Issue 71 saw a lot of action in Sierra Gordo. There was political intrigue and car chases and concussions. Lots of concussions. Feel free to check out the review of Issue 71 in case you missed it. (You can catch up on other “Now You Know With YorktownJoe” reviews there as well!)
On to the issue
The issue begins with a new story arc, deep in the secret laboratory of Dr. Mindbender on Cobra Island.
He is discussing his latest breakthrough with Serpentor, the Cobra Emperor.
Ironically, everyone else in the room is a Mindbender experiment. Serpentor, the B.A.T.S., and now the Star Viper.
The Star Viper eliminates all the flies in the room with his quick reflexes, and then the others get down to business…
Dr. Mindbender mentions their satellite surveillance of a mysterious site in Utah has been bothering him. But he thinks the Star Viper might be able to infiltrate what they believe may be a G.I. Joe Shuttle launch site.
Serpentor believes that could also give him the edge in Cobra leadership over the Baroness and “Acting” Cobra Commander Fred VII. (Fred VII is a Crimson Guard who shot Cobra Commander in the back, buried him, and is masquerading as the commander in the shiny new Battle Armor suit.
Meanwhile, Fred VII and the Baroness are plotting, and also watching all these events through a hidden camera Fred VII installed in one of Serpentor’s B.A.T.S. This is providing them “insider information” and giving them a slight edge over Serpentor and Mindbender’s plans.
The Star Viper is a Cobra Strato-Viper who underwent significant electronic experimentation by Dr. Mindbender. His reflexes are highly advanced, and we find him and a lone B.A.T. They are cruising down the highway in disguises. He is wearing ripped jeans an an AC-DC black T-shirt. He puts a mask on the B.A.T. so that it might blend in better.
The B.A.T. is supposed to drive a semi truck back and forth along the highway and pass by the rendezvous point at midnight.
Back on Cobra Island…
Croc-Master is in charge of perimeter security and roams the swampy outskirts of Cobra Island. He has crocodiles that he uses to help him patrol for intruders. He finds the remains of a small campfire, but seems content that whoever is living off of small animals and eluding him must not be a threat.
A mysterious man lifts a hiding patch directly under the campfire. It appears to be Captain Minh: the Vietnamese immigrant fisherman who had a charter business in Houston. Fred VII contracted him to transport him to Cobra Island and then took off, leaving him to die on his exploding/sinking boat.
It looks like he survived and made it to shore…
Back in Utah, some new Joe’s are driving on their way to the secret Joe base (The PIT). They notice a hitch-hiker (who is the Star Viper). Skidmark, the driver of the Desert Fox 6-WD mentions that you should never pick up hitch-hikers.
Windmill, another new Joe, mentions the hitch-hiker vanished.
Both of these characters are portrayed much more stylishly by artist Ron Wagner than the actual action figures.
They also complained about how fast Wildcard, the driver of the Mean Dog was driving ahead of them.
Dusty provides commentary for us as readers, letting us know the new Joe’s and vehicles are exciting.
Gung Ho does not agree. Perhaps he is thinking back to when he was a new Joe. Or he is bummed that Wildcard broke his favorite pen when signing in.
Spirit gives them the secret door welcome and they head downstairs.
This page is so full of action for a transition page. What is the most humorous part of the page to you as a reader?
Wildcard breaks the handrail…
Wildcard breaks a compressed air-hose/power cord…
Flint supervises Lady Jaye’s maintenance efforts…
But outside, we see the hitch-hiker didn’t disappear at all. He leaped onto the Desert Fox and held on to the undercarriage. He rode right into the PIT with them!!
Perhaps that is another reason why they use mirrors on poles to check under vehicles these days. Check for bombs AND super stealthy Cobra agents!
And even if you live in a super secret military base in a desert in Utah, probably still a good idea to lock the doors.
And speaking of deserts, isn’t it great that Iceberg, an arctic trooper, is providing the rest of the tour after getting the hand-off from Spirit? Maybe he didn’t need to be fully kitted out for a mission to a polar setting. But I suppose, that does help identify him and move some action figures.
Iceberg introduces them to the computer expert, Mainframe.
He is installing a satellite decoder/receiver black box. He goes on to say how valuable it is, and how bad guys would really love to get their hands on it. (Nice foreshadowing, huh…)
Because the Star Viper is lurking in the rafters, listening to the whole conversation with an evil grin.
Spirit mentions that something smells wrong, and they make a cheap joke at Wildcard’s expense. But Spirit knows something is up.
The Star Viper waits patiently for nightfall and then emerges from the shadows to do evil work,
He swipes the special decoder/receiver box and plants bombs by the hydraulic lift exit doors.
He thinks all the Joe’s are asleep since he sneaks past some of the bunks. But when he climbs up a level, he finds a few Joe’s who are *ahem* “otherwise preoccupied” in “close quarters self-defense training.” *Awkward*
Lady Jaye and Flint are repelled like mosquitoes, and the Star Viper exits quickly.
Embarrassed, Flint sounds the alarm.
As the Joe’s try to get vehicles out to the hydraulic elevator lift, the Star Viper’s “surprises” blow up, locking the heavy blast doors in place.
Fortunately, the Joe’s had he new vehicles still out front. Wildcard, Flint and Lady Jaye hop in the Mean Dog. Tunnel Rat joins Skidmark and Windmill in the Desert Fox and they are of in pursuit.
*Note: Hey kids, when you buy a new vehicle, you can have your existing figures ride along as well.*
The Star Viper had head start in an AWE Striker, but the Joe’s are closing in!
The Star Viper didn’t use energy drinks to stay ahead, he gave himself a jolt of electricity to the enhanced synapses in his brain. Shocking! And that makes the AC-DC shirt an electrical joke, as well…
He then puts something on the pedal, and leaps over to the semi truck. The B.A.T. is back, and right on schedule!
I suppose the rules of engagement for the Joe’s on a State highway are different then the usual rules when pursuing a thief/saboteur/intruder.
The Joe’s launch rockets at the semi.
But the semi opens up to reveal a rocket plane. The Star Viper launches and takes off, getting away. The B.A.T. and the semi were not so fortunate.
Now we know why the issue was named “STILLETTO.”
The Cobra Stellar Stilletto was available as a rocket/plane vehicle. It came with the Star Viper as the pilot. The Mean Dog comes with Wildcard. Desert Fox comes with driver. Other figures and vehicles sold separately. By Hasbro.
Issue 72 introduced some new Joe’s and a frightening Cobra threat. We saw Joe HQ: (The PIT) get infiltrated. And a new Cobra agent got away with a very expensive piece of technology. The loss of that US asset. along with growing mistrust between Serpentor and “Acting” Cobra Commander Fred VII will lead us to the upcoming story arc…the Cobra Civil War!!
Hope you enjoyed this review!
Tune in soon for Issue 73.
Inside the front cover was an advertisement for Steel Brigade. Interested fans could enter data, choose some options, and send away for a figure representing themselves as a G.I. Joe action figure.
Now You Know – a little more about:”STILLETO” Feel free to let me know what you thought of this issue in the comments or on Twitter or Instagram @yorktownjoe.