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Publisher: Marvel Comics
Issue Date: February 1989
Series: Special Missions
Issue Number: 18

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LOCATION: Mekong River, Southeast Asia
Chuckles, Snake-Eyes, Scarlett and Iceberg are still trying to get extracted. At the latest point, they are caught in a war between Big Tep supported by Darklon and General Lom supported the October Guard.

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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.

This is the third part of a multiple issue story exclusive to the Special Missions series. (See Special Missions #14, #15 & #19)

Major Players

Main Mission Joes: Chuckles, Iceberg, Scarlett, Snake-Eyes
Support Joes: Lift Ticket

Iron Grenadiers: Voltar

October Guard: Col. Brekhov, Diana, Horrorshow, Stormavik, Schrage, Dragonsky, Misha

Special Missions Only Characters: Doctor Krim, Big Tep (deceased), General Lom (deceased)

Creative Team

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

Full Details

Chuckles, Iceberg, Scarlett and Snake-Eyes are still trying to find an extraction point from their mission to Chomo Lungma. They are currently on the Mekong River where two attempts to pick them up having failed.

Scarlett spots some river pirates beating up an old man on a nearby dock. Alongside the dock is a boat with a .50 caliber machine gun and a radio mast. One of the pirates nails up a poster in the spirit of the Uncle Sam recruitment poster that says "Big Tep wants you." Big Tep is a local bandit and presidential hopeful whose rival is General Lom and is all bad news for Joes. Chuckles suggests they stay clear as they approach their last extraction point.

Before they can do anything Snake-Eyes has jumped off the boat and is swimming towards the dock. He grabs one pirate throwing him into the river, the rest he dispatches quickly with his sword. Scarlett shoots the one on the boat manning the machine gun and Iceberg throws a grenade destroying the boat. The boat's fire is a huge signal that is going to attract unwanted attention, plus the guy in the water swims away to tell Big Tep about the attack.

The old man on the dock is actually a philosophy professor turned farmer, his name is Dr. Krim. The Doctor invites them to stay at his house; Big Tep won't be coming until morning. When Chuckles checks his map he realizes that Dr. Krim's home is the extraction site. Iceberg sends the signal for the Tomahawk to come get them.

The pirate in the river arrives down river to tell Big Tep what happened. The story is exaggerated and blames Dr. Krim. Big Tep sees an opportunity to use his new hardware that he has acquired from Voltar and the Iron Grenadiers.

Upriver from Dr. Krim, the October Guard has joined with General Lom's armored column. Colonel Brekhov suggests that they attack Big Tep's forces at Dr. Krim's farm.

The next morning the Joes are waiting for the Tomahawk, Big Tep is moving north with the Iron Grenadiers and the October Guard in support of General Lom move south. Trapped in the middle the Joes hide in the secret attic of Dr. Krim's house.

A full fledge war breaks out on Dr. Krim's farm, each side destroying many of the others tanks at the same time the fighting completely destroys all Krim's hard work. A monsoon rain storm starts changing the tide of battle in favor of Big Tep. Colonel Brekhov calls for a retreat just as General Lom is killed. The Guard has one option abandon the fight and go hide in the jungle.

The victorious Big Tep confronts Dr. Krim about the location of the Joes. Having lost everything including his water buffalos, he gives Big Tep nothing. The Joes above Big Tep fire down killing him and his lieutenants inside the house. Scarlett, Snake-Eyes and Iceberg come out the top of the thatched roof to shoot all of Big Tep's soldiers.

A bit delayed Tomahawk arrives to pick up the Joes. To see why it was delayed read Special Missions #19

Summary by Josh Eggebeen