Published: May 19th, 2010
Written by: Larry Hama
Art by: Marshall Rogers, Ron Wagner, Rod Whigham
Based on: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero by Hasbro
Marvel Comics (original printing), IDW Publishing (reprinted), 235 Pages
This is the collection that primarily features the original Cobra Civil War. As the original Cobra Commander has been killed and replaced by Fred VII, working with the Baroness, tensions rise and we see factions break off in an effort to gain control of the Cobra organization. Even G.I. Joe gets involved in an effort to sway the conflict into something that benefits them. Unfortunately, for the Joes, the end result isn’t the one they were hoping for and this story sees the death of Serpentor.
This volume also takes place in the very middle of the original Marvel run, as it is collected into fifteen volumes. The placement of this story wasn’t planned out to be in the middle from a long-term perspective but it kind of feels like it is in the right place, as the rest of the run is greatly effected and altered by what happened here.
Overall, this isn’t the best G.I. Joe story of Hama’s long run but it is the one I remember the most from my childhood. It’s a big event, the biggest in the franchise during its heyday, and it is mostly full of action, war and war strategy. I loved it when I was a kid because it was larger than life and the most epic story the G.I. Joe comic told. It featured a ton of characters and almost every important member of Cobra.
Apart from that, I really like the volumes that build towards this conflict better and it is hard to focus on story and character building when the majority of the pages deal with action and war. But, at the same time, this didn’t need to focus on world building, as Hama did a stupendous job of that before this book.
While this isn’t my favorite collection, it may be the most important as it gives closure to some things and sort of reinvents the wheel, giving the franchise more longevity and new territory to explore.
Pairs well with: Any of the original Marvel G.I. Joe and Transformers comics.
From Toy Galaxy’s YouTube description: Where were you when you first heard the term Porkchop Sandwiches?
One of the first viral video sensations on the internet holds a place close to our heart because it involves GI Joe. Back in the early 2000’s a bunch of re-edits of original GI Joe cartoon PSA’s were uploaded to the internet and they got a lot of attention.
Where the first G.I. Joe game for the Nintendo was almost shit, this one actually succeeds at being total shit.
The main reason for this being terrible is that I got stuck at a point really early in the game and couldn’t advance. I’m not sure if it was a glitch but there’s a point in the early level with the space shuttle where I couldn’t get the game to advance.
I tried replaying it, starting over, and I kept getting to that same problem. So fuck this game.
Also, it’s just a rehash of the game we already played except it just adds some new characters to play with. However, the interface and how everything works is stupid and bizarre.
I can only add Joes to my team as I find them in the field? G.I. Joe has like 200 members. You mean to tell me that I can’t just grab three Joes to go on a mission? Especially since the first playable character is General f’n Hawk?!
I also hated the map system that looked like it was ripped off from Bionic Commando or Super Mario Bros. 3. It didn’t need to exist and the game could’ve just had simple levels that went in a simple order like the first game.
I think they were trying to make the game better but their attempts at refining it made it worse.
It’s 2019 now. I’m still waiting for a good G.I. Joe game.
Pairs well with: it’s predecessor, which is mostly just more of the same.
From The Attic Dwellers’ YouTube description: THIS WEEK: Tig & Eric discuss The Movie RAD with Brainy Brian – Check Out Eric’s Awesome G.I. Joe Comic Collection – Who is the Phantom Slide Whistler? – He Man Review Trailer from What Were You Watching – Enjoy the Blood & Gourd Comic Trailer – Strange Muses from Chris Lundy’s Brain & MORE!!!
Hasbro really missed the boat in not getting a G.I. Joe game out for the original Nintendo a few years earlier than this.
The main reason is that by the time that this was developed, G.I. Joe was already passed its peek and the toys and figures were starting to get weird, uninspiring designs that were made even worse by garish color schemes and baffling designs.
This game is littered with what was the most up-to-date versions of G.I. Joe characters and vehicles.
Point being, this would have been a lot better had it been released in the early era, around season one in the TV show continuity. This way all the Joes and members of Cobra had their more classic look and the boss battles would have been made up of the cool iconic Cobra vehicles every boy in the ’80s loved, as opposed to these fluorescent, bizarrely designed messes that can’t come close to being as cool as the H.I.S.S. Tank, the Moccasin, the F.A.N.G. or the Cobra Rattler. Hell, even if this was made to tie to the second season era, we could’ve gotten the Night Raven or the Thunder Machine.
Instead, we got a game that represented the DiC era of the cartoon, which is where everything turned to shit.
I mean, do you really want to fight Raptor, Road Pig, Metalhead and Voltar? Or would you rather fight Storm Shadow, Firefly, Scrap Iron, Major Bludd, the Baroness and Zartan? Gold headed Destro? Fuck you. Battle armor Cobra Commander? Fuck you too.
The game is made worse by the fact that it is also full of garish colors and clunky looking graphics. Some of the key characters aren’t even the right color. For instance, Metalhead is purple when the character actually wears mostly black with red and yellow accents.
The game mechanics aren’t great either. The controls aren’t horrible but they’re a bit wonky and sometimes seem unresponsive.
Also, the level design is really basic, even in the maze-like fortresses where you have to strategically place bombs.
The sprites are also really tiny and kind of blocky looking.
Ultimately, this is a game that deserved to be better and had it been, it would’ve made Hasbro a lot more money.
Pairs well with: it’s sequel, which is mostly just more of the same.
Published: August 28th, 2019
Written by: Michel Fiffe
Art by: Michel Fiffe
Based on: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero by Hasbro
IDW Publishing, 107 Pages
I remember when this book was coming out, people online were trashing the art. I thought that some of the people behind the comments just didn’t know who Michel Fiffe was and hadn’t seen his work elsewhere but honestly, I can’t say that the criticisms were wrong.
You see, this is a G.I. Joe comic book. It is a licensed property that IDW Publishing pays a lot of money for in order to create content for the Hasbro owned toy brand in the comic book medium. This is the most important factor in why my criticism of this miniseries is about to turn really f’n harsh.
To put it bluntly, Fiffe’s art style isn’t for everyone and that’s the real problem. It’s like IDW got an indie artist with a unique style and thought that this would somehow sell G.I. Joe comics. Well, G.I. Joe comics haven’t sold well in years, so I’m not sure what made IDW think that bringing in an artist with a non-traditional style would somehow appeal to more people than the few they’re actually selling these G.I. Joe books to.
If you are paying a lot of money for the rights to publish a brand you don’t own, don’t you want that brand to make you the most money as possible in order to get a return on your licensing fees, as well as making a boatload of profit? If the answer is “no”, then why the fuck are you a business? If the answer is “yes”, then why the fuck wouldn’t you put out a product tailored to appeal to the largest audience possible?
Furthermore, do you understand the G.I. Joe brand that you are paying all this money for? I’d say “no”, as your helping to kill it off permanently between this miniseries, Paul Allor’s current series and all that Aubrey Sitterson crap from two years ago. Hell, even the regular series that Larry Hama is still working on feels like it’s an afterthought and aimless, pointless schlock that’s so far removed from the spirit of the series, it can’t find its way back. But I don’t blame Hama, the dude’s been writing G.I. Joe for almost forty years.
Point being, this absolutely does not look the way a G.I. Joe comic book should look. Do you even know who the audience for this franchise is? Do you care? Or is everything you do a tax write-off since your company has been losing its ass for a few years now.
But none of this is to knock on Michel Fiffe’s personal art style. It’s just not the right style for a brand that is beloved by adults, many former veterans, that want their Joes to be badass and always look badass.
I should probably also mention that the story here felt rushed and wasn’t very coherent. This probably needed more than three issues to tell its story or it needed to be a smaller story without so many characters shoehorned into it.
I’m pretty sure IDW is mostly dead, at this point. Well, except for the money Marvel’s throwing them to keep them afloat and printing their D-level titles.
But if anyone from Hasbro is out there, what the fuck, guys? I want this brand to be as great as it once was and it has a rich enough mythos and backlog of stories and superb characters to always have something to say. I just wish the people that owned G.I. Joe gave a shit about it as much as the fans that still exist do.
Pairs well with: other post-Chuck Dixon/Mike Costa era G.I. Joe comics put out by IDW i.e. the shitty ones.