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European Missions #5- "Gunships!"
Writer: Steve White
Penciler: Robin Smith
When a US Northrop B2 bomber is shot down by Cobra over Indonesia, Action Force is called in to rescue the pilots. With a squad of Tomahawks, Dragonflies and SkyStrikers, Hawk and Flint lead an extraction mission. In a straightforward shoot-em-up with Cobra, things go as expected, although Beachhead and Snake-Eyes use Helicopter Packs to rescue the third B2 crewman on the other side of the island. Just as the Force is about to leave, a final crew of Cobras rush from the treeline, but get blown away by a Skystriker bombing run.
- As mentioned, this is a VERY straightforward story. No twists or anything unexpected. It's almost like the opening scene of an 80's Vietnam movie.
- As the team approaches the island, we see the jungle is stocked with old-school Cobra troopers (blue helmets and red masks). However, once the two sides enagage, they all become Vipers and Tele-Vipers
- Once again, Hawk leads the mission as he outranks the Action Force "leader", Flint. Something of an inferiority complex for Action Force, I suppose. They're always #2.
- There's a generci doorgunner on one Tomahawk, who looks like Grunt. But he's not named and was probably one of the Action Force "greenshirts".
- Four or five Tomahawks arrive on the island. One is completely blown away, while a generic "pilot" of another is also shot.
- The use of the AF helicopter packs was probably a "UK only" appearance. While Cobra helicopter packs appeared, circa US issue 85, the Joes' version never did.
- Also kinda' cool how the Dragonflies and the Tomahawks work in conjunction. The Dragonflies are the assault helicopters, while the Tomahawks are basically transports. Just illustrates to kids-buying-toys that there was a distinct need for both helicopters.
- Wild Bill pilots his Dragonfly from the front seat. The front was always the gunner's seat in the US (and on the real-life Cobra Helicopter, as well) and Wild Bill flew from the back seat. No-Prize Explanation: Action Force uses a special type of Dragonfly.
- This is another story that could have worked in US/Marvel continuity.
- It's almost over, but the back-up story has been painfully stupid-- just a buncha' fighting between Action Force and Megatron. Glad I skipped over it.
Characters (figures): Hawk, Flint, Snake-Eyes, Footloose, Roadblock, Leatherneck, Dial-Tone, Footloose, Lift-Ticket, Beachhead, Bazooka, Wild Bill
Characters ("comic-only"): Captain Mike Holloman (B2 pilot), 2 more B2 crew members.
Characters in Back-up Story (figures): Flint, Scarlett, Wild Bill
Vehicles and stuff (toys): Tomahawk, Dragonfly, SkyStriker, Helicopter Packs, Cobra Ferret, Cobra Flight Pods (Trouble Bubbles)
Vehicles and stuff (not toys): Northrup B2 Bomber
Characters: Mike Holloman and crew
Vehicles and stuff: Helicopter packs
Rating: 2 Flag Points
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