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#65- "Manuvering for Position"
Writer: Larry Hama
Penciler: Ron Wagner

Summary:
A USAF space shuttle installs a spy satellite upgrade and picks up Cobra broadcasting a signal through their worldwide Terror Dromes. The Baroness and Fred lead a Cobra shuttle into orbit, but are met by the NEW GI Joe Defiant space shuttle. During the fight, the Baroness is knocked unconscious, but Fred suddenly fights some gumption and begins leading the shuttle crew. Cobra destroys the satellites, but the Joes have saved the USAF crew.

In Austria, Snake-Eyes, Scarlett and the Blind Master have joined a circus..and will be travelling into Borovia.

Notes:

  • "Toyjam" issue, with its own commerical that was later re-worked to sell Defiant toys. In the commerical, the new "Cobra Commander" had some dialogue, spoken with his old cartoon voice (the hissing speech)
  • The Baroness becomes mildy affectionate and begins her advances towards Fred. She's just using him, but having Fred as her puppet "Commander" is consistent with her character. When she came back after her accident (issue 23), she was more interested in power and just kept Destro at arm's length. Although Destro still held her in high regard. With Destro out of the picture, there's nothing to keep her in check and she's just a power-hungry witch.
  • The Defiant's crawler is finally revealed as what's been making all those big tracks in Utah. The Defiant was/is an absolutely great toy. Unlike the USS Flagg, which ran 100 bucks and took up half of your room with alot of dead space, just about every square inch on the Defiant was useful.
  • This is actually a goofy story and somewhat removed from the "realism" of the series (although a shuttle launch WAS in issue 8), but I LOVED the Defiant.
  • When I got my Defiant (yeah, I was getting pretty old), I used it as the de facto transportation mode for all of my missions. I whipped up some story where the UN restricted the Joes from flying out of US airspace. So I had them fly via outer space, as a way to leap over international airspace.
  • The Pit III is also clarified. Not a diagram or anything, but we see that it consists of the three surface quonset huts...and a big ass underground vehicle ramp about 100 yards away. Nothing too deceptive about the ramp. It just drops out of the ground. Hawk says that this HQ is going to be "very low-key".
  • Hardtop, the Defiant's crawler driver is a very quiet guy. Keeps to himself more than Deep-Six and doesn't speak unless spoken to.
  • The Arbco Star, the land-locked tanker, houses the Cobra space shuttle launching complex.
  • It's tough to tell, but it appears that Payload is a light-skinned African-American. There were no other African-American figures in the 1987 line, so he'd fit with the franchise's pattern of "one new black guy every year". Kinda' cool, because I don't believe the US had any black astronauts at this time (late 1987).
Appearances:
Characters (figures):Hawk, Payload, Hardtop, Mainframe, Sci-Fi, Slipstream, Roadblock, Duke, Rip-cord, Lift-Ticket, Scarlett, Snake-Eyes, Baroness, Dr. Mindbender, Scrap-Iron

Characters ("comic-only"): Fred VII, Blind Master, Lt. Kirk (USAF), Col. Prupis (USAF), Maj. Jones (USAF), White Clown (circus), Orlovsky the Dwarf (circus)

Vehicles and stuff (toys): Tomahawk, Defiant
Vehicles and stuff (not toys): Cobra space shuttle

Firsties:
Characters: USAF guys, White Clown, Orlovsky (unnamed)
Vehicles and stuff:Defiant

Rating: 3 Flag Points

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