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#82- "Weeding Out"
Writer: Larry Hama
Pencilers: Marshall Rogers & Don Hudson
Duke and some other senior Joes run a batch of prospective new recruits through a grueling training program at Fort Dix ("uuhh...is that next to Fort Nads?") Lightfoot, Repeater and Budo are the survivors. After being pampered with a victory meal, they're awoken in the middle of the night to stop a Cobra raid on the Picatinny Arsenal. It turns out that the "Cobras" are actually Iron Grenadiers in disguise. The three Joes prove pivotal in the mission...but Repeater suspects that the whole thing was a designed initiation trial, set up by leaked information.
- Lightfoot mentions that this is his second time through the weeding out trials. After being injured on his first mission (Special Missions #13), he was sent to the hospital, then had to go through the whole thing again.
- Biggest problem with this issue is the actual weeding out process. It's way too comical and ridiculous. The recruits have to sit through a six hour drivers' safety film. The final trial is all the recruits beating the shit out of each other with pugil sticks. The last three standing become Joes. Oh great....the best military men are picked simply due to their ability to beat the crap out of each other. I had always imagined a recruitment process for GI Joe was a bit more in-depth. This way, it seems like any thug could join the team. Really ruins any prestige the team may have had.
- All of the older Joes come off like complete assholes, too.
- Roadblock is around to harass the recruits. Naturally, he's the chef.
- Repeater makes a small reference to being an older recruit. His file card (and figure design) made a big point out of his advanced age and being a longtime Army serviceman.
- Grand Slam is "on the ground", leading the three new Joes. A rare infantry appearance for him, without any form of artillery canon around. Probably the biggest role he's had since knocking the snot out of Major Bludd in issue 17. Of course, he gets shot by the "Cobras", allowing the newbies to shine.
- Some of the prospective Joes who don't make the cut are named: Ice-Pick, Bad News, Blister, No-Show and....Jodie. The other names might make it as official code-names... but I couldn't imagine: "Laser Artillery Trooper, Code-Name: JODIE"
- It's never explained why the Iron Grenadiers are disguised as Cobras. Maybe the Iron Grenadiers were hired by the US gov't to stage the "raid"...or maybe they were just trying to frame Cobra for whatever reason.
Characters (figures):Duke, Roadblock, Grand Slam, Steeler, Zap, Cover Girl, Budo, Repeater, Lightfoot
Characters ("comic-only"): No-Show, Blister, Ice-Pick, Bad News, Funky, Jodie
Vehicles and stuff (toys): Tomahawk
Vehicles and stuff (not toys): Cobra transport/gunship
Characters: Budo, Repeater
Vehicles and stuff: none
Rating: 1 Flag Point
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