Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Creature Commandos! Part 11 (WWT #115)

Yeah, #115. The CCs (for the first time since becoming a regular feature) weren't in #113 at all, losing out to a half-issue length GI Robot story. And, uh, I actually don't have #114.

This is technically an issue-length GI Robot story with the CCs putting in some token appearances here and there. I should probably tackle GI Robot properly sooner or later, he's pretty cool himself. You may remember that he sacrificed himself to stop the Atlantean Aztec robots, but this is his successor JAKE-2, who first appeared in WWT #113. 

Anyway, as the story opens, US Marines are pinned down on some Pacific island by a Japanese cruiser, and have nothing to throw back at them after the Japanese cut their supply lines. Well, that's not exactly true, as Sgt. Coker points out -- they've got JAKE. JAKE sinks the ship using his secondary submarine programming and weaponry, but not before taking critical damage.

Coker recovers JAKE and pulls him onto the beach, but nothing he can do is going to revive him -- not even a laughable attempt at mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. I get it, though, Coker was treating him just like he would a human being. Without a mechanic on the island, Coker's forced to hitch a ride on a supply plane and head to London, where JAKE can be repaired by the scientists who created him.  

While Jake is laid up (in a hospital, no less), the Creature Commandos come to visit him. By this point, Lucky is capable of grunting and growling, so I guess those repaired vocal cords he got after his suicide attempt are finally kicking in. Coker never met the CCs, as you may recall, but he doesn't seem at all disturbed by them, probably because he's seen crap just as weird. Oh, and Shrieve isn't there, or in the story at all, probably because there's no room for his negativity right now.

Note that Rhodes wraps her hair up in public, still ashamed of her deformity, while Griffith, Lucky, and Velcro walk around monstrous. Also, wow does Velcro not look good in khaki. JAKE wakes up in front of them, and later that night Coker takes him for a night on the town. People seem pretty accepting of JAKE, treating him like a regular joe, though he's booted from a bar because he's only about one year old. Just as they're about to take in a show, a German air raid hits. JAKE doesn't hesitate for a second before using his finger guns to bring down an enemy fighter.

His heroism earns he and Coker a week's leave in Scotland. On the way, they pick up a pretty, blind young hitch-hiker who directs them to her home, which is a huge palace. It turns out she's a princess, cousin to the King of England, holing out in a Scottish castle to avoid the Blitz. She also looks nothing like the woman on the cover, because of course she doesn't. Oh, and she takes a quick shine to JAKE, whom she thinks is silent out of shyness.

I'm guessing JAKE is warm to the touch and doesn't feel like metal, or else this whole plot falls apart.

Meanwhile, Hitler is painting at his alpine retreat in Berchtesgarten, while underlings look on. They compliment his skill while whispering to one another about how bad he is. Hitler demands his men take a high-profile prisoner with whom to exchange for Rudolf Hess, as he fears Hess will spill state secrets at any moment.

Soon, the CCs show up to join JAKE and Coker at the castle, probably because they have to be here for the big action scene coming up. Anyway, the next day they head out to a local landmark when German planes show up, no doubt after the princess for that prisoner exchange thing. As Coker and the CCs take on the German commandos, JAKE rushes to guard the princess.

It's a really great combat sequence; Coker even gets in on it, taking out an enemy with a karate chop and using his MP40 to mow down more bad guys. With the princess back at the castle, all seems well -- until the CCs and Coker see a punch of guys jumping down to the castle. Jake gets back too late, and jumps into the sea below when told that the princess was taken into a German sub. He forces it to surface by grabbing its propellers, convincing the crew there's some mechanical failure, and picks them off as they come up to investigate. He recovers the princess, who is moved to another castle -- but not before she shares a tender moment with her silent knight.

There's this question of just how much JAKE truly "feels" -- I think he feels quite a bit. His emotions may not be exactly human, as he largely lacks fear and doubt, but he's got them.  

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