30th Anniversary ARAH Reading Marathon - Week 13

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30th Anniversary ARAH Reading Marathon - Week 13

Postby shanecdavis » Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:52 pm

In honor of 2012 being the 30th Anniversary of the Marvel G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero comic that we all know and love, we will be holding a reading marathon. Each week we will read 5 issues and then post our thoughts here. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate, even if you aren't able to actually read the issues. Please share any experiences you had when you first read these issues, whether it be as a kid, or picking these up later as a teen or adult. If you missed out on the previous weeks, you can find the URLs at the bottom of this post.

WEEK 13 - Marvel G.I. Joe: ARAH #61-65

Optional reading - Marvel Special Missions #6-7

COVERS
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Marvel #61 - Beginnings and Endings

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Marvel #62 - Transit

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Marvel #63 - Going Under

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Marvel #64 - Maneuvering for Position

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Marvel #65 - Shuttle Complex


OPTIONAL COVERS
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Marvel Special Missions #6 - Evasion

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Marvel Special Missions #7 - The Old Switcheroo


HIGHLIGHTS:
* First appearance of Colonel Ratinkov, Jinx, Captain Minh, Corporal Olga, Sgt. Moshev, Back Stop, Frostbite, Hard Top, Payload, Psyche-Out, Sci Fi, Orlovsky the Dwarf, and The White Clown
* COBRA Commander is shot in the back by Fred VII
* Stalker, Quick-Kick, and Snow Job captured in Borovia
* First mention of Professor Onihashi and his assistant
* Billy continues his ninja training with Jinx
* Joes begin working on PIT III in Utah
* Flint and Lady Jaye revealed as a dating couple
* Storm Shadow learns that Billy is alive
* Billy tells Storm Shadow and Ripcord that Soft Master and Candy are dead
* Fred VII arrives on COBRA Island impersonating COBRA Commander
* Apparent death of Captain Minh
* Joes and COBRA in space


PREVIOUS WEEKS
WEEK 12 - Marvel #56-60, Marvel Special Missions #3-5, Marvel Yearbook #3
WEEK 11 - Marvel #51-55, Marvel Special Missions #1-2
WEEK 10 - Marvel #46-50
WEEK 9 - Marvel #41-45, Marvel Yearbook #2
WEEK 8 - Marvel #36-40, Hasbro #36 1/2
WEEK 7 - Marvel #31-35, Marvel Yearbook #1, Hasbro #32 1/2
WEEK 6 - Marvel #26-30, DDP Snake Eyes: Declassified 1-6
WEEK 5 - Marvel #21-25, DDP Snake Eyes: Declassified Trade, Hasbro #21B
WEEK 4 - Marvel #16-20
WEEK 3 - Marvel #11-15
WEEK 2 - Marvel #6-10
WEEK 1 - Marvel #1-5, DDP G.I. Joe: Declassified 1-3

Pictures courtesy of Antarctica's website - http://www.yojoe.com/comics/index.shtml#Marvel
Last edited by shanecdavis on Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Mamu_Nestor » Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:33 am

I don't know if SM 6 is optional... It has a big part of the story.
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Postby CrazyK » Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:08 pm

I vividly remember waiting FOREVER for GI Joe #63... Back then, the only "local" shop was "two towns over" and more than 30 mins away. The month before, the first "local" Target opened in that town in the center across from my shop, so instead of the standard every 8-10 weeks between trips, we went three times in as many weeks. Every time, I would rush into the shop to see if the new issue had come out... which, of course, it hadn't. Seemed like months before I finally saw that new issue and had it (and it's kick ass Snake-Eyes and Scarlett cover) in my hand!!
"I... I don't believe it..."
"That. Is why you fail..."
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Postby Mamu_Nestor » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:15 pm

I remember as a kid I wanted all the issues with a cool Snake Eyes cover. It's why I got issue 21 63 and 66 for sure.

Issues 61 SM 6 and 62 begin my favorite G.I. Joe story. It doesn't really get resolved until 67. There is so much character development, military politics, military action, martial arts philosophy, and martial arts action in this storyline I think it embodies everything that Joe is. The only really bad part is Raptor and his stupid antics. I like the Borovia story the best and how the Billy story ties into it. The CC death and replacement with Fred VII is kind of cool. It was a shocker to see CC killed off in a moment of weakness, but with Serpentor already in charge as the Cobra Emperor it seemed logical. You can't have 2 leaders of cobra. Anyway the other side stories in Issues 61-67 really weren't that interesting to me (at least they didn't stand out as much)

61, SM6, 62: The unecessary mission, the P.O.W. situation, the feeling of betrayal when Outback returns without his teammates. Billy finding Jinx and the Blind master, Cobra Commanders change of heart and apparent murder. Fred VII showing initiative.
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Postby shanecdavis » Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:06 am

Marvel #61 - Beginnings and Endings

After the two previous crappy issues, I was more interested in girls and basketball and girls than waiting for #61 to come out. I'm pretty sure I didn't pick it up the day it came out. If I remember right, I rode my bike to my LCS on a Saturday, unless it was a day of no school. Either way, instead of riding home to do my usual reading routine I went next door to the Wendy's and ate lunch there while I read.

I may be wrong, but this was the first time we have had this type of mission since waaaaaaaaaaaaay back in #3. The team selection was a bit curious. Back in #3, the team was small and not so specialized. This time however I can think of about 12 others that would have been more effective than Snow Job and Outback, although Outback was getting his new guy burn. The mission itself played out really well, and the reveal that the prisoner was already released and the mission a bust was an interesting twist. Now the Joes had to find a way out of Dodge.

Joe (maybe Stalker): "Can you get us to a safe-house, Spigou? Can your organization help us out?"
Spigou: "There is no safe-house. I am the entire organization."
Joe (maybe Snow Job): "Great."

The only thing I thought was dumb was that the Joes had their regular uniforms underneath their non-descript uniforms. Stalker's camouflage pattern screams "USA!!!!". Funny because I thought it was smart in the beginning to see them not in their regular uniforms.

The scenes in Denver left me outraged when I first read this. It was moving to see Billy confront his father, telling him he cannot hate like he used to and then walk away. Seems we got more commentary from Mr. Hama in Billy's response to Raptor - "You're right...Too much bad karma generated by striking someone as pathetic as you.". Had to laugh at that one. Mr. Hama showed the inner-conflict with CC as he held Billy at gun-point at first and then allowed him to leave. It was pretty shocking to see CC himself call it quits, but I guess essentially losing his organization to Serpentor and seeing his son love him enough not to betray him could have been enough. Then Fred killed him. WTF??? I was totally pissed that Mr. Hama would kill off CC, especially after he had come to grips of his actions and the consequences of them. Years later I would get even more pissed when I found out that it was Hasbro that forced Mr. Hama to kill him off just because of the crappy movie, that wasn't even in the same universe! Stupid. Stupid. Stoooooopid.

Despite the fact that CC was killed off, this was a superb issue. Thankfully, the sting of that disappeared once CC came back, but the frustration over Hasbro's interference only grew. I still think it would have been incredible to see CC, instead of getting shot, work with the Siegies and the Wonder twins to find out what forces/operatives were still loyal to him, and then have him return to COBRA Island instead of Fred VII to create the power struggle which would cause the COBRA Civil War. The story we got was pretty damn good, but it would have been even better had it been CC himself squaring off against Serpentor and then winning the war and chucking all those that were against him into the freighter and sealing it inside the volcano. Yes, I've spent quite a bit of time thinking about this over the years.
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Postby shanecdavis » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:01 am

Marvel Special Missions #6 - Evasion

I'm pretty sure this issue is why Mr. Hama selected Outback for this mission. While a survival specialist isn't exactly what you would want to participate in a deep undercover op, it definitely is if said specialist needed to ex-filtrate himself from a country without any kind of support system.

I enjoyed how Outback was able to adapt and overcome every situation he came across. He would have made a fine Marine for sure. It had been so long since I read this issue that when the BSP caught up to the wrecked truck and found the body with the face mangled, I admit I thought that it was Outback pulling a Silence of the Lambs. Then I remembered this issue came out about 4 years before the movie. Oops!

My favorite part was the end with him goading them to follow him down so they could get blown out of the sky. Yes! The art could have been better, but overall this was a solid story within a story. It supplemented the main story quite well, but at the same time if you didn't read it you didn't miss much at all. Essentially Outback escaped in #61 and returned home in #62.
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Postby Mamu_Nestor » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:18 pm

SM 7 the old switcheroo.

Baroness: "We're being blackmailed by radical yuppie terrorists!"
"That pink hair dye is shriveling what's left of your brains..."

I like the plan. Useing radicals as a distraction.... I don't know about the baroness attacking Zarana... She can be stupid and annoying but I didn't think what she said would set off the Baroness. All well. I love it when a plan comes together... Like none of the cobras outside the building saw the 3 joes walking out and on to the street... Anyway it was fun.
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Postby Mamu_Nestor » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:37 pm

64 "Maneuvering for position"

Zartan: "What's the matter, Serpy? Never been flim-flammed before?"

Yep Fred VII comes to cobra island in a dramatic fashion and then has to spill his guts to the Baroness... Well most of the story. He obviously leaves out the part where he shot CC in the back. And we set up the Joe launch base for next issue. Really a so so issue, nothing really stands out accept the "return" of CC...
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Postby Mamu_Nestor » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:02 pm

65 Shuttle Complex.

I don't know maybe it's because I loved the toy so much but I didn't think this issue was so bad... Unrealistic Space battle, but fun. It has been a while since we saw Scrap-Iron. The last 2 pages were the best though getting back on track with the POW story. We get introduced to the White Clown... If you don't count the prequel to 21 a prelude to silence... The amazing blind man juggling chainsaws while balancing on a ball while a silent man sits on his shoulders throwing knives at his girlfriend.
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Postby ER » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:16 pm

Having so much fun reading these!

#61 (April 1987)
This issue punched my guts out the first time I read it! Between CC getting "killed" and the Joe mission going terribly wrong, wow, this one really shook me up as a kid. Reading it today, yeah it's pretty corny that they had their action-figure outfits on underneath their black commando outfits, but despite this, the story still hits hard, easily standing the test of time. I'm not sure that there's another cliffhanger in the entire run that is as dire and dramatic as this one - the three wounded Joes cornered in the dead end ally with Outback down in the sewer with Stalker's blood dripping on him from above, and then the reveal on the next page that they are being written off with no rescue mission. This is one of my all-time favorites, no doubt.

Special Missions #6 (May 1987 - released a little early on April 28
Also one of my all-time favorites! A fugitive Joe with no support, on the run from a corrupt government behind the iron curtain - one of the absolute BEST Joe plots in history, proving that you don't need Snake-Eyes or Cobra to deliver a top-class Joe story. (Of course this wasn't the first time Special Missions proved this, nor would it be the last.) The chase and Outback's victory at the end is still just as thrilling as ever after all the years. (It's impossible for me to read Outback's escape from the sewer with the fire bursting right behind him, without hearing John William's Indiana Jones theme in my mind - lol) And Shane, I agree that this issue was the reason Larry chose Outback for the #61 mission. And if anyone at Hasbro is reading, can we please get a Colonel Ratnikov figure? Pleeeeease? :)

#62 (May 1987)
Another excellent issue, though I don't revere it quite as much as #61 and SM#6. We get our introduction to Pit III, I love the Leatherneck/Outback conflict, love all the stuff with Stalker, SJ and QK arriving at the Gulag, and it's also very cool that in Postbox the Pit we get a sneak preview of the #63 cover - I think this was a first for the series - seeing the next issue's cover a month in advance - and what an awesome cover it is! I remember being in suspense about SE and Scarlett walking into a mine field for an entire month!
REPORTER: "If this is a spontaneous demonstration as you claim, why are all the placards obviously mass-manufactured?"
MINISTER GRODSKY: "How dare you question the moral outrage of the people!"
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!! :D

Looking forward to #63-66 :)
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Postby shanecdavis » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:55 am

Marvel #62 - Transit

Like ER said, this issue doesn't carry the same emotional value as #61 did, or even SM #6 for that matter. I had to laugh at the title page though to see Stalker in yet another different uniform. Funnier still is he later gives his jacket to Leonid! So we have Snow Job in cold weather gear, Stalker wearing 5 different layers of clothing (couldn't help but think about an episode of Friends where Joey puts on all of Chandler's clothes), and then there is Quick Kick wearing the equivalent of pajama bottoms. But at least we can recognize who the characters are because of their toy accurate uniforms, right?

The other thing that bugs me is seeing Leatherneck not in a high-and-tight and wearing his cover indoors when he isn't under arms. In the field or on an op you can do whatever you want, but not in garrison. That may fly in the Army, but not in the Marines.

Then there is Jinx and Billy. In #59 on page 21, we see the two standing facing each other. Jinx has long hair and is half a head taller than Billy. In #61 we see them facing each other again. This time Jinx has boy hair and is only slightly taller than Billy. Then in this issue we see them once again standing next to each other, only this time Jinx' long hair is back (which I admit I always liked better) and she is now half a head shorter than Billy. Finally, looking forward to #63 the two are walking side-by-side and Jinx is back to being about half a head taller than Billy. Granted these issues were drawn by three different artists and they each have their own interpretation of the character, which I can understand totally, but it was just comical at how the two were constantly changing, almost as if it was a running joke at the time.

Despite the faux pas with the interior art, there were some very enjoyable moments. First was the outcry by the Borovians on page 2, or should I say decry?

Older citizen: "You are not decrying with sufficient fervor, comrade!"
Younger citizen: "Ulp! I'm decrying as hard as I can!"

Snow Job: "Don't do it, Quick Kick! They're just looking for an excuse..."
Stalker: "Snow Job's right. Stay cool."
Quick Kick: "I wanna kick his face in, Stalker.."

The scene where Stalker tried to keep decorum on the train was pretty powerful. He was already one of my favorite characters, but this story really displayed his inner character. Crazy to think this is the same guy that was once in a gang. Great tribute to him as a person to not only correct himself, but to have the intestinal fortitude to be a leader and help correct others. Seeing the panel with the bird's eye view of the gulag was also powerful. Escaping won't be a walk in the park by any means.

Next is the framed photo. Laughed at Blind Master holding it upside down. What a tragic photo that is, where all of the elder members were killed, either by their own hand (in Onihashi's case), or at the hand's of someone else. Zartan was responsible for two of the deaths. I wonder if Tommy ever found out about that?

The best moments though involved Leatherneck. I've already stated that I agreed with Leatherneck's anger and comments in SM #4. Whenever I think of a conscientious objector on the battlefield, I always think of that piece of garbage in the movie Saving Private Ryan. Anyone who has seen it knows exactly who I am talking about. While he caused others in his unit to die because of his cowardice instead of refusing to fight, they are one and the same to me.

In this issue, I couldn't help but once again share Leatherneck's view, and that is exactly how I would have reacted, even after learning that Stalker ordered Outback to leave them. Outback's attitude definitely didn't help things either. I would expect him above anyone else to want in on a rescue op, even if it was off the books. Him kicking back on the cot would be pretty infuriating.

I remember for the month in-between #61 and #62 hoping that somehow CC wasn't killed and somehow he survived the GSW. Nope. Burying a body is pretty final. Well, you would think so at least. This is where I had to accept CC was gone and personally that only put the title on a slipperier slope. The only decent stories between his death and return that I can remember is this one and the CCW. That is why I really like this readathon idea. I'm hoping that reading these issues again I might find more to enjoy or at least give another chance, especially with ARAH back where these issues don't feel so final as they used to. Still think Raptor is a complete joke.

BTW - I'm embarrassed to say this, but in all the times I've read this issue, this is the first time I caught Blind Master stating he was going somewhere will palm trees and making the connection to the next issue. *facepalm*
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Postby shanecdavis » Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:01 pm

Marvel #63 - Going Under

I will admit that after Mr. Hama killed off CC and seeing the awesome cover of Snake Eyes and Scarlett walking through a mine field, I got an uneasy feeling. Neither were particularly my favorite (although Snake Eyes was at least Top 5), but both were as important to the Joe team as CC was to COBRA.

The opening was nice, seeing the two couples on vacation together. We saw a hint of them being close when they paid their respects to CC and Destro after the fall of PIT II, and it's verified here. I knew it was Blind Master that the two couples ran into, but being the naive teen I was, I didn't quite think far enough ahead when the "mine" went off. I was floored. I remember trying to convince my brain to not believe what my eyes were telling it. No way they would go out like that. Right?

The dialogue between Jinx and a growing more impatient by the minute Billy was fun to read.

Jinx: "You ask a lot of questions, Billy."
Billy: "You don't give me a lot of answers, Jinx."

Then there was the language tape.

Recording: "GD'E MA-GA-Z'IN ku-STAR-nin iz-D'E-l'iy? Where is the peasant craft shop? REPEAT."
VERY bored Billy: "Good-day magazine kooshtar-knee is daily?"
Recording: "Very GOOD..."

I enjoyed seeing Tommy and Ripcord there so that Billy could relay the bad news about Soft Master and Candy to them. I had totally forgotten that Ripcord was there and at least got closure whether she was dead or alive. Still sucks and I still wish he would have died back when the Dreads had him Springfield. That would have been better than him being totally forgotten about after being such an important character during that entire storyline. One thing I remember on my first read was when I saw Tommy there I was hoping that he was going to join the Joes. Now I dread the thought. Not because the idea of the two teaming up was bad, but the whole execution of it and the concept taking over the focal point of the mythos was not good. Did it extend the life of the comic? You could argue that either way. On one hand the Snake Eyes fans could have kept the comic going through that period of time and on the other hand it very well could have contributed to the decline in sales that led to the cancellation. I like to convince myself that if Hasbro hadn't have tried (and miserably failed) to implement so many of the fads that were going on at the time and allowed Mr. Hama to write what he wanted to, the title would have had much better stories and possibly last beyond 155. I actually wouldn't have minded if the run was only 100 issues, as long as all those elements at the end (namely the TF crossover) weren't ever introduced. Of course we might not be reading brand new ARAH stories today if that were the case.

Anyway, back to the issue at hand. I was super pumped the first time I saw the Joes in Utah, as that is where I am from, and even more so when it was apparent that PIT III was going to be located here. I remember taking trips to southern Utah and finding many locations where the base could have been. So much open terrain down there. Seeing all the Joes pour out of the Quonset huts to play some football was cool. This was also the first appearance of Serpentor since his helo blew up the train carrying the Drome parts back in #56. Couldn't say I missed him, or Brain-Wave for that matter. It's funny that they discover the Joes might have a BoA there in Utah, but they don't capitalize on it for quite some time, unless I'm totally blacking out something. Well, that is what this readathon is for.

All of these scenes were enjoyable, but I for one would not have minded if this issue was strictly about the gulag in Borovia. Those were so tragic and moving. You could just feel the anger and pain going through Stalker as Snow Job was taken away to be beaten and there wasn't anything he could do about it. Boris, Boris, Boris. Unfortunately I'm not as honorable as Stalker was. I would have made sure Boris had a date with a unfortunately yet timely accident.

The reveal from Tommy that the three in Grenada are pretty much still alive was very welcome, and the last scene with Fred meeting Captain Minh and wanting him to take him towards COBRA Island was perplexing. Hard to believe he really thought he would be able to show up on COBRA Island and no one would want proof he was the original article. Definitely bit off waaaaaaaaaaaay more than he could chew there. Wiz with robotics, but stupid with common sense. Can't say I wasn't intrigued with how he was going to do it and looked forward to reading #64.
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Postby shanecdavis » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:25 pm

Marvel Special Missions #7 - The Old Switcheroo

This is the first SM issue that I felt fell short. Mr. Hama had a string of really good issues, but not everyone is perfect. I thought the premise was interesting enough, having Chuckles use the radicals as a diversion, but there were too many things that hurt the execution of it that bothered me. I also enjoyed seeing the COBRA Vipers. I believe this is the first issue that they are used and Trimpe did a nice job with them. The tactics that the terrorists and the Joes deployed were informative and entertaining as well.

There were two things though that I really didn't care for. The first was how Mr. Hama wrote Baroness in this issue. It's almost like someone else wrote it. I can see the need to make Zarana appear to be someone to be taken seriously, but not at the expense of Baroness' character. The other was the Joes just waltzing right out the front door with about 500 COBRAs standing there. I would have to wonder at least ONE would question why that would be and have the Geek-Vipers do a system check or something. I guess COBRA isn't that smart.


Marvel #64 - Maneuvering for Position

It seems the idiot pill Baroness took in SM #7 didn't quite wear off when she showed up in #64. I won't bring up how much better the issue would have been if the REAL CC has shown up on COBRA Island this way, so just don't even think about it. Don't think about how Baroness still would have verified him as the genuine article, but that it wouldn't be such a desperate ploy that would never have worked either. Don't even consider the fact that it would have made the next issue better, and don't for one second entertain the thought of a CC vs. Serpentor CCW instead of Fred VII vs. Serpentor CCW. Stop it!

For what it's worth, aside from my many thoughts of what could have been, I liked this issue and seeing Fred VII having to deal with the consequences of his hair-brained idea of posing as CC. The look on Serpentor's face was priceless.

I could have done without the scenes in Utah though. Hazing the new guys is always fun and teasing us about the Joe space shuttle I guess was necessary, even though I never liked the idea of a top secret team having their own freaking space shuttle. Would have much preferred to get more Borovia dialogue, even if it were only a few pages.

What was lacking in Borovia dialogue though was made up for with the previously deceased trio in France. To this day I haven't figured out exactly who the people were that were after them, be it French intelligence (if there even is such a thing) or even the French mafia that doesn't like outsider working their turf. The action was solid and Blind Master's english lesson was funny and deadly at the same time.


Marvel #65 - Shuttle Complex

The first time I read this issue I was deeply disappointed. Not too long ago Mr. Hama crammed two large-scale operations into one or two issues and then here it seemed that he was having to come up with filler space just to extend the story out longer. Granted all his ideas cant be gold, but I questioned even having to add them in the first place. The scenes in Borovia were so good I didn't like going two whole issues without a single frame continuing the story.

Reading this issue again I tried to keep more of an open mind, mainly because I had forgotten that this was the second straight non-Borovia issue, but to see if I can enjoy this issue more than I have in the past. Unfortunately, despite my best hopes I didn't. Baroness continues her string of stupidity and the Joes unveil their very own space ship. Ugh. The only thing worse than a story about Joes and COBRA in space is that both Hawk and the supposed CC went up in space as well. I do concede that there is always an element of risk of being on the front lines of a battle, which both Hawk and the former CC were very much used to. The problem I had is that not only is there a great risk of losing them in battle, but the battle is in freaking space!! It seemed like a considerable and unnecessary risk to have the leader of both organizations along for the ride. I guess if Zartan can use holography (which requires a suspension of disbelief) then a space ship that received considerable damage can re-enter the earth's atmosphere without breaking apart.

Unfortunately, the last two pages do little to salvage this issue for me. Its still disappointing that we spent almost two full issues away from the Borovia story, only to end up mashing the entire break-in and break-out into the next issue. Without having to introduce the new characters and vehicles, the next issue could have been spread out over two issues. My "what could have been"s are becoming increasingly frequent, not to mention annoying. I apologize.
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Postby shanecdavis » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:48 pm

Here are my rankings for the week:

Marvel #61
Marvel #63
Marvel Special Missions #6
Marvel #62
Marvel #64
Marvel Special Missions #7
Marvel #65

I was a little disappointed with the reading this week. It actually has been a while since I last read through the Marvel run and I guess I held the #61-66 stretch in a much higher regard when I couldn't remember much other than the great Borovia storyline. Two of the issues though made the Top 25, unseating #33 and #41.

1. Marvel #21
2. Marvel #26
3. Marvel #46
4. Marvel #2
5. Marvel #34
6. Marvel #39
7. Marvel #27
8. Marvel #45
9. Marvel #1
10. Marvel #31
11. Marvel #61
12. Marvel #43
13. Marvel #11
14. Marvel #32
15. Marvel #38
16. Marvel #42
17. Marvel #49
18. Marvel #53
19. Marvel #63
20. Marvel #19
21. Marvel #24
22. Marvel #22
23. Marvel #14
24. Marvel #29
25. Marvel #40

There was no change to my Bottom 10, as even #65 wasn't too bad of an issue. The story wasn't the best, but the solid art kept it above #20 and a few others.

10. Marvel #20
9. Marvel #8
8. Marvel #9
7. Marvel #3
6. Marvel #35
5. Marvel #51
4. Marvel #59
3. Marvel #37
2. Marvel #60
1. Marvel #44

I'm excited to get to #66, which I'm pretty sure is going to crack my Top 10, although the rest of the issues next week leave much to be desired. I will try extra hard to keep an open mind.
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Postby ER » Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:16 pm

Managed to get behind in our marathon - too much stuff going on. But I'll be catching up!

#63 (June 1987)
Probably my all time favorite SE/Scarlet cover! Love seeing the 4 Joes on vacation, love all the gulag stuff, great to see the Joes secret bases in both Utah and SF (whatever happened to thier SF base, by the way?). Cool to see Billy tell his story to SS and Ripcord (and Larry realy needs to put Ripcord back into the mix in the new ARAH issues). The debut of the Techno-Viper - always liked that figure and all the tools and gear it came with - and the new figure is even better. And of course I love the suspense of SE, Scarlett and the mine and not knowing for sure what they're up to until later. A very strong issue all the way around.

Special Missions #7 (July 1987)
I agree that this is my least favorite SM issue out of the ones we've read so far, but that said, I still really, really enjoy this one. A great way to showcase Psyche-Out's specialties and the plot is so off-beat and entertaining. I agree with Shane that it's a little much to have the Joes walk right in with their Joe outfits on - they should have dressed as firefighters or put on some Cobra uniforms or something, but oh well. I still love the issue and I like how it ties in with #64, with this being the reason that Baroness returns to Cobra Island. (Presumably she has been running the Consulate Building ever since Yearbook 3 when she arrived there with the captured SE)
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