Issue 47 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. The parallel tales of Ripcord impersonating Zartan in Springfield and Zartan impersonating Ripcord at the Pit are about to come to the forefront. Feel free to check out the review of Issue 47 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 47 ended, with Destro, the Baroness, and Dr. Mindbender examining Storm Shadow. He appears very, very dead.
Destro mentions that there is no pulse and makes some subtle comments about how the Baroness might justify killing a badly injured man in cold blood.
She responds that even a dying ninja could be very formidable and she didn’t want to take any chances. In the background, Dr. Mindbender ordered some other EELS on the beach to bag his body and bring him back to his lab.
Elsewhere and a few days later, Scarlett is trying to cheer up Snake-Eyes. He is wearing his “life-like” rubber mask and sunglasses. He has worn this disguise to appear in off duty olive khaki uniform from time to time. Just mentioning that for those who might not recognize him without his commando or ninja gear.
Doc is reviewing blood work again, as he has been suspicious since bringing “Ripcord” back to Joe HQ. He figures out that this indeed is NOT Ripcord, but some other impostor.
When Doc returns to the medical infirmary to check on the “Ripcord” impostor, he sees an empty bed with Snake-Eyes standing near it. When he confronts him, he is punched in the face. “Snake-Eyes” sparkles and shines and we see it is really Zartan!! And we knew Snake-Eyes was in the cafeteria with Scarlett in his olive khaki uniform. The impostor was in his ninja commando v.2 digs.
Back in Springfield, a parallel story is playing out. Ripcord is dressed up as Zartan and trying to recover from his injuries. The Dreadnoks are visiting him and he finds out that Buzzer had been in touch with his girlfriend Candy.
(Candy was killed in a car accident near Springfield, followed by Scrap-Iron blowing up the car wreck with a missile back in Issue 42. Ripcord didn’t know this and parachuted on to Cobra Island to try to find her whereabouts in Issue 45. He was injured in a duel with Zartan, and sent to Springfield via remote control Firebat by Candy’s father. He was the Crimson Guardsman known as Professor Appel. Storm Shadow killed him in Issue 46.)
Back in the PIT, Zartan keeps changing from one Joe character to the next. It is very reminiscent of a Scooby Doo like turn of events as every time he turns into a Joe, the corresponding Joe seems to appear right around the corner. In this case he quickly changes from Snake-Eyes to Trip-Wire when he hears Joes mentioning the impostor looks like Snake-Eyes.
Back in Springfield, Ripcord (still dressed like Zartan) begins to beat Buzzer with a stainless steel bedpan. Buzzer isn’t sure what’s wrong, but he knows “Zartan” isn’t quite right.
Torch and Ripper need to restrain him before he beats Buzzer bloody. He is yelling about Candy the girl, but the other Dreadnoks think Buzzer swiped Zartan’s chocolates while he was sleeping. Not candy, but Candy. Well, Larry Hama was having fun with that.
In Washington, a sleazy lawyer with a Cobra logo tie pin is attempting to extort diplomatic relations. He uses an overt threat. He suggests that failing to recognize the sovereignty of Cobra Island could have dire consequences. They might happen to rent space to enemy powers for missile launch sites within striking distance of the continental US. Someone really should have arrested him just for making this suggestion. But that would be cruel and unusual for any current prisoners to throw in this sleazeball into their general prison population…
Back at the Pit, we finally get our first glimpse of the title character.
He is massive…
He is mighty…
He’s a Marine…
He’s Sgt. Slaughter!!
He just arrived at a terrible time when an impostor is on the loose. The Joes in the Motor Pool give him a hard time.
Clutch, Steeler, and Heavy-Metal harass the new arrival and taunt him when he asks them to not mess with his duffle. Never say “You gonna stop me” to Sgt. Slaughter.
Meanwhile, down below:
Zartan is blending into his surroundings with his holographic capabilities. He continues his shenanigans causing the Joes all kinds of trouble as he continues to elude them.
After dispatching all three of the Joes, Sgt. Slaughter picks them all back up and gets them in on the chase for the intruder. He hasn’t even settled in and he is already leading a small team into the fight!
Zartan has assumed the form of Duke. He is giving Gung Ho and some other Joes orders. But Gung Ho isn’t fooled. He punches Zartan right in the face and knocks him to the ground.
Gung Ho chases him after he jumps up and Sgt. Slaughter enters the scene with two Gung Ho’s fighting!
He promptly displays a King Solomon level of intuition. He punches Zartan unconscious with a single punch.
Gung Ho might mention he softened Zartan up. But Sgt. Slaughter ended the fight.
When the astonished Joes asked him how he knew who the impostor was, he just walked away muttering about 50/50 odds.
At the Pentagon, General Hawk appears before a panel of Generals known as “The Jugglers.”
He is ordered to stay away from Cobra Island. Their greasy lawyers have prevailed. Further interaction with Cobra has to go through diplomatic channels.
This issue had a lot going on! It was sad to see them cart Storm Shadow away. It was satisfying that Zartan has gone from an impostor to a prisoner. Time will tell what happens with Ripcord. Sgt. Slaughter has already become an excellent addition to the team. And he hasn’t even made it to supper time!
Hope you enjoyed this review!
Tune in soon for Issue 49.
Now You Know – a little more about: ”SLAUGHTER” Feel free to let me know what you thought of this issue in the comments AFTER THE JUMP.