Billy, Storm Shadow and Jinx join Snake Eyes, Scarlett and the Blind Master in Borovia to rescue Stalker, Snow Job, and Quick Kick.

Detailed summary

Beneath the Army Language Center in San Francisco, Storm Shadow is teaching Billy the Kuji-No-In, the finger-knitting symbols that represent the aspects of the intuitive mind: Rin, Pyo, To, Sho, Kai, Jin, Retsu, Zai, Zen, and a tenth letter that Storm Shadow hasn't mentioned yet when Jinx arrives to show satellite photos of the gulag where Stalker's unit is being held, plus a picture of the circus coming to Borovia, that shows Scarlett is still alive.

The next day in Pvnsk, Borovia, Corporal Olga and Sgt. Mosiev watch the circus show, and then Mosiev reminds the White Clown that the circus used to have a bareback rider named Magda, who spoke out against the government and disappeared into the gulags, and now the circus plays in the nearby districts as if the White Clown has been seeking her. Orlovsky the Dwarf confronts Mosiev to have him say if Magda still lives or not, but Mosiev considers it a state secret, plus he considers the White Clown is a better clown for having such internal sorrow. Scarlett tries to comfort the White Clown and Orlovsky, but Orlovsky doesn't trust her.

Billy, Storm Shadow and Jinx come to the circus to bring info about the gulag to the Blind Master, Scarlett and Snake-Eyes. Orlovsky spies them as the six gather in a circle forming the letters of the Kuj-No-In: Pyo, To, Sho, Kai, Jin, Retsu, Zen, Zai, and when the Blind Master tells Storm Shadow to invoke the tenth letter, the ninja explains that it has no name, it is the void, the clearing of mind and soul. With that, they are ready to storm the gulag. Orlovsky goes to the White Clown and suggests to tell Mosiev about the raid on the gulag, so Mosiev will owe them and will have to tell them if Magda is alive.

Later, at the gulag, Mosiev is informed of a prisoner escaping, so he goes in search and leaves Olga in charge. The rescue party silently takes the guards down, while Olga executes a prisoner for not telling anything, and Boris says the one who tried to escape was Snow Job, but Olga thinks he's lying as Snow Job is too sick to escape, and orders Boris to be beaten to death. Olga goes to sleep, and after Boris has died, the Joe rescue party deal with the torturers, whose screams Olga thinks come from the dying Boris.

Later, the rescue party comes to the prisoners' barracks and bring them guns, with Stalker assuring the other prisoners that it's not a trick as these are his friends. Shortly after, the Joes take a truck to cross the border and offer the other prisoners to come along, but a prisoner says that despite not liking their government, they love their country and will join the underground. While the Joes leave, the freed prisoners still have a last thing to do...

Sgt. Mosiev returns to find the guards knocked out, the prisoners gone, and Olga dead. He calls to close all borders, and has his driver take him to the closest border, crossing the river.

At the river, the Joes find out too much security on the border, so the White Clown arrives with a human cannonball cannon to shoot them across. Mosiev arrives and sees the Joes already at the other side of the river, but is stopped from shooting them as they are across the border, and shooting them would cause an international incident, but he notices the cannon and that Stalker hasn't been launched yet, so Mosiev aims for Stalker at the same time that Stalker aims for him. This "rifle duel" goes in favor for Stalker, who fatally shoots Mosiev, and then gets on the cannon to be shot across the border. Orlovsky argues to the White Clown that they could have turned the Joes in and get a deal, but now they will be hunted down. The White Clown trusts that they will escape, and turning them in would have violated everything Magda believed in.


Featured Characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

G.I. Joe Civilians Borovians
  • Boris (13)
  • Commandant (14)
  • Corporal Olga (4)
  • Gulag guards (11)
  • Gulag prisoners (12)
  • Sgt. Mosiev (5)

Featured Vehicles & Equipment

  • Circus cannon

Featured Locations

G.I. Joe Borovia
  • Defense Language Center

  • Pvnsk
  • Gulag 23

Memorable quotes

  • None yet.

Other notes


  • No errors known.

Items of note

  • History of the White Clown is revealed.
  • First mention of Magda the Bareback Rider.
  • Death of Olga, Mosiev and Boris.
  • Cobra is not present in this issue at all.
  • In the United Kingdom the story was reprinted in Transformers #270, #271, #272 & #273.

Real-world references

  • No references.

Footnotes and References