#091 NO SIMPLE SOLUTIONS
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Issue Date: October 1989
Series: G.I. Joe A Real American Hero
Issue Number: 91
Zartan continues his fight with the Blind Master, who knows all about Zartan's involvement with the Hard Master's death. The Red Ninjas attack the Joe ninjas at the site of Snake eyes cabin in the woods. Clutch is placed in the brainwave scanner.
Notes of Interest
A look into Clutch's memories.
The Corpse of Fred from issue 32 makes a cameo.
The death of the Blind Master by Zartan. Who then disguises himself as the Blind Master.
Joes: Clutch, Jinx, Scarlett, Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow
Cobra: Zartan, Zarana, Baroness, Buzzer, Ripper, Torch
Others: The Blind Master, Tyrone
Script: Larry Hama,
Pencils: Tony Salmons,
Inks: Randy Emberlin,
Lettering: Rick Parker,
Coloring: Bob Sharen,
Editor: Bobbie Chase,
Editor in Chief: Tom DeFalco
Cover Artist: Andy Kubert
Zartan looks a little worse for wear. He is in an alley in San Francisco engaged in hand to hand combat with the Blind Master. Tyrone, the student of the Blind Master is searching for his sensei all over.
Zarana, the Dreadnoks and the Baroness are about to use the brainwave scanner to enter Clutch's mind. Once inside the Dreadnoks destroy Clutch's memories. Smashing his Corvair (with a license plate that says Joe?) Beating up Margaret Boberek his high school sweetheart and his Uncle Arnie, and maliciously destroying his favorite toy. Clutch screams as his memories are erased. The devious plan is not to wipe his mind clean but to replace certain key memories. The Dreadnoks watch in disappointment as their "virtual selves" destroy the pieces of Clutch's mind. They wanted to really break something. The memories they implant are ones of a Crimson Guard uniform in his closet (nod to the file card). Margaret is taken out and replaced with Wendy a cheerleader who talks him into going to Arbco meetings. Zarana and the Baroness enjoy themselves as they play with Clutch's past.
Tyrone while searching for his master runs into a group of bullies who take his board. They try to get him to fight. Tyrone knowing he could easily beat them chooses not to fight and walks away. Vladmir, the bully, tells him he saw the Blind Master down by the Presidio.
At the remains of Snake Eyes' cabin, Storm Shadow has gone off to a private battle of honor with a Red Ninja. As Snake Eyes, Scarlett, and Jinx and an injured Timber sit and wait knowing they will not interfere, they find themselves surrounded by several Red Ninjas. Seems the Red Ninja didn't think they would not intervene.
When Storm Shadow and the Red Ninja meet face to face he reveals himself to be the driver of the VW bus that careened off the Golden Gate bridge when Storm Shadow shot him with an arrow (issue 85). He reveals that he too is a member of the Arashikage clan. He found out the location of the hideout and battle (issue 32) from Firefly who was involved in it. Back at the campsite the other Red Ninjas reveal their clan markings. They are here to settle this once and for all, the Red Ninja tells Storm Shadow that although Zartan killed the Hard Master, Storm Shadow was the real cause and that none of it would have happened if he hadn't brought a stranger in (Snake Eyes). The two battle at the falls. Back at the cabin Scarlett and Jinx are injured and taken out of the fight. Leaving Snake Eyes and Timber to face the last three ninjas. At the falls the Red Ninja breaks Storm Shadow's sword. Storm Shadow dives into the falls to find Fred's corpse (issue 32) Fred's AK-47 is still there he grabs the rusty weapon and uses it to block the Red Ninja's blow, and his sword breaks from the impact.
Back in San Francisco, the Blind Master is winning the fight. Zartan asks for a quick death. He can no longer deal with the shame and pain of his Master (Onihashi) killing himself over Zartan's act. Just as the Blind Master raises his knife Tyrone appears. Tyrone stops him saying he can't kill a defenseless man that it would be wrong and against all that he had been taught. The blind man drops his knife and goes after his student. Seeing the opportunity Zartan grabs the knife and stabs him in the back. The Blind Master reveals to Zartan that Onihashi forgave Zartan with his dying breath
In the woods the battle is over. Storm Shadow floats on by the cabin and is soon brought ashore by the trio.
In San Francisco a battered Blind Master catches up to Tyrone, he tells Tyrone he was right to try to stop him and that they should start over from scratch. As they walk away one can see the glowing around the Blind Master's foot revealing that he is indeed Zartan looking for a fresh beginning.
Summary by Ted Jacobson