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European Missions #15- "Nights in Armour"
Writer: Dan Abnett
Penciler: Stewart Johnson

Summary:
In an "oil emirate in the Arabian Gulf", Lt. Falcon leads an armored division against a oil field Cobra has captured. Falcon takes the point in the Persuader, flanked by HAVOCs and Maulers. As they attack, head-on, Tunnel Rat is leading an small team through the temporarily dry oil pipes. Tunnel Rat's team reaches the main terminal and defuses Cobra's explosive charges...right as Falcon' armored team arrives. With everybody happy, the Joes head home from a successful mission.

European Missions #15b- "The Mission"
Writer: Ian Rimmer
Penciler: John McCrea

Summary:
Snake-Eyes is HALO-dropped into a small island off of Sweden. Occupied by Cobra, Snake-Eye acts like a ...well, a commando...destroys the Cobra base and diasbles their experimental laser cannon.

Notes:

  • Honestly, this is the BEST issue of "European Missions and definitely my favorite. A full-on armor fight (Joe tanks vs Cobra tanks and Rattlers), plus Snake-Eyes acting like a commando!
     
  • No harm in believing that the "oil emirate" was actually Benzheen. Since Falcon was leading the mission to Benzheen, circa Marvel issue 112, this makes perfect sense.
     
  • Fast-Draw is with Tunnel Rat's team and, for once, gets to act like the "One Man Tank Unit" he was supposed to be: he blows away two Cobra Maggots, single-handedly.
     
  • The Cobra Maggots detach into their separate units; a function which wasn't really highlighted in the US.
     
  • Pretty cool how the goofy "Trouble Bubbles" are used as laser spotters by Cobra.
     
  • This is another of example of where the European comics spotlighted some of the often overlooked vehicles and characters from the US. Guys like Heavy Metal, backstop and Crazylegs are used, then they significantly contribute to the plot.
     
  • In Snake-Eyes' little story, it appears that the "Cobra Bunker" is being used! Another toy that was only seen in the UK comics.
     
  • The Vipers used in the back-up look more similar to the 2005 "Valor vs. Venom" figures than their 1986 counterparts.
     
  • Trent also makes a cameo at the end of the Snake-Eyes story, proving that this was another out-of-order flashback story.
     
  • Tactical Arms Compendum is of the Persuader Armored Fighting Vehicle
     
  • Intelligence Profile is of Hit & Run. Nothing significantly different, save for the fact he was an SAS operative.
     
  • No explanation is given for why this was the last issue. I'd guess that it was dropped because UK comics have traditionally never been popular over here. Marvel also imported "Dragon's Claws" and Death's Head", yet never listed them in their "Bullpen Bulletins" checklist among their regular US titles. The books themselves had a slightly different cover dressing, which may have hurt recognition. Also, as I mentioned in other recaps, "GI Joe" itself was losing popularity among rugrats by late 1989. This series was "direct only" and wasn't seen on newsstands, so it never proved very popular in the sales charts, either.
     
  • Overall, these stories are decent companions to the Marvel US series. Some are downright bad and should be ignored, but there are some gems in here (this issue included) that could be a part of any fan's "GI Joe Comic Chronology". I really appreciated how they played up some of the under-used 1985-1987 characters. Basically, if you LOVE your 1980's Joe comics, track this series down.
     
  • For long-suffering fans of this site and it's GI Joe Comic Index, this isn't the end. I plan to eventually add a few oddball GI Joe comics, likes the stuff from the 2008 two-packs or even that long-promised "early GI Joe comi book". And hey...there IS that "155.5" comic that's set to premiere in May 2010. So if you like GI Joe comics, stick around. You'll find something you like.
Appearances:
Characters (figures): Falcon, Roadblock, Cross Country, Backstop, Heavy Metal, Dial-Tone (cameo), Crazylegs, Tunnel Rat, Fast-Draw, Hit & Run, Mainframe, Snake-Eyes

Characters ("comic-only"): Trent (cameo)

Vehicles and stuff (toys):Persuader, HAVOC, Mauler, Cobra Trouble Bubble, Cobra Rattler, Cobra Maggot, Cobra Bunker
Vehicles and stuff (not toys): Action Force sub (cameo)

Firsties:
Characters: none
Vehicles and stuff: Cobra Bunker

Rating: 4 Flag Points

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