The Joes and Cobras bring out their heavy equipment as they battle in the Everglades!
Torpedo, Tripwire, Mutt and Junkyard have escaped the Florida Everglades and reach the Joe ship in the Gulf of Mexico. They board just as a Dragonfly lands, carrying Duke, Wild Bill and Roadblock (riding the skid). Torpedo shows Duke on a map where Zartan's lair is. In that lair Cobra Commander receives a call from Zartan, who tells them the three Joes have escaped into the Gulf and there is probably a ship sending heavy assault equipment to attack, so the Dreadnoks are leaving. Cobra Commander is furious ad signals Destro, who agrees with the reasoning but the Baroness has arranged for some of Cobra's own equipment to be deployed in Florida.
A police car containing a Sheriff and his deputy R.L. waits at a level crossing as a slow freight train passes through when suddenly Breaker, sitting on a goods van, asks if they know where Route 56 is. The police confirm it is that very road and Breaker tells the others. A M.O.B.A.T. tank bursts out of the van and Breaker jumps aboard as it heads off, rippinga door off the police car. Meanwhile on the ship in the Gulf Duke assigns Roadblock, Deep-Six and Cutter to go with him aboard the W.H.A.L.E., while Wild Bill and Doc travel in the Dragonfly. The two vehicles launch simultaneously. Elsewhere in a field containing three giant oil tanks the Baroness reveals that each one contains a Rattler. She, Destro and Wild Weasel each board one and take off, with the Baroness heading for Springfield to arrange for Cobra Commander's return whilst the other two pick up both the Commander and Firefly. In Zartan's lair the radar and video screens show an attack coming by land, sea and air. Cobra Commander radios Destro who tells them air support is coming. Meanwhile Firefly has noticed all the exposed controls on a panel are fake and removes it to reveal the controls to what looks like a video game involving Cobra Troopers and H.I.S.S. tanks.
On Route 56 the police car tries to threaten the M.O.B.A.T. but the Joes casually respond that a police car can't run a tank off the road. All the various Joe and Cobra vehicles start detecting each other and sensing a fight they head for the action. Meanwhile Firefly has discovered the controls are not for a video game but for a small robot army hidden in the swamp. Cobra Commander seizes the controls and in the swamp robotic troopers and H.I.S.S.es rise. The M.O.B.A.T. suddenly stops and the police car pulls ahead, only to see the advancing robotic army. The M.O.B.A.T. fires, destroying several robots and the Sheriff pulls out a shot gun to join in the action. However with too many to handle Breaker radios Duke for help. The W.H.A.L.E. reaches the coastline and charges through the Everglades, convincing an elderly couple living there to get cable television. At the battle sight Steeler tells the police to withdraw, but they refuse to, even when the Rattlers join the battle.
In Springfield the Baroness leaves her Rattler to be checked over and takes a taxi. It enters a car wash and heads down a secret tunnel underground. There she stops by a cell door where Major Bludd is held and asks "how badly do you want your freedom?" He replies "Who do you want me to kill?"
In the Everglades the M.O.B.A.T. and police car take refuge beneath foliage so Destro tells Wild Weasel to use the heat detector. On the ground Steeler, Clutch and Breaker throw bucket after bucket of water onto the tank to cool the engine down. The Sheriff tells R.L. they will take refuge in a nearby abandoned shack and they run just as Wild Weasel detects and destroys the car. Destro tries to find the M.O.B.A.T. but thanks to the water it disappears off his detector. The W.H.A.L.E. arrives and engages Destro's Rattler in combat whilst Wild Weasel heads to pick up Cobra Commander. All four Joes on the W.H.A.L.E. are hit but keep on firing. Then Roadblock's gun is eliminated and Deep-Six's mount breaks. The Rattler keeps coming so Roadblock uses his own back as a mount and Deep-Six destroys the Rattler, with Destro ejecting. At Zartan's lair Cobra Commander boards Wild Weasel's Rattler but tells Firefly he'll have to make his own way home. Firefly is furious and stomps off, but not before throwing a grenade at the lair and destroying it. Nearby R.L. smugly tells the Sheriff that it was lucky they checked the place out before entering. Wild Bill reports the destruction of the lair to Duke who orders him to bring Doc to the battlefield to help the others.
Clutch, Steeler and Breaker help patch up their fellows and discuss how impressive the now unconscious Deep-Six was. Meanwhile Firefly is making his way through the swamps cursing Cobra Commander when he meets Destro who asks if he wants to do something about his anger. In a nearby town Zartan tells the other Dreadnoks that they are heading north to chase up sightings of the Joes up there.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Featured Vehicles & Equipment
- None yet.
- Why is Doc flying on a combat mission, particularly in the gunner's seat? He's not even allowed to fire a weapon according to the Geneva Convention. (He says this himself in issue 11, in case anyone wants to suggest the rules are different in the Joes' world.)
Items of note
First Appearances: The W.H.A.L.E.
- In the United Kingdom the story was reprinted in Action Force #15 & #16. A speech bubble by Duke on the fifth page was replaced as the W.H.A.L.E. had already appeared in previous issues.
- Cyrus and Norma Jane, the elderly couple watching tv, are based on Grant Wood's painting American Gothic.
- Richard Dawson was a famous game show host. At the time of this issue's publication, he would have been hosting Family Feud.
- The Sheriff and R.L. are modeled after Laurel and Hardy.
Footnotes and References