Saturday, February 9, 2008

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #5 (November 1982)

"Tanks" for the Memories...

Credits: Larry Hama (writer), Don Perlin (artist), Jon D'Agostino and Mike Esposito (inkers), Jim Novak (letterer), Stan Goldberg (colorist), Tom DeFalco (editor)

Feature Characters: Breaker, Clutch, Scarlett, Steeler

Supporting Characters: General Flagg, General Austin (appears next in G.I. Joe #33)

Cameo Appearances: Snake Eyes, Stalker (along with Scarlett as Cobra Commander's wooden machine gun targets)

: Cobra Commander (last seen in G.I. Joe #3), the Baroness (last seen in G.I. Joe #1, appears next in G.I. Joe #8), Cobra troops (some possibly last seen in G.I. Joe #3), Cobra undercover agents (an airport gate attendant; a skycap; a taxi driver; a doorman named Hollis; Mrs. Hood; and the Springfield Drum and Bugle Corps, first and only appearance for all)

Story: G.I. Joe's MOBAT (Multi-Ordnance Battle Tank) is rolled out during an Armed Forces Day parade in New York City and tangles with Cobra during an attempt to steal the tank.

Reagan-era Goodness: Scarlett asks about plugging a Pac-Man cartridge into the MOBAT's computer system before declaring that disco is dead.

Review: This was quite the fun story that didn't lose much in the aging process. The only part I wasn't too thrilled about was the hefty amount of technobabble in the beginning where a number of the MOBAT's systems are discussed. Sure, Scarlett's humor was used to counterbalance the tech-heavy dialogue but it still came off as awkward. Of course, just about all the equipment mentioned played some part in the story so I'm guessing Larry Hama didn't want things to seem too contrived during the action. In any case, moving on...

While I like the idea of an ammo-less tank fighting a battle in New York City, the idea of driving a top secret tank around in a parade without the means to defend itself strikes me as a tad daft. The intent was to show the tank as looking as inconspicuous as the next tank and the utmost security precautions were taken, but it still came across as an unnecessary risk to not equip the MOBAT with a few shells or some bullets for the machine gun. This point is brought up in the story with the answer being that they couldn't risk hurting civilians. Maybe my opinion is a bit tainted with post-9/11 skepticism, but I still think the reasoning was a little iffy here.

The first mention of Springfield is made in this story. A more concrete connection between the town and Cobra will be forthcoming in issue #10.


smacky said...

It wasn't until years later when I saw Bob Hope sing "Thanks for the Memories" that I understood the origin of the pun title. I mean, obviously "Tanks" meant "Thanks" but I had never heard the song.

And knowing is half the battle!

De said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
De said...

Well, Blogger doesn't like the long URLs. Go figure.

Anyway, check out some unexpected Bob Hope action here.