THE OLD SWITCHEROO
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Issue Date: October 1987
Series: Special Missions
Issue Number: 7
LOCATION: New York City An attack on the Cobra Consulate Building, set up by Chuckles, by the Sierra Gordians is used as a distraction for Chuckles, Dial Tone and Lady Jaye to insert a bugging device into Cobra's satellite communication system.
Notes of Interest
The individual Special Mission issues influence on the main series fluctuates from being a completely separate story to having a minor influence or is a direct continuation from the regular Marvel series. The bugging device installed is later discovered in the regular series issue #79.
Main Mission Joes: Chuckles, Breaker, Dial Tone, Lady Jaye, Psyche-Out, Tunnel Rat
Cobra: Baroness, Dr. Mindbender, Serpentor, Zarana
Special Missions Only Characters: Menshevikistas (Sierra Gordo Revolutionaries): Evita, Juan, Raul
Writer: Larry Hama, Art: Herb Trimpe, Lettering: Phil Felix, Coloring: Bob Sharen, Editor: Bob Harras, Editor in Chief: Jim Shooter.
In New York City at the Cobra Consulate Building, a small group of Sierra Gordo counter-revolutionaries called Menshevikistans attack without notice. They drive a truck straight into the lobby, kill several vipers, head directly to the basement of the Consulate and barricade themselves into the boiler room. The leaders Evita and Juan start making demands for Cobra to pull all of its armed forces out of Sierra Gordo and establish their group has the head of the government otherwise they will blow up the Cobra Consulate.
The Baroness and Zarana are caught completely off guard. Using the close circuit cameras, they see the counter-revolutionaries drilling holes in the main support columns of the building. And inside of those holes they are putting explosives that where recently sold to them.
The Baroness wanting to keep Serpentor updated uses the rooftop satellite communication system to talk directly to him. Serpentor's response to the Baroness is for her to solve the situation herself or be replaced. The replacement would be Zarana.
The Baroness then orders an assault on the boiler room, which of course fails with the death of a squad of vipers. In retaliation, the Sierra Gordoians activate a bomb in the truck that is still parked in the lobby, pretty much destroying the lobby. The Baroness believes that they will blow up the building and calls for an evacuation. Zarana seeing an opportunity to take over criticizes her decision which starts a fight that Dr. Mindbender stops. As part of the evacuation the roof detail leaves its post.
On an adjacent rooftop, Chuckles, Dial Tone, Psyche-Out and Lady Jaye are monitoring the Consulate Building. Listening through a parabolic microphone they hear the Baroness' conversation with Serpentor and Zarana, Chuckles asks Psyche-Out if the mission is a go. Psyche-Out's response is "I think she'll perform according to our projected scenario. Let's go ahead." Dial Tone then radios Tunnel Rat and Breaker who are in the sewer system; they cut the power line to the Consulate Building which sends the entire building into darkness.
Dial Tone, Chuckles and Lady Jaye, while the lights are out, use hang gliders to reach the top of the building. As soon as they land Lady Jaye and Chuckles set up a perimeter as Dial Tone inserts a bugging device into the main satellite communication line so all communications can be monitored. They then get approval from Psyche-Out, who is still monitoring the Baroness, to start the escape procedure.
Inside the Consulate, still in the dark, the Baroness and Zarana are arguing over who is in charge and in the basement Evita and Juan of the Sierra Gordoians are arguing over control of the detonator.
Breaker and Tunnel Rat then restore the power. And the Baroness comes on the television in the basement talking to the Sierra Gordoians about how they have no guts and actually dares them to blow up the building basically she is calling their bluff. The real Baroness watches the television, also. Lady Jaye disguised as the Baroness is actually the one calling the bluff of the Gordoians.
In the basement, Evita has been able to take control of the detonator from Juan. And hearing the Baroness/Lady Jaye calling their bluff she says "I won't be made a fool of" and then pushes the detonator button. Expecting an explosion the Gordoians & Cobra instead get riot gas.
The gas debilitates everyone inside the Consulate Building by temporarily choking and blinding all The Joes wearing gas masks as they just walk out.
Basically, Chuckles & Psyche-Out set up the entire plan including selling the explosives/riot gas, planning the mission, evaluating their psych profiles, drawing the wiring diagrams, giving them Cobra Consulate Building plans and encouraging the Sierra Gordoians to attack Cobra all as a cover for planting a bug in Cobra's communication system.
Summary by Josh Eggebeen