In Larry Hama's new story "A Bad Day at the Circus," the G.I. Joe team encounters the Crimson Guard commanders Tomax and Xamot and realizes that this is not the first time their paths have crossed.

—Back of the packaging.

Detailed summary

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At Cobra Headquarters in Springfield, Cobra Commander concludes a formal meeting, making Tomax and Xamot commanders of the Crimson Guard. Leaving the ceremony, Tomax and Xamot are confronted by other members of the upper Cobra echelons, with each expressing their concerns about the newcomers.

The twins drive to the Arbco Plastic Surgery clinic, where they meet with Dr. "H" and ask about the progress of the Fred Series creations. Walking through the clinic halls, they observe Crimson Guardsmen in various stages of training. Dr. H promises the twins that many Freds will rendezvous with their circus caravan.

Transporting an Armadillo along Route 3 in New Jersey, Flint asks Duke about his new secret unit.[1] Duke evades the question when a speeding van zooms by them. The van is followed by a speeding Arbco Bros. Circus truck. When a ladder on the van comes loose and tumbles to the road, the Crimson Twins fly out in front on a Ferret A.T.V. and catch it.

Seeing the stunt, Duke and Flint are reminded of an op they underwent in Trucial Abysmia with Roadblock.

Flint recalls the three of them driving in a humvee, chasing down an armored car with two passengers they believe to be Benzheeni mercenaries. Unbeknownst to them, the passengers of the armored car are actually Tomax and Xamot. To avoid fire, they drive into an oil refinery. Flint drives up to them when Roadblock attempts to hit the twins with his ma-deuce. The twins avoid the blows with some fancy driving, a trick Flint will not soon forget.

Back in the present, Gung-Ho and Blowtorch stand guard outside the Fort Wadsworth motor pool when several Joes leave with captured H.I.S.S. tanks. They have orders from Duke to meet at a testing site. As they drive down the road, Fred I sees them and wonders if some big Cobra operation is occurring. His wife cuts him off before he can contact Cobra headquarters. At that moment, a busload of Freds drive by, prompting more surprise from Fred I. Immediately after, Bongo and Ripcord drive by on their way to see Candy's father, causing Fred I to duck down in his seat so as not to be recognized.

Candy and Ripcord arrive at her house. Candy calls for her father, explaining to Ripcord that the back room is off-limits as he has some dumb uniforms from a sacred lodge back there. Professor Appel calls back that he is finishing some lodge business, when in reality he actually has a sketch of the Terror Drome.

The next night, Tomax and Xamot perform stunts on their Ferret ATV in the circus. Cutter and Doc are thoroughly impressed with the act, remarking that more Joes should see the performance.


Featured Characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

G.I. Joe Cobra Civilians Others
  • Damon (18)
  • Pythias (19)

Featured Vehicles & Equipment

G.I. Joe Cobra Civilian Others
  • Arbco Bros. Circus truck
  • Bongo's van
  • Broca family car
  • Armored car
  • Humvee

Memorable quotes

  • None yet.

Other notes


  • Ripcord comments that the van looks familiar, but he and Candy are in the only van on the road; the Brocas are in their family car, and the Freds were traveling by bus.

Items of note

  • This issue was included with a Generation 3 Comic Pack featuring the Crimson Twins.
  • It's not mentioned, but the Fred seen living with the Broca family in this issue is actually Wade Collins - Fred II.[2]
  • Professor Appel has a signed photo of Cobra Commander in his room.
  • Doc thinks Tomax and Xamot drive better than Clutch.

G.I. Joe references

  • The Dreadnoks refer to Springfield as "a nice little town."
  • The Dreadnoks joke that Tomax and Xamot stole their ATV off a kiddie-ride at a carnival. Years later (chronologically) the Dreadnoks would be assigned to paint Cobra vehicles - including Ferrets - bright colors to disguise them as amusement park rides in Broca Beach.[3]
  • The Arbco Plastic Surgery Clinic is an annex of the Bern Institute, where Baroness was taken for plastic surgery.[4]
  • Mrs. Broca says they just got the bullet holes in the car repaired from the last time.[5]
  • The panel showing the fairgrounds includes a shot of the House of Mirrors, a location that will be important next issue.

Real-world references

Footnotes and References