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Hawk is kidnapped by a team of men led by Chuckles and discover a shocking secret.
Newark Airport, New Jersey finds a canine military police officer, Law (with his dog, Order) approaching a recently disembarked passenger, namely Hawk. Law "suggests" that Hawk accompany him to the jeep that Lt. Falcon is waiting in. Hawk quickly picking up on the passive aggressive hint that Order is ready to attack him if he doesn't, reluctantly agrees.
Meanwhile, Buzzer and Zarana arrive at Zartan's gas station in the Jersey marshes. They intend to get a quick (and importantly free) refill for their bikes, but are annoyed to find that the station's fuel is being siphoned. Following the hose, they find that Zanzibar and Monkeywrench are responsible. Zarana knows Zanzibar from when he sold Zartan some bootleg gas, gas that Zanzibar is intending to steal back and resell now. Buzzer knows Monkeywrench from the Dreadnok's days in Australia. A warm reunion isn't had, as Buzzer and Zarana quickly go to work attacking the thieves, stopping only when Zanzibar claims he has information that might be of interest to Zartan and Cobra.
Hawk's kidnapping results him being taken to Miami North, a faux-beach resort that failed due to the Jersey shoreline being nothing like Miami. As Law puts it, "The palm trees are plastic. That was a major problem. Icicles kept forming on the plastic fronds." The jeep pulls up outside a disused hotel and greeted by Chuckles. He introduces Hawk to his kidnappers, including Fast Draw, and explains that he's from army intelligence. He's been investigating some dodgy generals in the Pentagon when he stumbled upon an operation being run by another army intelligence officer. Hawk interrupts demanding some ID proving that Chuckles is in fact with Army Intelligence. Chuckles is happy to oblige, disappointing Hawk when he points out that it would all be faked. Realizing that he's not going to be able to escape easily, Hawk lets Chuckles continue.
Taking Hawk into the grand ballroom, Chuckles reveals the purpose of Falcon's team's mission - assignment to the G.I. Joe team and the guarding the ridiculously huge prototype missile hidden in the hotel. The trouble is, Chuckles points out, that the missile type was decommissioned years ago, meaning this is one that's conveniently disappeared from the books and that none of its guard team have actually been assigned to G.I. Joe. Chuckles' actions haven't gone unnoticed in the Pentagon though and the dirty general and Intelligence officer decide to activate the missile by remote.
As Chuckles informs Hawk that the missile is pointing directly at Cobra Island, a garishly dressed gambling granny wanders into the building and overhears everything. The granny is quickly revealed to be Zarana, who runs outside to inform Buzzer and Monkeywrench of the missile's target. She instructs Buzzer to ride to the Cobra Consulate building in New York and warn Cobra Island, while she and Monkeywrench attack the missile and the Joes on their trike.
Before the Joes can mount a proper defense, the hotel opens up to allow the missile carrier to roll out. The Dreadnoks, bolstered by the appearance of Zanzibar on the Air Skiff, begin to attack the missile. Hawk instructs his faux-Joes to ignore the Dreadnoks and take out the real threat – the missile. But just as Fast Draw is lining up a missile of his own at the super-weapon, Zanzibar takes him down, believing he was aiming at Zarana.
Zarana orders the Dreadnoks to attack the missile rather than the Joes, while Hawk tells the Joes that the Dreadnoks think they're defending the rocket. Despite this, Law sets Order on Monkeywrench and Chuckles boards the Air Skiff and starts beating up Zanzibar. Meanwhile, Buzzer has sped into New York City and rides his bike straight into the Cobra Consulate's express lift.
Amidst the chaotic fight in Jersey, the missile is about to launch. The brawling Chuckles and Zanzibar crash the Air Skiff into the Dreadnok trike just as the rocket launches, destroying all the vehicles and throwing everyone clear. The Dreadnoks quickly take the initiative and "Midasize" the fallen Chuckles. Fortunately the missile is quickly destroyed by a Cobra helicopter, carrying amongst its crew Buzzer. They retrieve the Dreadnoks and scarper.
Law and Falcon tend to the fallen Chuckles, whose hard head has saved him from any serious injury. Hawk congratulates the work of the Faux-Joes and rewards them all with places on the proper G.I. Joe team. "Especially the dog." Chuckles is pleased, but has one matter to attend to first. Cut to the Pentagon office of the corrupt general. Chuckles kicks down the door and intimidates the general and the Intelligence officer. They beg him not to shoot them, but he instead pulls out a pen. "That's to sign your resignations..."
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Featured Vehicles & Equipment
"Har! I sold Zartan this here load of bad gas and now I'm stealing it back..."
"So's we can sell it again!"
- --Did Zanzibar and Monkeywrench come up with the whole sub-prime mortgage lending scheme, too?
"The palm trees are plastic. That was a major problem. Icicles kept forming on the plastic fronds. Never looked quite right..."
- --I don't know, Law, that sounds pretty festive to me.
"I'm gonna Midasize you but good!"
- --Zarana makes an obscure reference that even Joel and the bots would be proud of. (see below)
- On the first page, Law and Falcon are talking to each other over radios - while standing about 10 feet apart on an empty sidewalk. In the original version of the page, they were farther apart, but it wasn't clear they were at an airport. Click the image at right for a detailed comparison of the changes.
- No one questions a guy with a dog and a gun at an airport? Must be the uniform.
- In his first appearance, the corrupt General resembles Dwight Eisenhower; by the end of the issue, he looks like an entirely different (and younger) person.
- Hawk's hat disappears and reappears several times during the fight.
Items of note
- First Appearances: Law & Order, Lt. Falcon, Chuckles, Fast Draw, Monkeywrench, Zanzibar
- The Dreadnoks' gas station shows up for the first time since issue 51.
- Monkeywrench can't tell the difference between a mastiff and a German shepherd.
- Hawk's line "I'll remember you... and your dog, too" parodies a famous line from The Wizard of Oz ("I'll get you, and your little dog too!).
- The two men at the Pentagon are never named, but bear a superficial resemblance to General Grant and Senator Robbins from "The Viper is Coming".
- Hawk is being particularly charitable to the faux-Joes when he puts them on the real Joe team, given that they've been a complete failure; they didn't realize they were on a fake mission until Chuckles told them; Chuckles himself was continually observed by the corrupt Pentagon dwellers; it didn't occur to them to preemptively decommission the missile once they realized they were on a phony op and not only did they not manage to stop it launching, but it was the independent actions of the Dreadnoks that saved their bacon. All of whom got away free. And for that they get told job well done and are hired?!
- Chuckles is also a bit naive thinking that just confronting the corrupt general and AI officer with a pen will get them to resign.
- This is the only issue published during the original run with art by Todd McFarlane. McFarlane and Larry Hama disagreed on storytelling styles, and he was soon let go - the first time he'd been fired from a book.
- In the United Kingdom the story was reprinted in Transformers #225, #226, #227, #228 & #229.
- Hawk compares Chuckles' look to Hawaii Five-O, a police show set, obviously, in Hawaii.
- While beating on Chuckles with car parts, Zarana says she's going to "Midasize" him, a reference to an '80s commercial for the Midas chain of muffler shops, where passersby urge a man to fix his noisy car.
- When Falcon checks on Chuckles, he mentions the Rockwell scale, a measure of a material's hardness.
- Chuckles' outfit at the end of the issue is straight out of Miami Vice.
Footnotes and References