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Tight Circle

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The Joes undertake a mission to obtain surveillance of activities on Cobra Island.

Issue summary

On Cobra Island Cobra Commander and Dr. Mindbender lead a convoy of trucks loaded with wooden crates to the runway where they meet Zartan who confirms plans are on schedule. However they decline to discuss other parts of the operation as the G.I. Joe spy satellite is directly overhead. At the Pit III Hawk, Mainframe, Lady Jaye and Stalker watch the actions and try to work out what is going on. They zoom in on a crate to see it reads "Farm machinery" and are astounded when it breaks open to reveal a sofa. Hawk decides they need better intelligence and orders a flight recon mission. Down in the day room the Joe pilots relax and the stealth pilot reminds Maverick to use his code-name, but neither Maverick nor Wild Bill can remember what it is. Lady Jaye and Mainframe arrive with the mission orders, explaining they will head to the Gulf of Mexico and rest then do a quick mission to photograph activities on Cobra Island. On Cobra Island the various Cobra pilots are similarly relaxing when a Strato-Viper and the Star-Viper start arguing over who is the superior pilot, with a Strato-Viper taunting the Star-Viper that he is bitter as he never got a parade for bringing back the G.I. Joe black box.[1] This amuses the Rattler pilots.

The next day a convoy of a C130, a Skystriker, a Conquest X-30, the Vector and the Phantom X-19 flies over the Gulf of Mexico. Wild Bill informs them that the Phantom will approach the island low whilst the other planes fly high in another direction and the C130 will jam the airwaves and block the radar. On Cobra Island the planes are detected and a Cobra force of four Rattlers, two Night Ravens and the Stiletto are dispatched. With the Cobras incoming, Mainframe activates the jamming equipment and Wild Bill releases chaff to distort the radar. The jets engage in battle, with a Night Rave firing a heat-seeking missile at the Skystriker, but Ace performs a sudden manoeuvre and it instead hits a Rattler. The Star-Viper declares that the other Cobra pilots are a menace to themselves ad he will show them how they are doe. He tries to ram the Conquest X-30 with the Stilleto, but Slip-Stream engages all the landing gear to slow the jet, and the Stiletto overshoots into the line of fire. Slip-Stream launches a heat seeker which the Stiletto only escapes by launching a flare. Two Rattlers are pursuing ad shooting at Ace and Lift-Ticket in the Skystriker but Slipstream heads round and uses a pincer movement to shoot one down. The other flies down to the sea level to try and escape but Slip-Stream follows and closes in, causing the Rattler to panic and crash into the sea. Meanwhile the Phantom is making its way to Cobra Island unhindered. The four remaining Cobra jets are attacking the Skystriker, but their inability to work together means that their missiles almost hit each other. The Star-Viper starts worrying that he isn't getting updates about where the other Joe jet is, but radar control tells him something is jamming the equipment and he must knock it down. The Stiletto flies up to engage the C130.

Soon Mainframe and Lady Jaye see the Stiletto fling alongside and realise the Star-Viper is boasting before going to fly under and shoot them down. Lady Jaye grabs a rifle and smashes a window, then fires many armour piercing rounds at the Stiletto, penetrating the hull and hitting the Star-Viper. The angry Cobra flies round and fires on the C130, taking out the right outbound engine. Mainframe releases aerial mines to shake off the jet. Meanwhile the Phantom reaches Cobra Island and its pilot starts photographing the island. Cobra Commander and Dr. Mindbender realise the other jets were just a diversion and order the remainder to break off the fight and intercept the Phantom. Mindbender wonders if the Phantom took the photos needed, to which Cobra Commander responds "We can only hope". Ace and Lift-Ticket watch as the Cobra jets fly off and realise they are heading to intercept the Phantom, so decide to follow and help. The four Cobra jets see the Phantom flying low and open fire when the Skystriker and Conquest X-30 arrive and shoot down the Rattler and both Night Raves. The Stiletto pursues the Phantom, with the Star-Viper boasting to himself that he has heightened reflexes and the Phantom's pilot cannot out turn him. On Cobra Island Cobra Commander rejects a suggestion of sending any more jets to aid. In the Gulf the Phantom and Stiletto engage in faster and tighter turns. The former's pilot is feeling the pressure of G-force as he turns, to the amazement of the Star-Viper who can't believe an unenhanced human can take more than him. Suddenly the Star-Viper's systems overload and he dies, with the Stiletto crashing into the sea. The Joes head for home.

That night a freighter docks at Cobra Island in the dark. Cobra Commander and Dr. Mindbender oversee operations as it is loaded with equipment and personnel for a new secret base on the continental United States. They comment on how the whole operation at the airfield was a diversion. Mindbender bemoans the loss of so many aircraft and pilots, especially the Star-Viper, but Cobra Commander declares "All in all, I think it was quite a bargain... I never like the Star-Viper, anyway!

Featured Characters

G.I. Joe Cobra

Featured Vehicles & Equipment

G.I. Joe Cobra

Errors

Items of note

Footnotes


ARAH issues:
#50
Special Missions issues:
#1 | #2 | #3 | #4 | #5 | #6 | #7 | #8 | #9 | #10 | #11 | #12 | #13 | #14 | #15 | #16 | #17 | #18 | #19 | #20 | #21 | #22 | #23 | #24 | #25 | #26 | #27 | #28
Collected editions:
G.I. Joe: Special Missions | G.I. Joe: The Best of Larry Hama

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