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Publisher: Marvel Comics
Issue Date: March 1989
Series: G.I. Joe A Real American Hero
Issue Number: 84

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More pieces of the saga of Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow, Zartan, and Cobra Commander are revealed through Billy's mom telling her story to Storm Shadow and Billy; and Zartan telling his story to Fred VII.

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Notes of Interest

Cobra Commander unmasked (page 9)
A connection between Snake Eyes and Cobra Commander (the original) is revealed.
Zartan's first deal with Cobra commander revealed.
Cobra Commander's brother was the drunk veteran who crashed into Snake- Eyes' family, killing all of them.
Cobra Commander blames Snake-Eyes for the death of his brother. Zartan is hired to kill Snake-Eyes.
Cobra Commander steals Billy from his mother.
Brief history of the start of Cobra.
In order to infiltrate the Arashikage Ninja Clan, Zartan becomes Professor Onihashi's apprentice.
Zartan helped make Snake-Eyes' first sword.
Zartan has a change of heart, but Cobra Commander threatens to expose him. Zartan attempting to kill Snake-Eyes but accidently kills the Hard Master. Onihashi commits suicide because of Zartan's dishonor.

Major Players

Joes: Storm Shadow, Jinx
Cobra: Cobra Commander (Fred VII), Dr. Mindbender, Zartan
Other: Billy, Billy's mom

Creative Team

Script: Larry Hama,
Pencils: Marshall Rogers,
Inks: Randy Emberlin,
Lettering: Rick Parker,
Coloring: Bob Sharen,
Editor: Bobbie Chase,
Editor in Chief: Tom DeFalco
Cover Artist: Ron Wagner and Bob McLeod

Full Details

Storm Shadow is training Billy. Billy is dressed in Storm Shadow's old uniform and Storm Shadow is in his urban camo uniform. They are in the Arashikage Martial Arts Academy. They pause and then hear footsteps on the stairs, they can tell one person is Jinx the other a familiar woman who Billy can't place. Jinx however is in trouble they can tell by her walk.

A woman stands at the door holding a pistol to Jinx's head. She demands to see Billy. Wasting no time Storm Shadow leaps at her. Billy recognizes the voice and stops him and deflects the pistol aimed at Jinx at the same time. Storm Shadow questions him, asking why he stopped him. Billy tells Storm Shadow that this woman is his mother.

The woman points to his missing eye, and Billy tells her he has a fake leg also and in anger says he must be a real dream child. Storm Shadow hits him for disrespecting his mother. Then he and Jinx go grocery shopping leaving the two alone.

The two reunited, now talk about how his father formed Cobra. How Billy thought she was dead. How she tracked him down.

On Cobra Island Fred VII leads Dr. Mindbender and some Crimson Guards to a shack in the woods, which keeps changing from a shack to a gas station to a cobra bunker. He is after Zartan and intends to do him in. Once inside Fred is captured by a pair of red ninjas, and led off. Dr. Mindbender pretends to follow. Fred is taken to Zartan who knows he really isn't Cobra commander.

In San Francisco, Billy's mother talks about the auto accident that sparked it all. Cobra commander's brother Dan died in a car accident. The Commander twisted everything around and blamed the soldier who was waiting at the airport for the occupants of the other car, a family. Cobra Commander swore to avenge his brother's death. This of course is the accident that killed Snake Eyes' mother, father, and twin sister. Storm Shadow knows all about it. He tells Billy's mom he can name the date and interstate that accident took place on.

Zartan reveals to Fred how they met. He was hustling pool and got in a bar fight. Cobra Commander came to the pool hall to hire him to kill Snake Eyes. Zartan wasn't interested at first until he learned of the difficulty of the assignment, he liked the challenge. Zartan traveled to Japan, he wasn't a family member of the Arashikage clan so he had to prove his worth in order to gain access. He sat outside the gates for a long time. Then Professor Onihashi took him in. Zartan could not fool the man of his true intentions, however the Professor accepted him anyway in hopes of changing him. Zartan trained long and hard to become a sword smith. He even was at he ceremony where a sword he made was presented to the Hard Master. A famous photo was taken that day as well. However Cobra Commander threatened to end it all by telling the clan of his true purpose for entering the house. Faced with that problem Zartan made the decision to kill Snake Eyes. He took an arrow of Storm Shadow's and using electronic equipment killed who he thought was Snake eyes but turned out to be the Hard Master pretending to be him. (Issue 26-28) Storm Shadow then joined Cobra to find the killer of the Hard Master. Zartan leaves the Island in a chopper, a paper with the headline DeJong museum to show Artifacts flies in the air.

In San Francisco Storm Shadow tells Billy's mom the story. Billy and his mom decide to make a fresh start; Billy will go to Berkeley and live with his mother. Jinx and Storm Shadow say goodbye as a newspaper with that same headline lands at their doorstep.

Summary by Ted Jacobson


The Mark Jeweler jewelry insert was released in many Marvel comics throughout the late 1970s til the late 1980s. What is pictured here is the actual insert included in Marvel #84. To read about the history of the Mark Jeweler insert follow the link - Marvel Mark Jewelers Inserts Part 4 - Marvel Mark Jewelers Inserts - The Colored End of an Era - October 1986 - July 1991