Review for Total Retaliation – a book by Paddy Lennon and Brian Hickey

In many ways the G.I. Joe: Retaliation action figure line is a testament to the timeless greatness of the G.I. Joe brand at large. I know in many areas of the fandom the hate flows freely in regards to the G.I. Joe: Retaliation toys, but truth be told, I think we all have a lot to be thankful for, especially when looking around the toy aisles and seeing what other film properties were dealing with in their licensed action figures.

Yes, the vehicle drivers got cost cut to five points of articulation, but by and large, from start to finish, the G.I. Joe: Retaliation line provided a wealth of terrific figures from all different era’s of G.I. Joe’s 30 year history and we should all be thankful.

There are two fans who are especially thankful. So thankful in fact, that they went through some great trouble to assemble a book focusing on the greatness of G.I. Joe: Retaliation.

Check out the full review after the jump!

Total Retaliation debuts with an exclusive cover at Roll Out Roll Call 2014 (with pre-orders already live) and will be available for purchase for the rest of us shortly there after. I was able to acquire a review copy of the book, and I’m happy to say it meets all expectations.

Paddy Lennon and Brian Hickey have taken their love affair for G.I. Joe and combined it with great artistic talent, and the end result is a spectacular collection of the great things from G.I. Joe: Retaliation. Part reference book, part story book, and all awesome, Total Retaliation features an in depth look into all things from that toyline, but it goes a few steps further. Certainly if you want to see every figure and what accessories they came with, that’s in there. But, if you were a little disappointed by the fact that most G.I. Joe: Retaliation figures didn’t come with file cards… well, they fixed that for you and custom wrote file cards, creating a great synthesized history of all these different characters.

But where this book really shines (making it a terrific coffee table book) is with the diorama images. Brian and Paddy painstakingly designed and built sets, posed the figures, and took amazing pictures for the book as well, pulling scenes right out of the film, and also getting exceptionally creative along the way. From Cobra Commander’s infamous walk from the Water Moccasin towards Fort Sumter, to high speed combat between Firefly and Agent Helix, this book collects all sorts of really fun images, and the quality is exceptional.

Terrific poses, great shot composition, and an obvious amount of love and energy went into every step of this book’s design, construction, and publication. It really is a labor of love that manages to be be very high quality while its at it.

I know the G.I. Joe: Retaliation toy line was a short snippet of the brand’s life, and garnered some mixed reactions from the fans. But I also know that the quality and execution of the toys themselves was exceptional, and both Brian and Paddy are well equipped to celebrate that. This book clearly identifies what we all love about G.I. Joe and the fact that this short snapshot of G.I. Joe history can provide such rich material to build a book is an example of just how timeless and well crafted the mythology is.

This is a project for fans, by the fans. Let’s all reward the hard work of Brian and Paddy by loading up on pre-orders and buying these up! Pre-Order it now, and if you’re going to Roll Out Roll Call, plan on picking up your book (with exclusive cover!) at the show. Also make sure you’re following Total Retaliation on Facebook for some great behind the scenes details and pictures.

Also, if you live in the UK (or even if you don’t), Roll Out Roll Call 2014 is hitting October 11th – 12th, and it’s a show you don’t want to miss!  Get more information right here.

Well done, Brian and Paddy, you guys knocked this one out of the park.

  • Stephen

    Hey! Retaliation Cobra Commander’s real name isn’t “unknown”!

    (… much as we may not wish for that to be the case…. :) )

  • Comm. Decker

    Did they just imply that Joe Colton is John Maclean?

  • Ben

    Yeah, the dio photos are great but the verbiage on the bios are just fanfic. Night Fox as a trooper designation, Mouse’s file name, etc. That really stuck out to me as a huge negative when they initially tried to crowd fund the project. Still does.

  • AliasAngelAlias

    Hello, how can I obtain this interesting book today? and How much does it cost?