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Publisher: Marvel Comics
Issue Date: July 1989
Series: Special Missions
Issue Number: 23

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LOCATION: Sierra Gordo
The Joe team, with new recruit cameraman Scoop who is tasked with recording the operation, is sent to capture El Jefe. They hike in, set up an ambush, get ambushed themselves, Scoop destroys his camera, they retreat and escape all without even seeing their mission.

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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.

First Appearance of Scoop.

Sierra Gordo Counter Revolutionary El Jefe's story starts in the regular main series #70

Major Players

Main Mission Joes: Hit 'n' Run, Leatherneck, Muskrat, Scoop, Stalker, Tunnel Rat

Support Joes: Duke, Wild Bill, Lift Ticket, Keel Haul & the USS Flagg

Iron Grenadiers

Creative Team

Script: Larry Hama,
Pencils & Inks: Herb Trimpe,
Lettering: Phil Felix,
Coloring: Nel Yomtov,
Editor: Bobbie Chase,
Editor in Chief: Tom DeFalco.
Cover Artist: Herb Trimpe

Full Details

On the flight deck of the USS Flagg, the Joe team of Hit 'n' Run, Muskrat, Leatherneck, Tunnel Rat and Stalker are waiting for their mission. The mission is to capture El Jefe. He is being held by Destro's Iron Grenadiers and being moved to a new location, so the Joe team is sent in to ambush them in route. The new Joe recruit Scoop is tasked with recording the mission. They mount up and head out.

The regular Joes are very leery about taking a new recruit out on a mission. So on the chopper ride to the LZ (Landing Zone); they give Scoop a field education. He learns all kinds of new things like to carry two bandages, that he has to carry additional ammo and a rifle barrel for Tunnel Rat, which pocket the map and compass go in, how to adjusting his sling, to check every bullet to prevent jams, test firing his weapon before the LZ and that where his dog tags are really doesn't matter.

The team drops into the LZ. Using silent hand signals the team makes there way to the ambush site. Scoop's camera is too loud and he needs a lens hood but he keeps recording the progress. Along the way Scoop learns more: how to set claymores, not walk with a half filled canteen, to pass branches and reconstituted freeze-dried rations carry a scent.

They reach the ambush site at night after a day and half of hiking. Leatherneck, Muskrat & Hit 'n' Run take the packs to the withdrawal point. Stalker, Scoop & Tunnel Rat set up claymores in different directions to catch the Iron Grenadiers off guard.

Finally, they are step up and it is time wait for the enemy. Exhausted Scoop falls asleep.

The next moment Tunnel Rat is screaming at him to wake up. The ambush has been blown and the Iron Grenadiers way outnumber them. The claymores missed most of the soldiers and they have outflanked the team. The Joes immediately fall back. Scoop focusing on doing his personal mission is filming the battle and not fighting.

The Iron Grenadiers light up the night with flares. Hit 'n' Run is shot in the knee; Stalker helps carry him to the fallback point. Muskrat blows some additional claymores. Leatherneck fires his grenades. Tunnel Rat sets up at key cover spot, Scoop with the extra ammo and barrel joins him. Scoop continues to film as he feeds the ammo. Tunnel Rat is shot and before Scoop can do anything he is attacked by an Iron Grenadier with a knife. Scoop holds his own, gets in a few of his own punches, gets cut then punched and kicked in the head. Just before he passes out he smashes his camera onto the head of the Iron Grenadier.

About an hour later he wakes up in the back of a chopper. Hit 'n' Run and Tunnel Rat both will survive their injuries, the mission was a failure, the ambush a failure, they didn't capture El Jefe, in fact didn't even see him and Scoop's filmed footage destroyed but they all came out alive. And Stalker points out to Scoop that staying alive is all that really matters.

Summary by Josh Eggebeen