Mamu_Nestor wrote:This issue shows a lot of Larry's belief system IMO through Storm Shadow, and Stalker. I've always liked Stalker's interaction with Dr Burkhart. "We're not fighting to have everybody think the way we do...We're fighting so that people can have the right to think what they want! Even if they don't agree with us!" Stalker was always one of my favorites, especially with lines like these.
Very quoteable issue. Great stuff.
I completely agree! For instance:"If they had been British SAS we would be dead and if they had been Israeli paratroops we still wouldn't know they had been here."
Issue #39, "Walk Through the Jungle", became an instant favorite the first time I read it and it's still circling the top of my list. As shane
pointed out, the action in big battlefronts like Springfield and Cobra Island tended to get lost, or drowned out in how much was happening. Where Larry Hama truly excelled were in the small team action sequences, scenes that showed off his knowledge for military tactics with the whimsy of the characters we'd grown to love.
Stalker's team infiltrating the bunker in Sierra Gordo and their subsequent escape under fire is damn near flawless. Gung Ho using his "blooper" and Roadblock using his .50 cal for perfect effect; the timely intervention of the Tucaros and their unfortunate sacrifices; Hell, even catching the coffee pot and cups felt exciting when it could have been silly. And how cool does Gung Ho look in the first panel of page 4 when he kicks the sentry right in the face! Semper Fi
Like I mentioned for issue #38, Recondo was my favorite Joe when I read these two issues, and it was simultaneously thrilling and frustrating to see him have two, yes two, badass moments in this issue... that aren't show on the page
! First, he takes out the sadistic doctor and a pair of guards without using a weapon, and from the impression Dr. Burkhart gives, his methods were too brutal to describe to the others. Then later on, Recondo doubles back and eliminates the two snipers picking up the Joes' trail. We don't see how, but he sacrifices their rifles to appease the river spirits, and possibly to avenge the dead Tucaros. As a kid, I always filled in the gaps of this scene with memories of First Blood
when Stallone would just become the jungle and pick off his prey so terrifyingly efficiently that you pitied the bad guys. I used to reread this issue over and over again for scenes like this!
And yet... as I read it again tonight, a whole other moment surprised me, something I had completely forgotten about. My favorite scene in the whole issue today could very well be the "boy scouts" scene where the Joes have to fashion a two strand rope bridge over the river. We see the Joes applying aspects of their training that have nothing to do with pulling a trigger. These guys know how to survive, how to adapt, and how to make the environment work for them. And the best part is the exchange between Gung Ho and Roadblock talking about their lives before enlisting, talking like regular guys, giving each other $#@% in the spirit of camaraderie. I feel like these four Joes should have had beers in their hands during this scene.
If issue #39 had just been the seventeen pages in Sierra Gordo it still would have been one of my favorites, but that wasn't enough for Larry. He gave us even more, including three pages chronicling the tutelage of Billy by Storm Shadow. I can't remember, but this also might be the first time we see Thomas S. Arashikage without a mask in the present time period.
In the entire history of the series, this is my favorite era for Storm Shadow. He's burned his bridge with Cobra but he's also nowhere near an ally of G.I. Joe. He's rogue
, and that makes him even more captivating, more awesome because who the hell knows what he's going to do and when? His status in this issue leading up to the end of issue #47 is the high point of the character in my mind.
Like I said above, issue #39 is damn near flawless.