In the last issue, the Baroness crashed her HISS tank into a car to throw off Major Bludd’s aim as Cobra Commander ordered Bludd to send Destro into “early retirement.” Despite that her vehicle was armored, the crash left both vehicles destroyed, Bludd fled from her turret leaving her to be blown up as the gas hit the flames and engulfed her in an explosion.
Meanwhile, Hawk beat Cobra Commander up, then Destro and Hawk traded a few blows before Cobra Commander shot Hawk in the back. His body fell to the street, and Cobra Commander, Destro and Dr. Venom escaped.
On an ordinary bus, Scar-Face, the Cobra courier slinked away muttering about revenge on Dr. Venom.
On to the issue.
The issue begins with Clutch and Scarlett blocking traffic and standing over Hawk’s fallen body. Scarlett is amazed that Hawk is still alive after being shot 3 times at point blank range. Clutch mentions Hawk decided to wear a ballistic nylon armored vest under his uniform on this mission. But the real risk of dying from internal bleeding was still looming large.
Thankfully Wild Bill arrives with Doc and he begins helping Hawk. The rest of the Joes continue to block traffic so Hawk can get airlifted to the hospital. Gung Ho has an interaction with a citizen complaining about their holding up traffic. Gung Ho tries to defuse the situation by complimenting the man about his fancy automobile. But when it is revealed to be a classic Shelby GT Cobra, Gung Ho loses his marbles and destroys the car. Evidently, Gung Ho had a zero Cobra tolerance back in the day.
I really have no idea how General Flagg and the girls and boys in accounting will wrap up that “loose end.”
Instead of getting a flight for life medical helicopter for Hawk, the Joes ratchet strap him to a stretcher and secure him to the skids of the Dragonfly.
I’m no medical expert, but I would think this might not be the easiest transport for a wounded patient. I would think the jarring crunch when they land at the hospital would be fully absorbed by anyone on the skids, rather than a medical helicopter with tires, shocks and struts. At any rate, they need to get him to the hospital in a hurry, and Hasbro needed to sell more Dragonfly toys (a great toy by the way).
As Dr. Venom, Cobra Commander and Destro speed away, the two in helmets discuss the horrible events from the previous issue. If you missed the previous issue, this literary device helps author Larry Hama bring you up to speed, while also moving the story forward.
Destro figures out that Cobra Commander ordered Bludd to kill him, but Cobra Commander completely lies and tells Destro Major Bludd was in love with the Baroness. The Commander continued lying and told Destro that Bludd planned to kill him (Destro) in order to have the Baroness for himself.
Destro believes him, and we see artist Mike Vosburg nail it with the Commander’s posture. Cobra Commander is holding his hand in front of his mouth to keep from laughing at Destro.
Ace breaks up the discussion by swooping his Skystriker jet right over their HISS tank. Since he can’t perform a strafing run on the inter-state highway, he radios to the Joes in the A.P.C. so they have the exact position and direction of travel.
Then we have a HUGE segue way to some forgotten characters. Kwinn and Snake-Eyes are in jail in Miami for crashing a WWII British Avro Lancaster bomber plane on a beach (see Issue 15 for more on that).
Kwinn has a saw blade hidden in the false bottom of his boot heel. Snake-Eyes has a $100 bill sewn into his shirt sleeve. Kwinn begins literally sawing the bars on the window of the jail. Because of course he does.
Elsewhere, Major Bludd jumps from a produce truck on to the road, and sneaks across to a bus stopped at a toll booth. As he hijacks the bus, we see Scar-Face is on the same bus. With his trench-coat pulled up over his Cobra uniform.
Although that would seem rather convenient to the storyline, you ain’t seen nothing yet. As the bus crashes through the toll booth, it just so happens that Stalker and Grand Slam were hidden just beyond the toll booth on the RAM motorcycle. I’m not sure how they got there, or why they were hiding in the trees. Let’s suspend disbelief and just enjoy the action.
With his one good eye, Major Bludd sees them pull out in pursuit and gets three shots off. In the same panel.
Snake-Eyes and Kwinn interrupt degenerate gamblers wagering (betting) on a dice game in the alley of an unsavory part of Miami. In the round they are playing, they are trying to get snake eyes (two ones), and Snake-Eyes laughs as he prepares to throw the dice.
The multi-state highway pursuit of that HISS tank should have required either Cobra or the Joes in the A.P.C. to stop for refueling, snacks, and possibly a bathroom break. But all of a sudden, Cobra air support arrives, and the Joes are in trouble. They call Ace in the Skystriker who has infinite jet fuel (or possibly refueled in flight). He prepares to take care of the “aerial issue” that the Joes are about to encounter.
Back in the bus chase, Major Bludd’s infinity gun continues blasting round after round with no apparent need to reload. Why Stalker and Grand Slam don’t just blow out the back tires on the bus, we will never discover.
Instead, Stalker pulls alongside the bus.
Grand Slam leaps from the motorcycle to the bus, hoping the rear bumper will keep him from dying from road rash.
With no obvious hand holds, Grand Slam climbs up to the roof of the bus.
Makes his way to the front of the bus.
Crashes through the front window safety glass.
Kicks Major Bludd on the face, who drops his gun.
Okay, that defies reality in so many ways… But it was AWESOME!!
Instead of being concussed or focused on the fight, Major Bludd notices Scar-Face in the seat near where he happened to land.
This is followed by Grand-Slam landing a left hook haymaker and putting Bludd to sleep.
Back at the A.P.C., we see the Whirlwind Twin Gatling gun being towed behind it. They take out 3 FANG single seater helicopters. But a transport helicopter loads up the HISS tank and gets away while Ace is engaged with two Cobra fighter jets (They look somewhat like MIG-21’s.)
So Ace wouldn’t fire on the HISS because of worries about collateral damage, but no one was concerned about the burning debris of 3 FANGS, and 2 jet fighters strewn all over the highway. Got it. That makes sense.
Although it took the first 30% of the comic to get Hawk to the hospital, in just a few panels Major Bludd is arriving all banged up. Stalker and Grand Slam discuss how much excessive force was used to capture him.
Then the emergency teams are called in for a female burn patient with 3rd degree burns over 80% of her body. I wonder who that could be?
Major Bludd threatens a nurse, Hawk pulls a gun on him, a doctor comes in and tells Hawk that the burn patient asked for him before she passed out. He also holds up some shattered glasses and said she was wearing them. If any of that is to be believed, the Baroness would have had to crawl out of the HISS tank or be blown clear, then crawl on fire on her hands and knees and find her glasses and put them on before the rescue workers arrived.
One of the Bethesda doctors worked for Cobra and reported in to Cobra Commander who had fantastically made it all the way back to Cobra HQ in a just a few more panels. The Commander only shares some of the news with Destro, and they both discuss the importance of Scar-Face.
Destro knows Scar-Face has a secret hideout on Coney Island. He has a Cobra mechanic prepare a Harrier (VTOL) jet for him to fly to Cobra Island.
Oh, and in the middle of all this, Kwinn and Snake-Eyes are seen driving in a pink convertible they won by gambling on dice games.
Proposed Public Service Announcement
“Remember kids, never gamble on dice games with a masked mute ninja commando.”
“Now we know!”
“And knowing is half the battle.”
This was a good comic and very entertaining. There are very minor issues with timing, convenient plot mechanisms, fuel and armament counts, and more timing issues. But Larry Hama and Mike Vosburg delivered WAY MORE than the 60 cents price of admission to this issue. It was awesome, all the way around.
Now You Know – a little more about wrapping up ”Loose Ends.” -YorktownJoe
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