Marvel’s G.I Joe comic book line (1982-1994) used New Jersey as a location quite often. In reality, to set a Joe story in Jersey isn’t all that far fetched. New Jersey is home to many Air Force, Army, Navy, and Coast Guard bases and training centers including McGuire, Dix, and Picatinny to name a few. Also in Jersey, the shore town of Sandy Hook is not only home to a famous nude beach, but at one time was used as the nation’s first proving ground. Coincidentally, the Sandy Hook Proving Ground was eventually moved to Aberdeen, Maryland which is where G.I Joe issue #81’s story begins.
I always knew Cobra was underhanded, but a lame real estate scheme? Please don’t tell me that Cobra Commander was having secret dealings with real estate infomercial guru Dean Graziosi, whom as I’ve mentioned many times in the past, has me convinced that he was formerly a woman and had a sex change operation. If the Commander did engage in a business relationship with that swindler then I’d lose all respect for him.
Regardless, Cobra Commander did indeed strike up a deal which lead to the Dreadnoks getting sent to Jersey. In the issue, families of Cobra employees get hauled on a ship to an undisclosed area somewhere in the U.S. We find out that a small span of the Jersey Shore, the fictional Broca Beach, winds up being the secret location where the families are being moved to. The Dreadnoks are basically instructed to be make sure they are moved discreetly. Fat chance with those hell raisers as your point men. Imagine that, The Dreadnoks – what a welcome wagon!
The idea of the Dreadnoks in Jersey is pretty f’n rad. The ‘noks have a long history in Jersey as they’ve set up many hideouts there since the gang’s inception. In this issue, The Dreadnoks are actually pictured speeding down the infamous New Jersey Turnpike while wrecking up toll booths in the process. Now that’s pretty badass.
Notice the Haunted Castle at the end of the Broca Beach Boardwalk!
We shouldn’t worry our little heads about Cobra and his Dreadnoks plot at Broca Beach because Mutt and Battleforce 2000 are on the job. As we learned in the first installment of G.I JERSEY, Mutt is a native of the Garden State so why would he need maps of the highways? Jersey highways may seem a little convoluted if you’re a first time visitor, but navigating NJ is pretty damn cut and dry in comparison to other states in the country. It’s true that in Jersey all you need to know is “what exit?” Someone get Mutt a damn GPS!
You may be wondering, what the hell is Battleforce 2000? Well, BF200 was a specialized crew of Joes who had high tech armor, weapons, and vehicles. Debuting in 1987, it was one of of the gimmicks that used to turn me off about action figure lines and cartoons. With most action figure lines back then and their cartoon or comic counterpart, there always seemed to be some zany new look for the characters with a fancy new group moniker as an excuse to sell more figures.