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Zartan continues his fight with the Blind Master, who knows all about Zartan's involvement with the Hard Master's death. The Red Ninjas attack the Joe ninjas at the site of Snake-Eyes' cabin in the woods. Clutch is placed in the Brainwave Scanner.


Detailed summary

In San Francisco, near the Presidio, Zartan and the Blind Master are fighting. The Blind Master wants to avenge the Hard Master, while Zartan is sick of every Arashikage pursuing him for that, as his actual target was Snake-Eyes, and Zartan also paid for that blunder by missing his life as Onihashi's apprentice. A few blocks away, Tyrone is seeking for the Blind Master, stating that he doesn't snatch purses anymore and that the Blind Master is his sensei.

On Broca Beach, Baroness and the Dreadnoks use the Brainwave Scanner to enter a virtual simulation of Clutch's brain, where they change his memories for others more suitable for Cobra, like putting a closet with a Crimson Guard uniform in the memories of his room, and changing his girlfriend Margaret Boberek for a Cobra youth cheerleader named Wendy.

Back in San Francisco, bullies Vladimir and Estragon take Tyrone's skateboard in order to provoke him into using the Blind Master's martial arts teachings against them, but Tyrone, despite knowing he can beat both, remembers the teachings of the Blind Master about controlling his anger and cleansing the violence from his heart, so he just lets them keep the board. Vladimir mockingly mentions that he has seen the Blind Master down the Presidio, so Tyrone goes there.

At Snake-Eyes' burnt-out cabin in the High Sierras, Jinx, Scarlett and Snake-Eyes are tending to the injured Timber when they are ambushed by an army of Red Ninjas. At a nearby waterfall, Storm Shadow faces the leading Red Ninja, who turns out to be the presumed dead driver of Zartan's van back in San Francisco[1] and shows an Arashikage tattoo to Storm Shadow. Back at the burnt-out cabin, the other Red Ninjas do the same, revealing that they are the last of the Arashikage clan, and fight the heroes to ensure no one to interfere in the fight between Storm Shadow and their leader. At the waterfall, the Red Ninja leader claims that Storm Shadow is the real culprit of the Hard Master's death, with Zartan being simply an effect, while Storm Shadow bringing Snake-Eyes to the clan was the cause. Their duel ends with both ninjas falling down the waterfall. At the cabin, Jinx and Scarlett defeat several Red Ninjas, but both are injured, leaving the rest to Snake-Eyes and Timber. After all the Red Ninjas have been defeated, Jinx sees Storm Shadow floating in the river, so they rescue him.

Back in San Francisco, the Blind Master defeats Zartan and is about to fatally stab him, with Zartan glad that it's over due to the pain he has lived since Onihashi's death, but Tyrone stops the Blind Master, reminding him that nothing is worth killing a man for if he's helpless and in your power, and asking if everything he taught him was a lie. The disappointed Tyrone leaves the alley, and when the Blind Master tries to reach for him, Zartan takes the master's discarded knife to stab him, not believing that he was being forgiven. Then, the dying Blind Master reveals that Onihashi forgave Zartan with his last breath, which causes Zartan to regret what he just has done. Zartan disguises as the Blind Master and reaches Tyrone, eager to turn on a new leaf teaching the boy.

Appearances

Featured Characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

G.I. Joe Cobra Civilians Clutch's memories Arashikage Clan
  • Estragon (16)
  • Officer Lopez (4)
  • Tyrone (3)
  • Vladimir (15)
  • Margaret Boberek (12)
  • Uncle Arnie (13)
  • Wendy (14)

Memorable quotes

"We're still waiting..."

--Seriously, Vladimir, no one is going to get that joke.

Other notes

Errors

  • The cover depicts Snake-Eyes wearing the uniform design based on his 1989 action figure but, story-wise, he doesn't adopt it until G.I. Joe #95.
  • The Red Ninjas have their Arashikage tattoos in different places: some on the inside of the arms, some on the outside.
  • Snake-Eyes and company have changed clothes since last issue, apparently in mid-battle or at least mid-parley.

Items of note

  • Death of the Blind Master.
  • Zartan replaces the Blind Master.
  • The Blind Master reveals that Zartan's skin vibrates when he changes shape.
  • This issue was reprinted in the G.I. Joe: The Best of Larry Hama collected hardback.
  • In his teen years, Clutch apparently drove a Corvair.

G.I. Joe references

  • When Storm Shadow dives behind the waterfall, he is surprised to find the skeleton of a man. Judging by the words carved on the cave wall, this is the body of the original Fred Broca, placed there by the Soft Master.[2]

Real-world references

  • Vladimir and Estragon are named after the characters in Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot.
  • When the Blind Master and Zartan are fighting in the alley, a large image of A Nightmare on Elm Street's Freddy Krueger is visible on the wall behind them.
  • Clutch's car in his teen years was apparently a Corvair.
  • He also owned a Gumby.

Footnotes and References





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