Tuesday, June 17, 2008

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #14 (August 1983)

"Destro Attacks"

Credits: Larry Hama (writer), Mike Vosburg (artist), Jon D'Agostino (inker), Joe Rosen (letterer), Christie Scheele (colorist), Denny O'Neil (editor)

Feature Characters: Ace (Brad J. Armbruster, first appearance, name revealed in G.I. Joe: Order of Battle #1, appears next in G.I. Joe #17), Breaker, Clutch (last seen in G.I. Joe #12), Doc (appears next in G.I. Joe #17), Gung Ho, Grunt, Hawk, Rock 'N Roll, Scarlett, Snake Eyes, Stalker, Wild Bill, Zap (latter two last seen in G.I. Joe #11)

Clutch, Gung Ho, Rock 'N Roll, Wild Bill, and Zap appear next in G.I. Joe #16.

Supporting Characters: General Flagg (last seen in G.I. Joe #12, appears next in G.I. Joe #16), Kwinn

Villains: Baroness, Cobra Commander, Cobra airborne troops (first and only appearance), Cobra operatives (posing as furniture factory employees, first and only appearance for all), Destro (first full appearance), Dr. Venom, Scar-Face

Story: While Dr. Venom, Kwinn, and Snake Eyes attempt to escape the sunken bunker, the G.I. Joe team follow the micro dot (found in Sierra Gordo) to Springfield, Vermont in hopes of finding Cobra's headquarters.

Review: Obscured in shadow or behind objects, Destro finally makes his first full appearance here and it's a doozy. His relationship with the Baroness heats up big time and we learn that he had a hand in Scar-Face's activities down in Sierra Gordo. However, we have no idea what Destro's agenda is at this point but we do know he's out for Cobra Commander's blood given that he had the micro dots switched so the G.I. Joe team would attack him in Vermont. And the plan might have worked if the Baroness hadn't been the Commander's pilot. By saving the Baroness, he also saved the Commander, and he's not happy about it.

Before the battle in Vermont, the Baroness notes that the micro dot originally planned to be planted in Sierra Gordo was to have Cobra's headquarters underneath Ft. Wadsworth! Little does Cobra know what lurks beneath that small Army base. Cobra's other plan is to introduce Dr. Venom's biological toxin into G.I. Joe headquarters by having one of their troops captured. But Dr. Venom being the wily sort, notes (after his escape from the bunker) that the toxin is useless without his secret catalyst.

Dr. Venom and Snake Eyes escape from their watery prison only to run into the disguised Cobra troops from last issue. Kwinn was clubbed on the head by the bad doctor and left for dead. Of course, we'll see Kwinn again quite soon.

My last item deals with the G.I. Joe team's new weapon, the Skystriker jet. Sure, it's likely that there will be occasions when air support might be necessary. However, the jet literally blows up a furniture factory outside of Vermont. Yes, it's an evil furniture factory that probably made tables with uneven legs but that sort of thing is hard to hide from the public. In issue #16, General Flagg alludes to the Vermont mission not ending well despite the clues found there.


smacky said...

As a kid, each issue was like an extended Sears Christmas Wish Book, showing all the toys in action. Brilliant marketing, and I'm glad the actual stories still hold up.

De said...

Aside from a bit of clumsiness (by today's standards), these stories are indeed holding up. I was quite surprised some of these earlier issues were still enjoyable 25 years later.