Wednesday, June 18, 2008

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #15 (September 1983)

"Red-Eye to Miami!"

Credits: Larry Hama (writer), Mike Vosburg (artist), Jon D'Agostino (inker), Rick Parker (letterer), Andy Yanchus (colorist), Denny O'Neil (editor)

Feature Characters: Breaker, Grunt, Hawk, Scarlett, Snake Eyes (appears next in G.I. Joe #17), Stalker

Supporting Characters: Kwinn (appears next in G.I. Joe #17)

Villains: Baroness, Cobra Commander, a Cobra lawyer (first and only appearance), Cobra troops (disguised as renegade Sierra Gordo troops, no further appearances, all killed by Kwinn), Destro, Dr. Venom, a group of smugglers (first and only appearance), Major Bludd (Sebastian Bludd, first appearance, named revealed in G.I. Joe #16), renegade Sierra Gordo troops

Character Note: There is one other Joe at Hawk's meeting but only that person's hands are visible.

Story: Dr. Venom, Kwinn, and Snake Eyes escape from Sierra Gordo aboard a stolen airplane. Meanwhile, the intrigue begins to heat up within the Cobra organization.

Review: This issue is unusual in that most of the story doesn't directly involve the G.I. Joe team in any significant capacity. They appear for a few panels to briefly foreshadow the next issue, but that is it as far as their participation in this issue.

Kwinn returns and, once he kills the Cobra troops, it's time for the unlikely trio to get out of the jungle despite Dr. Venom being the most undesirable of traveling companions. They manage to steal a World War II-era British Avro Lancaster bomber from the airfield attacked by the G.I. Joe team last issue. I'm not entirely certain how a banana republic would have access to a vintage WWII bomber in working condition 40 years after the war, but hey, I'm willing to suspend a little disbelief for a decent story.

During the escape is a neat sequence between the bomber and a fighter pilot dispatched from the airfield. Dr. Venom flies below the cloud cover and gives the fighter pilot's eyes a chance to dilate in the darkness before switching on the bomber's running lights and blinding him. Later, Venom unsurprisingly betrays Kwinn and Snake Eyes by attempting to murder them. Kwinn nearly kills him but Snake Eyes tells his Eskimo friend to spare the life of "the weasel."

At Cobra headquarters, it is learned that Dr. Venom is alive and well and offering the biological catalyst for the toxin. While Cobra Commander acknowledges Venom is crafty, he's still not sold on how the G.I. Joe team learned the location of the furniture factory from last issue. Destro blames Scar-Face but the Commander doesn't buy it and calls in Major Bludd to deal with his Destro problem. However, Destro tells the Baroness of his actions which tears her loyalties apart. We'll see both of these items dealt with next issue.

The smuggler plot point was a little dumb but I suppose somewhat necessary to add a bit of urgency. With the fuel line shot, the three escapees dump everything and then are in the process of removing the plane's paneling in the hopes of making it to shore. The old married couple strolling down memory lane as the plane crash lands was a bit silly.

Landing a plane on a beach is apparently a crime, so Kwinn and Snake Eyes are taken into custody while Venom escapes through his lawyer. While Dr. Venom appears next issue, Kwinn and Snake Eyes aren't seen until the issue following next.

1 comment:

smacky said...

Always loved this cover---> Mad scientist (in a lab coat even!) trying to drop Snake Eyes to his death.