#044 IMPROVISATION ON A THEME
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Issue Date: February 1986
Series: G.I. Joe A Real American Hero
Issue Number: 44
During a training exercise lead by Lady Jaye, a group of new Joe recruits are kidnapped by Dr. Mindbender. They are put up against Mindbender's new BATS and mutant plants called creeper bombs. After a long battle, the new Joes are able to prevail and become full members of the team.
Notes of Interest
First Appearance of Heavy Metal, Airtight, Bazooka, Crank-Case.
First Appearance of B.A.T.S. (Battle Android Troopers) & Dr. Mindbender
Dr. Mindbender is initially named as Dr. Brainwave.
The Joes: Airtight, Bazooka, Crank-Case, Heavy Metal, Lady Jaye.
Cobra: Baroness, Destro, Dr. Mindbender
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
As Lady Jaye leads some new Joe recruits on a training mission, they are attacked by strange robots running at them with strange canisters on there backs. These robots, actually B.A.T.S. (Battle Android Troopers), where created by Dr. Mindbender and release the creeper bomb, vine like organism that strangles the vehicles, releases a sleeping gas that knocks out all the Joes.
The new recruits, Bazooka, Crank-Case, Heavy Metal and Airtight along with Lady Jaye, wake up in a junkyard that is a maze of trashed cars. This is actually a test set up by Dr. Mindbender to promote his BATS and creeper bomb to Destro and the Baroness, so that he can sell them to Cobra.
The Joe vehicles, the MBT Mauler tank, Silver Mirage motorcycle and AWE Striker have been stripped of all their ammo and the only weapons the Joes have. As they are chased by BATS driving HISS tanks and motorcycles all carrying the creeper bombs. Many of the BATS are destroyed; Airtight is able to figure out a way with car battery acid to defeat the creeper bombs and there sleeping spores. The test isn't going very well for Dr. Mindbender.
Finally, Destro and Dr. Mindbender are attacked directly by the Joes, and the Baroness swoops in on a Fang to rescue them just before the creepers get them.
After defeating Cobra, Lady Jaye gives all the new recruits a passing with flying colors rating.
Summary by Josh Eggebeen
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