#099 CALM BEFORE THE STORM
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Issue Date: Number 99, April
Series: G.I. Joe A Real American Hero
Issue Number: 99
Zartan sets in motion a plan to escape the freighter. Mutt and Spirit go to his childhood town of Millville to visit his Uncle Jeff. Zarana bargains with the real Cobra Commander revealing the potential of the two brainwashed Joes Clutch and Rock N Roll.
Notes of Interest
Roxy and Tiff make several references to science fiction films including Star Wars, Close Encounters, Alien, ET, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
Foreshadowing of events to come: Dr. Mindbender's purchase of surplus C-rations
First Appearance of Steam Roller
Joes: Mutt and Junkyard, Spirit, Clutch, Rock N Roll, Wild Bill, Steamroller, Lady Jaye
Cobra: Voltar, Dr. Mindbender, Raptor, Cobra Commander, Croc Master, Zartan, Cobra Commander (Fred VII) Voltar, Firefly, Zarana, Road Pig, Buzzer
Others: Billy, Tyrone, Capt. Minh, Roxy, Tiff
Script: Larry Hama,
Pencils: Herb Trimpe,
Inks: Randy Emberlin,
Lettering: Rick Parker,
Coloring: Bob Sharen,
Editor: Bobbie Chase,
Editor in Chief: Tom DeFalco
Cover Artist: Lee Weeks
Inside the Freighter (see issue 98) Zartan and Tyrone manage to pry off a hatch only to find solid rock behind it. Billy figures out that Cobra Commander must have managed to send the freighter inside the volcano and then sealed it. Dr. Mindbender and Raptor meanwhile have taken inventory and assessed the situation some of the occupants are in a panic and state of shock and others are ready for action. They have also found a source of water and food, unfortunately as Capt Minh points out the food is surplus C-ration ham and lima beans. Now that they have a plan to dig themselves out which should happen before food runs out, a power struggle between Fred VII and Zartan ensues.
Cobra Commander goes to Broca Beach where he is welcomed with open arms, it reminds him of Springfield. He is there to deal with Zarana and the other Dreadnoks being held in the jail. Zarana plays her ace in the hole and tells the Commander about the two brainwashed Joes and how they could use them.
Spirit and Mutt arrive in Millville which is a town down on its luck; unemployment, crime and poverty have taken over the town. They arrive at a sullen Uncle Jeff's house.
In Broca Beach Zarana takes Cobra Commander to a safe where she has hidden the computer program to activate the Joes. Cobra has the two under constant surveillance. They are monitoring them right now even as they are in the Pentagon. They as well as the validity of the entire team are on trial. Cobra Commander overhears how they are on probation and that any more disturbances could be the final straw. Cobra Commander plans to then set off the two time bombs in their heads at their base, thinking that the result would be enough to get the team disbanded.
Just outside the Pit, two teenage girls who happen to be science fiction fans are watching the area below them. Roxy and Tiff are investigating what they think is alien activity. They are almost run over by a huge vehicle as it zips by. The two comment that it is even bigger than a sandcrawler it is Steam roller in the MCC. Then Wild Bill flies right over them in a C-130 all blacked out. He then lands on a blacked out runway using infrared lights to land. The back of the transport opens up and three Joes step out. Roxy and Tiff compare the event to the scene in Close Encounters. Then the two girls find themselves at the end of a spotlight beam which they fear could be a paralyzing ray or worse. Lady Jaye heads towards them and they offer the "alien" reeses pieces but Lady Jaye declines saying she is watching her sugar intake.
She calls off the alert and takes the two teenagers away, the pair think she is still an alien or at least from the future, after all her name is only one letter. The gals talk about being brainwashed as they are led into the Pit. This comment makes Clutch cry out in pain.
Zarana is flying over the Pit in a python conquest invisible to radar. She observes just as the hatch to the Pit closes and the light from within lights up the edges. She feeds the coordinates to Broca Beach where Cobra Commander is readying for an assault. The planned attack isn't on the Pit though it is to take over the town of... Millville.
Summary by Ted Jacobson