The G.I. Joe Annual 1992 was released in August 1991.
Thunder in the Mountains
In a jungle in Sao Cristobel, a country in Latin America, Flint leads a Joe team consisting of Spirit, Muskrat, Rock 'n Roll and Stalker, accompanied by Gravas, a commando seconded from the Sao Cristobel forces. Spirit hears gunfire two miles away and determines that it is rebel fire. Flint decides they will take the risk as they are searching for a downed helicopter carrying a ministerial aide.
Destro emerges from his bunker in a rebel town and tells Darklon that the rebel commander Arcadio has confirmed the helicopter came down near the Buendia river and some of the G.I. Joe observers are helping in the search. He orders Darklon to take a squad of Grenadiers and try to get their first. As Darklon and his squad set off they are cheered by the inhabitants of the town. A young peasant girl comes forward, touches Darklon and tells him "Beware the dark man... he will be your downfall... I have dreamt it..." Darklon is dismissive.
In a plaza in Sao Cristobel City Hawk watches as a column of Joe vehicles arrive, including the Raider, the Rolling Thunder and several Maulers. Hawk thinks how the Joes were sent in to observe neutrality in the country's civil war and investigate rumours that the rebels are being supplied by Cobra. Hawk has developed a low opinion of the government forces, whose commander Varjas has regarded them as allies. When one of Varjas's ministerial aides was shot down, Hawk received orders to sent an insurgence team to attempt retrieval, and have fire-power on standby in case a major battle breaks out. He confides his sense of helplessness to Hot Seat, but also confirms that Lift-Ticket is on standby in a Tomahawk to lift Flint's team out if need be.
In the mountainous jungle Spirit confirms they are no more than three miles from the crash site. Muskrat suddenly spots damage to the trees, then Stalker finds a piece of the helicopter. Suddenly they are fired upon by rebel troops. Rock 'n Roll fires his cannons back, blasting away then the rest of the team join in. They stop when they assume all the rebels are dead, but Spirit suddenly fires a shot. A rebel collapses and then the spot around him explodes. Spirit explains the rebel feiged death and was trying to throw a grenade. Then Stalker calls to say he's found something. Elsewhere in the jungle Darklon's squad have heard the gunfire and head towards it.
Stalker has found the husk of the helicopter in the shallows of the Bundia river. Whilst Muskrat, Spirit and Rock 'n Roll stand guard against rebels, Flint, Stalker and Gravas head on board. They find no survivors, but Gravas points to a crate - a "Very Important Package", the real thing they have come to recover. Gravas opens it to reveal a M.A.R.S. battlefield nuclear warhead, which Flint realises is in the range of four megatons. Gravas explains that Varjas purchased it from Destro but the delivery was shot down. He then reveals he is a double agent, and Flint thinks he works not for the rebels but for Destro. Gravas pulls a gun but Stalker jumps him and fights. They emerge but suddenly the Joes find themselves surrounded by the Baroness and a dozen Night Vipers. She explains that Gravas doesn't work for Destro but for Cobra and that the arms dealer has never wanted to sell nuclear weapons to Cobra as it would make them too powerful even for him. But now Cobra has secured the device without his knowing it. The Cobras take the warhead and destroy the Joes' radio but leaves the Joes live and with their weapons so that they can return to inform their superiors of what Cobra now has. "This one, Joes, you lose."
Darklon has returned to the rebels' mountain headquarters and reports to Destro that Cobra have captured the warhead. Destro orders the Fang IIs deployed in the valley to stop the Baroness escaping. In the shadows the girl who spoke to Darklon earlier now slips away to a store room where she extracts a radio from a barrel of grain and, speaking perfect English, she radios the G.I. Joe command.
Hawk is feeling unwell because of the situation. Other members of the Joe team have rounded up Varjas and minions for breaching the International Arms Limitation Laws whilst Hawk and Hot Seat have taken the Raider, the fastest vehicle available, in an attempt to intercept the Cobra team before they reach the border. The radar detects some Cobra vehicles and Hot Seat realises an attack is imminent.
Aboard the Baroness's Razorback the Wild Boar driver informs her the Raider is in pursuit. She orders the other vehicles to peel off and attack the Raider whilst her Razorback protects the Transporter until they reach the border. The Raider and the Cobra vehicles exchange fire, soon hitting two of the H.I.S.S.es' munitions storage and destroying them. The remaining H.I.S.S. and Razorback fire missiles, but the Raider releases metallic ribbon to jam the missiles' electronics. Then it deploys two anti-armour missiles and destroy both the remaining Cobra vehicles. However they are suddenly attacked by three F.A.N.G. IIs. The Raider fires back, destroying two and sending the third limping home. Hawk and Hot Seat examine the damage to the Raider and discover they no longer have full power speed. He is suddenly radioed by Lift-Ticket, who has retrieved Flint's team. Flint states he has a way of stopping both Cobra and Destro but needs some help, which Hawk confirms. Armadillo receives a transmission from Hawk detailing a target and loads the information into the Rolling Thunder's gunnery computer.
As dusk falls the rebels' mountain base is hit by a long range rain of fire from twenty miles away. A flock of Tomahawks fly in, dropping many Joes into the field. The first team dropped is led by Stalker and comprises Rock 'n Roll, Spirit, Muskrat, Charbroil and Recoil, whilst the second is led by Flint and comprises Shockwave, Low-Light and Snake-Eyes. Shockwave throws smoke canisters to limit the Grenadiers' vision, giving the Joes an advantage.
In the main hall Destro confirms to Darklon that they are evacuating when suddenly Flint enters. He demands the command controller for the warhead. Destro is surprised the Joes are contemplating using it. Destro holds it out but fires his wrist gun, knocking Flint out. Snake-Eyes attacks and fights off both Destro and Darklon. Destro is pushed out of the window. Seeing his salary disappears, Darklon decides to instead try getting the control and selling it to Cobra. But Snake-Eyes is now joined by the peasant girl, holding Flint's shotgun and revealing herself as Lady Jaye. Other Joes storm in as Darklon is arrested. Flint comes round and takes the control, setting the warhead to detonate in two hours. Jaye taunts Darklon that she warned him about "the dark man". Destro has survived the fall but has broken an arm and three ribs. He takes a F.A.N.G. II and flies off alone.
Near the border the Cobra convoy has stopped and the Night Vipers show the warhead to the Baroness, with the timer activated. The Vipers explain they cannot override the remote control. The Baroness order them to try, but they tell her to do so. The Wild Boar tells them there is only one thing to do and the Baroness reluctantly agrees.
Later the Raider finds the abandoned Cobra APC. Hawk and Hot Seat confirm the Cobras have fallen for the trick. Hawk radios to Flint to deactivate the warhead. Hot Sat comments that "we've beaten Cobra and M.A.R.S., stopped a civil war, arrested a corrupt government and recaptured a stolen nuke. What next?" Hawk replies "We rest... for an hour or two at least."
|G.I. Joe||Cobra||Iron Grenadiers||Others|
Featured Vehicles & Equipment
|G.I. Joe||Cobra||Iron Grenadiers|
Items of note
- This was a text story.
Jinx is in the sewers beneath the M.A.R.S. building. Up in his office Destro has detected her on security cameras but cannot deduce why. He attempts to access the Action Force personnel files. Another Cobra agent in his office offers to crack her skull, but Destro responds that he doubt it will be necessary as Croc Master is on guard in the sewers. Down below Croc Master and two alligators confront Jinx but she leaps over the reptiles and throws Croc Master in the water.
Destro continues trying to access the files without much success whilst Jinx enters the building, overpowering a receptionist. Destro notes that Jinx is a skilled operative - "a Sensei Master by the age of fourteen... she has the iron hand... the heart that waits... the eye that pierces... and she's studied the seven silent forms." He believes she is seeking information about M.A.R.S. weaponry. The other Cobra agent - now revealed as Big Boa - declares he has the training and strength to break her and demonstrates by smashing several parts of Destro's office. The arms dealer is unimpressed and tells him to sweep it up.
Alarms go off as Jinx heads for the elevator. A net of laser beams appears but she climbs her way through and boards the lift just as a squad of Cobra Troopers reach the net. They cut it and run up the stairs in the hope of intercepting her. They beat the lift and when the doors open they empty all their bullets in, causing the lift cable to break and the lift to fall down the shaft. But suddenly Jinx swings out from above and subdues the troopers.
Destro has finally accessed the files but Big Boa has gone to deal with Jinx. She soon overpowers him by twisting his helmet so he can't see. Then she breaks into an office. A member of staff suggests there is a mistake as she has the accounts department but Jinx asks to see the books. She takes them and then climbs out of a window to meet a waiting Dragonfly, shouting "and may all your profit margins be non-taxable!" In his office Destro has finally accessed Jinx's personal file to discover her secondary military speciality is... an accountant!
Featured Vehicles & Equipment
Items of note
- This was a comic strip story.
- The references to "Action Force" and Destro appearing in his old uniform suggest that this story may have originally been produced for Action Force Monthly but did not see print before that title ended in mid 1989.
"Forced Play" from G.I. Joe: Special Missions issue #25.
This issue contains several Intelligence Profile factfiles:
- Spirit - here retaining the name Charlie Iron-Knife and the birthplace of Grand Canyon, Arizona.
- Hot Seat - renamed "Michael A. Taylor" and birthplace of Bath, Avon.
- Rock 'n Roll - here retaining the name Craig S. McConnel but given the birthplace of Truro, Cornwall.
- Wild Boar
Items of note
- This special saw "the Action Force" dropped from the title, corresponding to the final change in the name of the UK release of the toyline.
- The designer of the annual is not credited.
- The annual cost £4.50. No overseas prices were printed on it.
- This was the final Action Force/G.I. Joe annual produced by Marvel UK.