard Master's murder)...when that all occurred BEFORE GI Joe or Cobra were around. Why would they have had a gruff with Snake-Eyes? Yup, that's an essential point that was overlooked by many fans (including myself). There's a BIG answer to that...but it's still about two years off (roughly 25 issues).
  • Also in the letter column, they mention that the Joe in the corner box of all the issues has always been anonymous. Lot of us just figured it was Grunt, since he was the early "poster boy" of the franchise (even appearing on the cover of the first catalog).
Characters (figures):Hawk, Duke, Grunt, Clutch, Leatherneck, Beach-head, Snake-Eyes, Stalker, Lowlight, Cobra Commander, Destro, Tomax, Xamot, Dr. Mindbender, Serpentor, Baroness, Zartan, Zandar, Zarana, Torch, Ripper, Buzzer

Characters ("comic-only"): Clarence, Billy

Vehicles and stuff (toys): Cobra Terror Drome, Cobra HISS, Cobra Ferret, Cobra Firebat,
Vehicles and stuff (not toys): Cobra transport helicopter/gunship, Cobra Consulate Building (model), GI Joe Earth Boring Machine.

Characters: Lowlight
Vehicles: Cobra Consulate Building

Rating: Rating: 3 Flag Points

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