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As a child, if you wanted to play with dolls and retain any self respect as a male, you had two choices: The Six Million Dollar Man or GI Joe. Barbie was ok for your sister, but Ken still had no place in the hardcore world of GI Joe.

With the upcoming GI JOE comic, Previews Magazine came up with this introspective look at the differences between Joe & Ken. All these years later, I still enjoy making fun of Ken....

G.I. Joe -vs- Ken
GI Joe is designed for the art of combat  10  Ken is designed for tennis 
Joe can knock back 10 brews and still take on the enemy hordes  9  Ken gets plastered after one "nada colada" 
Joe's Kung fu grip" permits proper manipulation of accessories  8  Ken's hard plastic hands force him to undress barbie with his teeth 
GI Joe: lowly infantryman  7  Ken: covert CIA advisor to South Vietnamese forces in Danang.
GI Joe drives a Sherman tank with 50mm Howitzers 6  Ken has a "cool" pink convertible coup
GI Joe hasn't gotten lucky in years 5 Ken gets busy with Skipper on the side
Joe defends America and her interests abroad  4  Ken defends his right to hang out with Barbie, a broad
GI joe represents the best in America's fighting forces 3  Ken represents the failed, morally bankrupt yuppie lifestyle
Joe can kill you with a fingernail 2  Ken cries like a baby when he stubs his toe
GI Joe is made of plastic 1  Ken is plastic

Story 1
Interrogation of a subversive
The abduction of Ken...

After a small battle resulting in the destruction of an enemy communication post and the capture of vital documents, the Joes return to base in their mobile assault vehicle. Weary from the days events, the only sound is the low rumble of the engine and the occasional clank of metal on metal. The rumble lessens as the vehicle comes to a slow stop. At which point the only sound is the gentle whirling noise of the rotating radar dish. The screen shows activity...

A quarter mile in the distance dust blows gently over a crest as the sun begins to sink. No visible signs of life are apparent. Despite the need for beer and sleep, 3 Joes approach the crest on foot. Maybe tomarrow, but today's a bad day for dying. 

Target sighted; two clicks on the radio handset brings 4 more of the team to the crest. As they look over the crest, the Joes know this day is far from over. The sight makes their hearts sink; a guy with plasitc hair and a bright pink corvette is explaining to a girl wearing a sailor-suit, how he is destined to join the Big Tennis Club and become CEO of his father's company.The Joes all feel it... they must interogate this subversive spy and force his secrets into the public record.

Suddenly, you feel dazed and disoriented and realize that your sister is yelling at you... your Mom is yelling at you... and you have Ken's body in one hand, his head in the other. You smile at your Mom, throw Ken's head at your sister and run from the house yelling, "death to the genderless mutant!"

You love your mom, love your sister, but don't we all hate that damn Ken.

Oh, to be a kid again... !

Story 2
Desert Disposal

The sun baked down on the caravan as it moved slowly through the desert terrain. The nights were beautiful and cool, but by the time night fell, the Joes would be in the underground lab 500 feet below ground level. For the time being it was a matter of reaching the lab in time to coordinate with those already working on "Project Recycle".

One of the team mused of his uncle using the term "Arizona-hot" to descrbe anything above room-temperature. Today brought new meaning to that term. The trek to the lab would take most of the day as the dessert terrain would not permit a straight path. The team was silent for the most part. Many were thinking about the task ahead. Not a dangerous mission, but one full of odd risk and some unknown quirks. One of these quirks was the human cargo in the center truck of the caravan and a blonde bombshell who had no discernable purpose to this mission.

Project Recycle had been underway for the last seven months, based on research conducted nearly fifteen years earlier. An odd coincidence was the news that the small rover aboard the Pathfinder space probe was currently navigating the Martian dessert in near freezing temperatures. The team mussed at the sheer improbability of sending a robot on a seven month journey to another planet and then successfully sending information back to Earth. But not a far cry from the anticipated outcome of the Joe's current mission - Recycle. Smirks were seen as UFO jokes were passed along the caravan.

The mission's plans were laid out in intricate detail, but there was still a lack of structure to the mission that the Joes were used to. The Bombshell, as she was now refered to, was not military yet seemed to exude a power as though she had some unknown influence on the outcome. She stood 5' 7" and looked a bit uncomfotable in the military fatigues required by all members of the mission.

The "human cargo" was actually a young man, presumably a volenteer, who traveled unconscience in the medical unit of the caravan. No one was sure of his background or motivation, if he had any, towards this mission.

The caravan rolled to a slow halt as radio checks confirmed necessary status of all units prior to entering the isolation of the lab. A cleverly concealed gate rolled back exposing a large tunnel, probably 70 feet in diameter. 

Only the medical unit accompanied by 6 Joes and the Bombshell were permitted forward. The large medical unit rolled forward under the dull glow of its overhead rack lights. The truck began its decent down toward a cargo elevator which would complete the caravan's travels. The six Joes aboard the medical unit were surprised that they were the lone travelers from this point on. "What were all the others for? Security?" one asked.

A loud metalic "THUCK!" sounded as the cargo elevator's door raised in the distance. The med unit roled inside and came to a stop. Moments later the same "THUCK!" sounded and the elevator began to lower its massive inhabitant.

The med's radio was now receiving Chief Engineer MacDonald as his voice cheerily greeted the tired crew inside the med unit. When the elevator's decent stoped, all were appraised of the comming events. The human cargo must be unloaded, checked through clearance and placed in the main bay of the underground facility. Still pretty vague.

Nonetheless, The Joes removed the human cargo, still enclosed in its cylindrical casing, and placed it in the main bay after an examination by a team in white lab coats. Bombshell led the 6 Joes into a massive room in which a saucer-shaped object was surrounded by computer equipment. The saucer must have been fifty feet in diameter and was supported on a grid of steel supports. The Joes were now escorted to a waiting area wondering why they were led to see the saucer and why Bombshell was nowhere to be seen.

Back in the large bay , the human cargo cylinder was placed in the saucer moments before a bright blue glow filled the room and the saucer shot straight up leaving through a large shaft extending to the desert's surface.
The blue glow faded and Bombshell wispered, "Bye, Bye, Ken" as she went into the communications room! 

As she reappeared from the communication room, Project Recycle's CIA file was being sent to archive storage. Days later a perplexed agent Maulder would try to apply logic to the 4 polaroids that would appear on his desk chronicalling the desert launch.

Far away in a remote parking garage, Bill smirked about the car he would "inherit" if its owner didn't reclaim. It would need a paint job, but pink made a nice primer color for his "new" Corvette.. 



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