"Force Recon's the way to go!"
I've said it before, but a great thing about re-reading these classic stories in order is remembering and realizing how nearly every issue after #10 introduced a new character or vehicle from the action figure line into the world Larry Hama was building. Issue #14, "Destro Attacks", gives us our very first look at the metal-masked face of the man known as Destro
, but it also introduces Ace
, the Sky Striker
and the APC
I've already talked about how much I loved the Snake Eyes/Dr. Venom/Kwinn story arc in these issues. It's no different in issue #14 where we find the three of them trapped, reliant on each other but still ready to kill each other at a moment's notice. I'll delve further into this triangle next issue, but for issue #14 I'll just say that whenever I see Kwinn's thought bubbles as he opens the bunker door--"Spirit of the Otter, help me dive deep. Spirit of the Bear, give me strength to open this door. And Spirit of the Weasel, give me counsel to outwit this Dr. Venom."
--I always hear the theme song to the '80s cartoon BraveStarr
in my head.
Repeating myself again, I know, but part of the reason the second wave 1983 characters are my favorites is because of the added diversity of functions and branches. I understand the rationale of making G.I. Joe a special missions unit of the U.S. Army, but I think if this group had been created today--unless it was all Rangers--it would have had a lot more representatives of the Navy and USMC. (Hell, I think Breaker could've been an Air Force Combat Controller and Ripcord should've been a ParaRescue Trooper.) Anyway, it was great to see Torpedo representing the Navy and Gung Ho the Marines. Issue #14 gave us G.I. Joe's first Air Force fighter pilot, Ace. His role isn't exactly essential to this issue, and Hawk could have called in an air strike from any anonymous air group, but it was great seeing Ace and the Sky Striker get some page time.
Did anybody catch the strange sort-of-continuity gaffe in this issue? When the Baroness and Destro are talking just before his face is revealed for the first time, their dialogue suggests that "Destro" is the code name he has taken for his new life as an agent of Cobra. Baroness asks, "Must I call you by that awful name?" Destro says, "Say my name. My new name." Boy, this kind of rings unnatural if his name is James McCullen Destro...
Anyway, the last thing I'll say about this issue is what others have touched on regarding the enigmatic Springfield. I grew up in Illinois, the capital of which is Springfield, and I always kind of thought it might have been the haven for Cobra. Never would have guessed as a lad that I'd end up moving to Vermont where another Springfield played host to a Cobra chemical weapons test in this issue. I can tell you, though, that x number of miles as the crow flies
is cruelly deceptive compared to how long it takes driving on actual Vermont roads. (Stupid mountains and lack of east-west interstate highways!)
Oh, by the way, shane
, Gung Ho got some more love this issue being part of the scouting team with Stalker.
Say, wait a minute. Didn't Doc say Stalker would need a couple weeks recuperating in the base hospital at the end of #13? How long have Snake Eyes and the others been trapped under water?