Friday, December 04, 2015
Unconscious and bleeding most of the issue, Ripcord's still more interesting here than he was in the movie.
From 1986, G.I. Joe #46, "Who's Who on Cobra Island" Written by Larry Hama, pencils by Rod Whigham, inks by Andy Mushynsky. (And a great Mike Zeck cover!) Hama has a ton of plates spinning this issue, and they could be headed for a crash: on scenic Cobra Island, the master of disguise Zartan has beat down Ripcord, and disguises himself as the Joe so he can "rescued by his fellow Joes" and gain access to their headquarters. Zartan slaps his headpiece on Ripcord, to take his place, and it's not a good place to be, since Storm Shadow and Snake-Eyes have infiltrated Cobra Island, to kill Zartan! Zartan had killed Storm Shadow's uncle, Snake-Eye's master; and they wanted ninja vengeance. Of course. Actually, since Snake-Eyes can't talk, it could be open to interpretation if he's out for blood, or just helping out a bro.
"Zartan" is rescued by Cobra, and Professor Appel, who had been blackmailed by Cobra Commander into working on secret weapons projects, to protect his daughter Candy. (Candy Appel? Boo!) He realizes Zartan is a fake, though, and Ripcord explains Candy had been kidnapped by the Dreadnok Buzzer, but he had only assumed Buzzer would bring her to Cobra Island, and it dawns on Appel that Cobra Commander had been bluffing and didn't know where his daughter was! As a team of Joes tries to retrieve "Ripcord," Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow are slicing their way through the rank-and-file Cobra troops, and Cobra Commander rolls over on Zartan. Because he's not getting stabbed in the face for that guy, that's why.
Appel gets Ripcord to a Cobra Firebat, so he can continue his search for Candy. And so the ninjas don't outright murder him, since they probably wouldn't believe he wasn't Zartan. Storm Shadow cuts Appel, but can't get to the Firebat in time, and Ripcord is saved...and saved again, as the Joes on the beach escape with the disguised Zartan! The tracker Spirit has already noticed multiple clues that should expose Zartan, but I'm pretty sure he gets into Joe headquarters anyway. The next issue box teases Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow trapped on Cobra Island...and only one would escape! Which is a pretty cool issue as well, as a character we don't see this issue, unloads a pistol in the chest of one of the ninjas...!
It's weird that "master of disguise" seems to work in reverse, as well; as several seem to assume everyone else will think random guy with hood; probably Zartan. A good chunk of this issue was recapped in the super-readable G.I. Joe Yearbook #3, which I've mentioned before but still can't find...it's probably around here somewhere.