Yeah, not the best, but I still enjoy it for the most part. I like Thrasher's stunt driving as he blasts through the train to escape. I'm not crazy about Zandar and Zarana, but I do think Thrasher is a great addition to the 'Noks - a crazy, out of control motorist who actually has some credible driving chops. The Thunder Machine is a great vehicle and I hope we get to see it in action in the current Hamaverse issues instead of just seeing it being repaired in a garage (#162). I also like Zartan having the last laugh on SGT Slaughter
And I like Cross Country in this issue - a fun character.
But I think Zarana and friends pull of the rescue pretty easily. I can buy that they would get inside Fort Wadsworth but surely the Joes would not have let them down into the Pit without more confirmation. Didn't they know that the real Lady Jaye was at McGuire Airport with the other Springfield Battle returnees? And wouldn't the Joes have thought it odd for a specialist to suddenly show up to run tests on Zartan without any appointment? Oh well. I still like the issue, but it's nothing spectacular.
Special Missions #1
ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!! Sharp writing by Larry with some great twists. The way the Joes play Cobra and the OG is brilliant! This mission would have been right up Psych-Out's alley if he had been around at the time. In addition to the stellar plot, we get two action sequences that are a total blast to read - the helicopter battle and the combat aboard the Russian ship - love seeing the Eels in action! Destro shows up in a Cobra submarine at the end of the issue - hmm, I wonder if this is the same sub he and the Baroness would take to Scotland years later in #166... Mamu, in answer to your question, yes, I believe SM#1 is Polly's comic debut, and it might be the only time he was seen in the Marvel issues - I could be wrong but I can't think of another time he shows up in Marvel.
There are two moments in this issue that I'm almost certain will be appreciated by Shane. Moment 1: BBQ getting kicked by Storm Shadow. Moment 2: BBQ getting punched out by Scarlett
I love all the stuff with Storm Shadow in the Pit! It's especially great to see Quick Kick getting taken down so quickly by SS - that's the way it would really happen between these two - not the nonsense we see in their "Pyramid of Darkness" match.
I love the Serpentor drama on Cobra Island as well, except that I don't like how CC is written - not at all like the genius we are first introduced to in #1. Despite this though, the Cobra leadership drama is still very fun to read.
And finally, I love the plot/cliffhanger of the Joes being suspended - more fabulous writing by Larry!