|G.I. Joe #44|
|"Improvisation on a Theme"|
Lady Jaye oversees the testing of four new Joes while Destro oversees the testing of a new weapon.
In the Nevada desert Lady Jaye aboard the Silver Mirage leads four prospective Joes - Bazooka, Crankcase, Heavy Metal and Airtight - on a test range with the A.W.E. Striker and the Mauler M.B.T. tank as part of their evaluation for the team. They quickly navigate the tough terrain and destroy all targets, passing their combat evaluation, and head into town. On the way back the others learn Airtight collects scorpions, temporarily storing them in the first aid kit. Suddenly they are attacked by a squad of Cobra B.A.T.s - Battle Android Troopers - who charge them kamikaze style and in their destruction release mutant plant spores that rapidly grow into vines which engulf the three vehicles and release a sleeping gas. A van pulls up and aboard it Dr. Mindbender explains that his creeper-bomb has potential for Cobra, which Destro is interested in producing in his factories and the Baroness in persuading Cobra Commander to buy. Once the vines stop growing Cobra troopers disembark to gather up the captured Joes.
Later at a scrap yard hut Mindbender explains how his creeper-bombs preserve their targets and only a few android troopers are needed to deliver them. However Destro is skeptical, pointing out that most of the Joes captured were untested new recruits caught unaware, thus proving nothing. Mindbender responds he has provided an additional, controlled demonstration. The Joes come to in the scrap yard aboard their vehicles, to find their weapons have all been unloaded and they are instead a maze constructed out of crushed cars. They are suspicious and alert enough for Destro's satisfaction and so a B.A.T. drives a truck cab with canisters towards them, followed by two more B.A.T.s on motorcycles. Lady Jaye motors between the two motorcycles whilst the Mauler charges through the maze wall and the Striker leaps over it, causing all the B.A.T. driven vehicles to crash into each other, to Destro's displeasure. A H.I.S.S. and Stinger attack, causing the Mauler and Striker to separate and go deeper into the maze. As the Striker's gun is empty, Crankcase tells Bazooka to throw it at the Stinger, destroying the B.A.T. driver's head and causing it to crash. Airtight and Heavy Metal find they have come to a car crusher. Airtight jumps off and reaches the control booth and activates it just as the H.I.S.S. enters the crusher in pursuit.
The Baroness is observing from a F.A.N.G. above the scrap yard and is also skeptical, but Mindbender dispatches another truck with three B.A.T.s and a huge pile of canisters. Elsewhere in the yard the four new Joes rendezvous and discuss how to attack, with Airtight and Bazooka coming up with ideas. Wearing jury-rigged gas masks the Joe vehicles advance on a squad of B.A.T.s on motorcycles and plow through them. Then Airtight tells to others to use battery acid to kill the spores. However the large truck is advancing and they haven't enough acid so contemplate retreating. Suddenly it is picked up by an electromagnet crane, operated by Lady Jaye. She orders the others to remount the attack. At the hut Destro and Mindbender take refuge in a van that is both airtight and coated with pesticide to protect against the spores and the latter prepares to release the spores contained in a road oil tanker. Mindbender wants to wait until the Joes get close, but suddenly Airtight flings the first aid kit at the van, shattering the wind shield. The scorpions attack Destro and Mindbender who flee the van. Heavy Metal then swings the Mauler turret to throw car batteries set on fire at the tanker, which explodes. The flames devour the plants and the two Cobra operatives only escape by clinging onto the skids of the Baroness's F.A.N.G. Lady Jaye motors up to the four new recruits to tell them they have passed all their exams with flying colors.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Featured Vehicles & Equipment
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
- None yet.
- Dr. Mindbender is called "Dr. Brain-Wave" until page 15, where his name switches.
- Lady J becomes "Lady Jaye" on page 19.
Items of note
- First Appearances: Snake-Eyes' 1985 figure's commando suit, Airtight, A.W.E. Striker, B.A.T.s, Bazooka, Crank-Case, Heavy Metal, Mauler M.B.T., Dr. Mindbender, Silver Mirage
- In the United Kingdom the story was reprinted in Transformers #99, #100, #101 & #102.
- No references.
Footnotes and References