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"G.I. Joe" General Comic Book Talkback (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'Comic Book Culture' started by Ed Liu, Oct 6, 2005.

  1. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu That's 'Cause I ATE IT!!!
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    Howdy,

    Elsewhere:

    Not that you couldn't have done it yourself, but I DECREE as a MOD of the COMIC BOOK CULTURE BOARD that there shall be a G.I. JOE THREAD!

    THIS....I COMMAND!!!!

    Much time was misspent as a youth in the pages of Marvel's G.I. Joe comics, idly wondering whether Snake Eyes or Wolverine would win in a ninja duel and hoping that some mission would send Scarlett and Lady Jaye undercover as bikini models in Hawaii or something.

    Look, I was a teenager and the hormones were in full rage. Sue me.

    Every now and then, I think about getting one of the reprint books to see if they're still as cool as I thought they were (as happened when I revisited my first X-Men comics after acquiring the From the Ashes TPB on eBay) or if I will find that my tastes were a lot less discriminating when I was in junior high school.

    I remember thinking that G.I. Joe #21, the first all-silent issue, was viciously cool and still do. And this cover is still quite arresting to me, even if it has almost nothing to do with the comic book story inside:

    Sometimes, I also think of picking up one of the Devil's Due Joe trades, just to see what the old gang is up to, but I never quite get around to doing it. I tried reading the 25-cent #0 America's Elite book in the shop, and found I couldn't even spend that much on it, but picking up one or two of the limited arcs that Larry Hama did might be in the cards (and it took me a shockingly long time to realize that Hama was Japanese-American).

    Well, anyway, enough reminiscing. Face front and sound off on All Things Joe, CBC'ers!

    (EDIT: as a side note, do people read the G.I. Joe comic book news that makes its way to the TZ News pages? I link them seeing as it's still essentially an animation tie-in, as Transformers is, but never really got much sense if Joe fans noticed them.)

    -- Ed/Ace

    Mod Edit: Just for clarification, for the most part this is a General Talkback for the G.I. Joe comics, with the exception of G.I. Joe America's Elite #0-5 "A New Beginning" and G.I. Joe America's Elite #24-36 "World War III". Other than the comics in those Talkbacks, any other Joe comic is fair game.
     
    #1 Ed Liu, Oct 6, 2005
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2009
  2. Chris Wood

    Chris Wood Desslar

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    Major Joe comic fan here. It was the series that really got me into comics, and probably the one I have the most of. The early years are pure gold. However, things change, and thanks to Hasbro the pages slowly became filled with a dizzying array of increasingly ridiculous characters and vehicles. I finally gave up around issue 90. But if anyone wants to sell 90-155 dirt cheap I wouldn't be completely disinterested.

    [​IMG]

    Another cool cover. Mike Zeck is the man.
     
  3. EinBebop

    EinBebop Data Dog

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    Ooohh... bad place to stop! The Snake Eyes trilogy was just a few issues off, and Hasbro, in the manner you described, killed their own market. With little interest in the toyline, Hasbro gave the writers freedom to do whatever they wanted with many of the characters, and thus...

    [​IMG]
    The BLOODBATH BEGAN!

    Remember BattleForce 2000? I think those guys had to be identified by their dental records.

    Unfortunately, I dropped the books about a year later myself, but I seem to recall hearing it was good stuff up until the end.
     
  4. Chris Wood

    Chris Wood Desslar

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    Yeah, I heard about that massacre business, which makes me want to pick up those issues. Near the end though the series went totally sci-fi because stinkin' Hasbro introduced some sort of space troopers.

    [​IMG]


    Is GI Joe available in some sort of compilation volumes? Those would be cool to get.
     
  5. EinBebop

    EinBebop Data Dog

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    I know in the early years they had those digests going on, but I'm sure they were gone by the end.
     
  6. Clayface

    Clayface Molecularly Malleable Mod

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  7. Leaping Larry Jojo

    Leaping Larry Jojo Searching for a map

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    A lot of people like the original comic series, and while it is definitely better than the cartoon (at times) I didn't like how Hama had his own A-list of characters that he made "cooler" and "never died" than anyone else. He killed off several underrated characters, and I don't know if he was responsible for it-- but after about issue 80 or so it was nothing but damn ninjas 24 hours a day.
     
  8. D.Shaffer

    D.Shaffer Busou Shinki Cult Member #8

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    Has anyone tallied up the Roster of the Fallen from the new comic series yet? There were quite a few that made me sad.
     
  9. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu That's 'Cause I ATE IT!!!
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  10. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu That's 'Cause I ATE IT!!!
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    Resurrecting this thread since the new Season 1.1 box set streets today and to move this discussion where it can be a bit more on-topic:

    In characterization, Joe was always pretty respectful to the women, but if you're going to be critical of them for objectifying women, I think you have to ding them for what they did with Scarlett right from the start. She was always the Pretty Girl of the team, starting with her bodysuit costume vs. the duty outfits on the men. For that matter, Cover Girl (when she got anything to do at all) was pretty much defined by her looks right from her code name, although her outfit was a bit more practical than Scarlett's (which was also in keeping with her personality profile).

    However, I don't think this stuff ever bothered me as much as it annoys you. Scarlett's personality was a lot more important than her costume, and she shows she's got the skills quite often during those early issues of the comic. Her outfit is ridiculous, but no more so than any other examples. Honestly, Snake Eyes' outfit is ridiculous, too, since I'm told that real commandos don't dress in all-black to blend in. The problem with doing that is that apparently, people can still pick out the human-shaped all-black blob moving around in the dark.

    It's also worth pointing out that all three of the major women on the team (that I know, anyway) get code names based on their physical attributes rather than their field of specialty when that's the exception and not the rule amongst the men. You could argue that Cover Girl's name has a dual meaning, since provides "cover" for the team by driving the armored multiple missile launcher, but it still makes reference to her former career as a model. "Scarlett" has nothing to do with counter-intelligence, and I don't even know what Lady Jaye's MOS is (other than kicking ass and taking names). The only other female Joe I know of is Jinx, and she was a much much later addition.

    Some of this might just be what Larry Hama had to work with from Hasbro, of course, and in a few of the interviews I've read with him, he makes a point of saying he wanted characters' gender and ethnic background to be secondary to their skills. Either way, there's plenty of things to ding G.I. Joe about in its treatment of the women.

    Lady Jaye was always no-nonsense, and if I remember right, when LJ was introduced in the comics, she REALLY hated Scarlett. She thought (somewhat correctly) that Scarlett exploited her looks and her gender, and totally blew off Scarlett's enthusiastic greeting at having another woman on the team.

    However, I don't think very many characters in G.I. Joe act like true military professionals. If Lady Jaye were, I'd think she'd trade in those javelins of hers for a rifle and a sidearm and do her job right. In fact, I also find it odd that both Scarlett and Lady Jaye get singled out compared to the men for completely impractical weaponry. Only Quick Kick has it worse as far as armament goes (and, come to think of it, his outfit is pretty awful, too).

    Nearly everybody in G.I. Joe flaunts regulations of some sort or another, so I don't know that I'm willing to make that big a deal over a missing T-shirt for Lady Jaye but not for Gung Ho or Quick Kick, or how Bazooka walks around in a bright red football jersey instead of a proper BDU blouse. You can dislike Lady Jaye's recent outfits for lots of reasons that have nothing to do with military realism or conforming to regulations.

    On the one hand, the variations in uniforms of the Joes is in keeping with lots of special operations units, which generally have relaxed uniform and grooming standards. This is often required for very valid, work-related reasons but also tends to make some in the conventional army think that the spec ops guys are all a bunch of reckless, undisciplined cowboys sporting shabby, non-standard uniforms and long hair and beards. No matter how practical her outfit may look, Lady Jaye would still get reamed out in a conventional unit for dressing the way she does. The reality is that most of the Joe's costuming is practical by accident -- the real purpose of the outfits is so you can distinguish the toys from each other (or so Hasbro can sell you more of them, depending on how cynical you want to be ;)).
     
  11. Wolf Boy2

    Wolf Boy2 Active Member

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    Absolutely agreed. I never liked her costume. ESPECIALLY the way it was drawn at the end of the series. I was really glad the cartoon sidelined her.

    Gosh man, don't you read The Shadow? Or Batman? Black totally makes one blend in. ;)

    Again, totally agreed. But I think GI Joe was still, in it's time, a major step foreward. I just would prefer to see those strides continue instead of taking another step back. Were I to reboot or relaunch the series, I would revamp Scarlett to look more like her live-action design. I never really had a problem with Cover Girl.

    Her attitude then made sense for a newcomer to the team. Duke was also a bit of a jerk when he debuted, only seeming to have a friendship with Roadblock (who joined at the same time). Scarlett was not such a nice person herself -- she was totally cold to Cover Girl when she first joined. The cartoon had some of this as well ... look at how Beach Head acted in "Arise, Serpentor, Arise" -- jerk city. But he mellowed out also as he got more comfortable in the group. Justice League (DCAU) played the same dynamic with GL and Batman. But by 2002, she should not have still been played as a grumpy newbie.

    Although, I was more talking about Lady Jaye's cartoon portrayal, as that's the most famous version. Perhaps I'm wrong in expecting the show and comic portrayals to align, but I take the show's version of Flint and Lady Jaye as a more settled and matured version of the same characters. After all, the comics versions looked younger. Flint and Jaye were already in a relationship (possibly married) when they debuted in the series; it can be assumed that they also had a rocky beginning, but the series simply skips over this period in their lives. Had I been writing the DDP series, I would've written their older selves as being mellow like the cartoon.

    In fact, the early DDP issues did do exactly that. But as the series dragged on (around the same time that everybody magically started looking 20 again), Flint and Lady Jaye became jerks again. Because comics need angst, right? :shrug: Flint was trashed also, wanting to quit the team and being uncomfortable with leadership roles. Did they forget that he lead the Action Force missions in Europe? Obviously they know some of the British comics, since they included Red Shadows from "Battle Action Force", but they don't seem to have read Flint's characterization in the main "Action Force" series. Action Force Flint was man enough to even impress the grumpy Transformer Grimlock.

    I really tried to love the DDP series ... but it had problems. Other characters were improved with their character changes, but poor Lady Jaye got the worst shaft of all. They didn't have to close the fridge on her like that. It wasn't even an original or meaningful death, and Flint's storyline afterwards was a retread of Spider-Man's and Green Lantern's and every other superhero who lost a girlfriend. I wasn't just criticizing her costume, but how she failed to grow much as a character before being shoved in a grave.

    But the DDP comics did make an effort to ammend these problems. Quick Kick doesn't even matter, since he was killed in the Marvel run. Lady Jaye's javelins weren't in the modern series either. Even Lifeline carried a sidearm, as part of the new realism.

    Modern Gung Ho has been wearing a shirt ever since the "Valor vs. Venom" DTV. Shipwreck is also different, wearing a SEAL tactical sweater and carrying an automatic instead of that modified 18th Century pistol that came with the original toy. The men have been improved. But Scarlett still sported bright tights, and Lady Jaye and Cover Girl started being more glamourized also.

    I was pleased with the DDP series when it began, and I enjoyed it's last couple of years as well. But I had some definite problems with the years in between.
     
  12. Young Justice

    Young Justice Silent Master Apprentice

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    IDW G.I. Joe Origins #5 - Spoilers

    I don't know if it's the proper thread to write this, but there are my comments about this issue:

    G.I. Joe Origins is shaping out to be the best G.I. Joe book I've ever read. I didn't read many Marvel comics. I've only read one or two back in the 80's and only now I'm reading the series from the beginning.

    I started reading Joe comics seriously by America's Elite, which I think it was very interesting. But this Origins is taking my breath away:

    - The realistic approach: That's what I wanted to see in the movie.
    - The Chimera: Doe's anyone have doubts that he is Cobra Commander? I don't. That's also a CC I wanted to see in the movie. Ruthless, a mastermind that is also ready for action.
    - It was clever the way they connected the Subprime economic crisis with the Chimera. But please, make it no excuse for we to forget what happen in the real world.
    - The Pit: I was wondering if this enemy HQ would turnout to be real Joe's Pit, then I though: No, they wouldn't install their most secret base on a place where their worst enemy knows its whereabouts. But then I thought again: Why not? It would be the last place where he would look after, wouldn't it?
    - Snake-Eyes: perfect. A soldier, with a regular military fatigue, wearing a mask, holding a japanese sword in one hand and an Uzi in the other.
    - Looks like Scarlett had something to do with SE disfigurement all over again, after all. I felt sorry for her.
    - I can't wait for the next edition.
     
  13. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu That's 'Cause I ATE IT!!!
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    Resurrecting again in honor of the new movie coming out and getting roasted by the critics, but also because the MTV Splash Page blog has their pick of the top 5 G.I. Joe comic book moments. At least 2 shouldn't be any surprise, and if I can't say that I entirely agree with their choices, I'm also not entirely sure that I can pick better ones, or that I remember the series well enough to identify issue numbers.

    The ones I can remember, though (and limited by my memory and not their top 5 limit):

    - G.I. Joe #21, of course, for all the obvious reasons.
    - G.I. Joe #34 was dedicated to a dogfight between Ace and Lady Jaye in a Sky Striker and Wild Weasel and the Baroness in a Rattler. I was pretty heavy into air combat at the time, and I just thought it was the most awesome issue ever.
    - G.I. Joe #43 had the famous cover of a hooded skeleton firing an M-60, and it struck me enough that I bought it as a back issue based on the cover alone as a first step back into comics after leaving for a while. The story involved Stalker and Snake Eyes reuniting with an old Vietnam buddy in an unexpected way, and I thought it was pretty deep and moving at the time.
    - I remember really digging the first issue of G.I. Joe: Special Missions, partially because it spent the time with Joe and Russia's Oktober Guard battling Cobra and each other in the then-under-recognized battlefields of Afghanistan.
    - There was one issue early on where the Joes go on some big mission and nearly get killed, only to find out at the end that they were just a big distraction, and Duke couldn't tell them so until they got back. I know it's in the first 10 issues, since I first read it in the TPB reprints, but I haven't a clue which one it really is.
    - There was one issue of the Devil's Due Joe series (apparently G.I. Joe Special Missions Manhattan) where Beach Head, Cover Girl, and a bunch of other Joes I can't remember take down Cobras in an office building, but I rather enjoyed it at the time for being focused and just a hair more realistic than the Hama comics without turning into something like G.I. Joe Resolute.

    Geez, now I wanna go run off to eBay and see how much it would set me back to grab an entire run of the Marvel Comics (and the other Hama stuff from Image and DDP).
     
  14. Young Justice

    Young Justice Silent Master Apprentice

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    Continuing the discussion on the Rise of Cobra thread

    This mini-series that is now converted into ongoing series is amazing. One of the best G.I. Joe comics I've read so far. A must pick up.
     
  15. Wolf Boy2

    Wolf Boy2 Active Member

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    I discovered GI Joe through the 2002 Marvel reprints, my first of which was Vol. 3 (therefore, "Silent Interlude" was my very first issue, and it got me VERY hooked). I immediately changed my Facebook picture to a picture of Snake-Eyes.

    Amen, brother! I recently read that in the IDW reprint and I liked it so much that I bought the original issue the next day. Also, my grandfather used to work on the F-14A Tomcats (the plane that the XP-14 Skystriker is based on), so that made it a little more personal to me. F-14 memorabilia is common in my household, and I was glad to add this issue to the collection. Excellent aircraft drawings, even if there was no real plot.

    When Ace and Wild Weasel saluted each other, I was reminded of Snoopy and the Red Baron. Epic. :sweat:

    It was a two-part series. I think it was issues #6-7, but I don't remember the title of the story arc. This was also the first appearance of the Oktober Guard.

    It was also Hawk, not Duke. Duke wasn't introduced until #22 (vol. 3 of the Marvel/IDW reprints, first story after "Silent Interlude"). Hawk was still a colonel at this time, leading the team in feild missions. Duke would be brought in later, after General Flagg's death.

    Hawk used Joes as a "decoy" once in the cartoon also. In season 2, "The Spy Who Rooked Me", Hawk sends Lady Jaye, Flint, Cross-Country and Dial Tone across the dessert with a vial of nerve gas (along the way, the Joes almost die and Dial Tone is wounded) ... but at the end, the "nerve gas" is revealed to actually be cream soda. Man, Hawk was a real jerk sometimes. :p
     
  16. Young Justice

    Young Justice Silent Master Apprentice

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    Those DDP Special Missions issues were very nice. I liked the Antarctica mission as well. The iterations between the all talking Snow Job and the no talking Snake Eyes were amazing.

    There were also a very memorable scene where Scarlett complains with SE that she is feeling a lot of cold and that he would be felling no cold at all. I remembered about one of the old Justice League International comics where they were on Russia in the winter where all of them were feeling a lot of cold but Batman.

    I loved the Classified DDP issues as well. SE and Scarlett are my favorites.

    About the old Marvel run, I read only a few. The one with the Oktober Guard is one of my favorites.
     
  17. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu That's 'Cause I ATE IT!!!
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  18. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu That's 'Cause I ATE IT!!!
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    Between the re-release of the animated series by Shout! Factory, the 25th Anniversary action figures, the new G.I. Joe: Resolute animated series, the line of Sideshow deluxe 12" Joes (I own Snake Eyes and am seriously thinking of shelling even more ridiculous amounts of money to buy Storm Shadow), and the new comics from IDW, I might as well stop trying to figure out why I like the franchise as much as I do, and just admit that I'm a hopeless G.I. Joe junkie. (And no, the live-action movie doesn't count, because 1) I haven't seen it yet, 2) I'm not keen on the idea of paying money to see it when that money can go towards buying a ridiculously expensive Storm Shadow action figure, and 3) I still think that regardless of how good or bad it is, a lot of the changes made make it GIJINO (G.I. Joe in Name Only)).

    Once I heard Larry Hama was writing it, it was a given that I'd be back for G.I. Joe: Origins, even though it's indulging in the kind of unnecessary extended origin story-ing that I think too many other superhero comic book properties do. However, I burned through the TPB I had pre-ordered this afternoon and my major complaint about it is that it's only 5 issues in there and after those 5, I want more. Now. As always, Hama seems to be the guy who knows how the individual Joes tick better than just about anybody, and by making the origin story the tale of their first op, he minimizes the amount of gassing that people tend to do in origin stories in favor of letting the action speak. He can also be a good bit more lethal than he was ever able to be in the original comics, but he thankfully doesn't take that too far. I also liked Mike Hawthorne's art a lot in Queen and Country, and he does a great job of making the Joes believable but still slightly cartoony.

    Supposedly, Hama never really planned anything ahead of time when he was writing the first series, and while I'm sure he had to plan a bit more for this new series, I think there are still signs that he's making it up as he goes along. The bit at the beginning, where it's highly suggested that Scarlett's next mission after the air drop outside of Las Vegas is to do something nasty to Duke with a knife, but that doesn't come up ever again. He also seems to play up that Silver Star that Snake Eyes earned once too often, making it his big "get out of jail free" card. In the end, though, I think the series is the best that anybody's done so far to update G.I. Joe successfully for more modern times, adding just enough realism without managing to undermine the whole thing or leave out the fundamental silliness or sly sense of humor that's been a hallmark in the show and the comics from the start.

    I'm generally not a Chuck Dixon fan, but I had a 30% off coupon at Borders with nothing else to spend it on, so I popped for the first IDW TPB of the main series. I'm pretty glad I did. I'm still not much of a Dixon fan, but he captures the right pseudo-military tone that Hama does, and his story's a decent, very readable military techno-thriller. My one complaint about the series is that I think he goes a bit too far in not introducing the cast to us. The major players are all in minor variations of their famous outfits, but there's a lot of secondaries that I don't recognize and who tend to get lost in the crowd scenes. I also probably like it as much as I do because I want to like it, and Dixon and the new artist Robert Atkins do just enough to keep me happy so I won't start picking it all apart. I also really dig Scarlett's new threads, which manage to be a nice echo of her original outfit without being quite as ridiculous or impractical. We'll see if the crossbow shows up (though it already did in Origins).

    The one thing I'll say about both books is that I can believe that reading them in single issues must have been an amazingly frustrating experience. They're both pretty decompressed stories, but G.I. Joe: Origins reads tremendously well in trade, as does Dixon's G.I. Joe. Not something the original would ever have been accused of, and I don't think it hurts either one because they read much better in trade.

    So hey, those in the know -- what's the difference between G.I. Joe: Origins and the G.I. Joe: Declassified title Hama did for Devil's Due? Just a publishing company?
     
  19. spidl

    spidl Active Member

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    I thought the general point with the knife was that if Duke tried to run or disobeyed orders she was to kill him. This will be played out in the regular series later on.

    I think the main series has started off slow, but has picked up recently. I think Dixon made a bit of a mistake writing the comic in terms of the cartoon. Now that he has taken on more of the comic mentality the sci-fi stuff works more.
     
  20. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu That's 'Cause I ATE IT!!!
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    That's one of the explanations I came up with, but then wouldn't he have had similar orders, and keeping an eye on her, too? They were both trying out for the team, after all.

    Anyway, in addition to the above theory, the only other one I can come up with is that it was a head-fake, and she was just taking out her knife to turn her pants into the shorts she's wearing to hitch a ride the next time we see her.

    In any event, I'll be waiting for TPB #2 on the assumption that things will become clearer :).

    I thought it was a pretty cool shout-out that the first arc of the comic involves the invention of the MASS Device. Not sure that I agree that these early issues feel more like the cartoon than the comic, though.
     

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