Publisher: Marvel Comics
Issue Date: January 1986
Series: G.I. Joe A Real American Hero
Issue Number: 43
Wade Collins (Fred Broca) confronts Stalker and Snake-Eyes about leaving him behind in Vietnam. He was POW and then returned to the US to join up with Cobra. At the same time, the Soft Master discovers who really killed the Hard Master. As he is escaping from Springfield, he causes a car accident that includes Candy & Billy. The Soft Master stops to help when Scrap Iron fires a missile at them, the Soft Master sacrifices himself to save Billy & Candy. Then Scrap Iron kills Candy and apparently Billy.
Notes of Interest
Death of the Soft Master & Candy, apparent death of Billy by Scrap Iron ordered by Firefly. Firefly is present when the Soft Master dies.
The LRRP story of Snake-Eyes, Stalker, Storm Shadow and Wade Collins is told in detail. Introduction of Dickie Saperstien, Ramon Escobedo of the LRRP
First Appearance of Scrap-Iron.
The Joes: Snake-Eyes, Stalker
LRRP (Long Range Recon Patrol): Snake-Eyes, Tommy Arashikage (Storm Shadow), Lonzo Wilkinson (Stalker), Wade Collins (Fred Broca), Dickie Saperstein, Ramon Escobedo
Cobra: Firefly, Scrap-Iron
Additional Characters: Candy, Soft Master, Billy, Chuck, Fred Broca (Wade Collins)'s family; his wife, daughter Heather and son, Sean Collins
Script: Larry Hama,
Pencils: Rod Whigham,
Inks: Andy Mushynsky,
Letters: Joe Rosen,
Colors: George Roussos,
Editor: Denny O'Neil,
Editor in Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Artist: Mike Zeck and John R. Beatty
Wade Collins (Fred Broca) is holding Snake-Eyes and Stalker at gun point near the Vietnam Memorial. They had thought that Collins had died in Vietnam. They were all on an LRRP (Long Range Recon Patrol) back in the Nam. Collins then goes on to tell the story of that patrol.
The LRRP included Snake-Eyes, Tommy Arashikage (Storm Shadow), Lonzo Wilkinson (Stalker), Wade Collins (Fred Broca), Dickie Saperstein and Ramon Escobedo. Collins was on point when he walked into a bivouac of a full company of NVA regulars. Collins was hit several times in the chest with bullets. Next to him Escobedo is also hit several times. Stalker checks to see that Escobedo is dead, and leaves Collins assuming he is dead. As Saperstein is flanking the NVA's, he steps on a mine that completely blows him apart. Storm Shadow, Snake-Eyes and Stalker are then forced to retreat leaving the almost dead Collins to the NVA's. After the NVA's fixed him up, he sat in a POW prison camp for months, finally to be released when the war was over. After returning to the US, he was spit on for being a soldier, divorced by his wife and unable to get a job. He then discovered Cobra, where he was able to gain power, respect and friends. Once inside Cobra, the Crimson Guard, the Elite soldiers of Cobra, was formed and Collins was one the first to join. It required plastic surgery to become one of the Fred Broca series. Later, he was sent to replace another Fred who had died. He took over that family that was stationed right outside Fort Wadsworth to watch for GI Joe's, which is how he came to be standing in front of Snake-Eyes and Stalker.
Stalker is able to convince Wade that his current life filled with hatred and bitterness and dedicated to a totally corrupt organization like Cobra has made is life worse. They all return to Collins' "family" home where is he has planned to leave Cobra. As he is telling them about leaving, his son, Sean Collins, makes a decision to stay with him, and the rest of the family follows along with him leaving Cobra. Stalker and Snake-Eyes wish them good bye and good luck as they drive off.
Meanwhile, another part of Snake-Eyes' life is playing out in Springfield.
The Soft Master has just assaulted an entire police station to discover the Hard Master's killer. He uses the last officer standing to gain access to the computer system. After doing some searching he is able to find the information that he is looking for but doesn't reveal it. Additional, police support shows up causing him to make his escape.
Buzzer, after being dumped on the side of the road by Candy, has arrived in Springfield and is met by Firefly and Scrap Iron.
Billy, Cobra Commander's son and Storm Shadow's apprentice, has also arrived in Springfield.
Chuck, the same man that gave a ride to the Soft Master earlier, has now picked up Candy. Candy discovers the Soft Master's suitcase in Chuck's car. So they turn around and head back into Springfield to return the suitcase. On the return trip, they pick up another hitchhiker, Billy, who upon getting in the car, senses death.
The Soft Master has stolen a police car and is racing out of Springfield. With Firefly, Scrap Iron and Buzzer hot on his tale he just beats a train but in the process crashes into Chuck's car. Inside the car, Chuck, Candy and Billy are all injured. The Soft Master turns around to check on the people in the car. Since the train has divided the accident from Firefly. He orders Scrap Iron to climb the telephone pole and see what is happening on the other side of the train.
Scrap Iron sees the Soft Master helping the people in the crashed car and fires a missile at him. The Soft Master sacrifices himself my jumping into the on coming missile. Scrap Iron then asks Firefly what he should do with the rest of the people in the car. Firefly gives the thumb down symbol and Scrap Iron fires a missile into the car killing Candy, Chuck and apparently Billy.
Summary by Josh Eggebeen
Canadian Price is Newsstand Only.
The Mark Jeweler jewelry insert was released in many Marvel comics throughout the late 1970s til the late 1990s. What is pictured here is the actual insert included in Marvel #43. To read about the history of the Mark Jeweler insert follow the link - Marvel Mark Jewelers Inserts Part 3 - The Slick Number Era - May 1978 - September 1986