European Missions #12- "Super Trooper!"
Writer: Steve Alan
Penciler: Stewart Johnson
Hawk introduces Flint to the Super Trooper program; "the all-purpose, new age warrior- fluent in seven languages, an A-One marksman, airborn qualified and utterly deadly"; then orders him to complete the training course. From a field of 15, only two soldiers are left: Glenn Goddard and Joe De Niro. Flint runs them through a training course revolving around mostly physical endurance. A later test involves both soldiers in a Skystriker against robot Rattler drones. In the skirmish, the Skystriker is damaged, set to crash, and heading for a populated town. Goddard, the better pilot of the two, orders De Niro to eject.
De Niro storms into Flint's office, upset that Goddard was allowed to die. Flint declares that their can only be one Super Trooper, as the final candidate must be self-sufficient and above personal friendships. A final narrative quote from the Dao de Ching reads: Whosoever does not perish in death lives".
European Missions #12b- "Snow Chase"
Writer: Mike Collins
Penciler: Kev Hopgood
Snake-Eyes continues his escape from Castle Destro, on skiis and pursued by Ripper and Buzzer (on their bikes, no less). Snake-Eyes is shot in the arm by Ripper, but manages to make it to a hotel and successfully send a telex to Action Force's Geneva HQ, warning of Coba's plot to blow up the Eiffel Tower. Upon leaving the hotel, he takes out both Dreadnoks with a tripwire, blows up one of their bikes and steals the other.
The Super Trooper story illustrates the BIG differences between the UK and US stories. The recurring theme of camraderie that the US comics always had is completely ignored. In the US, you did whatever you could to save your buddy; the mission was simply your job, but what was really important was looking out for your fellow soldiers and making sure they made it back alive (or at least bring their body back, as the Joes displayed in the Trucial Abysmia War).
Here, the Super Trooper training program is almost sadistic. A guy died...so what? It was necessary to weed everyone out and make sure they had ONE ultimate soldier. That's closer to Cobra's tactics. It's shocking to see Flint and the team act so flip about a soldier losing his life (and under THEIR watch, no less). No way this story would have fit flown in the US.
I'm pretty sure this is the ONLY comic book appearance of the Super Trooper. For that reason, the character ends up as another "UK Exclusive" or "something that never appeared over here"
Falcon makes a cameo appearance, seated next to Flint. To distinguish them, the artist chose not to render Flint with his trademark beret for this particular panel.
The Dao de Ching (also known as the Tao de Ching) is quoted several times in the lead story. "For the craft of arms, one needs extraordinary talents". De Niro quotes it frequently and for the most part it works for the story.
One Super Trooper training course involves both guys zipping around in a centrifugal force simulator-- similar to a scene from "Spies Like Us".
"Intelligence Profile" is of the Super Trooper. Some added details include required training with the French Foreign Legion, Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert, Amazonian Indians and Native American Innuits. Also, tank training with the West German Army and helicopter gunship training at Fort Hood.
I score the characters of "Joe De Niro" and "Glenn Goddard" as "comic only" because the official Super Trooper figure had no name attached to it. So in this case, Super Trooper (the figure) appears, but it's more of a concept.
In the second story, some might call BS at seeing the Dreadnoks ride through the snow in their motorcycles. Easy No-Prize Explanation: they had special spiked tires-- similar to what they used in the cartoon version, specifically "The Revenge of Cobra".