About Gary

Gary is a long time member of the Joe community and has no business what-so-ever writing for Justin. :shifty:

Welcome to the House of the Mouse and JoeCon 2011!!

In a few short days, the attention of the Joe fandom will be focused on the Mouse’s Kingdom for the annual Collectors’ Convention.  For some, this is a yearly pilgrimage.  For, what seems of many, this will be the first of several conventions to come.  Regardless, once again, welcome to the best four days on the calendar.

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JoeCon Exclusives: How they stack up since 2002

It has always been a popular topic of discussion to rank the convention sets since the 3.75″ scale was re-introduced in 2002.  What often gets lost are the convention EXCLUSIVES that are part of the set.  For those of you who are not familiar with this, the Exclusives are separate from the con set.  They are typically an extension of the con set story line and normally are more remembered than the actual set itself.  The con exclusives normally are highly sought after in the secondary markets and they really cause a lot of collector angst if they decided to pass on it the first time to only see the prices triple or quadruple later down the road.  These things are expensive enough, but have to pay four times as much can put a real pinch in your hobby.  In my list, I did not include the convention attendee free exclusive.  Technically, I consider those part of the con set. Basically, if it is anything I had to stand in line for in the club store, that is what is on this list.  On that basis, I did include the para-drop figure  even though they were given out a freebies early on, but now are either charged for or guarded by lock and key and David Lane.  Let’s take a look at the past 8 years a’la cmderinchief:

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The Guessing Game: 2011 Convention Site

Hey gang, Gary here for a very rare second article of the week.  I have been working on this for a while, so it was bound to be published sometime.

Let the speculation begin on where the 2011 convention will be.  Actually it has….

Frankly those new to the hobby were a little spoiled this go-around by having the club announce in Kansas City that we would be in Providence in 2010.  Con vets realize this is a rare but appreciated treat by the club to have all their eggs lined up enough to announce the next location less than a year out.  It seems like the BotCon’ers know where they are going to be next year, but what about Joe?  Back in 2003 and 2004, it was the norm for the club to announce, so rest assured, the club not announcing this time is not a sign of bad things, it is just a sign of the same ol’-same ol’ club that we know and love returning to normal.

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NERD RAGE! Sorry Virginia, there are no Sarges today…

Hey everyone, Gary here with a rare post.  Which I am sure will be a hot topic of discussion for today and into the short term future (most Joe fans have short attention spans), dozens and dozens of the online Joe fandom who camped out HTS found that Slaughter is a hot commodity – the HARD way.  At approximately 11:30a EST, the good sarge popped up on HTS and went from IN STOCK to OUT OF STOCK about as quick as it took you to read this sentence.  While other Hasbro SDCC items flux between the two states, Sarge’s status has remained unchanged since.  Yes, there are no Sarges today…

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USA & Canada Holiday Weekend

Since Justin has gone further into the hinterlands of New England, every now and then the staff and contributors take the reigns. While it is nothing terribly important concerning Joes, but it is the thought that counts.

Thanks to all those who have served or are serving now. Thank you for your sacrifice and commitment so we can continue to celebrate these weekends now and into the future.

For those of you traveling, remain patient and safe as the roads and skies will be full. You’ll be getting back home just in time to start the PoC hunt!

Your yearly obligatory “What to expect at the Con” article…

Aloha fellow travelers, Gary here again. The countdown has begun…..well, for most of us, we’ve been counting down for months, but now the wait is less than 3 days. For me, this is my 8th con. Wow….I can’t believe I have been to 8 of these. So much fun, but more importantly, so many memories. If you are among the lucky handful of con-goers, you are using these next couple of days to pack, get caught up with work and finalizing travel plans. For the first time con-goers, I am sure you are FULL of questions. It is almost a yearly task to write up an article or post of what and whatnot to expect while you are at the con. This year is no exception…..
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Top 10 Dr. Venom Moments from Gary “cmderinchief”

Hey everyone, Gary here adding to VenomFest 2010!  For those of you who know me in the online fandom or at the conventions KNOW that I have been a very VOCAL member of the community who has been calling for a Dr. Venom figure. Now, I admit, I have not been the lone voice  – there have been others.  Without their constant pestering of the club they may not have ever considered him; and to have him as the enemy antagonist against the Adventure Team is an awesome way to tie-in the two mythos.

What is the allure of Dr. Venom?  I don’t know, many things I guess.  I know I liked his character ever since I was a kid.  In the first 20 issues, Venom was by far the most evil of the henchmen.  I even remember in the letter’s section at the end of each issue, fans asking Hasbro for a figure way back then.  I was kind of surprised to discover that until the club’s official announcement, Venom appeared in the second most number of issues to NOT have a figure made after him.  A travesty!!  Seriously, characters that have appeared in less issues, or less cartoon eps get a figure (see Big Lob), but not Venom??  Let’s face it, his Marvel lifetime spans less than 10 issues, but what a 10 issue stretch it was!  Venom’s legacy lasted MUCH longer.  It was his Brainwave Scanner that provided the fictional element to shift a plot rather quickly.  Plug anyone into the scanner – make them good – make them bad – reprogram them – whatever!

How does one boil down Venom into the 10 “Best of” moments?  There were so many.  Here are my Top 10 Best of Venom moments:

10.) Dr. Venom’s Debut:  Woah!  Who is this crazy mad scientist dude??  You can’t have a top 10 list of his best moments without mentioning his debut.  Right off the bat you knew this guy was ruthless, cunning, and without scruples what-so-ever.  His debut pre-dates Destro, Bludd and Zartan and frankly his evil streak goes deeper than Cobra Commander.  While his debut lacked the tease of Destro, it was set up in a way that you hoped you saw more of him in the issues to come.  Ironically, his comic debut is also the debut of Billy – although not specifically named.

9.) Dr. Venom makes Snake Eyes his beeyotch:  Venom is the only guy in the comics other than Storm Shadow who took the fight to Snake Eyes.  Whether it was hooking him up to the Brainwave Scanner or pistol whipping him with a Luger, SE looked considerably more human versus the good doc.  Not bad for a middle aged mad scientist.  “Nobody dares to strike Dr. Venom!!”

8.) Dr. Venom – The Casanova:  What isn’t Venom an expert on?  Apparently he has thoughts on the matter of love.  Venom real quickly picked up on the fact that there was a bit more to the Destro-Baroness relationship than being evil colleagues.  Following the explosion of the Baroness’ HISS in Operation: Night Attack, a distraught Destro stood on the verge of a breakdown, all the while being chased down by Clutch, Scarlett and Hawk.  Never without a pithy thing to say, ol’ Venom graced us with this:  “Doesn’t he (Destro) realize that love is simply overestimating the difference between any one given woman and another?  Bah!  Gross sentimentality is such a waste.”  You’re all heart Doc!

7.) SNAKE Armor Inventor: Ah, probably something you didn’t know.  Yes, the good doc invented SNAKE Armor.  Servos help the person in the suit to move its legs and arms.  Servos in a suit…..where have I heard that concept before??  Similar to the Brainwave scanner, the suit taps into the “pilot’s” mind for control.  It was proven in issue #19 that a strong willed person can overcome the SNAKE mind control and assume operation of the armor.  Also, SNAKE Armor cannot shoot at anything in Cobra Blue.

6.) SE uses the Ninja Death Trick TWICE on Venom:  Ah yes, it was when SE was strapped into the Brainwave Scanner that he pulls out the famous Ninja Death Trick.  This trick allowed SE to slow down his breathing and heart rate to the point where he appeared deceased.   We witnessed the first time SE did this in issue #10.  SE dups the trick again in #12.  Venom places SE inside a their Sierra Gordo “legitimate business front” building and set it aflame.  While riding away on his escape boat, the vision of the burning building causes Venom to recall a dojo a scene collected during SE’s first encounter with the scanner.  Venom knows he’s been had, but still writes off SE as going to die in the burning building.  Later Venom realizes what we all know now – try as you might, you just can’t kill Snake Eyes.

5.) Team Venom escape the flooding bunker:  Good thing the Doc was a man of science and not brawn.  He realized that he had to flood the bunker in order for the pressures to match inside with what they were outside in order for the heavy door to open.  Heck, even The Mythbusters proved this.  The doc may not be Mr. Wizard-like friendly, but it was with his know-how that allowed he, Kwinn and SE to escape a watery grave.

4.) Cheesy Bond-like quips:  While not a poet on the level of Major Bludd (then again, Dr. Seuss is more of a poet than Bludd), what is a evil henchman without a vocabulary full of cheesy quips?  Check out a couple of these on for size.  I picked 5 for space, but if anyone is curious, I can post the rest in the comment section:

  • Venom maximum cheese: “So it was Cobra Commander who sold me out!  He must be having quite a big laugh on me right now as he attempts to use my toxin without my secret catalyst…  In fact, the laughter must be infectious.
  • Don’t cross Venom because:  “Dr. Venom never forgets!”
  • Venom while holding a syringe full of his toxin greeting Scar-Face at the Libyan airport:  “Welcome to Libya, Scar-Face, it’s time for your…inoculation
  • Venom’s last evil diatribe after shooting Kwinn in the back:  “So, what have you got to say now?  No more mumbo-jumbo aphorisms about weasel spirits?  No last lunge to try to strangle me with your last breath?”
  • Venom’s Last Words: (Grenade) “…Fallen from a dead-man’s hand…”  WHAMM!  The grenade goes off killing Venom.

3.) The escape from Sierra Gordo:  What do you do when you are part of an odd-trio of characters and you are trying to fly out of a banana republic before it melts down into a civil war?  Well, fly out of course!!  On top of being a top knotch evil scientist, Venom is apparently a multi-engine certified pilot.  What does the team spy sitting on the tarmac at Sierra Gordo International Airport…..a WWII era British Lancaster Bomber!  HOW CONVENIENT!  Not only was Venom able to pilot that bucket-o-bolts out of there, but he was able to do it while feather propping engine #2 to start, all the while getting shot at and dealing with a skeptical Kwinn as your default engineer.  Surely one of Dr. Venom’s more prouder moments.

2.) Father of the Brainwave Scanner:  In issue #10, he explains how it works on Snake Eyes: “…the electrodes attached to Snake Eyes head are recording his brain-wave reaction to the visual image on the TV monitor.  In this case, it is an apple…the computer will continue to flash thousands of images and record their corresponding brain-wave signature until it has amassed a personalized vocabulary of the subject thinking patterns reduced to digitized (images).  Very soon, our image vocabulary will be complete, then we can REVERSE the process!  The computer will be able to ‘read’ the subject’s thoughts, enhances them and projects them as a visual image on the TV monitor.”  Wow, what a mouthful Doc!  The Brainwave scanner was also instrumental to the creation of Serpentor.  Dr. Mindbender tweaked it to give the ability reprogram people.  The entire town of Millville became a victim of it.  The Scanner was also important to the later reprogramming of Storm Shadow, Billy, Destro, Zartan and the Baroness at the end of the Marvel run.  You would think this would be #1, but that goes to the last moment we see Venom…..

1.) Death of Venom: What a way to go Doc!  Blast Kwinn in the back only to have him turn around and toss a live grenade at your feet.  KA-BLAM-O!!!  At the end of it all, four lay dead and we have an end of an era!  What did we learn from this?  Bad karma comes to those who shoot others in the back.

So there ya have it!  Venom’s top 10 moments – as I see them.  In my opinion the 10 issue run from #10 to #19 were some of the best issues ever in the Joe Marvel Universe.  I had a GREAT time reliving these moments!  When you are done reading all of GeneralsJoes VenomFest articles, head on over to the club site and order yourself the Dr. Venom/AT Commander set.  I can’t wait to see Dr. Venom carded.  It is LONG overdue and it will be a beautiful sight to see!

When shall we start the campaign for Billy??  Anyone?  Anyone??

Action Force fan fic comic is FAN-FREAKING-AWESOME!

Greetings folks, Gary here again with a little review of a super cool fan driven project that you all should take note of.

A few months ago, Jamar Miller and the gang at Blood for the Baron sent us a copy of their in-house publication of Action Force. These “continuing voyages of” AF pick up where some of the Action Force universe left off and incorporates elements of the RAH universe. Call it the best of both worlds – or a Int’l/RAH Joe fan’s ultimate cross over dream.

Click the “Read the Rest of this Entry” link below to check out the full review!

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GIJCC Valentine’s Day Sale Update

Gary here again.  Justin is still traversing his way back to the boonies and in the process going over some lonely roads.  I know, I’ve been there.  There isn’t much to see after passing Brattleboro in southern Vermont.  He’ll be home shortly and time permitting he will be able to update us with some answers to our many questions.

Anyway, Brian Savage from the GIJCC sent out a email blast to members tonight reminding everyone that their Valentine’s Day sale will end Monday at 3pm Central Time!

Club Store