I’ve reviewed one previous Comic Story, Hot Potato the back up story in Marvel Issue # 1. In that article I said I wouldn’t make a habit of reviewing comics, but that they’d occasionally appear. So I figured I’d look at another one of the more forgotten (or likely, forgettable) Special Missions stories.
G.I. Joe was pretty good at being a diverse and inclusive toyline, this also wound up shining through in both the comic book and cartoon. The few female characters (though, more than most other competing toylines) were generally portrayed strong, and competent, and wound up being popular with fans. So it’s not all that surprising, that in the Special Missions they’d do a female centric issue. Did they do it well? Definitely not.
The story starts off with Jinx, Scarlett, Lady Jaye and Covergirl dressed up like cheerleaders or something, doing rockettes style chorus kicks on a parade float at an exhibition game between the “Mites”* and “Dandees”.The president is gonna throw the first pitch or something, but he does it from his luxury box. I guess that’s why he was only a one term president! Anyways the female Joes who feel they’ve been treated poorly because they were put in a ridiculous undercover get-up, then get to stay in the background with the parade float that’s got a lot of surveillance equipment.
The male Joes, on the other hand get to do some show of force surveillance and hang out with heavy armor and a helicopter, and their correct uniforms. Zap, Doc and Heavy Metal all make appearances, too.
At the same time, COBRA has decided they’re gonna kidnap the president. To do so, Fred VII has assembled the crack team of, Firefly, Raptor and Crystal Ball. Crystal Ball, uses his Hypno Shield to hypnotize Falcon and Hawk to have them release the security team. Meanwhile Raptor’s bird drops gas pellets and a disguised Zarana and Firefly (Who throws hot dog bombs) show that they’re bad enough dudes, to kidnap the President and they take him on to the Good Year blimp, which is actually a COBRA blimp. Luckily the ladies weren’t affected by gas or hypnosis, gear up and sneak on the blimp. Well, except for Cover Girl, she gets to go wise up Hawk.
The COBRAs take the president and Zap tries to shoot it with a Bazooka (I guess he didn’t have a problem with people getting weekend passes in prison). On the blimp, Jinx fights Fred VII, Lady Jaye fights Raptor (Gets thrown out of the blimp and has to fight and kill the bird too), Scarlett fights both Zarana and Firefly, but gets help from Jinx. Fred VII pulls a gun and has those two dead to rights, suddenly Hardball appears to pitch a smoke grenade at Cover Girl, who is apparently Lou Gehrig or something and bats it to Lady Jaye. The smoke provides a distraction and allows a ninja kick to put Fred VII out of action, and the COBRAs escape in a plane hidden in the blip, while the female Joes save the President and get a bunch of perks, such as a months leave with double pay and a week in New York (where everything costs 3 to 5 times as much as it does everywhere else)
This is one bogus issue. On one hand they handled the women as well as they could, by drawing some attention to inequalities, and the different treatment they received. Which was done without being too patronizing. The real issues in this comic come from a distinct lack of continuity and a bunch of art mistakes.
For example, Heavy Metal appears in one panel on the third page, then he magically turns into Cutter, while still being called Heavy Metal. It’s really jarring and poorly done. Another example would be when Lady Jaye is fighting a goddamn bird, she’s referred to as Scarlett. It’s interesting that the name mix up happens when they’re in their actual uniforms!
I can’t say I liked the issue, it wasn’t of much substance, and while there’s an interesting cast of characters, it doesn’t matter because it’s so bland. In a way the storyline almost seems like something that would’ve made a far better episode of the cartoon, than an issue of the comic.
*As a completely unrelated aside, there was a period of time when I got WPIX 11, a WB Affiliate from New York, I watched a lot of Mets games and Taxi on that channel.