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Yearbook #2 -"GI Joe: Triple Play"
Writer: uncreditted (most likely Larry Hama)
Penciler: uncreditted (but it's safe to say Michael Golden)

Summary:
While testing their new laser canon out on some Afghani tribesmen, the October Guard falls into a Cobra trap and loses the weapon. After a chase through the hills, the Guard recovers the vehicle and makes it onto an extraction....train? Yup, a big ol' choo-choo. An undercover team of Joes, disguised as Afghani tribesmen, manipulates the path of the Guard and Cobra-- right into a port where (just about) the entire Joe team is ready, waiting and armed to the teeth to confiscate the canon. Stolen from US plans in Silicon Valley, the laser will help the US track an information leak in their system.

Also includes a recap of the past year's worth of comics. From #26 to #43. Plus a cover gallery of every issue that had been published, up to #44. Only substantial extra feature is "The Joes on the Tube", where cartoon honcho Buzz Dixon talks about some of the characters and situations that will debut in the second season of the cartoon. Two notable ideas that didn't make it: they had planned to introduce the original founder of the Joe team; presumably the 60's "G.I. Joe". They also had plans to run the introduction of Dialtone and his struggles to be accepted, as a big subplot in the season's 5-parter. The first season of the cartoon was still in its first run syndication, but ALOT of info about the second season is revealed. Most notably the names of the new Joes (Dialtone, Mainframe, Slipstream, Low-light, Cross-Country, Lift-ticket and Lifeline), plus new Cobras Dr. Mindbender, two new Dreadnoks (unnamed) and a "new Cobra leader".

Notes:

  • According to the cover gallery and the release date on the cover, this is the correct order of when this story takes place.
  • Massive improvement over the first Yearbook, which was just a buncha' reprints.
  • In addition to his work on the main story, Golden also provides the cover and two additional pin-up pages. He has a real knack for the details of all the various vehicles and displays a frantic, full-speed sense of movement in his art. Good stuff, if a little exagerrated at times.
  • Tough to score all the Joes who appear at the end.
  • When the Cobra troopers try to assault the Guard's train, they all yell out "Cobra!!" First time (and one of the few times) that the cartoon's "bad guy battle cry" was used in the Marvel comics.
  • I'm presuming Hama did the story, since all the characters like to narrate what type of armament and ammo they're using.
  • Only the second appearance of the October Guard. This was a HUGE tease for me, as their vehicles and character designs seemed to suggest that toys were on the way. They never were (well, figures were finally released in 2004, but that was about 20 years too late for me).
  • First appearance of Dragonsky, the October Guard's flamethrower.
  • The Guard's personnel carrier looks like a US Marine LAV with big ass tires. I really, REALLY wanted a toy version of it. Same for the nifty Cobra Gunship Helicopter that appears
  • The Joes tail the Cobra/Guard procession by flying around (and landing) an old WWII Mosquito plane.
Appearances:
Characters (figures):Stalker, Footloose, Spirit Iron-Knife, Flint, Dusty, Destro, Firefly, Baroness
Characters (figures) all cameos: Duke, Alpine, Barbeque, Mutt, Junkyard, Gung-Ho, Recondo, Blowtorch, Roadblock, Snake-Eyes, Airtight, Shipwreck, Torpedo, Rock n' Roll, Grunt, Flash, Lady Jaye, Breaker, Cover Girl, Grand Slam, Bazooka, Cutter, Deep-Six, Zap

Characters ("comic-only"):Col. Brekhov, Daina, Horrorshow, Schrage, Stormavik, Dragonsky

Vehicles and stuff (toys): Cobra Stinger, Cobra FANG, Cobra Trouble Bubbles, Cobra HISS
Vehicles and stuff (not toys): October Guard "Kremlin Kiddie Kar", October Guard APC, October Guard Hind E-1, October Guard Hind-A, Cobra gunship/transport copter, WWII Mosquito

Firsties:
Characters:Alpine, Dusty, Dragonsky, Tele-Vipers, Cobra Eels
Vehicles: October Guard APC, October Guard Hind E-1, October Guard Hind-A, Cobra gunship/transport copter, Cobra Trouble Bubbles

Rating: Rating: 4 Flag Points

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