Top 10 G.I. Joe Stories of 2014

I set out to write this article, and was immediately surprised by the fact that there was actually some stuff happening with the G.I. Joe brand in 2014.  I know the fandom is eager to jump and say that G.I. Joe was high and dry in this momentous year, and from a practical perspective, it was, but even so, there were lots of things happening this year worth exploring.  Not on any grand scale, however.

I suppose that’s a commentary on the state of G.I. Joe these days, where it remains somewhat relevant, but just barely.  And one is forced to ask what’s worse? Being totally irrelevant, or being just relevant enough to cling around, but not relevant enough to try and push harder.  It’s like the brand is stuck in this murky middle ground where it’s got the slightest hint of popularity enough for Hasbro to keep it hanging on, but not enough to get a real push.  Yet, until it fades away completely, it likely won’t get a full rejuvination either.

All that being said, there were still some discussion points throughout 2014, and here are my top 10.  I’m going to try very hard to maintain a sense of positivity and optimism, because dammit I still love G.I. Joe, even if the rest of the world currently couldn’t give a crap. 

Check out the list after the break.

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Happy Holidays from GeneralsJoes

The folks here at GeneralsJoes would like to take a moment to wish you and yours a very Happy Holiday season. Whatever you celebrate, and however you choose to enjoy this time of year, I want to thank you all for making the site a regular place to visit.

For many people, 2014 was a tough year, and please join me as we put it in the rear view mirror and look ahead to a hopefully better 2015.

Have a safe and happy holiday season.

Christmas_2014

These Draxhall Jump G.I. Joe vs. Cobra Concepts are an early Christmas Present

Being a G.I. Joe fan during the 2002 – 2005 era was an exercise in enthusiasm, excitement, and on occasion bitter disappointment. Those formative years of the new era of G.I. Joe were surrounded by an extremely vibrant fandom who latched onto G.I. Joe’s new retail presence and celebrated through Devils’ Due comics, the G.I. Joe convention, which now catered more to the 3 3/4″ fans, and a lot of folks embracing the excitement and wacky nature of G.I. Joe for the first time since the 80’s.

From a conceptual standpoint, Hasbro was developing an impressive resume of characters from the old days as well as new characters, establishing almost a perfect formula of vintage and modern. The only problem was, back then, the toy design process was a bit hit or miss, and the actual product wasn’t measuring up to the concepts. Seems we’re at an opposite place now, where we have this process to develop fantastic figures, but conceptually there seems to be a struggle. If only we could get the JvC enthusiasm and marketing muscle with the modern design technology…

But I digress.

Over at their new podcast, Nerdrahtio, Sam Sears and Tom Mathias spent some time speaking with Sam Wells, formerly of Devils’ Due Publications, who shares some magnificent concept art from the Joe Vs. Cobra, Spy Troops, Valor Vs. Venom, and even DTC days. Back then, Draxhall Jump was doing amazing work building these terrific character designs, which unfortunately ended up somewhat limited in execution. But looking back at these spectacular concepts, it can’t help but make G.I. Joe fans wish for “what might have been”. Not only that, but there is a wealth of unreleased characters featured in the artwork as well. Amazing looking stuff, truly.

Still, kudos to both Sams and Tom for sharing the information. I’ve mirrored a couple of images below, but you should check out Nerdrahtio.com for the rest. You will NOT regret it. While you’re there, listen to that first episode as well, a great interview with Mr. Wells along with discussion about the concept art shown.

YoJoe.com Top 10 G.I. Joe toys of 2014!

Alongside the stalwart cohorts at YoJoe.com, we’ve put out our list of Top 10 G.I. Joe toys from 2014.

I know to many Joefans, 2014 felt like a lost year, but looking back on it, there were some great things to enjoy, and the crew at YoJoe runs them down.

If I did my own list it would be pretty different from this, but that’s the cool thing about bringing different opinions to the table…

Check it out at YoJoe.com!

What’s On Joe Mind Episode 98 Mammoth 3 Hour Episode is online!

The way episodes have been posted lately means that a somewhat larger gap happens between them, which actually has the benefit of giving us more to talk about. For episode 98 we come close to our self imposed three hour limit, but it’s tough to say that any of the discussion was extraneous. We talk to good friend of WOJM Bill Ratner about his latest adventures, and he never fails to entertain. There’s some great discussion about regional events as well, encompassing lots of real estate from Iowa all the way to Southampton, UK… wherever there’s trouble, WOJM is there!

Of course we also talk about latest rumors of a 6″ G.I. Joe line and get back to basics about what G.I. Joe means to us. Lots of stuff crammed into that three hours, hopefully you’ll enjoy it.

Check out the latest episode at Podbean.com or embedded below and show notes are after the jump.

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Entertainment Earth – Great Selection for Holidays or yourself!

This is pretty last minute, but even if you don’t have others on your shopping list, Entertainment Earth has a ton of great collectible toys to buy for yourself, too!

All sorts of awesome new stuff whether you’re a G.I. Joe fan or just a toy fan in general.  They have excellent prices on the new Batman Animated figures from Mattel, and they have G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary figures in stock as well.  Check out the banners below.

G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary

G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary Battle Below Zero Vehicle SetG.I. Joe Blowtorch vs. H.E.A.T. Viper 2-Pack, Not MintG.I. Joe 50th Anniversary Action Figures 2-Packs Wave 1 Set

Batman Animated (in stock now!)

The New Batman Adventures Batman Action FigureBatman The Animated Series Catwoman Action FigureThe New Batman Adventures Two-Face Action FigureThe New Batman Adventures Mr. Freeze Action Figure

Batman Animated pre-orders for products coming in January!

Batman The Animated Series Joker Action FigureBatman The Animated Series Robin Action FigureBatman The Animated Series Man-Bat Action FigureThe New Batman Adventures Poison Ivy Action Figure

Batman Animated pre-orders for products coming in May and July!

Batman: The Animated Series Riddler Action FigureBatman: The Animated Series Batgirl Action FigureBatman: The Animated Series Batman Action FigureBatman: The Animated Series Penguin Action FigureBatman Animated Series Batman Adventures Harley Quinn FigureBatman Animated Series Batman Adventures Robin FigureBatman Animated Adventures Killer Croc & Baby Doll Figures

GeneralsJoes Reviews G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #209

Today brings us the latest installment in Hama and Gallant’s fantastic continuation of the Real American Hero mythology.  I’ve read the latest issue, check out my thoughts below.

GIJOE ARAH 209

Writer: Larry Hama
Artist: SL Gallant
Inks: Brian Shearer
Colors: J. Brown
Letters: Neal Uyetake
Editor: Carlos Guzman

Juggling several different storylines, the Real American Hero book continues at a furious pace, trying to tell the Revanche story, the Sean Collins story, the Serpentor story, and the Crimson Guard story all simultaneously, yet trying to also weave them all together into a cohesive thread.

By and large, Larry Hama has been successful integrating all of the various elements into a decent story, though like the infamous Blue Ninja story arc, I am growing a tad bit weary of Revanche, especially after meeting the apparent head of the company here. I can bridge fantasy, science fiction, and realistic military as well as anyone else, but still seeing a cybernetic dude with a dozen robotic eyes growing from his skin takes me just a bit out of my comfort zone.

I will say, I enjoyed the inner conflict within the Joe team over the apparent attempt at resurrecting Serpentor. Most of them realize what a potential mistake it is, yet Joe and Jane seem adamant to go down that road, which will make things very interesting as they shape up.

Storm Shadow becomes a part of the story again, yet again I find myself curious as to how these Revanche cyber-ninjas could be so powerful in the last story arc, yet now, Storm Shadow can single-handedly dispose of a dozen of them with a few sword swipes.

Gallant continues his trend of classic artwork, nicely capturing the look and feel of the vintage G.I. Joe design aesthetic. The thing I love most, though is his sense of motion. Everything is very dramatic and flows nicely from panel-to-panel, yet the impact shots actually feel like they mean something. It’s an excellent bridge between realism and animation and he seems able to walk that line to perfection, which suits the G.I. Joe story well. After all, G.I. Joe itself walks that line between realism and fantasy, it’s only appropriate that the artwork follow that trend.

This was a good issue. Hama and Gallant continue to do great work bringing those classic elements forward and still telling a great tail. It was good to see characters like Airtight and Bazooka, and I would encourage the creative team to continue exploring those (slightly) less known members of the G.I. Joe team. I was a bit disappointed with the mission in Ireland featuring mostly G.I. Joe mainstays like Duke, Snake Eyes, Scarlett, and Roadblock, and I hope Hama continues to utilize the large and varied roster at his disposal.

A good next step of an issue, though as I said, I am hoping to see some wrap up of the Revanche story line soon.

IDW G.I. Joe Solicitations for March, 2015

So the IDW Solicitation list came out today, and some very surprising news was contained within. This is information that could be considered a spoiler for the Real American Hero title, so proceed at your own risk!

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Previews for IDW’s G.I. Joe titles for Wednesday, December 17th

Yeah, I know new comic day has already come and gone, but figured folks who hadn’t made it to their comic shops yet might want to scope these out anyway. Both Real American Hero #209 and G.I. Joe #4 hit today, check out the previews below.

G.I. Joe #4
Karen Traviss (w) • Steve Kurth (a) • Jeffrey Veregge (c)
ON THE RUN! The G.I. Joe team is in pursuit of their target, a revolutionary warlord—but he has a snake in his midst… as the COBRA peacekeeping force circles, SCARLETT’s decisions force other military agencies into action.
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Bullet points: 
· Superstar novelist Karen Traviss and the G.I. Joe veteran Steve Kurth take the team to uncharted territory!
· Variant Cover by David Williams!

G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #209
Larry Hama (w) • S L Gallant (a & c)
The secrets and true dangers of the Revanche Corporation have become clear to G.I. JOE… but will this new threat keep G.I. JOE from uncovering COBRA’s newest plot? The mysterious pile up as time runs out in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #209.
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Bullet points: 
· Variant sketch cover by Larry Hama!

Rumor Alert – 2015 G.I. Joe Convention Exclusive to feature Tiger Force?

A short while ago, the G.I. Joe Collectors Club let slip that the Diamond release of their G.I. Joe vs. Cobra #7 comic would feature a subtle hint for next year’s Convention set. Over on the G.I. Joe Discussion Group on Facebook, John Stottman posted a quick picture from this comic, and it would appear the subtle hint may refer to… Tiger Force.

Granted, it’s not obvious, but taking a peek behind the Baroness, and you can clearly see a tiger pattern, which would certainly indicate one of G.I. Joe’s most popular sub teams.

The Club has been known to throw curve balls in the past, so this could be one, but they mentioned a hint, and there’s not much else different within the contents of the issue. With the Convention coming up in April, we have to think we’re going to start seeing reveals in the coming months.

If it is Tiger Force, any guesses so far? Obviously there are some key members of the classic team missing like Bazooka, Tripwire, and Roadblock (which were all planned for the 25th Anniversary line, but never made it to retail). Then there’s some obvious subjects like Lifeline or Recondo.

Personally? I’m hoping for some outside the box choices. An Ultimate Firefly repaint as Sabretooth would be awesome, as would some of the UK exclusive Action Force figures. Not to mention other figures from the 2002 – 2004 era. I’ll be watching GIJoeCon.com for sure.

Check out the image below.

Tiger_Force_Hint