Issue 51 was a transition issue that carries the main story along, but moves the reader from the Battle of Springfield to what is coming up next in the story between Cobra and G.I.Joe. This issue did not have a lot of Cobra, and focused mainly on the Dreadnoks and Zartan’s siblings: Zandar and Zarana. Feel free to check out the review of Issue 51 in case you missed it. (You can catch up on other “Now You Know With YorktownJoe”reviews there as well!)
On to the issue
During the last review, I left a question: What about Storm Shadow who is currently sneaking around the PIT? We will get to that. But first…
The issue begins with Cobra Commander yelling at Tomax and Xamot as Serpentor, Destro and the Baroness are returning from the evacuation of Springfield. There is an editor’s note that the first 5 pages of Issue 52 take place directly after Issue 50 and before Issue 51. The remainder of Issue 52 follows 51.
Xamot reminds the Commander that Tomax is the one without the scar. There is also a Crimson Guard in all blue with a red mask. Interestingly, this would have been a logical choice for a repaint, but Hasbro never provided such a figure. There are some customs and 3rd party “Cobalt Guard” figures based on this panel.
Tomax (or Xamot) signals to various Crimson Guard sniper teams around the helipad on Cobra Island. They are standing by to assassinate Serpentor. Evidently Cobra Commander doesn’t like an outgoing, charismatic leader who might one day supplant his authority over Cobra.
Multiple Crimson Guard teams report in. They have vantage points staked out so one or more snipers should get a good shot at Serpentor. Political assassination attempts on one’s rivals separates the G.I.Joe comic from other lesser comics. Deep and heavy intrigue.
Serpentor, Destro, and the Baroness discuss possible treachery on the flight approach.
Serpentor tells the pilot to land on the X, but to keep rolling forward toward the platform.
He hops out of the helicopter and embraces Cobra Commander in the most awkward hug. But this is actually a master plan. He goes on to sing the Commander’s praises, all the while keeping the Commander so close, that no sniper would dare take the shot. Well maybe Low-Light. He would just call a shot like that a “two-fer.” Since this is a Cobra op, ite really could only end in tragedy if on of the Crimson Guards took a shot in this situation.
More “Cobalt Guard” snipers determine no shots are possible and more evacuated residents from Springfield are arriving. They agree it is time to stand down and re-group.
The people sing Serpentor’s praises. Even the Baroness looks at him like a giddy school girl. DEstro and the Commander are less than thrilled about this situation.
Serpentor even goes on that such a great man like Cobra Commander would never stoop to assassinate a political rival. Which is exactly what almost happened…
After Issue 51: Thunder Machine, Sgt. Slaughter and Cross Country returned empty handed in the HAVOC after pursuing Zartan and the Dreadnoks in the Thunder Machine. Flint tries to cheer up Sgt. Slaughter, and they join some of the other Joes in the training area of the PIT.
Snake-Eyes is demonstrating his specialty with his sword: The Subtle Cut.
Two Joes comment that true subtlety is when you have to remind the target that it has been cut.
With this, Storm Shadow suddenly jumps from the rafters or the duct-work. He refers to their training as “amateur violence.” He then proceeds to dump Joe after Joe on the ground.
The cover had Storm Shadow fighting Quick-Kick. And it actually happened in the issue briefly! Quick-Kick slowed Storm Shadow down, which is better than the other Joes. It took more than one panel before Storm Shadow got the better of him.
Scarlett eventually slows Storm Shadow down by talking too much. It’s actually meaningful dialogue and sheds light on her understanding of the sword brother’s complicated relationship.
Storm Shadow explains that he should have been dead. Back in Issue 47 after fighting literal sharks and Cobra E.E.L.S. he was able to swim back to shore. After completing his Arashikage iron man session, the Baroness rewards him by dumping her clip into his chest.
Fortunately, through ninja voodoo, he put himself to a trance where his body needed only minimal exertion to stay alive.
When Dr. Mindbender ran the process to create Serpentor, the energy that passed through him jolted him out of his “slumber” and imbued him with significant memories of bygone times.
Snake-Eyes gives Storm Shadow a key to his cabin in the High Sierra mountains so he can rest and fully recover from his physical and mental wounds.
Over on the Cobra side, Larry Hama again shows his futurist ability to see into future technology. Looking at this now, it looks like out-dated web-cams for video-conferencing. That would be the case if this comic was written today.
But it was first published in October 1986. Video-conferencing did not exist in 1986.
Larry Hama, I/T Networking Psychic.
More germane to the topic at hand, Buzzer knows where the PIT is located. But of course Zartan does too, since they just escaped from there in Issue 51.
Zartan and the Dreadnoks come crashing into Cobra HQ cosplaying as the Joe team. Cobra Commander considers this as a possible solution to his Serpentor problem. Have the Dreadnoks disguised as the Joes attack Serpentor. This give deniability of his involvement, with Serpentor just as dead.
Serpentor makes an appearance with his air chariot and in his new resplendent golden armor. This doesn’t really help the story, but I’m sure it helped move some toys for Hasbro. Dr. Mindbender warns Serpentor that looking too fancy might get Cobra Commander angry enough to try another assassination attempt.
The Dreadnoks/Joes try to kill Serpentor, but the Baroness and Destro intervene and stop it.
Serpentor tells the Commander that the attempt was brilliant, since they can tell the troops that the Joes tried to attack him. Then the troopers can head to Joe HQ for a counter-attack.
Hawk tells the Joes they are on suspension for the Springfield operation, pending an official review of the evidence. On the surface, it appears they blew up an American town. The Generals in the Pentagon aren’t pleased.
The issue closes with Storm Shadow dressed in regular clothes relaxing with Timber on Snake-Eyes land in the mountains.
But with the Joe team on suspension, and Serpentor and Cobra Commander planning an attack, what will happen next!
Find out next time in Issue 53!!
Issue 52 had a lot of political intrigue, assassination attempts, Storm Shadow turning over a new life and leaving revenge in the past. The Joes on suspension for a domestic attack will be continued in the future. But the looming threat of yet another attack on the PIT gives the readers a sense of doom and foreboding.
Hope you enjoyed this review!
Tune in soon for Issue 53.
Now You Know – a little more about: ”SNAP DECISIONS” Feel free to let me know what you thought of this issue AFTER THE JUMP!