The previous issue began a story arc in the dreadful country of Borovia. Cobra has issues of their own, with the avian attired accountant Raptor and the greedy Fred VII shooting Cobra Commander in the back. It is troubling that the Joes are ordered not to undergo a dark op to rescue their own. This storyline crosses over with Special Missions Issue 6. Feel free to check out the review of Issue 61 in case you missed it. (You can catch up on other “Now You Know With YorktownJoe” reviews there as well!)
The cover of this issue shows Stalker, Snow-Job and Quick-Kick being taken from a train towards a prison camp. It evokes disturbing images of dissident camps in Siberia, or worse camps in WWII run by terrible folks.
On to the issue
This issue begins with Stalker, Snow-Job and Quick-Kick on trial for various crimes in a kangaroo court where they have already been deemed guilty. It is interesting that their clothes are a bit different than those they were captured in the previous issue. But we know who they are.
As they are taken out and loaded on a truck, a mob yells and throws tomatoes at them. Some of the mob are encouraged to “Protest more vigorously” at gunpoint. The message is that the Borovian government is influencing public opinion with an iron fist.
A reporter fills in the accusations against them. But really, this is a brilliant literary technique by Larry Hama to bring readers up to speed in case they missed the previous issue. Kudos to him for weaving that seamlessly into the story.
Back at the Pit, the Joe’s are watching the news coverage on a small television with an extended “rabbit ears” antenna. They are interrupted by an incoming Tomahawk helicopter. With an extra passenger.
Leatherneck and other Joe’s don’t exactly roll out the welcome wagon for Outback. He was the only Joe to return from the ill-fated rescue mission to Borovia. Leatherneck gets in his face, and Outback pulls a knife on him. We get really close to some Joe on Joe violence.
The story of how Outback escaped and made it back to the U.S. is covered in Special Missions Issue 6. Check that comic out if you are interested. For this review, he made it back safely.
Grunt, who has left the Joe team, calls in and offers his services for the rescue operation. Roadblock lets him know there is no official mission planned and has to cut the call short to break up Leatherneck and Outback.
Grunt is left frustrated and he reflects on a signed photo of some of the original Joe’s.
Back in Borovia…
The captured three are in transit on a train. Prisoners frequently rode on trains during transit in WWII Germany. The destinations were death camps. This is a dark sense of foreboding for the captured Joe’s.
Other prisoners are arguing who should get the clothes of the wounded or dying. Stalker fights off the most vocal of the rabble rousers. The rest of them immediately turn on the former spokesman. They are desperate, hungry and not thinking clearly.
Over in Denver…
Cobra Commander’s son Billy is dressed in white martial arts training clothes. He is sparring with Jinx and gets the best of her towards the end through verbal manipulation. But a throwing star hits the staff he is wielding.
The Blind Master runs the dojo and he is sharing information about the Arashikage ninja clan that produced Snake-Eyes, Storm Shadow, and Jinx. He shows a picture of Professor Onihashi, the mystic sword-smith of the Arashikage clan. The Hard Master and Soft Master were also pictured. Professor Onihashi’s assistant was also in the picture. assistant’s face was blurred in the picture.
A good question which is not asked or answered here is “Who took this photograph?” Perhaps one of the many red ninja apprentices?
Literally across the street from the Blind Master’s dojo, is Fred VII’s garage and robotics lab…
Fred VII and Raptor return from the informal burial of Cobra Commander, who Fred VII shot in the back in Issue 61. Fred threatens Raptor, and reminds him he is an accessory after the fact and better keep quiet.
He thought the warehouse next door was abandoned, but it was being used by the Blind Master.
He sees Billy and Jinx leave in a sports car, and the chase is on!
Back in Borovia…
At a train stop, the prisoners are fed stale bread and a pail of water to share.
Stalker tries to maintain order and appeals to their humanity and dignity. But starving, desperate men will resort to almost anything.
When that doesn’t work, he fights them, then appoints the smallest one to divide the food equally among all the men, even the wounded. He takes care of an injured man who had been leading the men against the 3 of them.
Back on the highway…
Jinx pushes the car to the limit and temporarily eludes Raptor and his BMW.
But he releases his trained birds to track them for him.
Back at the PIT, Roadblock and Leatherneck argue about whether Outback should have obeyed Stalker’s orders to evade and escape, or disobeyed them like Snake-Eyes did in Sierra Gordo. The difference is Stalker was badly wounded when Snake-Eyes took over. He was still in decent shape when he gave the order to Outback.
Back in Borovia…
The death camp does not look good at all. It definitely is working the WWII vibe.
We get to see the size and foreboding scope of the death camp on this splash page. It covers nearly a full page.
Meanwhile Raptor tracked Billy and Jinx all the way to San Francisco. They are headed into a meeting at the Presidio, a military base in the Bay area.
On the Postbox: The Pit page, there is a teaser for the next issue.
Issue 62 continues the story arc of the ill-fated mission in Borovia, and we gain some insight into the ninja clan background. But there are still questions left unanswered.
Hope you enjoyed this review!
Tune in soon for Issue 63. Will the wounded and captured Joes be left behind? Will Raptor be able to track down Jinx and Billy? Where did the Blind Master wander off to?
Now You Know – a little more about:”TRANSIT” 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!