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#92- "Thunderclap!"
Writer: Larry Hama
Pencilers: Mark "M.D." Bright

Summary:
The Joes stage a rescue of their captive comrades in Sierra Gordo, with a two-pronged attack. By "testing" the new Thunderclap artillery canon from neighboring Punta Del Mucosa, and also with a disguised float in the "Miss Sierra Gordo" parade. All in the middle of another "revolution" in Sierra Gordo, naturally (this time it's Voltar and MARS/Cobra trying to win the country back from El Jefe and the NABM). The float breaks away to reval the Joes' Warthog, as they resuce their buddies (and Guardsmen) and hightail it to the border. Close to the border, a giant artillery shell from the Thunderclap explodes, as all of Voltar's men squirt their pants and retreat.

Scoop managed to catch the whole thing on video and shows El Presidente of the pursuing MARS troops. Stalker maintains that the team was simply in Sierra Gordo for the parade, when they discovered this "dastardly invasion plan". To prove it, Daina hops out of the Warthog with a "Miss Sierra Gordo" sash.

Notes:

  • Despite no commercials, this was a "toyjam" issue. Lots of new stuff, including the big 1989 toys: the Thunderclap and the Condor.
  • Disguising the Warthog as a giant pineapple parade float might sound stupid... but nobody ever thought that the climactic scene of "Animal House" was stupid, did they?!! A MARS Annihilator yells: "We're being attacked by giant fruit!"
  • First mention of Sierra Gordo's neighbor: Punta Del Mucosa. Mucosa was probably a joke, from the medical term meaning "relating to mucous". So it translates roughly to English as "Snot Point"
  • Stalker appears for the first time in his new (1989) "Tundra Ranger" gear. He now has a camoflauged winter cap and a white jacket.
  • Muskrat seems a little enamored with Daina ("Didja' hear that? She read my dossier!") Russian women were usually exotic to American boys, but as Joel Hodgson once said: "there's something about a woman in a flight helmet...."
  • Fun scene as they cross the border and thumb their noses at the Cobra Condor.
    Daina" "Kiss my kasha!"
    Backblast: "Huh?"
    Daina: "It's like Russian grits!"
  • The Thunderclap was actually a pretty nifty toy and one of the last "biggies" I ever bought. It reminded me of something the Nazis would've constructed in WW2. Basically, it was a 3-part big-ass mobile canon. It had similar elements to the rumored "GI Joe Train" toy that was never released. I've seen pictures of the proposed train toy... and while it looks interesting, I kinda' question if it was ever conceived by Hasbro, or if an eager fan constructed it.
  • The letters page mentions that a new cartoon mini-series is on the way. This would be the less-than-stellar "Operation: Dragonfire" 5-parter that was done by DIC animation in the fall of 1989. This began DIC's association with Hasbro, but there wasn't any interaction with the Marvel comics. This marked a slight rift in the marketing of all three elements of GI Joe. Hasbro was the only thing the cartoons and comics had in common, anymore.
  • The letters page also mentions that "live-action movie rights have changed hands, again"
  • The ads in this issue suddenly switch back to the "Star Comics" line. As they were, circa issue 34 or so. No "Bullpen Bulletins", just the "Star Signals", plus kiddie ads for DuckTales, ALF fan club and Mr. Bubble. But "STAR" will never be listed on the cover. If I had to guess, I'd say that STAR was on its last legs at this point and Marvel was trying some cross-promotion.
Appearances:
Characters (figures): Stalker, Muskrat, Scoop, Backblast, Long Range, Cross Country, Rumbler, Lt. Falcon, Shockwave, Recondo, Voltar

Characters ("comic-only"): Daina, Dragonsky, El Presidente, Delbert Swinson, El Jefe

Vehicles and stuff (toys): Warthog, Thunderclap, Cobra FANG II, Cobra Condor, Iron Grenadiers Demon
Vehicles and stuff (not toys): Cobra gunship/transport copter

Firsties:
Characters: Backblast, Frag-Vipers, Annihilators, El Presidente
Vehicles and stuff: Warthog, Thunderclap, Cobra Condor

Rating: 3 Flag Points

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