At the end of Issue 28, the G.I.Joe Hovercraft, the WHALE, was shot up pretty significantly. Destro and Deep Six was badly wounded while successfully shooting down Destro’s Rattler. Firefly had been left behind by Cobra Commander and Wild Weasel. Firefly blew up Zartan’s cabin out of spite. Two local police officers just avoided being inside before he did.
On to the issue
The issue begins with Cutter limping the WHALE into harbor to make repairs. The locals are making fun of the Joes and giving them a hard time about their boat being shot up. Three even climb on a piece of armor plate Roadblock is taking to end of the dock to repair and weld.
Roadblock is a beast.
Meanwhile, in the swamp, Destro and Firefly are commiserating and plotting how to get out of where they are so they can get back to Cobra HQ and begin the path to revenge.
Wild Weasel flies Cobra Commander back in to Springfield, the city location of Cobra HQ at the time. Wild Weasel explains he doesn’t think they know about the defeat in the Everglades, but Cobra Commander shushes him so he can enjoy the spotlight and the adoring crowd.
But we see one young teen who is not happy to see Cobra Commander. This looks to be Billy, the boy who helped the Joes escape back in Issue 10.
Deep Six is taken for further medical care, and his heroism in shooting down a Rattler while getting strafed is recounted. They refer to Doc, but it might be generically. The guy holding the bag of fluids is a random guy in a lab coat that we never seem to see again.
Back in the swamp, Destro and Firefly have captured a poacher in a fan boat.
They threaten to dump him back in the swamp with the gators, but then he gives them the location they ask for.
Meanwhile, Cobra Commander is giving a passionate speech about the glory of Cobra.
Author Larry Hama writes quite a speech for Cobra Commander. He explains how Cobra is secretly lurking, hidden in plain sight throughout America.
Then he introduces a new style of Cobra: the elite Crimson Guard.
This is an early prototype of what would become the Crimson Guard. This appears to be a guy in a red pin-stripe suit who then wears a red Cobra uniform over his clothes. He starts out with the whole trappings, but unveils to the pin-stripe suit, and they show him later with a briefcase full of weapons, kind of like the case that came with Destro’s first action figure.
They show him get in a regular vehicle with a wife and a few kids, explaining these new troopers will undermine society from within, and will be ready to strike when needed.
Cutter has been working non-stop to get the WHALE functioning again. They have used bicycle tube repair kits to plug bullet holes in the inflatable skirt, and they have fixed much of the damage that had been done during the fire-fight. But Destro and Firefly are coasting in from behind.
The poacher is all tied up, but they dump him overboard. Destro gets into a scuffle with Cutter. It goes like this. Cutter hits Destro and sprains his hand. Destro hits Cutter and knocks him out.
Then Firefly and Destro start shooting at other Joes with the WHALE’s weapons, similar to the cover art.
Cutter is out cold, and Destro chucks his limp body over to the dock. Destro and Firefly shoot at the Joes, but then take off with the WHALE and head away.
A little light-hearted levity ensues.
Our Smokey and his deputy are finally making it out of the swamp and are dumped aside as Destro speeds past in the WHALE.
There is a little more chasing, but then a most unlikely thing happens. Cutter engages hydrofoils on the Jane (the G.I.Joe freighter). Don’t ask. Just enjoy the chaos!!
They both jet past the deputy and chief again. Larry Hama was having a good ol’ time.
The Jane (freighter/hydrofoil) and the Dragonfly helicopter are both in pursuit. The Dragonfly strafes the WHALE, and the guns get jammed on the Hovercraft.
Duke and Wild Bill signal Destro to give up.
He responds “NEVER!” He also lights up the Dragonfly’s engines with wrist rockets.
The Dragonfly is going to go down. Wild Bill picks on Duke for doubting his ability to keep them in the air.
Wild Bill lets Duke full-on panic. But then he lands it like it was routine.
Destro and Firefly mess with the depth charges at the back of the WHALE. Depth charges usually are designed to sink in water and then blow up at a certain point as part of ASW (anti-submarine warfare).
This also deters frogmen, as their ear drums would rupture from the sonic shockwaves under the water.
But in this case the charges go wide and Cutter steers between them. He open the front doors on the hull of the Jane, and they “swallow” the WHALE.
The Joes realize Destro and Firefly are not up on the deck. So Trip-Wire and the other Joes on the Jane open up the WHALE’s compartment to see if they are hiding below deck.
But the explosive contents from the depth charges were coupled with some of Firefly’s timing detonator devices. It was a trap!
Trip-Wire starts running with the explosive and realizes they are down to just seconds left. He doesn’t think he can get it off the Jane in time, so he dives on it.
Road-Block grabs it away from him and throws it like a ball through an air duct.
The explosive flies out and explodes harmlessly just off to the side of the ship.
The Joes realize the depth charges that didn’t sink were hollow, except for the Cobras inside. And they floated right on past with the Joes focused on the WHALE.
Road-Block mentions Trip-Wire was brave to try to save them, but that the government had spent a lot of money training him to be part of a team, and medals aren’t shinier if you win them after you die.
The issue closes with Cutter looking at a harbor full of fishing boats and letting Duke know they lost them. Destro and Firefly are hiding nearby and planning their next moves to get back to Springfield, so they can have revenge.
And the story is continued for the next issue.
Issue 29 continued the story in the swamps and helps the transition on the next story arc. We learn that Destro’s polished Beryllium Steel mask is really hard. It withstood a bullet last issue and nearly broke Cutter’s hand this issue. We also learned Road-Block can lift ANYTHING! There were some more light moments with locals giving the Joes a hard time, as well as Smokey and his deputy. Overall this was yet another action-packed issue.
I hope you will check back soon for Issue 30.
Now You Know – a little more about ”BEACHED WHALE.” Feel free to let me know what you thought of this issue in the comments AFTER THE JUMP.