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Now You Know with YorktownJoe - Issue 59 
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Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:03 pm
Posts: 6589
Faction: Cobra Contractor
Code Name: YorktownJoe
File Name: CLASSIFIED
Aliases: YTJ (more acronym than alias)
Primary Military Specialty: Counter-Intelligence
Secondary Military Specialty: Sense o' humor
Grade: O-4
 Now You Know with YorktownJoe - Issue 59
Issue 59 "DIVERGENT PATHS"


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Background

Issue 58 had a lot of action with Mainframe and Dusty and Rashid, and some interesting developments with Fred VII, Cobra Commander, and Billy. But we aren't really sure what is ahead at this point, as the issue had a good ending, but no hint of what was to come. Feel free to check out the review of Issue 58 in case you missed it. (You can catch up on other "Now You Know With YorktownJoe" reviews there as well!)

On to the issue

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The cover of this issue has a Cobra Pogo vehicle piloted by Battle Armor Cobra Commander attacking Outback and Tunnel Rat in a new vehicle that we will discover to be the S.L.A.M. Also featured is an odd looking character dressed up like a bird. Raptor is also attacking the Joes. And he does!

But the issue begins with Billy (Cobra Commander's son) being fitted with a bio-mechanical prosthetic leg. I'm not sure physical therapy usually goes this well for long term coma patients. But for the sake of the story, we'll say a non-paying hospital patient in a coma received physical therapy (while unconscious) to prevent his muscles from atrophying. Or with his dying breath, the Soft Master transferred the ninja power of the Rising Phoenix onto Billy, so that when he awoke, his body would be mystically re-generated.

But I digress.

Cobra Commander is singing Fred VII's mechanical genius.

Billy starts to fall as he begins practicing walking with the new leg, but rights himself into a martial arts defensive stance. Billy still has amnesia, and doesn't remember he trained with the ninja Storm Shadow is his secret water tower dojo in New York.

Over in Utah, an AWE Striker with Crankcase and Dusty approaches Grand Slam, Steeler and Thunder who are testing a new artillery weapon. They give each other grief about not watching their security, but Tunnel Rat announces himself from a hidey-hole where he was covering the approaching vehicle before it got too close.

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Back in Denver, Cobra Commander gets introduced to Raptor, and we get a not too subtle opinion from author Larry Hama of his thoughts on the action figure character. "I'm sick and tired of wackos in funny suits!" A classic line delivered from a guy wearing a fake mustache, costume sunglasses, and a mechanical battle armor suit. Touche.

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The APC hauls the new artillery weapon the S.L.A.M. As others bemoan their lack of back paychecks from the finance clerks, Tunnel Rat mentions he has a new plastic dog tag with a magnetic strip that he can swipe like a debit card to cover his expenses.

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We find that Raptor is not only a falcon trainer, but also an accountant and good with computers. He has records of pay transactions from Fort Leonard Wood and is looking at mysterious transactions. It is interesting he is bragging about the use of a phone modem, when Cobra Commander and Destro have been live video conferencing since back in the teens (before that was even invented...) Modem use was relatively new in 1987. So this was a blending of the technology available at the time, and more advanced robotics that Fred VII was working on.

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Outback, a new survival trainer for the Joes signals Hawk not to advance.

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Outback explains how he has been living off the land and describes all the equipment he was testing as junk.

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Cobra Commander thinks Raptor is a nut and speaks poorly of him. He doesn't think the pay records are of any consequence.

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Billy goes for a walk, and stumbles upon a martial arts training center. Watching people train triggers a memory of training with Storm Shadow.

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There was a rockslide as Cobra Commander, Fred VII, and Raptor were pursuing the Joes. They weren't sure which detour the Joes would take. Raptor mentions he will have his trained birds track the Joes.


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In a scene straight out of an Alfred Hitchcock film the birds circled then flew away. Fred VII mentions all the birds can do is find the Joes. He uncovers his Pogo attack pod.

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Billy sneaks in after the students left and the blind teacher called out to him.

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The birds rip off pieces of the tarp from the APC. Outback points out they are trained, and wearing restraints.

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When the birds return, Fred VII starts to climb into the Pogo to go attack them. But Cobra Commander is grabby with the new toy, and decides to take it for the flight himself.

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Cobra Commander and the Pogo attack the Joe's mini convoy. They can't get a bead on it since he keeps hopping around.

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The chase is on and covers multiple pages as the Joes split up. Outback makes a bold move to jump from the HAVOC onto the APC while racing down the mountain road.

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They try to take a tunnel thinking that will give them refuge from an aerial assault.

But Cobra Commander points out the every tunnel has two sides.

He tries to enter the tunnel, and everything goes sideways for a bit. Clutch takes the APC up the curved wall of the tunnel like a skateboarder, and Cobra Commander scratches up the Pogo on the side with his poor flight skills.

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Billy meets with people we will discover later are the Blind Master and Jinx. When confronted he passes the test. He sees Jinx has the same Arashikage tattoo on her right forearm as Storm Shadow.

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Cobra Commander limps the vehicle back to Fred VII and Raptor. He changes his tune from earlier in the issue. He picks on Fred that the Pogo failed at a critical point in the battle (after he badly abused it...) But he lauds Raptor's Falcons. He mentions they need to go back and discuss the future of Cobra. There wasn't even a smooth transition of the Joes getting away. It felt like they might have skipped over some things. But perhaps that is all Hama wanted to reveal at that juncture of the story.

And just like that, the issue ends. It actually doesn't have a teaser for the next issue. It doesn't even have a Postbox: The PIT page.
But it does have a little "The End."

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Issue 59 had a lot of oddities.

But I think I can summarize it like this: "Something old, something new, something with a beard, something just plain weird."
The APC is old.
The S.L.A.M. and the Pogo are new.
Outback has a beard.
Raptor is weird.

But he is a skillful hacker and accountant. And his falcons helped track down the Joes. The unusual vehicles seemed a little contrived, but they had to be used to move some merchandise for Hasbro. It moved the larger story along a little, but this seems to be a transition issue, more than an iconic issue. But I distinctly remember an animated cartoon advertisement for this issue. It was pretty cool.

Hope you enjoyed this review!

Tune in soon for Issue 60.

Now You Know - a little more about: ”DIVERGENT PATHS” Feel free to let me know what you thought of this issue in the comments or on Twitter or Instagram @yorktownjoe.

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Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:25 pm
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