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Publisher: Marvel Comics
Issue Date: April 1985
Series: G.I. Joe A Real American Hero
Issue Number: 34

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Ace and Lady Jaye take a modified SkyStriker up for a flight, even as Wild Weasel and Baroness do likewise with a Rattler. A battle ensues, ends in a draw, with the two pilots saluting each other out of respect.

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Notes of Interest

Skystriker vs Rattler

Major Players

The Joes: Ace, Lady Jaye

Cobra: Wild Weasel, Baroness

Creative Team

Script: Larry Hama,
Pencils: Rod Whigham,
Inks: Andy Mushynsky,
Lettering: Rick Parker,
Colors: George Roussos,
Editor: Denny O'Neil,
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Artist: Mike Zeck and John R. Beatty

Full Details

At McGuire Air Force Base, Ace is taking Lady Jaye up for a flight on a newly upgraded Skystriker. At Springfield Municipal Airport, Wild Weasel is taking the Baroness up on a newly upgraded Rattler. Little do they know, their paths will cross.

Early on, Ace shows Lady Jaye how the Skystriker's radar filters out civilian aircraft and vehicles. They easily avoid a civilian passenger jet. At the same time, Wild Weasel shows the Baroness how the Rattler can fly extremely low to the ground and automatically avoid obstacles. They follow along a highway and dodge overpasses.

While along the highway, the Baroness sees a blip on the radar, looks up and sees the Skystriker flying far above. Luckily for the Cobras, they are in the Joe's blind spot. Ace's radar detector senses the radar blip, and he realizes someone is in his blind spot. Wild Weasel initiates a firing sequence and launches two missiles. Ace shoots out two Electronic Counter Measures infra-red flares which destroy the missiles, but the Skystriker still gets a little damage. The right tail plane is burning, and the transmission antenna is destroyed. The Joes pull a three-gee turn and come up underneath the Rattler. Ace fires the Vulcan 20 Mike-Mike cannon, and shoots up the cockpit of the Cobra jet. No one is hurt, because of the aircraft's titanium steel armor.

Wild Weasel flies over neighborhoods, canceling Ace's ability to fire missiles. The Baroness swivels around the Rattler gun-turret, and blasts the Skystriker's cockpit. Ace survives but his helmet is ravaged. Lady Jaye is forced to take the controls until he can get his helmet off. Wild Weasel flips around behind the Joes and opens fire. Ace throws off his helmet and hits the afterburners. The Joes rocket into the air. The Cobras decide to take cover in the ground clutter and stay low. Unknown to them, the Joe's new radar can still see the Rattler while it flies in the same direction. Ace flies up behind the Rattler, chasing it out to sea. Just before Ace can fire his missiles, Wild Weasel hits the brakes, causing Ace to waste four missiles. The jets end up turning around and facing each other. The Rattler fires four of its missiles. The Skystriker plows into a hard right turn, the missile's servos go out of whack, and they miss.

The Rattler hugs the ground again, but makes a ninety-degree turn, throwing it out of the Skystriker's radar. Ace flips a coin to determine which way to go. Luckily, he goes right. The Joes find the Cobras flying over a junkyard. Ace figures it'll be okay to fire missiles at a junkyard, and pulls the trigger. Wild Weasel sees the missiles coming, and fires all of his remaining missiles into the ground. The huge explosion causes Ace's shots to miss. The now missile-less aircraft are forced to come head-on to each other and fire their rapid-fire cannons. Unfortunately, neither one manages to finish off the other. The two pilots realize that there is nothing more that they can do except salute each other as they fly by. Lady Jaye and the Baroness are enraged that the two men are just letting things go and returning to base. The pilots say nothing.

By Jeff Edburg