Issue 44 was filled with lots of action and explosions and wrapped up without a cliffhanger to keep readers on edge until the next issue. It introduced new Joes: Crankcase, Heavy Metal, Bazooka, and Airtight. Feel free to check out the review of Issue 44 in case you missed it. (You can catch up on other “Now You Know With YorktownJoe” reviews there as well.)
On to the issue
This issue begins with Ace and Ripcord flying a recon mission high above Cobra Island in a Skystriker.
Ace tries to make friendly banter and small talk, but Ripcord is in a foul mood.
Ripcord is bent since his girlfriend Candy is missing and may or may not be affiliated with Cobra. Unfortunately, if you have been keeping up with the previous issues, it is much worse than that.
Hawk is still visiting with General Austin who is recovering in the hospital from a heart attack. General Austin wishes they had better intel than long range flyover photographs.
Meanwhile, in the lunchroom…
Stalker introduces two new Joes: Alpine and Quick-Kick. Snake-Eyes and Spirit are as cordial as you would expect from Native tracker and a mute ninja commando. We also are introduced to a word of the day from author Larry Hama: loquacious.
Snake-Eyes overhears some Chaplain’s Assistants talking about a mysterious message they received. He grabs the message out of their hand and gets as upset as we have ever seen Snake-Eyes get so far. It is a fax message revealing the killer of the Hard Master. This is Storm Shadow’s uncle and Arashikage master who was murdered right in front of Snake-Eyes. (See Issues 26-27)
Back over Cobra Island…
Ripcord asks Ace to check on the cabin pressure to distract him, then he promptly ejects. He wants to get to Cobra Island to see what he can find out about Candy.
Back at the hospital…
Hawk informs General Austin that Ripcord has gone rogue. Austin asks how he expects a rogue Joe to do a detailed recon? Hawk replies that it is their duty to go recover the rogue Joe, and possibly take some tourist pictures on Cobra Island while they are there.
Austin admires Hawk’s cunning and tells him he is almost as nasty as he is.
Using an emotionally compromised Joe to cause an incident with the ulterior motive of a dark ops recon is why some people refer to Hawk by a variety of derogatory names.
In New York, Storm Shadow is meditating in his hidden water tower dojo, when…
Snake-Eyes bursts in and clashes swords with him.
He shares the message of the Hard Master’s killer. The message was sent from the Soft Master when he was at the Springfield Police Headquarters computer terminal. It is signed with the Arashikage symbol, so they know it is from him.
Back on Cobra Island…
Ripcord has landed and concealed his parachute. He looks fiercely determined to find out something about Candy.
Cobra Commander and Zartan disagree about checking out what their radar picked up. Zartan decides to take matters into his own hands.
In New York…
Storm Shadow continues rambling to Snake-Eyes about the Hard Master’s killer. He has been hunting clues for years, and now they have the identity confirmed.
Back on Cobra Island…
Ripcord is using enhanced interrogation methods on a poor Cobra sentry who was just walking guard duty. He REALLY wants to find out about Candy.
Zartan eavesdrops on their conversation and draws his bow…Could this be the end for poor Ripcord??
Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow used CLAW jet powered gliders to get to another hidden hangar where a Rattler is hidden. Their next stop is Cobra Island…and revenge!
Wild Bill has a special cargo plane to transport Flint, Spirit, Alpine, and Quick-Kick to go recover the wayward Ripcord. Wild Bill comments it doesn’t seem right running a night ops mission without Snake-Eyes.
Zartan’s arrow passes through the Cobra trooper before he can tell Ripcord any valuable information. It then passes through Ripcord’s left arm, just above his elbow. He says “Ouch.” The rest of us would pass out in pain and be found later. He decided to get some cover and continue.
Zartan notches another arrow and prepares for a kill shot.
Ripcord get his night time scope attached to his rifle to even the odds.
Back at the hospital, General Austin promotes Hawk from Colonel to Brigadier General (one star). He receives a pair of shiny gold stars, one for each shoulder board. And he is given full command of the G.I.Joe team.
Storm Shadow flies Snake-Eyes from New York to Cobra Island, as they plot revenge against the murderer of their uncle and mentor. The bitterness is strong with Storm Shadow. He is thirsty for blood.
Although it is hinted at throughout the issue, the final reveal is Zartan. He is the one guilty of the Hard Master’s murder.
On Cobra Island, the very same Zartan is in a duel with Ripcord. They exchange verbal jabs at one another while one is hit with an arrow and the other clipped with a bullet.
Zartan tries to lie to Ripcord, but Ripcord shoots his bow and wounds Zartan further.
Just when Ripcord has Zartan sighted in for the kill, Zartan uses his holographic techno wizardry to disappear and blend into his surroundings.
Ripcord rapidly fires to see if he can hit him anyway.
Zartan trudges over while cloaked with invisibility. But when he arrives to Ripcord’s gear, he isn’t there. Ripcord reaches from the muddy sludge and pulls Zartan to the ground while proclaiming that two can play the camouflage game.
On the final page we see Ripcord standing victorious over a vanquished Zartan. He claims he can now disguise himself and infiltrate the other fellow’s headquarters unaware.
But that doesn’t sound like Ripcord. That sounds like Zartan.
Issue 45 was filled with lots of action and the reunion of Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow on a long road to revenge. We also see how Hawk cares about winning without regard to the safety of his men. That is a bit disturbing. Although Hawk would tell you, he trusts all his men to get the job done and come back safe every time. At any rate, that win at all costs attitude earned him a promotion, and now he has full command of the Joe team, rather than General Austin.
We will have to wait for next issue to see what happens with Ripcord and Zartan, the Joe rescue/recovery/recon team, and our favorite ninja sword brothers.
Hope you enjoyed this review!
Tune in soon for Issue 46.
Now You Know – a little more about: ”IN SEARCH OF CANDY” Feel free to let me know what you thought of this issue AFTER THE JUMP!