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Special Missions #13- "Washout"
Writer: Larry Hama
Penciler: Herb Trimpe

Summary:
In Trucial Abysmia (named for the first time), Dusty and Outback are in a tight spot with new "probationary Joes" Lightfoot and Mangler. All four are captured by Abysmian Marxist soldiers, with Lightfoot getting tortured. Lightfoot reveals their mission: to destroy a secret US weapons cache, buried in a subterranean bunker. The Abysmians leave the Joes in the desert and head off to find the bunker. Mangler is pissed at Lightfoot and bad mouths him. Lightfoot demands that they continue the mission, so they trek on foot across the desert for 60 miles (and roughly three days). They arrive at the bunker, blow up the weapons and make their escape in an armored car. Mangler covers their escape, sacrificing himself in the process. Outback had thought Mangler was a washout, but decides to put in a posthumous decoration for him.

Notes:

  • Yup, a Joe DIED. Sure, it was the rookie "comic-only", one time guy, Mangler...but still worth mentioning. There's was nothing notable about him: he just seemed to be a blond hothead in fatigues.
  • As Mangler makes his final stand, he shouts: "I'm your worst nightmare! A 19 year old American with a machine gun!"
  • One Abysmian, Yusif, wants to use the bunker for his own political reasons; while another, Aman, thinks they should do it by the books. Aman seems to have values, while Yusif is a scumbag.
  • First time the country of Trucial Abysmia has been mentioned. It's location is declared as: "on the east coast of northern Africa". The Joes might have been there before, depending on how flexible you want to be with the vague "somewhere in the Middle East" description of past issues (possibly as far back as issue #1's "Hot Potato"). Geography-wise, it's a big ol' desert.
  • Dusty gets the spotlight a little, with his desert survival skills.
  • Funny bit about the US's previous involvement in Trucial Abysmia: the old ruler had bad teeth and in exchange for good dental facilities, he allowed the US to keep a military presence in the country.
  • All the Abysmian soldiers refer to themselves as "Marxist students" who overthrew the old regime.
  • Lightfoot concocts a bomb made out of cocoa and flour. Three panels of Lightfoot making the bomb are blocked out as "classified information". Fun gimmick.
  • The APC is shown with its top down, with Lighfoot sitting in a turret. While the APC did have a turret, nobody ever sat in it. More specifically, there was no way you could put a figure in your APC's turret.
Appearances:
Characters (figures): Outback, Lightfoot, Dusty

Characters ("comic-only"): Mangler (dies), Yusif, Aman

Vehicles and stuff (toys): APC
Vehicles and stuff (not toys): Abysmian armored cars.

Firsties:
Characters: Mangler (dies), Yusif, Aman
Vehicles: none

Rating: Rating: 2 Flag Points

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