Issue 57 had a lot of action, but even more intrigue. Why was Major Bludd masquerading as Destro? What will the Joes do with the intel they gained? Time will tell! Feel free to check out the review of Issue 57 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 cover of this Issue gives a hint that Cobra Commander gets a new set of Battle Armor. And he does!
But the issue begins with another story and goes back and forth between the two. Author Larry Hama often employs the literary technique of providing separate but parallel story threads that he weaves together into an ongoing plot.
Dusty and Mainframe are helping some group in the Middle East ambush a convoy. Some of them are making comments about death to Sharif. There was a Colonel Sharif back in the bonus story of issue 1 “Hot Potato.” Perhaps the same guy, or a relative.
Mainframe is upset that the men brought a kid along with them, but Dusty mentions there were drummer boys younger than him at Gettysburg. Young Rashid is very excited about victory in his first battle.
For helping them, the counter revolutionaries had agreed to provide Dusty and Mainframe transportation and guide to the location they were looking for. They ended up getting an old BMW motorcycle and young Rashid.
Although Mainframe offers Rashid a spot in the sidecar, he says he wants to ride with a real soldier like Dusty. Rashid and Mainframe go back and forth throughout this issue.
Meanwhile, in Denver…
An old style ambulance pulls up to a nondescript service station. The driver doesn’t appear to be emergency personnel. It looks like Cobra Commander, still wearing the disguise he donned in Issue 55 after he and Destro escaped from the ruins of the PIT.
Why is he riding around in an old ambulance? The service station worker tells the disguised Cobra Commander that they are closed.
Cobra Commander tells him who he is and calls him by his code name Fred VII (7). Fred VII demands the secret handshake and pass-phrase. Fred VII had been doing research that caught Cobra Commander’s eye.
He believes Fred VII can help his son Billy recover when he comes out of a coma. I’m not sure that normal hospital protocol is to discharge long term coma patients for lengthy road trips. But maybe Cobra Commander just smuggled him out.
Back in the desert…Dusty senses something. Rashid mentions there are no friendly forces or enemy Sharif forces. He is concerned about bandits though…
Mainframe won’t let Rashid go with Dusty, telling him he will only get in the way. The desert is Dusty’s specialty. Rashid is frustrated because he wants to help. But after gunfire, one shadowy figure crests a hill in the dark with multiple rifles.
Not to worry. It’s Dusty. The bandits were nervous and one of them began smoking. Dusty mentions smoking is a nasty habit, and it can be downright deadly. This is a much darker PSA than the cartoons. Dusty killed the bandits who were plotting to kill them. And then he went immediately back to sleep.
Back in Denver, Fred VII shows off his secret robotics and bionics lab. He shows off a brand new Battle Armor suit. He mentions that it is fit for a Cobra Commander. I noticed he said fit for “a” Cobra Commander. Not “the” Cobra Commander.
I could be parsing words, but this could also be something the Action Force series purports: Cobra Commander is a title, and there may have been multiple people to hold the position.
Or it could be a grim piece of literary foreshadowing.
Or maybe just showing that the Battle Armor Cobra Commander action figure by Hasbro would soon be on retail shelves.
Back in the desert…
Dusty, Mainframe and Rashid breach the perimeter and find a hollow oil refinery holding tank. What could be inside??
Back in Denver…
Cobra Commander gets into the new armor battle suit and realizes it moves naturally, and enhances the strength and movement of the wearer.
There is a full Terror Drome inside the refinery holding tank! It is a fake facade to disguise the battle station.
Back in Denver, Fred VII and Cobra Commander hear noises up in the service station above the lab. They rush up to find Billy awake in the ambulance. Remember parents, don’t leave your kids in a car unattended. I guess he left the door open, so maybe that was okay…or not.
Billy has amnesia, and Cobra Commander tells him he is his father. This isn’t a Darth Vader moment. But it would be disconcerting to wake out of a coma to see a mechanically armored soldier with a robotic helmet telling you he’s your father.
And Cobra Commander made the cross country journey with the hope that Fred VII could help with an advanced prosthetic leg so Billy would be able to walk again.
Mainframe is trying to upload information from the Terror Drome’s computer back to G.I.Joe HQ for analysis. The Joes have previously recovered Drome parts, and recently received plans and data from Destro in the previous issue. They want to get to the bottom of what Cobra is doing with distributing the Terror Dromes.
But Sharif’s guards have spotted the breach and are performing a search. They are right outside!
There were a few pages with Mainframe explaining how telephone modems worked. This must have been cutting edge technology in the 80’s. Of course, the Joes are using a phone and a tape player to make a signal call. Meanwhile Cobra has video phones integrated into their vehicles so Cobra Commander can chat with Destro face to face.
Life’s not fair, so don’t compare. Mainframe makes the connection and tells Rashid to use his mind, as there are many ways to win a battle.
But Dusty gets clocked by Sharif’s guards. Oh no!
Mainframe slaps the gun out of Rashid’s hands and puts on an Academy Award performance for best actor portraying a coward.
Sharif’s men didn’t read Mainframe’s filecard. Served with distinction in the Army, became educated on the GI Bill, got bored in civilian life, and was too old to rejoin the Army. Signed with the Marines and went through training again with them before joining the Joes. Possibly the toughest person they would ever meet.
When the sentry tries to kick Mainframe in the head, it turns out very poorly for him. Mainframe dispatches both guards with his bare hands.
Okay, with his gloved hands.
They tried to make a break for it, but realized all of Sharif’s forces at the base/refinery are now converging. He runs back inside for Plan B.
He programs the Terror Drome to launch the Firebat on auto-pilot for a perimeter strafing run. They are safe inside the Terror Drome refinery tanks. Sharif’s forces outside along the perimeter are strafed into oblivion.
Mainframe, the MVP.
Mainframe leads a breakout providing cover fire while Rashid and Dusty follow behind. They make it to their bike to escape.
Dusty and Rashid talk as they drive off into the sunset across the desert. Rashid feels bad that he disrespected Mainframe, who turned out to be the MVP. Dusty explains that a real soldier only wins be surviving.
And just like hat, the issue ends. It actually doesn’t have an “end” or a teaser for the next issue. It doesn’t even have a Postbox: The PIT page.
Issue 58 had a lot of action with Mainframe and Dusty and Rashid, and some interesting developments with Fred VII, Cobra Commander, and Billy. But we aren’t really sure what is ahead at this point, as the issue had a good ending, but no hint of what was to come.
Hope you enjoyed this review!
Tune in soon for Issue 59.
Now You Know – a little more about: ”DESPERATE MOVES” Feel free to let me know what you thought of this issue in the comments or on Twitter or Instagram @yorktownjoe, Or join in the conversation AFTER THE JUMP!