The latest issue of G.I. JOE: Special Missions centers around one of the least heroic members of the team, Bildocker, whose uncanny ability to scavenge, locate, and trade for necessary ordinance and intel is matched by the overweight desk jock’s lack use in the field that certainly separates him from his more heroic teammates.
With Dial Tone along for the ride, Bildocker soon finds himself in way over his head in the bayou’s as a trip to an old friend to get what Roadblock and Mainframe need for their latest mission gets the pair attacked by Cobra troops and in a fight for their lives far from any back-up.
G.I. JOE: Special Missions #9 is an interesting issue because it reminds us that there are many jobs various JOEs are called on to do and not all of them are as heroic as those on the front lines. He may not fit the mold, but Bildocker is a vial member of the team. Although we only get a single issue for his story, I wouldn’t mind seeing Bildocker pop-up again sometime down the line. Worth a look.
Here’s my look back at the ten best single comic issues from the past year. Including ongoing series, one-shots, and mini-series, the only limitations I put on this list was that the comic had to have been released in 2013 (no reprints) and I limited myself to only a single issue from any one title. Because I was focusing on standout issues rather than consistently strong comics every month several of my favorite series missed the cut, but, if time permits, I may work up my regular list of best comic series of the past year as well.
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“Threat Matrix” comes to an end as Duke confronts the Mad Monk, the Special Missions team hunts down the JOE leader who Cover Girl believes may be Cobra’s mole, and the Baroness is forced to make a choice between Cobra and Destro when Cobra Commander and his troops invade the arm seller’s home.
By the end of the issue the JOEs will stop the Mad Monk’s plan and save Duke’s comatose wife whose chest the villain’s wife and daughter strapped the bomb to. It’s not a complete win as Monk gets away and questions linger about Duke’s unexplained wealth (which we learn about in the issue’s final flashback).
The split between Destro and Cobra opens up new possibilities for the character and I’m happy to see the series sticking with the relationship between the Baroness and her silver-headed boyfriend. The flashbacks certainly give Duke a feet of clay which I have mixed feelings about as I do with Monk getting away to cause more trouble for the JOEs in the future. For fans.
Tomax is loose, the secret Las Vegas facility has been breached by Firefly and Night Adder, and thanks to Clockspring‘s unintentional cooperation every member of the team is now in jeopardy.
A drunk, drugged, and beaten Flint shows that he still has some fight left in him by throwing one of their unwelcome party guests out a very high window and saving the lives of both Billy and Ronin in the process.
Heading into next month’s final issue of the title it appears no matter who survives Tomax’s betrayal, Flint’s team is done. I don’t see IDW willing to kill any major characters such as Flint or Lady Jaye, but the setting for the finale leaves the fate of several of the team’s lesser members, possibly even Chameleon (who doesn’t quite fit in either of the other current JOE titles) a bit more uncertain. I’m been meaning to drop at least one of the G.I. JOE titles for awhile now, and it looks like IDW’s made the choice for me. Worth a look.
As the separate JOE teams take on the three Cobra attacks which came from Duke‘s new source, Destro and the Baroness contact the JOE leader under the old proverb “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” and lead Duke to the lair of the Mad Monk. What Duke and Destro don’t realize, however, is the new head of Cobra’s operations in New York is two-steps ahead of them.
Destro receives an unexpected visit from the new Cobra Commander, and his elite strike force, who is none to pleased to discover Destro has sold out a member of Cobra to G.I. JOE. Meanwhile, Duke doesn’t realize every move he takes makes him look that much more guilty to his team who have already begun to suspect that Duke may be Cobra’s mole.
The issue ends with Scarlett and her team unable to deny the damning evidence and setting out after their leader and the Mad Monk captured by Duke who is shocked to learn the final card the villain has left to play concerning Duke’s wife. Worth a look.
This single issue tale has a little less action than you’re regular issue of G.I. JOE: Special Missions, but plenty of equipment and high-tech gadgetry, as the team’s nerdier members set out to stop a Cobra hacker from starting a war between two former Soviet Republics.
This is an issue where characters like Hard Drive, Spreadsheet, and Dial-Tone all get to strut their stuff and Mainframe (rather than someone like Duke or Scarlett) gets to perform the big heroic mission by destroying a Cobra drone at 60,000 feet before it can kill the one man capable of negotiating a settlement and stopping a full-out war.
I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to see the series continue without some of the JOEs bigger names getting into the action as well, but for a one-off tale G.I. JOE: Special Missions #8 works pretty well and reminds readers about the diversity of the ranks and skill sets of the organization. Worth a look.
Flint breaks the news to his team that he’s decided to disband their group. While some of the team takes the news well, both Chameleon and Clockspring show their displeasure at Flint’s decision which puts both their futures in limbo.
While Chameleon apologizes for the recent romantic tinges of her relationship with Flint, Clockspring gets more wound up than usual thanks to Tomax who has absolutely no plans to let the JOEs throw him in the nearest gulag now that his usefulness as a consultant is at an end.
Escaping isn’t going to be easy for the former Cobra operative. Of course it helps that he’s gotten in tight with the team’s computer expert and invited a couple of friends (Firefly, Night Adder) to the desert and inside the JOEs’ secret base.
The tension which has been building in the mishmashed team since the first issue is finally boiling over. The only question is who will survive, and what side will some of them ultimately end up on? Worth a look.
The latest issue of G.I. JOE: Special Missions finds Zartan in on the run in the middle of the Australian Outback from both the JOEs and the Dreadnoks, who he abandons to pursue his mad dream of using the genetic information on the MARS device to populate the planet with an infinite number of Zartan clones.
With action both back at the Dreadnok base and in the various pursuits, as the JOES and Dreadnoks fight amongst themselves for who will get to Zartan first, G.I. JOE: Special Missions #7 is filled with a good amount of action and is available with a Torch variant cover (c’mon, you know you want one).
Zartan’s mad plans are (thankfully) short-lived and we won’t have to suffer through a battle of clones. But his abandonment of the Dreadnoks also suggests that might not be seeing them again going forward (and least not under his command). I’ve got to admit, this makes me a little sad. For fans.
As Duke‘s own friends continue to investigate him, the Mad Monk begins his campaign of terror using Destro‘s Batttle Android Troopers and providing G.I. JOE with three simultaneous threats in New York City by offering Cobra resources to the meth dealing Heathen Motorcycle Gang (under the command of Zandar and Zarana), a terrorist group planning to detonate a dirty bomb in the city, and an anti-immigrant group planning a biological attack on diplomats from the United Nations.
Spread thin across the city the JOEs attempt to neutralize each threat, but with the questions looming about Duke’s loyalty, and the fact that the Mad Monk is only getting started, things are likely to get far worse for the team and their leader in the coming issues.
The issue also gives us more of Destro wooing the Baroness to his side to take down the Mad Monk, before the destroys all of Cobra with his insanity, as the pair indulge in an unusual game of skeet shooting. Worth a look.
The latest issue of G.I. JOE: The Cobra Files turns its attention on the covert team’s leader. Through flashbacks writer Mike Costa and artist Werther Dell’Edera deliver a look at what makes Flint tick and the choices that led him to lead this team and to decide its need to be disbanded as soon as humanly possible.
Given his recent capture and the team’s volatile nature which includes two former agents of Cobra, Cobra Commander’s son, and a computer programmer who may be losing his grip on reality you can definitely see where Flint is coming from (although his unresolved feelings for Chameleon certainly factor in as well).
To be honest, I’ve never been that big a fan of Flint who I’ve always seen as a blander Duke. This issue does a good job in fleshing out and selling the character as the man willing to take the job that needs to be done (whether or not he believes he’s a good fit for the assignment). As to whether the team (and comic’s) days truly are numbered, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Worth a look.