23 July 2007

G.I. JOE Yearbook #3

Continuing the G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO week (Part 1 is here), I have for your perusal probably the greatest comics annual EVAH! It's the third G.I. JOE Yearbook and the main story has lots of ninjas running around cutting each other to pieces. Oh, and you get to see the Baroness in her undies. I told you it's gonna be great, didn't I? Written by, who else, Larry Hama and pencilled by my favourite JOE penciller, Ron Wagner, the story is called, "Hush Job" and it's a silent issue. That's right, no words.

A little story background: Snake Eyes (that's the dude in the all-black getup strapped to the torture thingy) was captured while on a mission in Sierra Gordo (G.I. JOE #55). He's a damn good ninja but even ninjas have off days. Besides, it leads to this damn good story in the yearbook so shut yo mouth and stop asking those logical-but-gets-between-a-good-story kind of questions. Just enjoy the ride, okay? Here we go.....

The story opens with a COBRA helicopter approaching the COBRA headquarters in downtown New York City. Yes, COBRA is a legitimate nation with embassies and lawyers and stuff. It's all very complicated but basically they blackmailed the USA into recognising them in exchange for not launching any ICBMs into Washington D.C. from COBRA Island.

It's Dr. Mindbender and Baroness in the passenger seats. And bringing up the rear is Snake Eyes, trussed up like a sacrifice in a ritual.

Unbeknownst to them, Scarlett and Slipstream were in the Skystriker taking a peek at the embassy. Now that Scarlett knows where Snake Eyes is.....

.....she seeks help from renegade COBRA ninja and Snake Eyes' old buddy, Storm Shadow, who has been bunking out in the wilds with Timber, the Timberwolf (yes, I know, I know but that's the animal's name. True story, swear to God).

Yup. He's pissed off. COBRA pissed off a ninja. Hoo-boy.

Meanwhile, back at COBRA Embassy:

Snake Eyes is held in Dr. Mindbender's Brainwave Scanner. It's a device that pries open your mind and digs out any and all secrets that you may have hidden. It also doubles as a nifty torture device. According to the G.I. JOE: Order of Battle #3, Dr. Mindbender was a dentist before he joined COBRA. Makes sense now, doesn't it?

And check out the Baroness:

She's enjoying the torture session, the sly minx. I know she's one of the bad guys and probably a psycho but I can't help but feel attracted towards her. Must be the glasses. Has to be glasses. I'm a sucker for women wearing glasses. I'm also a sucker for women wearing dark blue skin tight catsuits with a cobra sigil on the chest. *Grrrroowwll* I'm willing to be the mongoose to her cobra. Oh, wait. Mongoose kill cobras, don't they? Damn.

Storm Shadow, meanwhile, has arrived at a subterranean entrance of COBRA Embassy

I know your organisation is supposed to be legit and all that but must you paste your COBRA sigil on everything that belongs to you? Even manhole covers? It kinda helps the enemy, you know?

Okay, I take it back. When you have scuba divers patrolling your sewers, I guess you want tresspassers to come through your underground back door. Makes paying those divers seem worthwhile, I guess. Too bad this tresspasser is one bad mofo.

Scarlett, however, doesn't have the necessary ninja magic and is identified and caught easily while trying to sneak in disguised as a cleaner.


Holy Crap in a hole, she has a wolf in that vacuum cleaner bin!

But back to Storm Shadow:

First, COBRA employs scuba divers to swim around in their sewers. Now we find they have ninjas hanging upside down like frickin' BATS in the embassy's boiler room! This is it. NINJA CLASH! I'll shut up now while you savour the panels below.

It's not over yet. Here's more ninja vs. ninja:

Burn, bad ninjas, burn!

Dr. Mindbender is unaware of all this. He's too busy being a mad ex-dentist.

"Brain Block in Effect". I have no idea what that means but it sounds nasty.
Brain blocking by Snake Eyes is so powerful, it smashes the monitors. Dr. Mindbender gets caught in shrapnel attack.

Snake Eyes gets a COBRA man-pile. Who let the dogs out? Who? Who? Who? Who? Who?
Yay! Storm Shadow to the rescue.

If this story had dialogue written for it, the most appropriate words that should appear from the COBRA troopers' mouths are "Shit, the ninja's armed".

But then, the red clad ninjas smash through the glass windows. I'm not sure if they were the same ninjas that we all thought got burned by Storm Shadow in the boiler room. If they were the same ninjas....damn! What are they? Zombie, mutant, fire retardant ninjas??
But Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes are either too smart or too tired to mess with these guys. They perform a nice circus double act and loop-de-loop over the red ninjas and head for the exit.
And give the ninjas a nice surprise:
As Bruce Willis would have said in that movie with all those explosions, "Yippe-Ka-Yay, mother$*^%@!"
Just when you thought it was time to catch your breath and go home, a whole batallion of COBRA troopers block the main doors. This is it, guys. The ninjas' last stand. They go down, they go down fighting. But the Baroness has them at point blank range. The ninja brothers will probably die like a couple of punks, now. AARRGH! So close.
Well, look who decided to wake up and investigate. It's the good doctor himself:

The Baroness all tied up and ready to go. How did one wolf and Scarlett manage to overpower four troopers and one sexy psycho we may never know. Wait! If this is the Baroness, then who....
Well, of course. Who else could it be. The ninjas leave the embassy, reunited at last with their red-headed colleague dressed in a tight catsuit and a timberwolf in downtown NY.
Told you it was gonna be a wild ride, didn't I?

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