Issue 46 featured Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow bursting through a wall, shooting up a lot of Cobra Island’s defenses. It was filled with lots of action and shoot-outs, as well as intrigue with the wounded Zartan assuming the role of the wounded Ripcord to gain access to Joe secrets. Feel free to check out the review of Issue 46 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 where Issue 46 ended, with Ripcord being moved from the raft to the WHALE for emergency transport by his fellow Joes. But if we have been paying attention the last two issues, that is really Zartan disguised as Ripcord. But he really is injured. (This happened in a duel with Ripcord in issue 45.)
Destro, the Baroness, Dr. Mindbender, and Buzzer the Dreadnok are flying over in a Cobra transport helicopter. They wonder about why a Firebat has launched from the the Terror Drome (at the end of issue 46). And why the Joes are lurking right outside of their territorial waters. They are discussing whether to sink the WHALE or not when Cutter decides to go Han Solo on them and lights them up with anti-air missiles from the WHALE. We can check in on that course of action with our legal department. We’ll get back to you on that one. And when I say get back to you, I mean that was probably illegal, but it is a gray area since Cobra is a known terrorist organization.
Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow fight their way to the airfield after they lost “Zartan” when the Firebat took off at the end of issue 46. It really had a wounded Ripcord disguised as Zartan in it. Professor Appel, the Crimson Guardsman, sent him to Springfield in the Firebat, figuring that would be safer than risking Storm Shadow and Snake-Eyes killing him and thinking they had got Zartan.
Of course, Destro and the Baroness crash and destroy every aircraft at the airfield when the helicopter bounces off of them and blows up.
So Storm Shadow tells Snake-Eyes they should head for the beach to swipe a boat from Cobra. They are hoping for something that can get them away from Cobra, since the whole island’s defenses are trying to terminate them.
The Joes on the WHALE harness “Ripcord” to the winch hook on the Dragonfly. They are trying to lift him to safety. Doc tries to explain to Hawk that something is not right, but he gets interrupted…
Doc thinks he is hallucinating.
He thought he saw Ripcord flipping back and forth into Zartan. He did. But he doubts his eyes.
Dr. Mindbender is trying to get the contents of the transport helicopter out of the wreckage of their crash. Cobra Commander is concerned Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow might swipe a Hydrofoil and escape.
Which is EXACTLY what they are trying to do.
Meanwhile, over near the WHALE…
Hawk has two crates air dropped from above and calls out Wet-Suit (G.I.Joe’s newest Navy SEAL) and Beach-Head, a brand new Army Ranger for the team. Both have prior service, but they are new transfers to the Joe team. Cutter warns Hawk about exposing himself since he is the General now.
Hawk reminds him they don’t leave their own behind. Expose them to near death injury so you can gather side intel, sure. But never leave them behind!
Dr. Mindbender plans to lead a Cobra EELS team to stop Snake-Eyes, Storm Shadow, and the Joes. Cobra had two new torpedo transport vehicles in the shipping crates they salvaged from the burning helicopter wreckage.
Destro, Cobra Commander, and Baroness mention they think Dr. Mindbender has an inflated opoinion of himself, and compare him to Major Bludd. The Baroness contends Major Bludd’s poetry is lovely, while Cobra Commander mocks his inability to properly rhyme.
Again, Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow demonstrate why the comic is a bit more graphic than the cartoon. They are leaving piles of Cobra troopers on the ground as they fight their way to steal a Hydrofoil.
Snake-Eyes takes the turret, and Storm Shadow drives (pilots? steers? operates?) the Hydrofoil. They are off and away!!
But they are far from out of danger. One Cobra boat is chasing them and the other is chasing the Joes.
Hawk and Beach-Head were in one Devil Fish attack speed boat. Wet-Suit was in the other. The ninjas in the Hydrofoil are hit by one torpedo and are out of control. Beach-Head and Hawk have to dive from their Devil Fish right before it is obliterated by another torpedo.
Hawk really needed to re-think his wardrobe choices. A brand new leather jacket on a water mission. And now he is submerged. He’s lucky he didn’t sink straight to the bottom!!
Suddenly, two more EELS begin shooting at Storm Shadow from the back of the Hydrofoil. Storm Shadow tells them it’s time to die and engages them.
But that means no one is steering the boat anymore!!
Sure enough, leaving a damaged Hydrofoil with no one steering is not the best escape plan. But you get a pass on multi-tasking when someone is shooting at you. Storm Shadow is amazing as he slices at two EELS while they try to shoot him and then grab his arms.
Each one of them is cut up to varying degrees. The EELS wound Storm Shadow with their knives, but he has injured them with his swords. They all fall overboard when the Hydrofoil crashes into a reef. Even Snake-Eyes who has been minding his own business in the turret gets thrown clear.
Wet-Suit stops and picks up Beach-Head and Hawk. But the torpedo boats are still closing on them. Wet-Suit’s Devil Fish was damaged in the crate drop from the cargo plane. So he has issues trying to fire back.
His alternate strategy is shooting at the torpedoes and then steering between the flat bottom boats so they capsize in his wake. I’m not sure about the science on when torpedoes are armed, proximity delay fuses, or small arms fire impact. But it is a cool scene!!
Under the water, the EELS and Storm Shadow continue their fight. Snake-Eyes has an opponent as well. Sharks are gathering. Cue the JAWS theme music. I thought they had been killed by the sonar weapon Cobra was using prior to the Joes bombing it, wrecking the fault line and causing the formation of Cobra Island. I suppose there are plenty of more sharks in the Gulf.
Snake-Eyes surfaces, as he appears to be riding a shark like a horse. But then he plunges his knife into it. Wet-Suit pulls over and picks him up. So now, Beach-Head, Hawk, Wet-Suit, and Snake-Eyes are all on one Devil Fish attack boat.
The EELS are fighting the sharks now, and Storm Shadow is trolling them. Even if they live through the sharks, they still have to deal with HIM.
Hawk lets Snake-Eyes know there are too many sharks and they are too far away. Hawk clearly only bends the rules of time and space when it is convenient for his purposes. They could have at least tried to get over to him.
The EELS become shark food, but Storm Shadow fights through the sharks and staggers onto the beach. He has been cut with knives, bitten by sharks, and nearly drowned. But he made it! He made it back to safety on the beach on Cobra Island!
But time and space are bent, and the Baroness is in a HISS tank, right on that section of the beach, right EXACTLY at that time.
She guns him down in cold blood. That DEFINITELY would not have made it through Sunbow’s editing. Brutal killing of a complicated main character.
The looks of disbelief on the Joes speaks volumes. Larry Hama could really convey a message and evoke a feeling, even without speech/dialogue bubbles.
Far from that terrible scene, the Firebat lands back at Springfield. The wounded “Zartan” is discovered by the Dreadnoks and Firefly.
They decide to hurry him to a hospital since he is wounded. But they wonder how he got there in the Firebat when he was only semi-conscious.
Back at McGuire Air Force base, the wounded “Ripcord” is headed back to the PIT, G.I.Joe’s headquarters. Doc had sedated him though due to his injuries. This feels like a terrible variation on the Trojan Horse story. The Joes are unwittingly bringing Zartan right into the PIT!
This issue had a lot of action. But Baroness murdering Storm Shadow was very heavy. The scene of him falling face down into the shallow surf along the beach was pretty grisly.
And yet again, we will have to wait for next issue to see what happens with Ripcord and Zartan. Their diverging paths are playing out. Both have inadvertently found themselves in the other’s headquarters, receiving medical assistance.
Hope you enjoyed this review!
Tune in soon for Issue 48.
Now You Know – a little more about: ”SEA DUEL” Feel free to let me know what you thought of this issue AFTER THE JUMP.