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Special Missions #14- "In from the Cold"
Writer: Larry Hama
Penciler: Herb Trimpe

Summary:
Chuckles, Iceberg, Scarlett, Snake-Eyes and CIA Agent Anderson fly into the country of Chomo Lungma. They're searching for a missing CIA agent named Cullen Esterhazy, who disappeared into the area during the Nixon administration. The Joes' plane is clipped by Chinese artillery and they end up crashing into the mythical Hidden Valley (which has a ranch, but they apparently don't make salad dressing *rimshot*). Esterhazy has found new life as the "White Devil from Virginia" and, along with his band of Merry Bandits, fights off the Chinese forces. Esterhazy then concludes that the Joes aren't there to rescue a missing agent from an old era, Anderson has probably been sent to assassinate him

Notes:

  • First two-part story in Special Missions, as this is continued next month.
  • First appearance of Snake-Eyes in Special Missions. When the series was announced, it seemed like he'd be a good fit for it. But due to either writing decisions, or his overexposure in the main book, he hadn't appeared until now.
  • The Hidden Valley is goofy. Buncha' monks in togas and yak herders. The head Abbott of the place can seemingly teleport. The whole thing seems like something left over from Hama's 70's work on "Iron Fist".
  • The Chinese soldiers are another batch of redundant "Evil Foreigners". They have the same characteristics as many of the foreign officers who have been popping up in the book recently (past 12 issues or so). They're almost identical to the bad guys from Borovia, Trucial Abysmia or even Sierra Gordo.
  • Esterhazy was possibly based on a "real world" case..but I'm struggling to remember who.
  • Nixon is never mentioned by name. The Chinese refer to him as "the American Politician with the Big Nose".
  • Once again, Chuckles seems to be the field leader for "Special Missions".
  • Like he was before, Anderson is depicted as an annoying asshole (see issue 8).
  • The redundant villains, the goofy setting, lackluster story and lame cliffhanger ending make this a dud.
Appearances:
Characters (figures): Chuckles, Iceberg, Snake-Eyes, Scarlett

Characters ("comic-only"): CIA Agent Anderson, Cullen Esterhazy, the Hidden Valley Abbot, St. Wu, Col. Peng

Vehicles and stuff (toys): none
Vehicles and stuff (not toys): spy plane, Chinese armor

Firsties:
Characters: Cullen Esterhazy, the Hidden Valley Abbot, St. Wu, Col. Peng
Vehicles: none

Rating: Rating: 1 Flag Point

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