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Now You Know with YorktownJoe - Issue 6 
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Faction: Cobra Contractor
Code Name: YorktownJoe
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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 6
Issue 6: To Fail is to Conquer…To Succeed is to Die

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Background
This issue is a direct echo of the Cold War 1980’s. It surrounds a mission to recover a downed experimental Russian flying vehicle in the Hindu Kush Mountains in Afghanistan. For those a bit fuzzy on their 1980’s history, Russia and other communist countries were conglomerated together as part of something called the “Soviet Union.” Afghanistan is one of the “Stan’s” that was not part of this union. Afghanistan bordered Russia. Border and other disputes resulted in Russian entanglements in Afghanistan. Normally, a world super-power like Russia would trample down camel riding Afghans (the local people, not the blankets). But during that time, U.S. “Advisers” (actual CIA agents) provided “Technical and logistical support” (Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and training). Russian helicopter pilots were not concerned with Afghan WWI-era Enfield rifles. But many of them met their demise when state-of-the-art shoulder mounted missiles blew up their aircraft. Eventually, the Russian forces limped out of Afghanistan, and the locals resumed their dwellings in mountains, plains, caves, and continued to prosper from poppy-related sales. Now the roles are reversed, and the U.S. forces continue to operate in Afghanistan. Mullahs and drug lords (and also Mullahs who are drug lords) are biding their time, trying to wait out American interference in their “way of life.” They take the multi-generational long view. And they are counting on U.S. patience running out, as Russian patience did back in the 80’s. Whether or not Russians are interfering with U.S. operations in Afghanistan today is unknown.

Whoah! Congratulations if you read all that background section!

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On to the issue. As teased above, an experimental Russian aircraft has gone down in Afghanistan. The Joes are supposed to negotiate with the tribesmen who have located the crash site. The mission is laid out to recover parts of the aircraft for research purposes.

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A team of Joes is selected from the 100% of them who volunteered for this mission. Clutch is providing fast support in the V.A.M.P. (Vehicle: Assault, Multi-Purpose.) They are going to use a gigantic vehicle known as the RTV (Ar-Tee-Vee). It has giant over-sized tires, independent suspension, and is supposedly a good vehicle for traversing the dangerous Afghan terrain (mountains, valleys, ravines, etc.).

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After the Joes fly out, we see someone who looks like Hawk sending a message to Cobra. He codes in as “Songbird” and gives a passcode. Is Hawk really a double agent?! Oh, snap. That is bad. REALLY BAD.

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After assembling the RTV (I wonder if that was planned to be a vehicle sold by Hasbro), the Joes encounter trouble with the terrain.

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Then they make the acquaintance of the Soviet version of their team: the Oktober Guard. This is the first introduction to their team. Their team leader is Colonel Brekhov. Other members are an over-sized mustached giant of a man named Horror-Show. Stormavik was their naval Special Forces guy. Schrage was a chain-smoking East German machine gunner. Daina was their only female member, and team sniper.

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As the Oktober Guard and the Joes engage in a heated battle, they don’t realize they have been played by Cobra. The issue ends with Cobra forces emerging to capture the aircraft remains and stealing the RTV.

Is this the end of the Joes and the Oktober Guard??

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Aargh!! The “Always-Leave-Them-Wanting-More” technique is deployed to perfection by author Larry Hama, and we are left hanging with “To Be Continued.”

I liked this issue, as it introduced us to the Oktober Guard, and it showed Cobra as surprisingly well-connected, with Hawk selling out the team. Political intrigue, geography, Russians and a Cobra ambush. Again, heavy and deep topics for a comic book. Clearly targeting teen and young adult readers, not little kids.

Now You Know…a little more about “To Fail is to Conquer…To Succeed is to Die.” Next week will be Part 2, which is Issue 7, The Walls of Death. Just be glad you only have to wait a week. Hama and Marvel made us wait with a whole month between. Feel free to leave a comment if you have thoughts to add.
-YorktownJoe

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Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:17 pm
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Post Re: Now You Know with YorktownJoe - Issue 6
Isn't it amazing that after 30 years the US is still wasting our money interfering in a country they have no shot at ever controlling. There is my political 2 cents.....lol. As for this issue, after i read this the first time, i was so disappointed that i there were never any Oktober Guard figures to go out to the store and buy. But, then i think Hasbro read our minds and released these figures in Comic 2 packs with this issue in the early 2000's. I now have all of the Oktober guard figures in O-ring style just as they appeared in this issue. They are one of the favorite things in my collection.

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Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:17 am
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Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:03 pm
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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
Post Re: Now You Know with YorktownJoe - Issue 6
I don't remember if I ever saw them at retail. Red Star and Big Bear were the only ones I ever got. So of course they had to fill the roles of Brekhov and Horror Show a long time ago for me.

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Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:32 am
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Post Re: Now You Know with YorktownJoe - Issue 6
yorktownjoe wrote:
I don't remember if I ever saw them at retail. Red Star and Big Bear were the only ones I ever got. So of course they had to fill the roles of Brekhov and Horror Show a long time ago for me.


If i remember right i think they were Target exclusives, i seem to remember spending a lot of time at Target in between my classes when i was in college.......lol

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Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:38 am
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Post Re: Now You Know with YorktownJoe - Issue 6
Oddly enough as much as i liked the Oktober Guard, when Red Star came out i thought it was one of the goofiest looking figures i had ever seen. Now i like it but back in 1991 not so much. It was quite the peg warmer around here back then along with Topside.

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Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:39 am
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Post Re: Now You Know with YorktownJoe - Issue 6
thought i would share this from twitter

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Sat Sep 30, 2017 1:10 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 8:03 pm
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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
Post Re: Now You Know with YorktownJoe - Issue 6
⚡ Kal-El ⚡ wrote:
thought i would share this from twitter

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Cool! Glad people are reading and enjoying!

As far as Red Star, I figured this was supposed to be Col. Brekhov, and they branded him as a foreign advisor Joe like Big Ben, so they could get him into stores. It was touchier back then. The Cold War was in full swing when this issue was penned. But the Berlin Wall came down and Red Star came to stores AFTERWARDS. Glasnost was beginning and branding a toy as a Russian Communist Enemy of G.I. Joe would have been a challenge to get past the suits in Pawtucket, RI. When trying to normalize relations, continuing to brand their nation as "The Enemy" would not have flown. Both in cartoon and comic they worked together against Cobra: "The Enemy."

But by 2005, so much other stuff had gone on, they simply branded the toys as nostalgic characters from a comic reprint from 20 some years previously. When these comic packs came out, I think all my disposable income was going towards disposable diapers and baby food. Or maybe pull-ups and fruit snacks.

Agreed on Topside. I like figures with blonde hair. But I don't tolerate the laziness of blonde eyes. He was a pass.

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Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:19 pm
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Post Re: Now You Know with YorktownJoe - Issue 6
yorktownjoe wrote:
⚡ Kal-El ⚡ wrote:
thought i would share this from twitter

Image


Cool! Glad people are reading and enjoying!

As far as Red Star, I figured this was supposed to be Col. Brekhov, and they branded him as a foreign advisor Joe like Big Ben, so they could get him into stores. It was touchier back then. The Cold War was in full swing when this issue was penned. But the Berlin Wall came down and Red Star came to stores AFTERWARDS. Glasnost was beginning and branding a toy as a Russian Communist Enemy of G.I. Joe would have been a challenge to get past the suits in Pawtucket, RI. When trying to normalize relations, continuing to brand their nation as "The Enemy" would not have flown. Both in cartoon and comic they worked together against Cobra: "The Enemy."

But by 2005, so much other stuff had gone on, they simply branded the toys as nostalgic characters from a comic reprint from 20 some years previously. When these comic packs came out, I think all my disposable income was going towards disposable diapers and baby food. Or maybe pull-ups and fruit snacks.

Agreed on Topside. I like figures with blonde hair. But I don't tolerate the laziness of blonde eyes. He was a pass.


Topside was one year too early because it was 1991 when they first started filling in the eyes with white.

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Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:13 pm
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