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Publisher: Marvel Comics
Issue Date: June 1989
Series: Special Missions
Issue Number: 22

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The Joe team, supported by FBI Inspector Saxon, is sent into a hostage situation. They quickly have to determine through clues, deductions and observations have to determine who the real hostages and hostage takes are.

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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.

2nd Appearance of FBI inspector Saxon (see Special Missions #17)

Major Players

Main Mission Joes: Chuckles, Hit 'n' Run, Lady Jaye, Shockwave,

Special Missions Only Characters: FBI Inspector Saxon, Terrorists: Bill, Mary & Erich (all deceased), cameraman Willis Mulvaney (deceased), Ida Lee Hough (neighbor), Bronsky Family -- Laszlo, Fatima & Mickey

Creative Team

Script: Larry Hama,
Pencils: Dave Cockrum,
Inks: Andy Mushynsky,
Lettering: Phil Felix,
Coloring: Nel Yomtov,
Editor: Bobbie Chase,
Editor in Chief: Tom DeFalco.
Cover Artist: Dave Cockrum and Bob McLeod

Full Details

Chuckles, Hit 'n' Run, Lady Jaye and Shockwave are stationed outside a house in Iowa. Inside the house is a family being held hostage. FBI Inspector Saxon is briefing them on what has happened so far. The brief: 3 terrorists wearing masks shot up an airport using M-16s, most of the attack was caught on video tape before they killed the cameraman, 17 dead at the airport, one is a woman and the other has a very distinctive smile and they are currently holding the Bronsky family hostage as they wait for a pick up. The Bronsky family is new to the area so not much is known of them including what they look like. Inspector Saxon is in a hurry to solve this situation, so the Joe team is pressured into taking action before they know who the terrorists are.

Inside the house, Laszlo and Fatima are standing in the kitchen an M-16 is on the counter. Laszlo has a funny looking smile on his face, Fatima is European looking. Sitting at the table is an average looking man and woman named Bill and Mary. Upstairs, Erich is quizzing a boy, Mikey, about the surroundings. Mikey doesn't know much do to being new to the area.

The Joe team and Inspector Saxon begin planning a raid. They know that the guy upstairs is a terrorist and Hit 'n' Run believes he recognizes the smile of the guy in the kitchen as a terrorist. That leaves determining the female.

So the plan is for Shockwave to sneak into the upstairs, Lady Jaye will call on the house as a sales agent in disguise with Chuckles supporting her from the car and Hit 'n' Run will break in through the kitchen door.

Back inside the house, Mikey tells Erich that his father was a soldier in Vietnam. Downstairs, Laszlo is holding the M-16 in his hand.

Lady Jaye drives up to the house and goes to the door. Shockwave makes his way using the cover of the barn to the house then climbs up to the second floor. Hit 'n' Run sneaks around to the back of the house near the kitchen door entrance. At the front door, Mary answers. Lady Jaye speaking about make up products hands a written note to Mary that says "Play along with me. We are here to rescue you." Catching Lady Jaye by surprise Mary pulls out a gun and fires several times into Lady Jaye. Chuckles immediately opens fire on her as she closes the door. Shockwave busts into the room, easily taking out Erich. He asks Mikey about his father and mother. Mikey shows him a picture; Laszlo and Fatima are his parents. His dad has rictus, a facial nerve injury that gives the appearance of a permanent grin, it happened in Vietnam. Shockwave is very concerned that Hit 'n' Run will shot the wrong man, especially since Laszlo is holding the M-16. Mikey tears off down the stairs scream about his father. Mary intercepts Mikey and holds him at gun point. As Hit 'n' Run is approaching the house he hears Lady Jaye get shot, Shockwave take out his man and he kicks in the kitchen door. Laszlo drops the gun and screams "son stay back" and Fatima screams "leave him alone". Hit 'n' Run picks up on this very quickly killing Bill instead.

As the raid is happening, an airplane lands in the field near the house, it's the terrorists escape plane.

Mary still holding Mikey at gunpoint makes her way to the airplane. The Joe members along with Laszlo are watching this happen. Hit 'n' Run using his scoped rifle doesn't have a clear shot. The distance is about 300 yards and is very concerned about hitting Mikey. Laszlo grabs Hit 'n' Run's rifle gives Mary one last warning and takes her out with a head shot.

All is clear. Lady Jaye was wearing a bulletproof vest, she will survive but with a couple of broken ribs. It turns out that Laszlo was no ordinary Vietnam soldier; he was the chief instructor at the Marine Sniper School.

Summary by Josh Eggebeen