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Publisher: Marvel Comics
Issue Date: March 1989
Series: Special Missions
Issue Number: 19

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LOCATION: on the way to the Mekong River, Southeast Asia
A Joe helicopter with a flight crew are sent to extract Snake-Eyes' team. Along the way they fight off antiaircraft emplacements, Hind helicopters, fuel shortages and injuries all before a successful extraction.

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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 fourth part of a multiple issue story exclusive to the Special Missions series. (See Special Missions #14, #15 & #18)

Major Players

Main Mission Joes: Lift Ticket, Lifeline, Muskrat, Repeater, Wild Bill & Chuckles, Scarlett, Snake-Eyes, Iceberg
Support Joes: Keel Haul & the USS Flagg

Hind pilots: Misha, Anatoly

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: Andy Kubert

Full Details

Stationed on the USS Flagg in the Gulf of Thailand, Lift Ticket and Wild Bill have just finished there pre-flight check of their Tomahawk. Repeater, Lifeline and Muskrat are the flight crew and in the hold of the chopper are barrels of JP-4 jet fuel. They open there mission orders in flight. Those orders are to extract Chuckles, Snake-Eyes, Scarlett and Iceberg at a designated extraction point on the Mekong River.

In order to get to the extraction point, they are going to have to cross two different hostile airspaces, avoid Hind helicopters and conserve fuel the entire way to guarantee they make it back to the USS Flagg.

As they cross from the ocean to land they are picked up on radar as they head towards a hydroelectric dam that is completely dark. The Tomahawk approaches the dam, the spotlights go on and the guns start firing. The Tomahawk takes some damage but gets past the dam.

Lift Ticket calls for a damage report: the gyro-compass destroyed magnetic compass destroyed, front window cracked and one barrel of jet fuel punctured and tossed out. They now have a major problem with navigation. Lifeline solves the issue by cutting a deal with an ocean going pirate. He gives up his watch for a compass.

Back on the way, they run into two Russian Hind helicopters. An intense air to air fight starts. First, the Tomahawk has to avoid some wire guided missiles, then 20mm Gatling gun bullets, then air to air missiles. Wild Bill pulls an old trick. He lands and fires one of the two air to air missiles up at one of the Hinds. It misses. Lift Ticket takes them through some evasive maneuvers and into a canyon. In the canyon, the Tomahawk waits for the first Hind; Wild Bill fires a flare blinding the pilots, and then fires their last missile which destroys the Hind.

As they escape the canyon, the other Hind strafes the Tomahawk. Lift Ticket, Muskrat & Lifeline are injured, more JP-4 barrels are punctured and the engine is damaged. But Repeater, using his special mini-sabot, ultra velocity, Teflon coated, uranium depleted, titanium steel, armor piercing rounds of his gun is able to damage the Hind's engines.

Both choppers have to land. Repeater jumps out to chase the Russians away from their Hind and puts out the engine fire. Lifeline patches up Lift Ticket, Muskrat and himself, as Wild Bill and Repeater steal the jet fuel from the Hind. They take off to finish the mission.

Still having navigation problems and late to the scheduled pick up, they are concerned with finding the extraction site. As the sun rises, they see a huge fire that is the marking of the extraction point. The fires are left over from a battle. (See Special Missions #18) They pick up Snake-Eyes, Scarlett, Iceberg and Chuckles.

Iceberg makes a joke about how for the last three months they have traveled over mountains, down rivers, through jungles, fighting bandits, dictators, the Chinese and Destro's legions and how easy it is for the flyboys. But this is all before he sees the injured Lifeline, Lift Ticket and Muskrat.

Summary by Josh Eggebeen