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Special Missions #21 "The Lower Depths"
Writer: Larry Hama
Penciler: Herb Trimpe
A small team of four Joes enter Manhattan's sewers to counter what appears to be a Cobra nerve gas bio-terrorism plot. After receving help from an old bum and former war vet (who sorta' lives like a "moleperson"), the Joes find out that Cobra just let off a nasty stink bomb. Turns out, the gas/bio-terror scheme was just a ruse-- Cobra's real motive was to tap into the circuit boards of the phone company, so they could boost their TELE-MARKETING SCHEMES! Damn, they're EVIL!!
- The bum, Sgt. Gamble, dies after falling on a suspected live grenade. The grenade doesn't detonate, he just has a heart attack
- The plot ties into the long-running urban myths of the complexity and depth of NYC's sewer system. The Joes even run into an albino alligator.
- Spearhead tells Gamble's group of seeimngly disgruntled vets: "you got your medal and your parade! What did you expect, undying gratitude? Grow up!"
- Tunnel Rat acts as the field leader of this little squad.
- Charbroil is quite nerdy, as he uses his NYC tourism guide to point out little facts during the Joes' trek. Seems a bit far-fetched that a tourism brochure would include a walk-through of the city's SEWERS. But it is New York, where all sorts of strange shit pops up. If any city would sell a guide to their sewers, it would be NYC.
- Gamble warms up to the Joes, as he remembers how much he missed the camaraderie of being in the Army. Another recurring theme of Hama's-- how important camaraderie is among soldiers.
- Among Cobra's telemarketing schemes: aluminum siding, sweepstakes entries, along with the previously mentioned vitamins and cleaning products.
- Great joke at the end, but the issue itself is rather comical. Sgt. Gamble even has a corn cob pipe, ala Popeye.
- The letters page announces that there is NO connection between Budo and Storm Shadow's clan. Alot of fans (myself included) kind of assumed there would be...but Budo was just a guy of Japenese descent who liked samurai crap.
- Max is just Spearhead's pet bobcat. The duo never really caught on, like Mutt & Junkyard.
Characters (figures): Tunnel Rat, Airtight, Spearhead (& Max), Charbroil, Zandar, Road Pig, Buzzer, Zarana
Characters ("comic-only"): Sgt. Gamble (croaks), other bums
Vehicles and stuff (toys): none
Vehicles and stuff (not toys): none
Characters: Spearhead & Max, Sgt. Gamble
Rating: Rating: 2 Flag Points
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