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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

The Expendables
"The Snatch Job"
The Expendables #2 (Dynamite)
Written by Chuck Dixon
Illustrated by Esteve Polls
Colored by Mark Rueda
Lettered by Simon Bowland
Cover by Lucio Parillo


The team takes on a new assignment, to run a catch and grab on a protected Russian national suspected of raping and murdering the daughter of a Washington official. 


Notes from the Expendables chronology


The Expendables comic book mini-series was a 4-issue prequel series to the first movie in the Expendables franchise.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this issue


(Where relative, I have added the name of the actor who plays the character in the movies for aid in visualizing the characters)



Barney Ross (actor Sylvester Stallone)

Lee Christmas (actor Jason Statham)

Elya Valyev Gosprovich



Tool (actor Mickey Rourke)

Gunner Jensen (actor Dolph Lundgren)

Hale Caesar (actor Terry Crews)

Yin Yang (actor Jet Li)


Tex (probably an ironic nickname given by Gunner, considering "Tex" is a Russian night club operator)

Toll Road (actor Randy Couture) 


Didja Know?


Seemingly, Dynamite Entertainment did not have rights to the actors' likenesses, as the artist depictions of the characters in the mini-series do not particularly look like the actors who play them in the Expendables movie.


The issues of this mini-series did not have titles. I have chosen the title of "The Snatch Job" for this study based on the story's focus of the Expendables accepting a job to make a snatch and grab on a Russian nationalist suspected of rape and murder in the U.S.


Didja Notice?


On page 1, R.J. uses an Ashi laptop. This appears to be a fictitious brand. The cap lock key on the laptop keyboard has the Spanish words for "caps lock" on it, Bloq Mayús.


R.J. tells Barney and Lee that the raped and murdered body of the daughter of a Washington bigwig was found on the Garden State Parkway. The Garden State Parkway is Route 444, a toll way running the length of the state of New Jersey, north-south.


Barney asks R.J. if the murder suspect, Russian national Elya Gosprovich, is GRU. GRU stands for Glavnoye Razvedyvatel'noye Upravleniye (Main Intelligence Directorate) the main foreign military intelligence agency of the Russian Federation.


R.J. tells Barney they don't know what Gosprovich's connections are in Russia and jokes, "Maybe his daddy golfs with Putin." Vladimir Putin was the President of Russia from 2000-2008 and then Prime Minister of Russia in 2010 when this story was written, serving in that role from 2008-2012. Putin is currently President again.


Page 4 opens just outside of Juarez. This is presumably the small town of Juarez in Texas, on the border of Mexico. Aguilo mentions a crossing at Matamoros, which is a Mexican municipality near Juarez.


On page 4, Aguilo's captive says, "Por favor, amigo" and "sí". These are Spanish for "Please, friend," and "yes". Aguilo calls him viejo, which means "old man".


On page 5, Aguilo answers his cell phone with "Dirijasse." This is basically Spanish for "Go ahead." The phone call is from Jorgito, who refers to Aguilo as hermano; this is Spanish for "brother".


On page 6, Jorgito refers to Aguilo as ese. This is a Spanish term of address towards a man.


Tool uses a Cranke Service crane on page 6. This appears to be a fictitious company.


Tool tells Barney he could fix him up with a nice Aloette chopper for their mission instead of shipping Barney's beat-up old floatplane. Alouette is a range of helicopter models manufactured by Sud Aviation, a French aircraft manufacturer from 1957-1970.


The silhouetted animals in the desert in the top panel of page 8 are probably prairie dogs.


On page 11, Gunner suggests that Gosprovich could be from Gasprom. Gazprom is a Russian natural gas company.


Barney remarks that east of the Urals is Gunner's world. The Urals is a roughly north-south running mountain range in Russia. They are largely recognized to be the division point between Europe and Asia.


The "N" in the aircraft tail number (N471) of the plane (probably a Learjet) taken to Russia by Barney and his team indicates it is registered in the United States.


On page 13, Barney and his crew arrive in Moscow. Moscow, of course, is the capital of Russia.


On page 14, the team find Gunner in a Moscow night club called Bratsivmay, which Caesar translates as "Nasty". I've been unable to confirm bratsivmay as the corresponding Russian word. They tell the bouncer at the club that Gunner is a friend of theirs, a tovarich; this is Russian for "comrade".


On page 15, Barney asks Gunner why his little safaris always end up with a crystal binge. "Crystal" is a reference to "crystal meth", a street term for the drug methamphetamine.


On page 17, Gunner says to Barney that the brawl they are in at Bratsivmay reminds him of a time in Karachi. Karachi is a city in Pakistan.


On page 19, after the team is thrown into holding cells by Moscow police, Barney laments the possibility they could wind up in a Gulag until Yin reminds him that Russia doesn't have Gulags anymore. The Gulag was the Russian government agency that administered the forced labor camps of the Soviet Union from the 1930s through early 1960s; the term "Gulag" is often used for the camps themselves when discussed by the Western world.


Gunner learns that Gosprovich is being protected aboard an old Soviet battleship in the Black Sea off Yalta that has been converted for private use for a friend of Putin's. Yalta is a city on the Crimean Peninsula.


Aguilo and Jorgito catch up to Tool in Bel-Air. Bel-Air is an affluent neighborhood in Los Angeles.


Tool is driving a Cadillac as he cruises through Bel-Air.

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