Tuesday, July 15, 2008

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #17 (November 1983)

"Loose Ends"

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

Feature Characters: Ace, Breaker, Clutch, Cover Girl, Doc, Flash, Grand Slam, Grunt, Gung Ho, Hawk, Rock 'N Roll, Scarlett, Short-Fuze, Snake Eyes, Stalker, Steeler, Torpedo, Tripwire, Wild Bill, Zap

Breaker, Cover Girl, Doc, Gung Ho, Short-Fuze, Steeler, Tripwire, and Zap all appear next in issue #19. Grand Slam also appears in issue #19 but behind the scenes.

Supporting Characters: Kwinn

Villains: Cobra Commander, a Cobra operative (a hospital doctor), Cobra troops, Destro, Dr. Venom, Major Bludd, Scar-Face

Cameo Appearances: Baroness (briefly seen in a hospital room, also in flashback)

Reagan-era Goodness: Kwinn and Snake Eyes win a pink Cadillac in a dice game. Elvis Presley had a pink Cadillac in the 1950s, which inspired Bruce Springsteen to record his song "Pink Cadillac" (released in 1984). The appearance of the car in this issue predates the song by about seven or eight months.

Story: Pursuing Cobra, the G.I. Joe team captures Major Bludd when he attempts to hijack a bus carrying none other than Scar-Face. Snake Eyes and Kwinn escape from their Miami jail cell and get underway to Coney Island.

Review: Picking up where the previous installment left off, this issue keeps the proverbial ball rolling. Hawk was wearing not only an armored vest under his uniform, but a SWAT vest. While the plot convenience was handled reasonably well, I can't say that I cared for the convenience of Hawk being up and around a few hours later to deal with Major Bludd in the hospital. I guess this begs the question of the other Joes being similarly equipped.

The intrigue within Cobra takes another turn when Cobra Commander convinces Destro that Major Bludd's attempted assassination was because he was in love with the Baroness! Destro buys it hook, line, and sinker. Bludd gets his comeuppance when he's captured after a failed attempt to hijack a bus.

I wasn't too keen on the contrived escape by Snake Eyes and Kwinn from their Miami jail. Kwinn just happens to carry a saw blade in his shoe? Please. However, I did enjoy the two of them riding in the pink Cadillac after the dice game with Kwinn chiding Snake Eyes for taking a man's hat. What I'm not sure about is how Kwinn knows that Scar-Face's hideout is at Coney Island or why Scar-Face is there instead of say, Springfield.

And Coney Island is where all the loose ends of the current storyline will apparently be wrapped up. Destro knows he'll find him there, Kwinn and Snake Eyes inexplicably know he's there, and Snake Eyes tips off the G.I. Joe team. The stage is being set for the next two issues and the resolution of this storyline.

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