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#86- "Not Fade Away"
Writer: Larry Hama
Pencilers: Marshall Rogers

Summary:
Disguised as Iron Grenadiers, a Cobra team assaults the upper floors of the Chrysler Building, which happens to house a super-duper ultra top-secret SDI (Star Wars Defense Plan) laser. Hawk arrives with a team, and they meet the guy running the SDI facility-- a guy named "Joe", plus his cohort, Jane. Cobra is actually after the laser’s guidance system, as they manage to steal a cache of targetting discs. "Joe" leads the team into a skirmish against the Cobras, but they all escape and hook the discs onto a remote drone missile. "Joe" fires up the laser and it instantly zaps the drone and the discs, before it can reach a frustrated Fred VII and Dr. Mindbender.

Hawk offers to make "Joe" an honorary member of the GI Joe team. Jane laughs, since Joe was the ORIGINAL "GI Joe", who started the whole thing. Muskrat gets off a great line as he says: “I thought you were....bigger”.

Notes:

  • The plot is similar to some of Cobra’s recent one-issue theatrics (SM #21 & 17, especially), but it’s just a cute story with “Joe” finally being introduced. His inclusion had been something fans had speculated about since the series debuted in 1982. Even the cartoon writers thought about bringing him, circa 1986. As it is, it’s a fun little wink n’ nod how they finally acknowledge the history of the name brand.
  • With this, some uber-fans canspeculate on the entire canon of the "Joe-verse". Joe's 1970's "Adventure Team" antics, with characters like Mike Power the Atomic Man, Bulletman and even "Eagle Eye Joe" could fit in.
  • Jane mentions that she was the orginal team's nurse. The original 1963 line had an unnamed nurse figure, "The Action Girl Nurse"...but sales were reportedly terrible. It's debatable whether or not "Action Girl Nurse" was an official GI Joe product.
  • Joe is never given a last name in this story. It’s officially "Colton", so I forget when or where that gets established.
  • Joe swent on to a stint at the team's leader over in the Devil’s Due series, from 2003 to 2008.
  • The cover has a very nice silvery "25th Annivesary, 1963-1989" cover. Unlike recent anniversaries, this one wasn’t promoted much. There will be another special anniversary issue in 1994, during the series' final days.
  • The appearance of the Cobra Gyrocopters is one of the rare inclusions of the goofy wind-up "Motorized backpacks" that were released from 1987 to 1990. For obvious reasons, the backpacks weren't seen much in the comics. I mean...a motorized "Battle Ax backpack", or a tiny go-cart called a "Tank Car"?
  • The Cobras are disguised as Iron Grenadiers, as payback for issue 82 when Destro’s guys masqueraded as Cobras.
  • Neat attention to detail, when the Cobras make a mini swimming pool to help blow-up a security wall.
  • A bystander on the streets wonders what’s going on in "the Studebaker Building"
Appearances:
Characters (figures): Hawk, Lightfoot, Muskrat, Stalker, Repeater, Lift-ticket, Lady Jaye, Shockwave, Tunnel Rat, Roadblock (cameo), Lifeline (cameo), Cross-Country (cameo), Firefly, Dr. Mindbender

Characters ("comic-only"): Joe, Jane, Fred VII

Vehicles and stuff (toys):Tomahawk, Cobra Gyrocopter (Motorized Vehicle Pack)
Vehicles and stuff (not toys): none

Firsties:
Characters:Joe, Jane
Vehicles and stuff: Cobra Gyrocopter (Motorized Vehicle Pack)

Rating: 3 Flag Points

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