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Publisher: Marvel Comics
Issue Date: August 1988
Series: Special Missions
Issue Number: 12

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LOCATION: Orange County & New York City, New York
Firefly has stolen the new Joe plane Vector, its pilot Maverick and civilian pilot Bert Phreim track the modern day plane in Bert's old bi-wing plane, eventually recapturing the plane near in New York City

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Notes of Interest

The individual Special Mission issues influence on the main series fluctuates from being a completely separate story to having a minor influence or is a direct continuation from the regular Marvel series.

Special thanks are given to Accord Speedway in Accord NY, now closed after 26 years of fun and to Smitty Smithers, owner.

Major Players

Main Mission Joes: Maverick
Support Joes: Ace, Slip Stream

Cobras: Firefly

Special Missions Only Characters: Bert Phreim, Ed, NYC police Captain Nelson Air Show pilots: Arkawy's Angels, Kenny Cassens, Charlie Culp, Al Bendelius, and Don Fefee, Tom "Chickenhawk" Crawley, John, John, Jr. & Mike King, Schleich Brothers & Smitty Smithers owner of Accord Speedway.

Creative Team

Writer: Larry Hama,
Art: Herb Trimpe,
Lettering: Phil Felix,
Coloring: Bob Sharen,
Editor: Bobbie Chase and Bob Harras,
Editor in Chief: Tom DeFalco
Cover Artist: Herb Trimpe

Full Details

In Orange County near New York City, an air show is happening. Bert Pherim and his co-pilot Ed fly an old bi-wing called the Stearman PT-17 Kaydet are part of the air show. The Stearman is a bi-wing plane that can be controlled from both the front and back seat. Additional airplanes are performing but the stars of the show are the Joe team.

Ace in the Skystriker, Slip Stream in the Conquest X-30 and Maverick in the brand new Vector appear and do several aerial tricks that excite the audience. The finale is sky writing with the letters G.I. Joe!

After landing the Joes goes for interviews, but first Maverick, a bi-wing plane enthusiast, stops by to talk to Bert about his Stearman. Maverick as a kid had flown with his crop dusting mother in a similar plane, but he hasn't been up in one in years. Bert offers to give Maverick a ride.

Firefly busts onto the airfield, drops a smoke bomb that debilitates Ace & Slip Stream. Taking advantage of the gas, Firefly steals the electronic bays of both the Skystriker and Conquest then steals the Vector.

Maverick up in the air with Bert spots the Vector being stolen. They take off after the Vector in the old Stearman. The Vector a much faster plane is flying slowly so as to not get lost, which allows the Stearman to catch up. A strange dogfight happens. Basically, the Vector tries to get the Stearman in a kill position but the unarmed maneuverability of the Stearman always allows it to avoid the fast less maneuverable Vector every time.

But the Stearman runs out of gas forcing Bert to land at the Accord Speedway, where he knows the owner Smitty Smithers. Firefly flies off as the Stearman lands for refueling. Smithers' fills up the tank and off they go again to track down the Vector.

Several Air Force jets were tracking the Vector when it just disappeared off the radar. In the area, Bert and Maverick spot a garbage barge on the river. The Vector is a VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) aircraft, Maverick suspects that the plane is on the barge. As they investigate the garbage barge, they spot the tail fins which are the only part of the plane not hidden by the garbage. By now the barge has entered New York Harbor and there is no place to land the Stearman except on the Intrepid, the permanent aircraft carrier memorial and museum located on the Hudson River.

Escaping from the Intrepid with the cops on their tails, they steal a boat and head towards the barge. They sneak onto the barge, but Firefly spots them and starts firing at them. Maverick returns fire but Firefly all of sudden gives up, the NYC police have surrounded the barge to arrest Maverick and Bert but Firefly doesn't know that.

Much later after being released by Cap Nelson of the NYPD, Maverick and Bert are back at the newly cleaned Vector, Bert's plane was already sent back to upstate, so Bert asks for a ride in Maverick's Vector, Maverick response is "the regs state clearly that I can't give an unauthorized civilian a ride, however... the regs don't mention a thing about letting a civilian drive."

Summary by Josh Eggebeen