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To Fail is to Conquer... To Succeed is to Die!

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GJ MC006
G.I. Joe #6
"To Fail is to Conquer... To Succeed is to Die!"
Attribution
Writer(s)

Larry Hama & Herb Trimpe

Penciller(s)

Herb Trimpe

Inker(s)

Jack Abel

Letterer

Jim Novak

Colorist

Christie Scheele

Cover artist

Herb Trimpe

Editor

Tom DeFalco

Publication information
Publisher

Marvel Comics

Publication date

December 1982

Pages

22

General information
Continuity

A Real American Hero

Series

G.I. Joe

Preceded by

"Tanks" for the Memories

Followed by

Walls of Death!

The Joe Team head to Afghanistan to retrieve a fallen Soviet spy plane but, first, they'll have to deal with the October Guard.


Detailed summary

Hawk assembles a team and briefs them for a mission in Afghanistan. A Russian spy plane crash landed in the Hindu Kush mountain range. Afghan rebels managed to secure the plane before anyone else did. As this presents an opportunity to study the Russians’ technology in aerial espionage, the plane becomes a hot property for many sides and the rebels are willing to trade it for a price. Obviously, the Russians want it back and Cobra is interested too.

Issue6.1
The final lineup is composed of Stalker, Breaker, Scarlett, Clutch, Steeler and Flash. In one hour, they are immediately shipped off to Afghanistan. Meanwhile, in the Joes' communications center, someone patches a call through to Cobra command and informs them the Joes are on the way. That someone turns out to be Hawk.

Once in Hindu Kush, Stalker’s team parachute out of the transport plane along with their vehicles. As soon as they land, they meet up with the Afghan rebels and the CIA liaison assigned. The liaison tells them how lucky they are that it wasn’t the October Guard that greeted them. Ahmed, the chief, shows Stalker where they stored the crate containing the plane. Ahmed’s price is to be supplied with anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles.

Moments later, the Joe Team, with assistance from the rebels, assemble together the RTV. In less than twenty-three minutes, the RTV is prepped, the cargo loaded and they are ready to roll. Stalker promises to do what he can about getting weapons for Ahmed but can’t guarantee anything. For Ahmed, it was enough which had the CIA liaison point out that Stalker is only an infantryman who can’t promise anything. Ahmed believes in Stalker because he is a fighting man just as he is.

The RTV makes its way across the desert escorted by Stalker and Clutch in the VAMP. Unbeknownst to the team, they are being observed by two men from the cliffs. They reach a wide crevasse and wonder why a size like it is not in their maps. Just as they are going to figure out how to get around it, they are fired upon with AK-47s. Their attackers is the aforementioned October Guard who appear undaunted by the size of the RTV and the cover fire Flash is laying on them. Steeler uses the RTV's crane to lift the VAMP in an attempt to get the whole team across the crevasse.

Issue6.2
The Guard come out of hiding to confront the Joes head on. Their ATV personnel carrier gets them across the crevasse just as the Joes cross over. Scarlett lands a crossbow arrow on one of their balloon tires which causes the ATV to keel over, surprising the Guard. The two forces trade fire without any success of causing casualties on either side.

The Steeler has had enough and has Flash take advantage of the RTV's ability to fire from a higher vantage point. The October Guard is pinned down but this only causes their leader, Colonel Brekhov, to make a furious charge head on. His men follow his lead. The Joes are surprised by the action taken but ready themselves for the charge. An intense series of hand-to-hand combat follow.

Brekhov and Stalker engage in combat. However, Brekhov stops short to inform Stalker of something behind him. Stalker refuses to fall for the trick which Brekhov quickly proves by pointing out the presence that arrives. Both forces are surrounded by Cobra and are forced to surrender. Cobra Commander comes out and tells his men to have both groups lined up for execution.

Appearances

Featured Characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

G.I. Joe Cobra Oktober Guard Misc
  • Afghani rebels (14)
  • Ahmed (16)
  • CIA Man (17)


Featured Vehicles & Equipment

G.I. Joe Cobra Oktober Guard Misc
  • Helicopters
  • A.T.V.


  • Transport plane



Featured Locations

G.I. Joe Civilian Military


  • Afghanistan


Memorable quotes

"Stormavik takes no pleasure in defeating a woman."
"C'mon, ya ugly little runt! Y'all haven't beaten me yet!"
"Ugly?!"

--Stormavik and Scarlett get ready to mix it up.

Other notes

Errors

  • When Hawk asks for volunteers, at least four black characters raise their hands. At this point, Stalker is the only black Joe whose name we know, and even though there are fourteen Joes besides Hawk in the briefing room (count the silhouettes on the previous page), and thus at least two unknown characters among them, that still isn't enough to account for the extra three.
  • Grand Slam's name is in Hawk's roster but Flash is the one who participates in the mission.

Items of note

  • First Appearances: Col. Brekhov, CIA man, Daina, Horrorshow, Schrage, Stormavik, A.T.V., R.T.V., McGuire Air Force Base
  • This issue was reprinted in G.I. Joe Digest #3, Tales of G.I. Joe #6 and volume 1 of the G.I. Joe trade paperbacks.
  • The beginning of this issue features all of the Joes returning from a major mission by cargo plane. This does not seem to be referring to last issue's adventures. We may never learn what that mission was all about.
  • Oktober Guard was originally spelt "October Guard".

Real-world references

  • The Afghani rebels at war with the Russians presented in this issue were true to current events of the time. Americans did indeed give weapons to these "freedom fighters" in the Cold War. Post-cold war, they would eventually organize into the Taliban and mastermind the American terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
  • The dialogue at the end of page 3 and beginning of page 4 goes to groan-worthy lengths to work in references to two popular songs, "Georgia On My Mind" and the Beatles' "Back in the USSR".

Footnotes and References





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