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#88- "Python Patrol"
Writer: Larry Hama
Pencilers: Tony Salmons

Summary:
In Wolkekuckkuckland, the Joes are advising the country's military on their new purchase of Maulers, SLAMs, ACPs and AWE Strikers. The neighboring Darklonia and its ruler, Darklon had recently tried to sell Liederkranz washed-up Cobra vehicles. In fact, Darklon is currently receiving new offers from Cobra and Destro regarding a new stealh "pythonizing" system.

Meanwhile, Snake-Eyes, Scarlett, Flint and Lady Jaye are undercover, trying to expose how smugglers get across the heavily armed border between the two countries. Using a Camaro and bribing the borderguard seems to be the way.

Darklon attacks Wolkekuckuckland with the new Python-ized equipment. The Joes hold them off, but Liedercranz is so impressed with Darklon's new stuff, that he wants to strike a deal.

Notes:

  • More garbage. Just too damn comical. Everything from the plot to the art. Salmons again stinks it up.
  • Sure, selling armaments had been Cobra and Destro's forte...but the JOES are doing it, too? That seems ridiculous. The "Python" concept is a bit too sci-fi, as well.
  • "Python Patrol" was Hasbro's way of re-painting and re-selling some of their older toys as "new". They also did it with "Tiger Force", "Slaughter's Marauders", "Sky Patrol" and the rare "Night Force" sub-sets. GI Joe and Cobra vehicles would often switch sides; as Tiger Force had a re-fitted Cobra Rattler and Python Patrol had a re-fitted GI Joe Conquest. I bought a few of the re-painted figures, since my original had broken (or I used the brown Tiger Force Flint as my "Stormavik")...but I thought the re-painted vehicles were a cheap ploy and never bought one.
  • The Cobra STUN finally makes its appearance, three years late. It took so long to get to it that the re-colored, re-released Python STUN (STUN v. 2) is also the first appearance of the original.
  • The Pythonization process was the basis for Cobra's current stealth technology in DDP's "World War III" arc. You could also fill in the blanks and surmise that it was used to create Wraith's suit, circa 2003. In fact, the Python Vipers in this issue refer to themselves as "wraiths".
  • In this story, they explain the presence of a Python-ized Conquest as the US selling one to Darklonia, a few years ago.
  • According to Hasbro, Darklon was a relative of Destro...but that connection is never mentioned in the comics.
  • Wolkekuckuckland has an instant response alarm-system wired all along their borders. It may have been a shot at the whackos of Albania who once took to wiring dynamite all along their borders.
  • Salmons depicts Roadblock in his all-white uniform again, just as he did when he drew issue 69.
  • The letters column mentions that the "Louis Pastuer" Snake-Eyes clue refers to a street of that same name....in Saigon. Like we should've known that.
  • The letters column also plugs the new Larry Hama-penned "Nth Man" which debuted this month (Jul '89 cover date). Set in its own universe, "Nth Man" seemed to explore some of the more outlandish concepts that Hama couldn't have used in "GI Joe". The main character is sort of like "Snake-Eyes meets Captain America". If you're a fan of Hama's dark humor and his writing, it's an enjoyable series for that reason alone. It only lasted 10 issues and you can probably find the entire thing for 25 cents a pop. If I get to the end of this indexing project and I feel a need for more Hama, I may very well re-visit it.
Appearances:
Characters (figures): Hawk, Roadblock, Skid Mark, Snake-Eyes, Scarlett, Lady Jaye, Flint, Destro, Baroness, Dr. Mindbender, Darklon

Characters ("comic-only"): Fred VII, Gen, Leiderkranz, Wolfgang

Vehicles and stuff (toys): Mauler MBT, SLAM, AWE Strikers, APC, Desert Fox, Conquest (Cobra Python), Cobra STUN, Cobra ASP, Cobra Firebat, Cobra Stinger
Vehicles and stuff (not toys): Camaro, Wolkekuckkuckland Radar Truck

Firsties:
Characters:Darklon, Gen. Leiderkranz, Wolfgang
Vehicles and stuff: Cobra STUN

Rating: 1 Flag Point

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