Issue 53 had a lot of action, including the final destruction of G.I.Joe’s HQ: the PIT. Admiral Dyson and General Ryan both gave their lives to take out Cobra Commander and Destro. With that massive explosion – who could have survived? Feel free to check out the review of Issue 53 in case you missed it. (You can catch up on other “Now You Know With YorktownJoe” reviews there as well!)
On to the issue
At the end of Issue 53, General Hollingsworth officially took the Joes off suspension. He wants them to serve as a nomad unit, travelling in vehicles without a fixed position for Cobra or others to attack.
This issue begins with Snake-Eyes and Scarlett tossing flowers down the crater where the PIT used to be. Flint and Lady Jaye discuss why they would be honoring the memory of Destro. No one asks the obvious question if either of them had any past connections with Marine General Ryan or Navy Admiral Dyson, who also perished. Or even if they were paying memory to their former base, which would not be able to be reconstructed.
But on the horizon behind Snake-Eyes, a Rattler glides in silently…
…and drops a wreath marked RIP Destro. The Baroness is mourning the loss of her beloved Destro. No one really seems to mind that Cobra Commander is presumed dead. Wow. The guy who authorizes everyone’s paychecks and time-off requests, and no love for the Commander.
Meanwhile, on Cobra Island…
Serpentor has assumed the leadership rule of Cobra and clearly doesn’t miss Cobra Commander or Destro. He is entertaining the stereotypical Socialist/Communist leaders of the fictional country of Sierra Gordo. They are very Castro-like in their appearance and behavior.
They offer $250 Million dollars in cash for a Hasbro Cobra Terror Drome playset. It’s mint, but removed from the box. That seems a little steep!?
Just kidding! That payment is for actual Terror Drome defense stations being built on site for them in Sierra Gordo. And it’s not their money, they stole (errr, “seized”) it during a revolution or counter-revolution.
Of course, this is a not so subtle clue we should all buy a Hasbro Cobra Terror Drome.
Back at the Fort Wadsworth Snack Bar, temporary location of the Joe team…
Multiple Joes are watching a new recruit playing a fictional arcade game named “MiG Waxer.” MiG is an 80’s slang term for Russian figher jets manufactured by Mikoyen Gureyvich corporation. Named for the company’s founders Artem Mikoyen and Mikhail Gurevich.
The new pilot, code name: Slip-Stream defeated all of the enemies in the game and it overloaded and fizzled out. He is attired in a US Air Force dress uniform, but we’ll see him later on in his flight-suit. That is how his action figure from Hasbro was distributed.
Under the rubble, we see movement and whimpering for help. Cobra Commander and Destro are alive. Cobra Commander is beginning to lose it, while Destro is formulating a plan to escape their situation.
There is a page before this simply showing the construction of the Terror Drome in Sierra Gordo. It does say “A Week Later in Sierra Gordo.” Tuck that info away for now. The page just above shows a temporary staging area where Hawk has a desk in the middle of a gym. Airtight crumples a highly classified document, crumples it up and makes a basket.
Airtight hands Hawk some satellite photos of more launch bases showing up in the aforementioned Sierra Gordo. Airtight mentions the brass might not allow them to snoop on Cobra Island, but perhaps they could let someone like Snake-Eyes get captured right outside of one of the bases in Sierra Gordo and do a recon.
Hawk tells him he’s brilliant and immediately gets a mission ready.
On a another page Serpentor suggests that Zartan, Zarana, and Zandar be part of the sales force for selling Launch Bases to anyone who can afford them. Hopefully that wasn’t a snip against those of us kids who couldn’t afford one… *sniff, sniff.*
*Reviewer’s Note: My birthday was the month before the school year began. I got school clothes for my birthdays. My little brother was born in January and he got after Christmas toy sale deals. Yes, he got the Terror Drome. And it was a blast to play with. When he would let me…
But this page shows the Conquest X-30 forward swept wing fighter jet flown by the new Joe pilot Slip-Stream. This fighter was loosely based on the Grumman X-29 experimental concept jet. I believe they used X-30 as the designation, took some creative liberties and made it seem like this was just ahead in the future. It appears Slip-Stream is flying Flint in the backseat on a recon mission into Sierra Gordo.
The Hasbro Conquest X-30 was a single seat fighter jet. So this must have been an X-30B training model variant. (I just made that up. But most single seat fighter jets have two-seat training versions so proper training can take place.)
But wasn’t Flint recovering from the fight with the EELS?
A Cobra transport helicopter arrives with the Baroness as well as Tomax and Xamot. But then an air raid siren goes off and the Firebat pilot is ordered to the launch bay. He is attired in all red, which makes me wonder if this issue came out before the final production release of the Terror Drome. And my apologies for using the terms Launch Base and Terror Drome synonymously. A.V.A.C. was the pilot of the Firebat, the small red/crimson/burgundy fighter jet that was packaged with the Terror Drome. A.V.A.C. pilots were red and silver in color and look great! This guy is depicted in flat red and looks like he purchased his wardrobe from Wild Weasel’s worn out hand-me-down garage sale. I’m guessing the artists were doing their best based on verbal descriptions or working prototypes.
Slip-Stream flies low, launches missiles and strafes the base. Hawk must have been a tad bit liberal with Airtight’s “recon” proposal. I’m not sure American air power can be deployed on foreign soil with a shoot first mandate under usual circumstances. Perhaps there were already interests involved in the perpetual revolutions taking place in Sierra Gordo. We’ll suspend judgment and say Slip-Stream was within orders to blow up the Cobra helicopter on the ground, because of perceived imminent terrorist threats… Whatever. Yo Joe!!
The top portal of the Launch Base is monogrammed with a Cobra logo. It opens up exactly like the Hasbro playset. And the Firebat rocket jet emerges. He launches into the sky to pursue the Conquest X-30.
They seem evenly matched, but Slip-Stream is cool and in charge of the situation. He even knows the enemy pilot thinks he has the upper hand, just as the A.V.A.C. pilot says “Now I’ve got the upper hand on him!”
Slip-Stream knows the other pilot is over confident.
But then the heroes get peppered from the Firebat. They look hit pretty badly.
Back at the Launch Base, the Baroness and Dr. Mindbender receive word that the Joe plane went down and there was only one chute. Tomax and Xamot take a Cobra Ferret ATV to go check for the parachutist.
The Sierra Gordo goons compliment the performance of the Firebat and order another 6 installations.
Tomax and Xamot believe they have Flint in sight and pounce on him as soon as he lands on the ground. Instead of a shotgun, he has an Uzi. And he is wearing long sleeves. The brother punch him and tie him up on the back of the ATV.
Hawk is calling to Slip-Stream, but there isn’t an immediate response. Then Hawk is overjoyed to hear Slip-Stream respond. Slip-Stream lets Hawk know the mission was accomplished. He flew low after being hit, went around a hillside, and dropped a bomb to simulate a crash. He confirms “the passenger” deployed his parachute canopy and appeared on target for a safe landing. But he couldn’t confirm it.
And then we see banged up Flint.
Back at Fort Wadsworth.
Wait a minute…
The totalitarian dictators of Sierra Gordo are thrilled with the performance. Dr. Mindbender excuses himself to deal with the Joe prisoner who is unceremoniously dumped inside.
“Flint” doesn’t answer even after being hit a few times. Tomax and Xamot notice he doesn’t seem to be as chatty as the last time they tangled with him way back in Issue 37.
Unfortunately, he is taken downstairs and strapped into the Brainwave scanner. He looks genuinely horrified.
Back at Fort Wadsworth…
It has begun to rain. Flint and Lady Jaye discuss fear, and people’s ability to hide it.
Cobra Commander and Destro feel the rain coming down and realize it will trickle down to them. Cobra Commander panics and immediately jumps to the conclusion that they are going to drown. This might happen if they were in monsoon season in the Philippines, but on Staten Island? Other than for an occasional far north hurricane, I can’t see the volume of a simple rainstorm drowning them. But it does add a sense of foreboding.
Now back to that panel I didn’t show you. “A week later, in Sierra Gordo.” It’s a week later everywhere, not just in Sieera Gordo. And Cobra Commander mentioned the food and water they found wouldn’t last them long. So maybe they have been poking around for a week and found more supplies. Otherwise, drowning would not be their concern. They would be rejoicing in the rainwater and trying to gather it to stave off dehydration.
Setting that aside, let’s leave off with the questions on the last page:
“Huh? Who is that down in Sierra Gordo posing as Flint? Why the masquerade in the first place? How will Destro and Cobra Commander get out of the PIT? Which Joe is leaving the team?”
Find out next time in Issue 55!!
Issue 54 had a lot of action, including a great air battle between the Conquest X-30 and the Firebat, with both pilots believing they had won. But there are a lot of questions that remain unanswered.
Hope you enjoyed this review!
Tune in soon for Issue 55.
Now You Know – a little more about: ”LAUNCH BASE” Feel free to let me know what you thought of this issue AFTER THE JUMP or on Twitter @yorktownjoe.