Part 5Episode 5
Always in the forefront of technology, Destro's technicians have developed a method for inserting troops into totally inaccessible locations. Trans Atmospheric Rapid Global Assault Troopers are deployed into orbit from a shuttle, wearing armored self-contained, bio-system suits and ceramic composite heat shields that double as hang gliders and weapons platforms. Their re-entry over their target could easily be mistaken for a meteor shower - until they start shooting!
"T.A.R.G.A.T.s are quite formidable as assault troopers, but their psychological impact on defending troops is even greater! Who wants to have to fight a person who's crazy enough to turn himself into a human meteor?"
Targats never made it into the comic. Space specialities are kind of like deep sea ones, a little tricky to do it properly.
The Buzz Boar showed up in the previous game as a vehicle the Joe team could comandeer and manuever up walls and along the ceilings with. For some reason, it never showed up in the comics. Looking at the design, I wonder why, that's gotta be the most awesome and efficient thing ever, right?
File Name: Bludd, Sebastian
Grade: O-4 (Major)
Birthplace: Sidney, Australia
Primary Specialty: Terrorist
Secondary Specialty: Weapons and Tactics
Bludd received initial military training in the Australian Special Air Service. Later joined the French Foreign Legion. Worked as military advisor in a number of countries and is currently wanted for crimes in Rhodesia and Libya. Proficient with every form of infantry weapon in current use. Bludd has a tactical mind like a steel trap. Qualified Expert: All NATO and Warsaw Pact small arms.
"Major Bludd writes poetry...badly: When you're feeling low and woozy/Slap a fresh clip in your Uzi!/Assume the proper firing stance/And make the suckers jump and dance! (from The Attica Gazette).
The Major was another character that you can tell Larry liked, but wasn't able to do much with, thanks to the Comics Code Authority. He showed up in the first two years, had a couple storylines, then quietly faded into the background.
The Major was brought in by the Commander to do a special job. Fortunately, it wasn't to bring poetry into the lives of the Cobra High Command...
The Commander had gotten it into his head that Destro wanted him out of the way, for Destro's own eventual take-over. Bludd was paid to take old Metal-Face out.
The Major got involved in a rather Byzantine maze of "who's stabbing who in the back now" that went on for several months, and ended up with him thrown into a cell under Springfield. He then helped to mastermind a plot to kill the Commander (which will be covered in his dossier, for reasons that will be clear when we get there.)
He then disappeared for a LONG time, only showing up years later when Snake-Eyes took a mission to Borovia.
The reason why the Major was there was quite surprising. Not so surprisingly, he didn't succeed in taking out his target.
File Name: (CLASSIFIED)
Grade: E-5 (later E-7)
Primary Specialty: Infantry
Secondary Specialty: Hand-to-Hand Combat Instructor
Snake Eyes is proficient in 12 different unarmed fighting systems (Karate, Kung-Fu, Jujitsu) and is highly skilled in the use of edged weapons. Has received extensive training in mountaineering, underwater demolitions, jungle, desert and arctic survival, and some form of holistic medicine. Qualified Expert: All NATO and Warsaw pact small arms.
"What can I say about a good-guy who goes bump in the night? The man is the baddest dude in the valley. He scares pit bulls! He should wear a sign on his chest that says, "Don't mess, PERIOD!" The bad guys would like to see him declared illegal under the Geneva Convention. On the other hand, he is kind to small animals..."
Snake-Eyes. Bloody hell, Snake-Eyes. There is so much to actually say about the franchise's most popular Joe that honestly, it's probably better to just go right into the dossier and let comic Snakes speak for himself.
The team's first mission was rescuing a nuclear physicist from Cobra's clutches. Considering the good doctor's peaceful leanings and protests towards the way the government wanted to use her work, some of the team had reservations about the rescue part. Without even saying a word, Snake-Eyes gives us an idea of what he sees as a solution - "bomb it off the map."
And during the infiltration mission Hawk and Grunt were on, we get to see that he's also kind of a smart-ass.
As noted before, Snake-Eyes and Hawk met before the team had even been thought of, much to our returned vet's dismay (recap: his family was killed on the way to pick him up at the airport.)
Fortunately, he still had somewhere to take himself, thanks to the kindness of a friend.
Thanks to the death of Storm Shadow's uncle, and the sundering of the Arashikage Clan, however, our mystery man once again found himself without much of a purpose in life.
So Hawk and Stalker came along at more or less the right time.
Snake-Eyes was present for one of the team's first missions, as they were still working on pulling them together as a unit. Four Joes were dispatched to a Middle Eastern country, but the helicopters they were being brought in on were missing one crucial piece. Dust shields for the engine intakes.
Scarlett, Grunt, and Rock 'n Roll managed to get out with little to no damage.
Snake-Eyes lived up to his name on this roll of the dice.
A team of plain-clothes Crimson Guardsmen were once sent to capture Scarlett, since she's one of the top Joe Intelligence officers.
They picked one of the worst times to do it, as she and Snake-Eyes didn't take too kindly to their date being interrupted.
All around, it didn't end well for that team.
Stalker and Snake-Eyes went to the Vietnam Wall to honor and remember their three comrades that didn't make it out.
They ended up with quite a surprise (and yes, that's the guy that ended up hanging off Snake-Eyes' tie on the ferry.) Their old squadmate Wade had ended up not only surviving Vietnam, but enlisting in the Crimson Guardsmen program not long after he returned to America. He even ended up "replacing" Fred I after he died from his wounds in the skirmish that destroyed Snake-Eyes' cabin in the High Sierras - right down to being the new "father" for the family.
After a long talk however, Wade Collins made a decision to leave Cobra behind. And the offer was extended to the surrogate family he had become part of, thanks to his two old war buddies.
Snake-Eyes happened to be the one to get hold of the message from the Soft Master not long before he died (Snakes didn't learn about this part until a couple of years later, however.) This lead to the roaring rampage of revenge with Storm Shadow that ended rather poorly for Tommy.
Destro and Cobra Commander were later assumed dead in the ruins of the Pit. Snake-Eyes showed a surprising respect for at least one of them.
Our favorite Ninja wasn't there when Stalker's team was captured in Borovia. This had him less than thrilled, as Flint nearly found out on their vacation. (Hint: it's not a good idea to call him "grumpy", even if he's obviously feeling so.)
Snake-Eyes and Scarlett teamed up with a Ninja Master who found them in Grenada and helped them fake their deaths, all so they could rescue Stalker's team. They came up with a rather colorful infiltration method...
S-E ended up having the "pleasure" of facing off against a large majority of the remnants of the Arashikage clan, while Storm Shadow faced off against the leader of these renegades.
A few months later, he and Scarlett took a vacation to Switzerland to see a plastic surgeon about finally getting his face reconstructed.
He wore those rubber masks for a pretty good reason, as it turned out.
Unfortunately, the good Dr. had once had another patient there a few years back, and was keeping an eye out for a disfigured blonde soldier.
As for why he was being looked out for? Well, to a teenager unfamiliar with guns and violence, this scene didn't look very good.
So it turns out the Baroness is a pretty vengeful woman, if she thinks you had anything to do with taking something or someone beloved away from her. Who knew a rich woman could be so ready to wreak vengeance a good twnety years later, right?
Sadly, her team of torturers beat her to the punch a little as Snake-Eyes started making his way to freedom.
As the Baroness (and the whole of the Cobra Consulate building) started to learn however, her rampage of revenge is nothing compared to what a royally pissed off Ninja Commando can do.
This ended up with the top of the building starting to fall off, and Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow being the only thing standing between the Baroness and a long and splattery landing.
While cooling off after a bad suggestion from the Dr. treating a comatose Scarlett (he said Snakes might want to look up Dr. Hundtkinder - the same man who sold him out), yet again Snake-Eyes shows his sense of humor. And that he really is a smartass.
Not too long after she was put in the hospital, Scarlett was given a terminal prognosis/the doctors didn't expect her to wake up (apparently being shot in the head will do that, even if the bullet hits at an oblique angle.) Scarlett's sister got a court order to take her off life support, resulting in a first from her love:
(a flashback later on showed he still can talk, it just hurts like hell.)
Not too long after this, Storm Shadow managed to arrange a mission for Snake-Eyes, to get his mind off the probable death of his lady love. A few hours after he parachuted into Borovia:
Thanks to Major Bludd, Snake-Eyes both succeeded and failed in his mission at the same time. He was pretty angry about this, as the man he had gone to extract was once his sister's fiance.
He at least managed to bring one good thing back with him at least. For a killing machine, Snakes is pretty soft-hearted. (Also, those poor kids, playing that horrible game. T_T )
Snake-Eyes got put in a rather unenviable position during Scarlett's undercover infiltration of Cobra. The first time he ran into her, he didn't know it was an infiltration.
The second encounter went even worse.
Ninja Force was the main extraction team for Scarlett during the Joe team's assault on the Cobra-held (and brainwashed) town of Millville. Of course, to counter this, Cobra had Night Creepers on retainer.
Snake-Eyes stayed behind to deal with their leader.
This went about as you would expect.
Slice and Dice learned the lesson about getting in his way even faster than the Night Creeper Leader did.
A few months later, Storm Shadow got himself captured on a failed rescue mission in the "Silent Castle" in the Trans-Carpathian mountains. Snake-Eyes went in to rescue him, facing off against the Commander himself in a new suit of battle armor.
This was regretted by at least one party in very short order.
Unfortunately... the three parties he went in to rescue (Billy, Baroness, and Storm Shadow) had all been brainwashed by this point. Although as they saw it, they were "restored to their former condition." Snake-Eyes came up with a good idea pretty quickly.
After all the hassle and pain the Commander had put the Joes through by this point, one can't help imaginging Snake-Eyes was taking a little grim pleasure in some of this.
Sadly, the book was cancelled a few months after this, so Snake-Eyes curb-stomping Cobra Commander was almost the last we saw of him, except the final issue. The last issue was unique, in that the large majority of the text in it was exactly what the issue title said. "A Letter from Snake-Eyes." I might upload the entire issue as a bonus update, because even with the small challenge of reading comic book cursive*, it was a rare treat to get such a good look at what goes on in his head.
*I'm not kidding, something about the paper quality of #156 combined with the cursive font picked makes it harder on the eyes than you'd expect.
The Sea Ray is an amphibious/aerial assault craft. It was included as a stage boss in the Arctic level (Level 2) in the previous game, and is a lovely source of points for free Level Ups in TAF. However - it never made it into the comic book. Looking at the design of it, it's not very hard at all to see where Larry Hama took a look and just said "Nope."
Laser weapons are only effective at relatively short ranges because of the amount of energy lost through atmospheric dissipation. Therefore, a LASER-VIPER's primary function on the battlefield is "target illumination" for H.E.A.T. VIPERS and AERO-VIPERS. The Laser-Viper places his beam on the target, then squeezes off a heat-seeking, anti-tank missile or guided bomb that "rides" the beam to destroy the target.
"Don't underestimate the Laser-Vipers. You might get the impression that all they do is shine flashlights and spot targets, but that's not the case. These guys can sit well outside the range of your weapons and drop a world of hurt down on your head within seconds! If you're lucky enough to sneak in close to get a shot at them, you're also close enough for them to make it overly hot for you!"
Laser-Vipers got to be a recurring mid-boss a couple of times in TAF. Most Joe fans remember them for being in the intro sequence of the DiC cartoon.
The Laser-Vipers corps made their print debut when Cobra asssaulted the Pit III in force.
Barbecue made their attempt to break in not end very well.