NOW YOU KNOW WITH YORKTOWNJOE – G.I.JOE MARVEL ISSUE #68 REVIEWED!

Background

Issue 67 saw the return of the Joe’s, forgiveness, reconciliation, workplace violence, workplace hugging, jokes, and deep philosophical discussions. Feel free to check out the review of Issue 67 in case you missed it. (You can catch up on other “Now You Know With YorktownJoe” reviews there as well!)

On to the issue

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The issue begins with a C-130 taking heavy fire over the Frusenland International Airport. The Baroness is leading the attack from the turret of a H.I.S.S. tank. She is wearing a stylish white winter parka over her traditional black outfit.

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The Joe’s are fast unloading a new vehicle, the Persuader. It is a tank hybrid ten-wheeled armored cavalry piece with a giant laser cannon. The driver is introduced as well, Code-Name: Back-Stop. They shoot out of the back of the C-130 and makes quite the dramatic entrance.

Cobra does not want them to land and provide assistance to Frusenland.

They want to keep using the paranoia inducing radio frequency waves being transmitted through the Terror Dromes.

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Wild Bill tries to make some quick moves. He dropped to the tarmac long enough for the Persuader and other vehicles to disembark, but he never slowed down. He raised the tailgate and is about to take back off just before he ran out of runway.

But instead, he pulls a full 180 degrees and heads back TOWARDS the Cobra forces!

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He is right behind the Persuader and the Snow Cat and AWE Striker that also dropped out the back. And they are bringing the fight to Cobra. It looks like it will be a bloody mess.

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All kinds of action ensues! Lady Jaye is riding in the turret of the Persuader, almost as a counter to Baroness in her H.I.S.S. The sound effect of the laser cannon is tremendous. There is a domino pile-up almost as bad as when trying to pose a number of action figures without figure stands.

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Hawk tries to radio orders, but there is quite a bit of chaos going on all around.

Back in the Capital of Frusenland…

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Prime Minister Volff is being pushed around by Dr. Mindbender when they receive a report that Baroness and her forces engaged in a firefight with the Joe’s. Volff wigs out. Dr. Mindbender and his Techno-Vipers are wearing hearing protection from the radio frequency waves. Volff is not so lucky.

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Fred VII is still masquerading as Cobra Commander with Battle Armor. He makes a mistake complimenting a Techno-Viper on the paranoia weapon. The Techno-Viper reminds him that he acquired the basic technology of the weapon from the Eskimo mercenary. Longtime readers know this was Kwinn, back in Issue 2. But the Techno-Viper gets interrupted while trying to get “the Commander” to say Kwinn’s name. Fred VII’s lucky streak continues.

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We get another glimpse of the BattleForce 2000. They are bickering since Blocker thinks Blaster can’t hear him. Blaster is listening to his Walkman and wondering why all the Cobras are wearing headphones. Blocker is cranky and yells as Blaster some more, who is the only one acting calmly. (Blocker is the one in gray camo who drives the Eliminator 4WD vehicle. Blaster is in green and drives another vehicle, but today he is riding”Shotgun” or rather “back turret twin gun machine-gunner.”

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When they get back to base an all out brawl breaks out!

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Maverick and Blaster realize their headphones and helmet are blocking out whatever is causing the bad behavior. Blaster pulls out a boombox radio and blasts it at the team members who are affected. They start to come to their senses.

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Cobra Comm–err–Fred VII admires that the Joe’s are so affected by the paranoia that they are driving out to sea.

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The Baroness is pursuing the three Joe vehicles (Persuader, AWE Striker, and Snow Cat). But they have a few more tricks up their sleeves.

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Fred VII’s Battle Armor is quite impressive. The Snow Cat takes out his Mamba gyro-copter with a heat-seeker. But even though the helo crashes and burns, he emerges from the wreckage and just responds: “I’m fine.”

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Prime Minister Volff is angry that Cobra is trying to steal his country. Dr. Mindbender ironically remarks he is being paranoid, but Volff thinks he sees the picture very clearly.

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The Baroness won’t split up when an Ice Viper spots an unusual single track heading back into town. She doesn’t want to deplete their firepower for a final showdown with the Joe’s.

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Hawk’s AWE Striker is taken out by another Mamba copter. He jumps clear and gets to the back of the Snow Cat. Lady Jaye uses the Persuader’s laser cannon to take out more Cobras.

A Cobra Wolf is trying to outflank the Snow Cat. The Ice Viper wants to slide in behind the Snow Cat where it doesn’t have any armaments. But Iceberg is there with Hawk. Iceberg fires an anti-tank rocket at point blank range… BOOM! There isn’t a parachute…

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But the Snow Cat and Persuader are grossly outmatched. The Baroness orders the Cobra Wolf squadron to fire all of their rockets.

Looks like the Alamo for the Joe’s…

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RATATATATATATATATATATATATATAT! BattleForce 2000 to the rescue! They have defeated the effects of the paranoia waves and saved the rest of the Joe’s by shooting down every last missile in an array of saving fire.

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The the BattleForce 2000 team transforms their vehicles into a fortress to help defend the Joe’s as they continue to press the attack to Cobra.

Toy/Collectible side-bar:
This was also a feature of the toy vehicles, if you were able to collect all of them. My brother and I got a few of them and made a partial fortress. It was fun, but a bit “under-whelming.” Personally, I liked the modular features of the two vehicles I picked up. I opted for the Eliminator 4WD and the Vector jet. I got Blocker, Knockdown, Maverick, and Blaster for figures. So I had the correct driver and pilot, and then the other two were rear gunners. There are various opinions on the BattleForce 2000. I liked them, but not necessarily as the sub-team was designed. Maverick and the Vector joined Slipstream and Ace in covering the sky for me. I used the Eliminator as a stand in for various things. Sometimes it was a Joe vehicle, other times Red Star commandeered it for an Oktober Guard mission. Imagination is the key. Never let disdain for a particular storyline keep you from enjoying the potential of a figure or vehicle. Oh, and Red Star commanded Mainframe, Sneak Peek and Blocker as my stand in Oktober Guardsmen back in the day. When you don’t have any available, you make due with what you have!

And now back to the comic review…

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In all the confusion, Duke (who looks like he stole Hawk’s leather coat and Freefall’s hairstyle) made it back to Prime Minister Volff and as the effects of the waves were wearing off. He sped into town on an LCV, my least favorite Joe vehicle that I personally owned. I could do a review of that vehicle, but I try to keep things positive. It could have been fine if they gave it the same front as they did in the back. Some modified low motorcycle would have been fine. At any rate, Duke fills in Prime Minister Volff on what is going on. And he works with his government and people to order Cobra out.

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As Cobra is moving in to destroy the Joe’s, Dr. Mindbender calls her off. Volff is kicking Cobra out of the country. The Baroness is incredibly frustrated.

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Issue 68 saw the culmination of the action in the fictitious country of Frusenland. It had an ending similar to the battle of Cobra Island, where the Joe’s had almost defeated Cobra, but were called off by bureaucrats at the last moment. I can’t imagine where author Larry Hama would have experienced any such poor bureaucratic oversight of military operations!? Anyone who knows Larry’s era of service will be familiar with it.

Hope you enjoyed this review!

Tune in soon for Issue 69.

Now You Know – a little more about:”CUT AND FREEZE DRIED” Feel free to let me know what you thought of this issue in the comments or on Twitter or Instagram @yorktownjoe.

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