#15 ...AND INTO THE FIRE
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Issue Date: November 1988
Series: Special Missions
Issue Number: 15
LOCATION: The Hidden Valley in former Chomo Lungma, now China After finding the rogue CIA agent Esterhazy, the Joe team and CIA Agent Anderson have to fight against the Chinese Army and after Esterhazy's death the team has to extract itself as CIA Agent Anderson stays behind.
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.
This is the second part of a multiple issue story exclusive to the Special Missions series. (See Special Missions #14, #18 & #19)
3rd Appearance of CIA Agent Anderson (see Special Missions #8)
Main Mission Joes: Chuckles, Iceberg, Scarlett, Snake-Eyes
Special Missions Only Characters: CIA agent Anderson & former CIA agent Cullen Esterhazy, Tenzing, Abbot of the Hidden Monastery, Chinese Army: Sgt Wu, Col. Peng,
Script: Larry Hama,
Pencils: Herb Trimpe,
Inks: Andy Mushynsky,
Lettering: Phil Felix,
Coloring: Nel Yomtov,
Editor: Bobbie Chase,
Editor in Chief: Tom DeFalco.
Cover Artist: Ron Wagner
Chuckles, Snake-Eyes, Scarlett and Iceberg along with CIA Agent Anderson have partially accomplished their mission by finding rogue CIA Agent Cullen Esterhazy in the Hidden Valley of Chomo Lungma. The second part of their mission is to bring Esterhazy back to the US.
Chomo Lungma is a protectorate of China. The Chinese Military are currently assaulting the Hidden Valley; they have used the fact that the Joes have entered Valley as a reason to invade. The second attack by Colonel Peng is on the Hidden Valley Monastery, a completely undefended 500 year old piece of culture. Tenzing, Esterhazy's second in command, demands that they go help defend the Abbot and his Monastery. Esterhazy points out that the Chinese Military is a reinforced armor column and that they are only a few soldiers on horseback.
A portion of Esterhazy's forces attack the Monastery without his guidance. They are all slaughtered. He has just lost most of his forces in one uncontrolled, wasted attack. As a way of stopping the attack Esterhazy believes he should turn himself into Col Peng. Agent Anderson agrees with the decision believing that it will be the end of his life. Scarlett speaks up that the Joes mission is to bring Esterhazy back to the US alive.
Iceberg rides up saying "are we going to rescue the Abbot or are we going to have another discussion panel." The Joes purpose a deal with Esterhazy, they will help him rescue the Abbot if he agrees to come back to the US. Esterhazy agrees to the deal.
The Monastery situated on the edge of 500 ft cliff is well defended by Colonel Peng's tanks and soldiers. The Joes, Esterhazy and the rest of the remaining freedom fighters scale the cliff as a way of secretly attacking the Monastery. The Abbot is locked in a store room. Esterhazy, Snake-Eyes and Tenzing go to rescue the Abbot, Iceberg tasked with opening the gate, Anderson and Scarlett with disable the vehicles, Chuckles will get the escape vehicle and several of freedom fighters will cover all of them. As each member accomplishes their mission, Snake-Eyes frees the Abbot and the additional freedom fighters take it upon themselves to attack Colonel Peng and Sgt Wu on their own. Sgt Wu is killed as Colonel Peng kills the last of his attackers.
The Abbot, Joes, Anderson, Esterhazy and Tenzing all board a truck to escape. With all of the vehicles, including the tanks disabled the only vehicle is a hidden armored car. Peng loads up in that car and chases after them.
They get to the exit of Valley to find that it has been blocked. So they abandon the truck and go on foot. With Peng's forces close on their trail, Esterhazy elects to stay behind to protect them, sacrificing his life.
At the next village, the Abbot and Tenzing tell the Joes that they aren't continuing and in fact they are going back to help reorganize a new resistance. Anderson then makes a drastic decision to stay. The Abbot understands why Anderson is staying he saw Esterhazy make the same decision years ago. And make a point that Anderson is truly part of the endless cycle of life.
The Joes walk off to find their own extraction.
Summary by Josh Eggebeen
The Mark Jeweler jewelry insert was released in many Marvel comics throughout the late 1970s til the late 1990s. What is pictured here is the actual insert included in Marvel Special Missions #15. 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