#051 THUNDER MACHINE
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Issue Date: September 1986
Series: G.I. Joe A Real American Hero
Issue Number: 51
Zarana and Zandar rescue Zartan from The Pit, which leads to a major battle in the swamps between the Dreadnoks' Thunder Machine and Cross Country's HAVOC. Storm Shadow also sneaks into The Pit.
Notes of Interest
First appearance of Cross Country, Thunder, Tollbooth, Zandar
Lady Jaye and Scarlett appearances are as Zarana's disguises only.
The Joes: Alpine, Cross Country, Flint, Crank-Case, Heavy Metal, Roadblock, Sgt. Slaughter, Shipwreck
Additional Joe Appearances: Hawk, Lade Jaye, Scarlett, Thunder, Tollbooth, Wild Bill
Dreadnoks: Zartan, Zarana, Zandar, Buzzer, Ripper, Torch, Thrasher
Additional Characters: Storm Shadow
Script: Larry Hama,
Pencils: Rod Whigham,
Inks: Andy Mushynaky,
Coloring: George Roussos,
Lettering: Joe Rosen,
Editor: Bob Harras,
Editor in Chief: Jim Shooter
Cover Artist: John Byrne
In New Jersey, Storm Shadow and the Dreadnoks, Buzzer, Ripper and Torch, have just fled the destruction of Springfield. At the hide out they meet Zarana, Zartan's sister, also there is Zandar, Zartan's brother, as well as a new Dreadnok Thrasher.
Zartan has been a GI Joe captive for quite a while, and Buzzer has known the location of The Pit, GI Joe's secret base, for even longer. Zarana is going to bust him out and she will use a disguise to do it. Additionally, she has just gained, from an intercepted Federal courier, some of the secret dossiers of the GI Joe team members.
Using the identity of Lady Jaye, Zarana, along with Zandar posing as interrogation specialist, drives into The Pit. In the lower levels, Sgt. Slaughter releases Zartan to them so they can interrogate him. Now dressed as Scarlett, Sgt. Slaughter and the specialist, they begin to make their way out of the The Pit. Plus, they are able to steal a super secret com-link module that is programmed to all the Joe radio signals.
Over at McGuire Air Force base, most of the Joe team has just returned from their invasion of Springfield. Cross Country arrives at The Pit just as Zarana is leaving and figures out her disguise. He had just seen the injured Scarlett over at the airbase. But they are still able to escape. Moments later after calling Hawk with the escape news, Sgt. Slaughter jumps on the HAVOC and takes off after them.
When Zarana is driving out, Storm Shadow sneaks out into the elevator shaft of The Pit. Over at McGuire, Hawk takes off to a meeting in Washington.
Hawk sends Crank-Case, Alpine and Flint in Awe Striker with Roadblock, Shipwreck and Heavy Metal in the Mauler to intercept Zartan.
After meeting up with the rest of the Dreadnoks and the Thunder Machine, they head into the swamps, where an ambush by Flint's team is waiting. The Joes get the drop on Zarana and Zandar, but then Thrasher's Thunder Machine tears apart the Mauler and knocks over the AWE Striker. Zartan and his siblings think they are free and clear when Sgt. Slaughter shows up in the HAVOC.
A running and gunning battle happens between the two machines, each causing partial damage to the other but neither stops fighting. The Thunder Machine is able to dodge in front of an on-coming train before the HAVOC can make it across the tracks. Sgt. Slaughter tries to follow in the utility flyer. He approaches a gas station with an attendant sitting outside and asks if he saw any unusual people pass by. "Yep, the fellers you want went tooling down that road over there." Sgt. Slaughter thanks him and takes off down the road. The attendant is Zandar and the gas station is the Dreadnok hide out.
Summary by Josh Eggebeen
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