So I have been on a comic buying streak lately. I picked up the Dead Pool comic, with the homage to GI Joe #21. But more related to Joe are these mini comics that I got as part of a giant collection I bought awhile back. I did not know much about them, but after some digging discovered they were included packed with Battle Corps 1992 figures.
There are 4 comics: Desert Dustup, Jungle Fury, Mountain Trouble, and Hijacked Heroes. I got all but, Mountain Trouble from this collection. So I went searching for the comic, and when I found them, they were priced really high, at least to me, at $30-50. That is when I stumbled upon an eBay auction for one with a MOC figure. Before that, I did not know how they were distributed. After a couple quick eBay searches I narrowed down the year (1992) and the specific line that they were packaged with (Battle Corps). I also discovered that the prices for the MOC figure including the comic were just $10-20. So, I picked up 5 MOC figures, one of each comic and then a second Mountain Trouble, so I can read it.
So for anyone looking to have “all” the comics and desperately needs these mini comics, go on eBay and search for ’92 Battle Corps MOC figures and they will all pop-up. Maybe not a Mountain Trouble at the moment, since I bought 2.
So with the relaunch/renumbering I thought it was a perfect time to start reviewing each issue. I will be starting with the main title season/volume 3 #1. The next paragraph will start to get into spoilers, so if you plan on reading the comic and do not want anything spoiled, stop reading now.
I have to say, I liked Van Lente’s story. For me, GI Joe was never the top secret organization that it has been portrayed as recently. I didn’t think the Joes had fake birth certificates and gave up their former lives to join. This comes mainly from the Sunbow cartoon series, as characters such as Roadblock and Flint had episodes involving their families. So, with that background, I like that GI Joe was exposed in a “Wiki-leaks” reveal. I haven’t quite decided how I feel with the publicity stunt that the US government seems to be making with the Joes. Making them wear certain uniforms, selecting “the right mix of ethnicity, gender, and service branch” to market the Joes is a different take, and one I do not think the government would take. Like Duke, I also have a hard time with the “celebrity soldier” concept. However, it does make Shipwreck complaining about his uniform and code-name more understandable. I read quite a few negative comments about that, but I would complain too if I was made to wear something I didn’t want to or be called something I didn’t want to be called. I like that they are aware of the awkwardness of the ‘celebrity soldier’ and the marketing the the government seems to be implementing. Although, I don’t know about acknowledging making GI Joe toys. But, its a small issue and doesn’t detract from the comic/story overall.
Joe Colton replacing General Hawk as the figurehead is a good tie in. Unless they were to decide to make a new general character, Colton was a good choice to ‘command’ the Joes as a senior leader. The nod to the Adventure Team and Coltons strong, aka kung fu grip, was also fun. I am hoping there is a nice future tie in with the Adventure Team.
I like the update to Polly, who instead of a talking parrot, is now a UAV. The new Doc as the old Doc’s daughter is also nice and brings in Joe from other continuities.
Another controversial topic is Aruna Singh, or Hash Tag. A young, twenty-something battlefied journalist/blogger. People seem to hate her online. The Joes also seem to dislike her and the entire idea of her. But, I don’t hate it. First, the fact that there is dislike coming form the Joes themselves, means that Van Lente has some big things planned for Hash Tag, that we should like. Second, the Joes previously had Scoop, who was very similar. The fact that Hash Tag blogs, tweets, and uses social media updates the journalist aspect. Something that we should not expect to have stayed with the static, traditional role. Especially with the world we live in today of 24 hour news.
I was so excited to see Windmill piloting the Skystorm X-Wing, but was filled with dread of his impending doom. And I hated that he died (or appears to be dead) within 4 pages. He only lasted 4 pages?!?!? I would really like to see other Joes be brought in with the main cast and live longer than 4 pages.
I also questioned how Duke was captured, as that is not in the comic, but they don’t have room for everything.
Now on to the art, another controversial topic. I would love it if people waited a few issues before condemning the art. I do not mind the outfits. I even think Roadblock looks great in his. I loved seeing the WORMS and the MAGGOT. The backgrounds by Kurth are amazing and really drew me into the story. One grip I do have with Kurth, is inconsistency in drawing the faces of characters. Joe Colton went from looking like an old, but strong-jawed leader to a crazy old grandpa on the next. But, I am willing to give it time to develop in future issues. I also thought the Baroness looked way hotter in Cobra; maybe I was spoiled there. One last thing to cover, is the cover itself. Or at least Cover A. It is ugly. Joes on steroids. However, B, Sub, RIA, and RIB are all good covers. In fact, I really like the RI cover with the origin story of GI Joe.
I have to say I am very excited about this, both the new direction of the comics and me starting to discuss them a lot more. I bought all 5 covers. While I do not plan on buying every variant cover from here on out, I will get the ones that catch my eye. This is a great jumping on point for anyone who was not previously reading the IDW Joe comics. I definitely recommend it as a good read.
So I went on a Toxo Viper rampage and snagged 15 more of them – 7 complete, 6 incomplete and 1 MOC, the card is in awesome shape, no creases, dings or tears. I also picked up the Dollar General Snake Eyes – that version is a remake of my childhood Snake Eyes, I was too late for the 82/83 and the 85 versions, so 1991 will always be my favorite. I also snagged quite a few Retaliation figures: both the blue/tan GI Joe Trooper, Lady Jaye, Alley Viper, Joe Colton, Battle Kata Roadblock, Red Ninja, the black Cobra Commander, and the Cyber Ninja.
On top of all that, I also bought a TON of comics! I picked up 30 issues of the GI Joe Marvel run that I was missing (only need 5 or 6 now for a full run), picked up year book #1, AND the big purchase was the super rare GI Joe #63 Classic printed by So Much Fun! Inc. It isn’t in the best shape, but it is by far the rarest Joe comic out there (if I’m wrong I’d love to know, so I can work on getting it) so when I saw it I knew I needed to pick it up. It is a reprint of marvel #63 and they added “classic” to the front. It was a time before variant and A/B covers became a normal thing, so there were only 5,000 printed and far fewer that are still around today.
I won’t post pics of everything I picked up, just a representative:
Oh I almost forgot (it might be bad when I cannot remember everything that I just bought) that I also picked up the GI Joe Tactical Ninja Team 3-pack with Sgt. Airborne, Mouse, and Snake Eyes as well as the GI Joe Trading Cards for 1991. I loved collecting the cards as a kid. Too bad they were only around for 1 series. But, that does make them a cheap and easy buy on eBay. You can grab a set (all 200 plus the checklists) for less than $10 shipped!
I also picked up two more one of a kind sketch covers of GI Joe Infestation by Xermanico. And, I’ve got two more of these on the way. I bought out all of IDW Limited’s stock!