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Publisher: Marvel Comics
Issue Date: April 1987
Series: Special Missions
Issue Number: 4

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LOCATION: South China Sea near the Malay Peninsula
Leatherneck, Roadblock, Wild Bill and Lifeline have stolen a Cobra Firebat and are in the process of extracting themselves. They are shot down before reaching safe territory and their new mission is then to escape with just the black box of the Firebat.

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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.

Major Players

Main Mission Joes: Leatherneck, Lifeline, Roadblock, Wild Bill

October Guard: Colonel Brekhov, Diana, Horrorshow, Schrage, Stormavik

Special Missions Only Characters: Sarawak Sally (River Pirate)

Creative Team

Script: Larry Hama,
Pencils & Inks: Herb Trimpe,
Lettering: Joe Rosen,
Coloring: George Roussos,
Editor: Bob Harras,
Editor in Chief: Jim Shooter.
Cover Artist: Mike Zeck

Full Details

In the air above Southeast Asia, Wild Bill is flying an airplane with a captured Cobra Firebat inside its hold. An October Guard Hind helicopter is easily damaging the plane. Inside the hold, Lifeline is trying to take out the black box of the Firebat, Roadblock is firing at the Hind and Leatherneck is encouraging Lifeline to hurry up. Wild Bill calls for a bailout, as they parachute to the ground Leatherneck fires a heat seeking missile at the Hind which destroys the tail and causes the October Guard to crash in the jungle below.

Lifeline is trapped up in a tree. Leatherneck very concerned about Lifeline's abilities in the field, especially since refusal to fight and the danger that brings to the team.

Both teams are now headed to the downed Joe plane to retrieve the Firebat's black box. Along the way Lifeline helps remove leaches and stops Leatherneck from shooting a tiger. As they approach the plane, Leatherneck discovers the October Guard ambush and a huge fire fight opens up between the two teams. Leatherneck and Wild Bill are both shot, as are Stormavik and Schrage. The Joes retreat with Roadblock carrying Wild Bill and Lifeline carrying Leatherneck.

The October Guard is first to get to the airplane. Diana then removes the black box and Stormavik and Schrage wounds are bandaged. Leaving a treated Wild Bill temporary behind, the Joes make an attempt to regain the plane. As the two teams fight, an unexpected third party shows up with superior fire power, river pirates lead by Sarawak Sally.

Both the October Guard and Joe team are captured and detained inside the hold of the pirate river boat. On the deck is a dual is happening with the loser being shot by Sally. Sally then brings the two teams out of the hold.

After drawing straws, Horrorshow and Lifeline are chosen to fight; which ever wins that team goes free with the black box. Lifeline claims to be a non-combatant and refuses to fight. But he is attacked by Horrorshow, using Aikido a non offensive form of martial arts, Lifeline easily defeats Horrorshow. Sally hands Lifeline a gun and tells him to kill Horrorshow. Lifeline refuses. He makes a deal with Sally to save the lives of all members of both teams. He gives Sally the black box and tells her she can make lots money selling it to Cobra. Leatherneck extremely pissed that Lifeline is giving away the mission, almost attacks Lifeline but Roadblock holds him back.

Then surprisingly, Sally just releases both teams and drops the black box into the river. And she lets them all go saying "simply because one of you has the courage of his convictions."

Summary by Josh Eggebeen


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