The Joes find that the Pentagon will go to any lengths to get their black box back, while "Cobra Commander's" battle skills are put to the test.

Detailed summary

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On Cobra Island the Recon Team - Lt. Falcon, Dial-Tone, Spirit, Sneak Peek, Gung-Ho and Tunnel Rat - watch as the Baroness makes a light assault on the landlocked freighter, but she is unable to use heavy artillery because of the equipment on board. The arrival of a squadron of Rattlers cuts up the Mamba air support and the Baroness realizes her position is weak. She contacts Cobra Commander and informs him of the hopeless position, but he orders her to hold the line, as if Serpentor breaks out then Cobra Commander will have only the Dreadnoks to defend him. At the freighter Serpentor resists suggestions for a break out, urging patience, then receives a call from Dr. Mindbender. Hearing the news he orders preparations for the break-out. Falcon contacts Hawk, who orders them to investigate runway conditions. As the Recon Team sets off Spirit tells Falcon they have been followed for a while. Falcon orders him to only take action if necessary and do it quietly.

Out in the Gulf of Mexico two Tomahawks land aboard the U.S.S. Flagg carrying numerous Joes and General Hollingsworth. Once disembarked Hollingsworth explains the Joes have a mission, as Mindbender follows him out. Hollingsworth goes on to tell them that the US government has made a deal with Serpentor to support a constitutional monarchy against a fascist dictatorship. And the Pentagon will recover its black box. Hawk contacts the Recon Team and tells them they now have open sanction and must capture the airfield tower. A fleet consisting of two Tomahawks, two C-130s, the Vector and the W.H.A.L.E. is en route across the sea.

The Recon Team starts to head down when Spirit notices their stalker is still following them. He lays low and captures a man, who says he knows how to get into the tower unseen. The W.H.A.L.E. heads in to take out the A.S.P. emplacements on the runway and launches a flare to signal the Recon Team. Their prisoner explains he hates "man in Cobra Commander suit" and shows them a storm drain that runs under the tower. The Recon Team enters, taking Minh with them, and quickly capture the ground floor. The Tomahawks land and discharge their passengers, but Lift-Ticket's is destroyed by a Mamba attack. Meanwhile the W.H.A.L.E. reaches the beech and takes out half the A.S.P. emplacements before it is destroyed. The Engineer Team - Stalker, Tripwire, Short-Fuze, Mutt and Junkyard - together with Shipwreck and Cutter charge forward to take out the remainder before the C-130s need to land. Battle continues in the tower as the Recon Team takes more floors, while at the freighter Serpentor leads a charge out aboard the, heading for the airfield. There the Joes engage in battle with Cobra Commander's Maggots while the Engineer Team reaches the remaining A.S.P.s and destroy them with charges. With the runway free the arriving C-130s can now land. Up in the sky Maverick and Wild Bill shoot down Mambas.

Cobra Commander and the Dreadnoks approach the airfield aboard the Thunder Machine to see the Joes landing. He instead orders the Dreadnoks to use the Thunder Machine's guns to knock out the C-130 and block the runway. As Hawk orders the plane evacuated Buzzer spots Hawk and tells Thrasher to drive by, grabbing the Joe commander. But suddenly Cobra Commander finds himself facing Serpentor and his H.I.S.S. squadron, and the Baroness has been captured and tied up on the front of Serpentor's own H.I.S.S. Also now arriving is Zartan with the main Maggot column. Duke tells the other Joes they must reach Serpentor's forces otherwise they won't survive to rescue Hawk and the Recon Team. Cobra Commander thinks he sees the Maggots and orders Thrasher to drive there, but it is actually the arrival of Destro.

The Recon Team has now captured all levels of the Tower but are cut off from all sides when Gung-Ho looks out to see the massive army of Iron Grenadiers and many D.E.M.O.N.s and A.G.P.s landing...


Featured Characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

G.I. Joe Cobra Iron Grenadiers Misc

Featured Vehicles & Equipment

G.I. Joe Cobra Iron Grenadiers

Memorable quotes

  • None yet.

Other notes


  • On the first panel of page 5 Falcon calls himself "Flint".
  • General Hollingsworth is colored white.
  • The cover kind of gives away the surprise ending, doesn't it? Hopefully you've forgotten by the time you reach the back of the book.
  • In the G.I. Joe order of battle listed below the map of Cobra Island, Torpedo is referred to as "SEAL" - his specialty, rather than his code-name. (Reminiscent of the error found waaaay back in issues 4 and 8 where Stalker was referred to as "Ranger".)

Items of note

  • The issue contains a map of Cobra Island, showing the various routes that have brought all the players to the beech, and a table showing the Cobra schism and the various G.I. Joe operational groups.
  • This issue was reprinted in the G.I. Joe: The Best of Hawk trade paperback.
  • In the United Kingdom the story was reprinted in Transformers #302, #303, #304 & #305. After this story the G.I. Joe reprints ceased in the comic, with the Civil War storyline continued in the G.I. Joe the Action Force Holiday Special 1991.

Real-world references

  • No references.

Footnotes and References