Revolution #1 Review – IDW Publishing

It started off as strange, obscure hints several months ago…a Revolution was coming.  Then word came out and things really heated up with lots of discussion revolving around this big combined Hasbro universe event bringing together diverse brands into one cohesive world.

So it’s official… the Revolution has arrived.  It started with Rom and with Revolution #1 this month (though technically the prelude kicked it off a couple of weeks ago).  So was it worth the wait?  Is it an event worthy of the Revolution title?

Read below to find out, though fair warning – Spoilers are aplenty!

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IDW Revolution original art on eBay!

Revolution #1 has been released and a couple of the excellent variant covers have been produced by Adam Riches, who is well known to G.I. Joe fans as one of the artists of the Figure Subscription Service cardbacks.

He has done a couple of fantastic variant covers, and he has listed some of his original art on eBay.  One of the auctions is the Optimus Prime/Scarlett action figure cover and it looks really great.

Any G.I. Joe or Transformers fan should check out his listings on eBay now and get these great pieces while the getting is good.

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Solicitations for IDW Publishing G.I. Joe related December titles

December promises to be a big month for G.I. Joe comics as the new ongoing G.I. Joe series from Aubrey Sitterson and Giannis Milonogiannis (among many others) kicks off alongside the new Revolutionaries title, which also has some serious G.I. Joe connections.  I also threw MASK #2 in there, too, because…well, it’s freaking MASK that’s why.

Check out the December solicitation information below.

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Revolutionaries #1—SPOTLIGHT

John Barber (w) • Fico Ossio (a) • Tradd Moore (c)

THE REVOLUTION MAY BE OVER–but the future is just beginning! Ripped from the pages of the hottest crossover of the year, the REVOLUTION team of John Barber and Fico Ossio continue the action! KUP is a CYBERTRONIAN literally older than the universe; ACTION MAN is the ultimate special agent trying to live up to an impossible legacy; MAYDAY is a G.I. JOE leader trying to rescue her first command; and BLACKROCK is a CYBERTRONIAN that thinks he’s a human. It takes the mind-bending clash of ROM versus MAJOR BLUDD and the OKTOBER GUARD to bring this unlikely team together… and the secret they learn threatens to unravel the entire universe.

FC • 32 pages + mini-comic • $4.99

REVOLUTIONARIES #1—Subscription Variant

John Barber (w) • Fico Ossio (a) • Tone Rodriguez (c)

FC • 32 pages + mini-comic • $4.99

REVOLUTIONARIES #1—Fico Ossio Variant

John Barber (w) • Fico Ossio (a) • Fico Ossio (c)

FC • 32 pages + mini-comic • $4.99

REVOLUTIONARIES #1—Blank Sketch Variant

John Barber (w) • Fico Ossio (a) • Blank Sketch (c)

FC • 32 pages + mini-comic • $4.99

REVOLUTIONARIES #1—Andrew Griffith Variant

Cullen Bunn & John Barber (w) • Fico Ossio (a) • Andrew Griffith (c)

FC • 32 pages + mini-comic • $4.99

Bullet points:

  • Exclusive bound-in Savage mini-comic reprinting a lost tale written and drawn by the late, great Joe Kubert himself!
  • Written by one part of the powerhouse creative team that brought you the mega-event, Revolution!
  • New tales that continue the storyline of the hit Revolution comic-book event and featuring the same amazing creative team!
  • Illustrated by Revolution artist, burgeoning superstar Fico Ossio!
  • The secrets of the Hasbro universe will be revealed. If you follow one new book this month, make it Revolutionaries!
  • Variant covers by Sara Pitre-Durocher, Sonny Liew, and Paul Pope!

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G.I. JOE #1—SPOTLIGHT

Aubrey Sitterson (w) • Giannis Milonogiannis (a) • Ariel Olivetti (c)

G.I. JOE IS BACK! In the wake of IDW’s Revolution crossover event, G.I. JOE’s mission has become a global one–they aren’t just Real American Heroes, they’re Real Earth Heroes. Get ready for an explosive, innovative take on Joe, as writer Aubrey Sitterson (Street Fighter x G.I. Joe) and artist Giannis Milonogiannis (Prophet, Old City Blues) bring you the crown jewel of the Hasbro Universe: lasers, intense sci-fi action, and the return of Scarlett, Roadblock, Snake Eyes and more!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

G.I. JOE #1—Subscription Variant

Aubrey Sitterson (w) • Giannis Milonogiannis (a) • Aaron Conley (c)

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

G.I. JOE #1—Andrew Griffith Variant

Aubrey Sitterson (w) • Giannis Milonogiannis (a) • Andrew Griffith (c)

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

G.I. JOE #1—Blank Sketch Variant

Aubrey Sitterson (w) • Giannis Milonogiannis (a) • Blank sketch (c)

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Bullet points:

  • Spinning directly out of the events of IDW’s Revolution event!
  • Writer Aubrey Sitterson brings his unique take on the G.I. JOE characters and mythos!
  • Featuring stunning, updated character designs by series artist Giannis Milonogiannis!
  • With an explosive cover by international superstar artist Ariel Olivetti (Venom: Space Knight)!
  • Variant covers by Sara Pitre-Durocher, Sonny Liew, and Paul Pope!

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G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero #235: Snake In The Grass, Part 6

Larry Hama (w) • S L Gallant (a & c)

COBRA prepares for its next strike against G.I. JOE, and this time, the Real American Heroes won’t see it coming!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero #235: Snake In The Grass, Part 6—Subscription Variant

Larry Hama (w) • S L Gallant (a) • John Royle (c)

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

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G.I. JOE: The IDW Collection, Vol. 7

Chuck Dixon, Mike Costa (w) • Javier Saltares, Wil Rosado, Alberto Muriel, Casey Maloney, Werther Dell’Edera, Antonio Fuso (a) • Adam Gorham (c)

The Cobra Civil War is raging and G.I. JOE is caught dead in their sites as the battle for control pits the most powerful members of Cobra against each other, but only one will emerge as the new leader! Collects G.I JOE Season 2 issues #5–8, Cobra #5–8, and Snake Eyes #5–8.

HC • FC • $49.99 • 292 pages • 7” x 11” • ISBN: 978-1-63140-799-4

Bullet points:

  • COBRA’s newest leader is revealed!

Offered Again!

G.I. JOE: The IDW Collection, Vol. 1 • FC • $49.99 • ISBN: 978-1-61377-549-3

G.I. JOE: The IDW Collection, Vol. 2 • FC • $49.99 • ISBN: 978-1-61377-655-1

G.I. JOE: The IDW Collection, Vol. 3 • FC • $49.99 • ISBN: 978-1-61377-793-0

G.I. JOE: The IDW Collection, Vol. 4 • FC • $49.99 • ISBN: 978-1-61377-931-6

G.I. JOE: The IDW Collection, Vol. 5 • FC • $49.99 • ISBN: 978-1-63140-103-9

G.I. JOE: The IDW Collection, Vol. 6 • FC • $49.99 • ISBN: 978-1-63140-533-4

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M.A.S.K.: Mobile Armored Strike Kommand #2

Brandon Easton (w) • Tony Vargas (a) • Tommy Lee Edwards (c)

M.A.S.K. vs. V.E.N.O.M. for the very first time! After being lured into a trap, Matt Trakker and the M.A.S.K. team must survive in order to stop Miles Mayhem from leaking their secret technology to terrorist cells around the world. Matt and Gloria Baker go undercover to infiltrate a black market weapons ring but what they discover will change Matt’s life forever!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

 

M.A.S.K.: Mobile Armored Strike Kommand #2—Subscription Variant

Brandon Easton (w) • Tony Vargas (a) • Dan Schoening (c)

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

 

M.A.S.K.: Mobile Armored Strike Kommand #2—Joe Suitor Variant

Brandon Easton (w) • Tony Vargas (a) • Joe Suitor (c)

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

 

Bullet points:

  • Special back-up material in every issue written by Tommy Lee Edwards!
  • Variant cover by Marcelo Ferriera!

Previews for IDW G.I. Joe: ARAH, Action Man, Revolution titles

Tomorrow looks to be a big new comic day for G.I. Joe fans and comic or toy fans in general!  Revolution kicks off with a bang, launching both Revolution #1 and Rom: Revolution #1.  Not only that, but Action Man #4 hits shelves and G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #232… and judging by the preview for RAH, there’s a shocking turn of events for one of our Joes!

Check out the full previews after the jump!

Action Man #4

John Barber (w) • Paolo Villanelli (a) • Chris Evenhuis (c)

X MARKS THE SPOT! Will ACTION MAN and his allies put aside their differences long enough to stop DOCTOR X and save the world? Or will the bad Doctor’s master plan tear apart young ACTION MAN’s career before it starts?

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Bullet points:

  • The new ACTION MAN’s first adventure comes to a soul-searing conclusion!
  • Leads into this month’s REVOLUTION event!
  • Variant cover by Andrew Currie!

G.I. JOE: A Real American Hero #232: Snake In The Grass, Part 3

Larry Hama (w) • S L Gallant (a & c)

COBRA continues the search for their rogue agent. And an operation gone wrong costs a G.I. JOE member the one person they care about the most…

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Revolution #1 (of 5)

Cullen Bunn & John Barber (w) • Fico Ossio (a) • Tradd Moore (c)

THE REVOLUTION BEGINS! Explosions rip across the Earth—and all signs of blame point to OPTIMUS PRIME and the TRANSFORMERS! G.I. JOE refuses to go quietly—and they assemble heroes big enough to stop the invaders! ACTION MAN and M.A.S.K. fight for humanity—but where do ROM and the MICRONAUTS stand? Celebrating more than a decade of stories by IDW and HASBRO, this unprecedented bi-weekly event draws everything together—and leaves nothing standing. The REVOLUTION is here—TAKE A STAND!

FC • 40 pages • $3.99

Bullet points:

  • A universe of characters is born through REVOLUTION!
  • Not a reboot! Not a relaunch!
  • The TRANSFORMERS forever changed!
  • The return of G.I. JOE!
  • The MICRONAUTS in our universe!
  • The DIRE WRAITHS with ORE-13!
  • And if that isn’t enough… introducing Miles Mayhem!
  • Written by the writers of MICRONAUTS and TRANSFORMERS!
  • Illustrated by burgeoning superstar Fico Ossio!
  • Epic-length kick-off story plus a whole host of back-up materials!

Rom: Revolution #1

Chris Ryall (w) • Ron Joseph (a) • Ashley Wood (c)

A REVOLUTION tie-in one-shot! ROM’s enemies, the DIRE WRAITHS have infiltrated G.I. JOE at the highest levels, clashed with the TRANSFORMERS over ORE-13, and now… stalk a lone stranger? Why would evil aliens bent on world domination terrorize one anonymous person? The answer is bigger and more sinister than you’d ever imagine!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Bullet points:

  • A REVOLUTION tie-in!
  • The DIRE WRAITHS’ plans stand revealed, with major implications for the ongoing ROM series!
  • The birth of a major new threat for ROM!
  • All that and a permanent change to ROM’s status quo, too!
  • Variant Ken Christiansen cover, part of a 13-part connected cover! Connects with all 13 Revolution issues and one-shots!

From the “this is news?” department… G.I. Joe 3 delayed, waiting for the Rock

With Byung Hun Lee out doing the interview circuit for his new film The Magnificent Seven, it’s natural that some questions would come up regarding his role in the G.I. Joe movie franchise.  Speaking with LRM, the Korean actor said that:

“…that there’s a possibility to do the third one, but I think they’re waiting for the actors’ schedules. They’re arranging the schedules for the actors, especially Dwayne Johnson.”

While it is nice to hear some talk of the next installment in the G.I. Joe film franchise, I don’t think it surprises anyone that they’re building the next installment around Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.  Already one of the most popular actors on the planet when he filmed G.I. Joe: Retaliation, somehow the onetime wrestler has skyrocketed even further, recently pulling down the honor of the highest paid actor in Hollywood.  If G.I. Joe has the inside track to leverage Johnson’s billing for a third film, they would be painfully stupid not to do so.

At this point that means a bit of a waiting game.  When you’re one of the most popular action heroes of the current moment, a wait list generally forms, and Johnson right now has a hell of a long one.

Now the real question is, how does this play into the whole Hasbro Cinematic Universe discussion?  We’ve heard rumor upon rumor that Hasbro is trying to develop something for 2018, would that something include Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson?  That would feel like a logical step to take, but at this point it remains to be seen whether that would be considered “G.I. Joe 3″ or something else entirely.

For many, many years a G.I. Joe film franchise was considered to be in development hell, and there was much rejoicing when it finally got the green light for 2009.  Two moderately successful films later, it almost feels like we’re back in that in-between area.  Hopefully news comes out in the next 12 – 18 months that changes this perception.

Stay tuned!

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New England G.I. Joe fans – Granite State ComicCon is almost here!

GraniteCon is coming to Manchester, New Hampshire September 17th – 18th and for any G.I. Joe fan, it promises to be an action-packed show!

Larry Hama will be in the house as will Adam Riches, Robert Atkins, Buzz Dixon, Tom Feister, Brian Shearer and many, many others will be there.

Jeff Kline, the executive producer of the G.I. Joe: Renegades animated series will be there as will tons of writers and artists.  Even Adrian Paul from the awesome Highlander television show.  This thing is gonna be a blast.

The folks from Boss Fight Studio will be selling at the show, and at 2:30pm on Sunday, yours truly will be hosting a fantastic panel entitled G.I. Joe: Drawing a Real American Hero and featuring Larry Hama, Adam Riches, Robert Atkins, Tom Feister, and Brian Shearer.

I’ll be on the floor all weekend and joined by fellow What’s on Joe Mind co-host Mike Irizarry (all the way from St. Louis!) and Full Force co-host Chris McLeod (from freaking England for crying out loud).  It’s going to be a GREAT time and I really hope I’ll see lots of eager G.I. Joe fans in attendance.

Check GraniteCon.com for the latest information on the show, and I’ll see you all next weekend!

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GeneralsJoes Reviews Figure Subscription Service Sneak Peek, Outback and Doc

It’s been a bit quiet in the G.I. Joe reviews section, but that changes today.  The final three Figure Subscription Service figures have been added to the G.I. Joe Collectors Club review page!

Check out the reviews below.

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Carla “Doc” Greer (Figure Subscription Service)

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The selection of Carla Greer for the FSS is all at once confusing, yet also makes perfect sense, especially as an entry into the 13th figure category.

From 2003 – 2004, Devils’ Due Publishing released an alternate universe G.I. Joe story entitled G.I. Joe: Reloaded which featured Duke as a COBRA double agent, Storm Shadow as a Yakuza looking guy in a white trenchcoat, and a version of Doc who was female rather than the Carl Greer we all knew and loved.  It was an interesting twist, and at the time was not a part of normal continuity.

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Fast forward to 2007 and the G.I. Joe Collectors Club released the “Tanks for the Memories” Convention set.  Within that boxed set, they brought forward the idea that Carla Greer existed in the main G.I. Joe continuity and had elected to join G.I. Joe after the death of her father, the original Doc.  It was an interesting way to tap into the Reloaded series and provided the G.I. Joe team with another much needed Medic.  For that reason, it does make sense for them to then bring that character forward into the modern format, and to their credit, they do it pretty well.

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She’s got a decent build, combining some Rise of COBRA era parts with some nice later generation 25th Anniversary parts, which makes for a good update to the 2007 original.  Her elbow articulation is a little restrictive, but she’s got a great look and manages to tie back some homages to the original Doc as well as her own original figure from seven years back.

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I believe her head sculpt is new, it isn’t one I immediately recognize, and while it’s not phenomenal, it’s always great to have a new addition to the library of female head sculpts, which are badly needed.

The figure’s paint deco is clearly inspired by both the vintage Doc and the 2007 update, with tan, brown, and white put together in a very nice combination.  This is a really solid figure, though not one I thought I desperately needed as part of my collection.

Accessories

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(Image used by permission from JoeBattleLines)

Carla “Doc” Greer borrows much of her gear from her father, including the bandolier with med kit and the flare launcher.  She also has the webgear from 50th Anniversary Lady Jaye and the hypodermic needle from Lifeline.  It’s a great selection of accessories that really adds some nice design aesthetics when it’s all put on the figure.  The darker webgear and lighter bandolier contrast quite nicely with the tan uniform underneath adding some much needed flair.

Note – I somehow misplaced the hypodermic that was supposed to come with Doc, so Fred from JoeBattleLines very kindly allowed me to use some of his images for this review.  Thanks, Fred!

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(Image used by permission from JoeBattleLines)

 

I wouldn’t have picked Doc as a necessary figure in the FSS even if you gave me 100 choices, but the execution is decent.  She makes sense as a 13th figure, one that has some great collectible elements, but not one that’s eminently desirable, and balances the execution of the figure quite nicely.  Not bad.

Tiger Force Outback (Figure Subscription Service)

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Along with the different Action Force focused characters released as European exclusives, one of the more famous and popular branch of UK and Europe released figures were their Tiger Force themed versions.  Outside the United States, the Tiger Force color pallet went a decidedly different direction, using oranges, blues, browns and greens rather than the more familiar yellows and blacks.  Looking back on it, the orange and brown specifically makes a bit more sense given the whole Tiger Force motif, though the domestic released figures appeared to be paying homage to some real world military themes.

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One of the most familiar of these repaints was Tiger Force Outback, who actually developed a whole new t-shirt deco featuring a great looking cat face that has really drawn lots of collector interest over the past several years.  It makes sense for the Collectors Club to want to dip into this area of collector desires.

What’s really interesting about how the Collectors Club handled this was that they actually wrote Outback into this look and feel throughout their monthly comic.  Making Outback a part of the Zombie Invasion convention set, they had him infected by Compound Z, and while he ultimately recovered, it ended up coloring his hair white (as the foreign version had white hair and a beard as well).  Once that revelation appeared in the convention comic, it was pretty clear that this figure was in the works.  So now that we have it, how does it measure up?

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It measures up… pretty well, I suppose.

I love the concept, and I love that they revisited the UK Tiger Force Outback in a modern format, I just wish they had taken a few more chances with the build.  I love the new head sculpt, it’s a great likeness and quite a bit better than the head we got for the 25th Anniversary.  It’s fantastic, actually.

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The torso is the same torso we got with the 25th Anniversary version, as are the legs, both of which are kind of a shame.  I understand why the Club went that route, mostly for the leg-mounted flashlight and the tie back to the original, but at this point, parts developed in 2007 – 2008 look pretty out of date next to more modern sculpted figures.  Not only that, but the COBRA Trooper legs tend to look bow-legged.  The knee pin on my figure is actually barely holding together, which might color my opinion a little bit too much, but still, looking at Outback’s legs compared to legs sculpted and developed post 2010 is a pretty stark reminder of how far things have come.  Thankfully, however, the Club does change out his arms with the more modern 30th Anniversary style short sleeves, which is a change that is very much appreciated, adding some better articulation and range of motion over the old school 25th Anniversary arms.

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What the figure does excel at, however, is the deco.  The cat face shirt pattern looks terrific, and the color matching of the figure is pretty spot on.  He’s a vibrant, interesting looking entry into the FSS, I just wish they hadn’t been quite so faithful to the outdated original with their parts choices.

Accessories

 

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Tiger Force Outback comes with a different sort of webgear that is actually cool, because he can wear it around his shoulders without covering up the awesome cat face.  He has a machine gun, large backpack and knife (again with the 25th Anniversary accessories, though.  It looks woefully out of scale and out of date compared to newer items).

The accessories are pretty good and work well for the character, though don’t provide anything especially revolutionary.

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Ever since his escape from Borovia, Outback has been one of my top tier characters in the Real American Hero mythos.  He’s gotten a surprising amount of love throughout the modern era, but none of them have been quite perfect.  The Tiger Force version improves most with a vastly improved head sculpt and great shirt deco, but the outdated build once again reduces the “wow” factor that the vintage figure provided.

Tiger Force Sneak Peek (Figure Subscription Service)

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Like with Tiger Force Outback, the G.I. Joe Collectors Club looked overseas for an idea on the deco for this particular figure, and I’m really glad they did.  In a way, I’ve always preferred the look of the European Tiger Force exclusives over much of the domestic releases (and really loved the aesthetic of the Toys “R” Us set, which mimiced some of that look) and it’s cool to see those decos represented here, even if they don’t really closely match some of the domestic figures.

I found myself especially excited for Sneak Peek considering his recent (well, somewhat recent) run in the IDW G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero comic, which had him coming back from the dead as a top secret undercover operative.  Interestingly that storyline tied into a story bringing Darklon back as well, and now both of those characters are appearing in more familiar paint schemes in FSS 5.

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Keeping our minds on Tiger Force Sneak Peek, the build is pretty straight forward, looking like more or less the Pursuit of COBRA Shock Trooper from neck to foot.  While not unexpected, this kind of default build can get a little tiring after a while, especially when it sidesteps some of Sneak Peek’s more identifiable traits like his rolled up sleeves and knee-high boots.  I know, I know, I consistently complain about dovetailing too closely to the vintage look, but in the case of Sneak Peek, it feels like they ignored some of the unique aspects that make him different, instead just giving us more of the same with the Poc Shock Trooper.  I’m curious to know if their access to tooling libraries is getting more restrictive, as we’re starting to see more and more figures sharing more and more of the same parts.

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Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with the Shock Trooper parts, they have great sculpting and impressive articulation, and look suitably military, but I’m hoping they’re not becoming a crutch and restricting creativity, especially when parts do exist.  Sci-Fi’s legs and 50th Anniversary Flint’s arms could both work for a Sneak Peek formula.  Perhaps there were restrictions I’m not aware of, though.

Thankfully they appear to be under no restrictions with the color pallet, though, and do a great job with the orange and blue that’s become a trademark of the European Tiger Force clan.  The look is great from that perspective, and I love the colorful nature of Sneak Peek.  He’s a great looking figure in spite of the somewhat generic build.

Accessories

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Sneak Peek comes pretty well loaded with accessories.  He’s got a removable helmet and Scrap Iron’s vest, along a newly sculpted and tooled periscope which looks pretty fantastic.  He has his trusty M-16, binoculars, and a field radio, all of which mesh nicely with his specialty.  It’s a pretty awesome selection of some great accessories that make the figure really pop.

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As a character, Sneak Peek never did a whole lot for me until Hama inadvertently brought him back from the dead and added some more intriguing twists to the character.  Since then, I’ve become much more of a Sneak Peek fan (even if it was a pseudo retcon on Hama’s part) and I’m glad to see him represented here as well as in the upcoming FSS 5.  Plus, it’s about time we started filling out more of the 1987 roster, which was one of the more unique series in the line’s history.

Although the parts chosen here feel a little bit phoned in, the deco is great and they gave him a ton of awesome gear, so the end result is better than I might have suspected.  A good note to end FSS 4 on.