The issue opens with Zartan knocking out Rip-Cord and switching their identities for each others'. He then escapes Cobra Island, aided by the Joes, as a wounded Rip-Cord imposter.
The Joe's launch a covert invasion by sea on Cobra Island. Meanwhile, Storm Shadow and Snake-Eyes have landed in a Cobra warplane on the Island and quickly start killing Cobra Soldiers in their bid to find and kill Zartan! Storm Shadow has learned that Zartan is responsible for the murder of "The Hard Master" -- the ninja master to Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes.
Within the Cobra Headquarters, Professor Appel discovers the injured Zartan in his care is actually Rip-Cord -- the Joe who has been dating his missing daughter; Candy. Assuming that Rip-Cord is the only one who can find Candy, and knowing that Storm Shadow has infiltrated Cobra HQ in search of Zartan, Professor Appel sneaks Rip-Cord off of the island in a remote controlled super plane. The plane is programmed to fly to Cobra's secret headquarters in Springfield.