In Issue 37, the story introduced new Joes and Cobras, including the iconic Crimson Twins Tomax and Xamot. Flint and Footloose joined the Joes, along with the Armadillo mini-tank. Cobra has a new small vehicle of their own, the Ferret ATV. Feel free to check out the review of Issue 37 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 has multiple intertwined stories of intrigue, including an interesting look back into Cobra Commander’s personal life and some glimpses into the founding of Cobra. Two separate Joe missions are also underway. And there are some errors. Some fairly glaring errors. The days of the Marvel No-Prize for pointing out why an error isn’t really error are long past. So we’ll just say the editing team is only human. That said, it is still an interesting read, and I encourage you to addit to your collection if you haven’t done so already.
Back in Issue 33, a teen boy named Billy was recruited to assassinate Cobra Commander by Major Bludd and the Baroness. The attempt was foiled by Destro and Storm Shadow. These two villains grace the cover of this interesting issue. We haven’t really seen anything come of that since issue 33, but Cobra has been busy.
The issue begins with a tribunal/inquiry. Cobra Commander makes sure everyone knows Billy is guilty. He just wants to get to the bottom of the plot, and root out the co-conspirators.
Many Cobra characters are seated at a large tiered bench. Firefly looks REALLY excited to be there.
That is to say, he is remarkably bored. There is also a clue of something I mentioned in that closer look.
There is a lot of bickering on what should be done to get to the bottom of it. Billy blurts out something that could be turned into a poster for not acting as your own defense counsel. That is of course if Cobra allowed for defense lawyers and due process.
He really should have gone with “the pretty lady in the leather clothes took advantage of my hormonal teen mind and I would do whatever she asked me to” defense. “How should I know it was my Dad, dude is wearing a mask?!”
Okay, maybe that wouldn’t work.
Meanwhile, Hawk is looking pretty good in his green uniform pants and a black mission ready sweater. Looks like he might have picked up some of Snake-Eyes laundry prior to today’s mission. At any rate, I have seen some very good looking custom action figures based on this look for Hawk.
Hawk appears to be teaching a history lesson of Sierra Gordo, along with all the evil economic and political ideologies that are in play as their government is in flux.
Some well meaning people have gone down to teach them superior ideas and have been shot with some being taken hostage. The Joes once again have to rescue Adele Burkhart. The scientist they rescued in Issue #1. Couldn’t she have minded her own business and not gone to a hotspot and expected her theoretical ideals to protect her from danger?
Back at the tribunal, there is a discussion between hooking Billy up to the Brainwave Scanner (a terrible invention of the late Dr. Venom for peering into the minds of captives. Sometimes modifying their thoughts and memories, but always seeing things that the captive would prefer to keep secret. Zartan offers to tortues info out of him.
Baroness and Major Bludd are concerned that the Brainwave scanner could implicate their involvement. This picture contains the second clue that something is wrong.
Destro presses the Commander, and he only pauses for a moment before sending his son away to be tortured mentally.
Stalker and Ripcord discuss why they are rescuing someone opposed to the military, and Stalker eloquently lets Ripcord know that they protect the rights of every American to express themselves as long as they don’t hurt others.
The Brainwave Scanner shows Billy rifling through a file cabinet to gather intelligence on Cobra. The screen is blurred, just before Major Bludd and Baroness are revealed in his memory. This is third panel showing that something is incorrect. Here’s a hint: Something is wrong in this panel. Something is not quite right…or is it left?
It is revealed that subjects can suppress the Brainwave scanner’s functionality by dredging up painful childhood memories. In this case, Billy brings us to an exchange with his father, Cobra Commander. He is plotting to overthrow the government, because he does not like the system or the laws in place.
The Baroness and Major Bludd make some accusations and Storm Shadow reveal his quick witted mind. Storm Shadow is as quick with his tongue as he is with his sword.
Oh, and another mistake…tsk, tsk.
Back in Sierra Gordo, Roadblock, Ripcord, Stalker, and Gung Ho are quietly moving through the jungle. Well, almost quietly.
A stranger approaches and chides them for being so loud.
Lucky for our heroes, he turns out to be a good guy.
Billy passed out and was hauled back to a holding cell, since Cobra Commander was worried too much of his past might be revealed on screen for all to see.
Storm Shadow has decided to rescue him.
Back on Staten Island, not far from Joe HQ, a small team of Joes is preparing to violate some type of due process for a suspected member of Cobra in a suburban neighborhood. I’m pretty sure the FBI would have jurisdiction, but hey, what do I know. Duke, Lady Jaye, Cover Girl, Blowtorch, Snake-Eyes, Mutt & Junkyard sneak out a side entrance of Fort Wadsworth as they are concerned about possible surveillance. And there does appear to be someone watching the front gate.
Duke and Lady Jaye look like they borrowed protective vests or ballistic armor from Flash and Grand Slam.
And its a good thing they did, since they decided knocking in the middle of the night was a good course of action.
They are promptly shot right though the door.
Evidently Cobra is really HIGH on the right to protect your home.
On the backside Snake-Eyes, Mutt & Junkyard are getting ready to sneak in. They were trying to be witty as Mutt shushes Junkyard, and then proceeds to apologize to Snake-Eyes that he wasn’t shushing him. Being mute and all, that is probably a touchy subject.
But then he calls Junkyard “Mutt.” This is the last true mistake I noticed, albeit minor.
Back in Sierra Gordo, Recondo and his Tucaro friends laugh at the Joes, but everyone recovers and gets ready to prepare for the rescue. Not sure how Hawk made it through his geo-political theory history lesson but neglected to mention the little tidbit that they already had a team member embedded with locals who would meet them and set up the assault and resuce mission? I’m sure that was a need to know. If Stalker had shot them from 600 yards away, that would not have been a problem for Hawk, right?
Destro notices Storm Shadow trying to rescue Billy and the cover actually comes into play inside the book.
There is banter about being faster than a bullet.
Storm Shadow grabs Billy, runs fast and deflects Destro’s gun hand so he inadvertently shoots out the only light in the room.
Back at the suburban home, a grenade is thrown at Snake-Eyes and Mutt. Junkyard drop it in the stainless steel sink and saves them.
Recondo reveals his plan to scale down a sheer cliff face to get to the hidden base where Dr. Burkhart is being held hostage.
Storm Shadow tells Billy to leave, but Billy wants Storm Shadow to come with him. Realizing he has no future with Cobra after breaking Billy out, he agrees.
Back on Staten Island, we see the Crimson Twins (Tomax/Xamot) again along with a Crimson Guardsman all riding on a Ferret ATV and shooting as they crash through the CG’s home.
They burst out of the home and blow up the truck Flint is in as they make their escape. Flint dives to safety at the last moment.
And worse: they get away!
The Joes pick up their wounded and Candy/Bongo the Balloon Bear pulls up. She points to the ruined smoldering home and claims she lives there with her father.
I think “Lucy might have some ‘splaining to do.” Why does Ripcord’s short lived girlfriend live in a house with a Crimson Guard??
This issue gave us some background info about Cobra Commander, as well as more character development for Billy. And we met a new Joe jungle trooper, code name: Recondo. Technically, he was a background character in the Celebration issue. But here we see him in the jungle.
And the Crimson Guard seem to be everywhere the Joes look. Next issue we will see if the Joes in Sierra Gordo can recover and rescue Dr. Burkhart.
Okay, if you missed it, Major Bludd’s action figure has an eye-patch over his left eye. But this issue has him drawn with both eyes in at least four panels. It’s a miracle!!
Tune in soon for Issue 39.
Now You Know – a little more about: ”JUDGMENTS” Feel free to let me know what you thought of this issue in the comments.
And enjoy a bonus look at the back cover for a retro candy advertisement for a contest AND a valuable 17 cent coupon! Times were different in the 80’s. But boy howdy, an Apple IIe with a 12 inch monitor and a modem? Rock on!!