Review for G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #217

Although technically we’ve moved on from the Death of Snake Eyes arc, with this new arc being entitled COBRA Rising, the threads of Snake Eyes’ demise are still fully entwined throughout this second installment.

It makes for a surprisingly poignant next step in the Marvel G.I. Joe history where we’re looking towards the future, but still paying fond remembrance to the past.  All while another silent, disfigured guy in a Snake Eyes uniform is milling around.  Kinda odd, but in a way, it fits that “death of a major comic character” template we’ve grown so used to over the past several years.

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ComicCon Exclusive Slaughter Marauders vs. Iron Grenadiers Review

As strange as it may sound coming from an adult collector, one of the biggest disappointments from a G.I. Joe perspective I’ve experienced this year is the apparent end of a mainstream Kre-O toyline. After clearancing the majority of their stock, it appears as if Toys “R” Us has gotten out of the G.I. Joe Kre-O game, relegating us to convention exclusives.

That’s not a bad thing, and I really enjoyed the G.I. Joe Convention Kre-O set, but man, after getting that Terror Drome, Firebat and other great items, I can’t help but at least slightly lament the loss of a higher profile Kre-O presence.

This ComicCon exclusive set does two things… it satisfies me greatly, yet also gives the knife a little bit of a twist. It’s a terrific set that I love whole heartedly, but also puts a big magnifying glass on the bare shelves where G.I. Joe Kre-O used to be at Toys “R” Us.

The theme of this ComicCon exclusive set is spectacular. With a box designed like the classic VHS Boxed sets of old, each individual “video tape” pulls out into an individual component. One tape is the Iron Grenadier figure set, one tape is the Marauders figure set, and the third tape is the Triple T tank. Magnificent. The animated Kre-O themed artwork across the box and the inner tapes pulls me back to the FHE days where I’d go to my local video store and rent the “Revenge of Cobra” mini series back in the day…and the artwork is very reminiscent of the DiC series box art, too, especially with the Slaughter’s Marauders. Fantastic presentation with the box and artwork for sure.

Slaughter’s Marauders

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I think I share most folks’ surprise in seeing that Hasbro was once again able to get license to Sgt. Slaughter’s character, even if it was just in Kre-O form.

Slaughter himself is a great looking figure, using the typically fantastic Hasbro design aesthetics. Kre-O designers seem imminently capable of focusing on some very key elements of the characters and translating them perfectly to toy form.

Footloose is another great looking Marauders update with just the right touches of green, brown, and blue, as well as a neat assembled RPG and machine gun.

Low Light has his familiar Marauder paint scheme along with a great sniper rifle and Uzi to call back to the vintage version that had the same equipment. It’s neat comparing these versions to their classic originals in the Kre-O line and see what was changed.

Using a gas mask, night stick, and submachine gun, Hasbro gives us a good looking Mutt in the updated Marauder paint scheme, again a nice separation from the classic version that already appeared in the Kre-O line. Just a note – Junkyard is bagged in with the Triple T, so if you don’t see him in the action figure package, look in the Triple T box, he should be in there.

Unlike some others, Spirit never actually received a classic Kre-O version yet, something that didn’t occur to me until I was doing this review. Spirit is the consumate Sunbow character that would have made perfect sense to have done in Kre-O form, and represents just one more reason why I hope to see Kre-O continue in some form somewhere down the line. We need a classic Spirit!

Lastly we have Marauder Barbecue who comes with a great flip up Barbecue mask and fire extinguisher, along with his handy battle axe. Like the others, he has a great Marauder paint scheme that’s very evocative of the figure, and awesomely colorful.

Iron Grenadiers

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On the enemy side of things we get the Iron Grenadiers, which serves as a great tie-in to the Convention Set this year, which also contained some key members of the IG crew.

Destro leads the team in his Pimp Daddy Destro deco, another ComicCon throwback, which is a great touch. The leopard print collar and red cape are both so tacky and fantastic.

Voltar is second in command looking great in his pink and gold uniform, with an awesome helmet (even though the eyepiece is on the wrong side), a great weapon, and even his trusty vulture.

Darklon is far and away my favorite figure in this set, with great chainmail deco, an awesome sinister face, his gatling dart gun and all the trappings of Destro’s cousin.

Taking a closer look at the three Iron Grenadiers as well, some things become apparent. First of all, one of them is an officer while two of them are troopers. The officer’s Kre-O deco is actually themed like the modern Iron Grenadier update (using the Battle Armor Cobra Commander body) while the two Troopers are the vintage design with the more familiar clasping buttons. All three figures have red bandanas, but if you remove them, you see the classic Grenadier visage glaring out from behind. As an unabashed Iron Grenadier fan, I love these three troopers and they compliment the rest of the set perfectly.

Also, using a Kre-O Grunt head and a random red beret I found kicking around, the Iron Grenadier Officer quickly becomes a nice looking Sgt. Major.


Sgt. Slaughter’s TTT


Just looking at the figures themselves this set would already be a sure fire winner in my opinion, but Hasbro took it one step further and didn’t just give us 12 great looking Kre-Ons, but they also gave us a full blown ready-to-build Triple T tank!

Like many of the Kre-O items we’ve seen, the Triple T really made its mark in the Sunbow cartoon especially when Slaughter made his dramatic entrace, leaping from the oddly shaped white tank and single-handedly dispatching with a few dozen Battle Android Troopers. To be honest, in its toy form, the Triple T never did much for me, but as has happened in the past a vehicle I might not have cared much for gets whole new life as a Kre-O set. No matter how many times I’ve put these sets together, it always amazes me that I can dump out a pile of random bricks, and moments later, an actual physical form begins to take shape, eventually resulting in a vehicle that actually resembles something that I know. Early Kre-O efforts were mixed, giving us vehicles that bore only the most passing resemblance to their vintage counterparts, but recently, things have gotten much better, and the Triple T is a perfect example of that.

This is a very unique looking vehicle from G.I. Joe history, and the fact that this Kre-O build represents it so accurately is simply amazing. Using a majority of white bricks, with a healthy mix of green and brown, the TTT is an amazing feat of brick engineering that completely lives up to my expectations for these Kre-O sets. From the size and shape to the “fit” with this year’s theme and the vintage resemblance, I may actually like the Kre-O TTT even more than the regular vintage one. It wasn’t a really complex build, and as always, I find myself incredibly amused with how small these items end up, but it was a lot of fun, and the final result is 100% worth it.

From the packaging to the Kre-On mini figures, all the way to the TTT vehicle, this set is simply amazing. A truly enjoyable and yes FUN addition to the already impressive Kre-O library. I thoroughly enjoyed this set while at the same time it made me lament the sparse offerings of Kre-O going forward.

GeneralsJoes Reviews G.I. Joe: ARAH #214

With the gut wrenching events of last month’s G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero issue, you know there has to be some kind of follow up.

And a follow up there is.  Check out the full review for G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #214 below, and if you want to check out my review for G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #213 to prepare yourself, click here.

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GeneralsJoes Reviews G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #213

So, here we are…in case it wasn’t evident by the image of the grim

reaper on the cover, this is where it happens. Where the “Death of
Snake Eyes” comes to a head.

Spoiler territory in this review, so be prepared.

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GeneralsJoes Reviews G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #212

This exciting new installment in the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero mythos has kicked off in impressive fashion.

Check out my full review below!

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GeneralsJoes Reviews G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #211

The latest issue of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero hit comic shelves yesterday, and as we’ve come to expect, it’s full of action and a lot of fun art by the incomparable SL Gallant.

Larry continues to craft an action-packed story, though I have to admit…  I’m wondering where we’re going here.

Click the Continue Reading link to read the full review.

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GeneralsJoes Reviews Snake Eyes: Agent of Cobra #2

Yes, I know I’m running a bit more than a week behind, but I feel so strongly about  Costa’s new G.I. Joe story that I wanted to get a review posted anyway.  If G.I. Joe fans aren’t paying attention to this book, you’re doing yourself a real disservice.  Even folks who are not huge fans of Snake Eyes (like me) should crack open these pages and soak them in.

Click the Continue Reading link below for the full review.

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GeneralsJoes Reviews G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #210

It’s been a great couple of weeks for G.I. Joe comics!  Last week we were treated to the first issue of Costa’s excellent Snake Eyes: Agent of Cobra, and this week Serpentor makes his abrupt return in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.  Combine all this with Karen Traviss’ great work of political intrigue in the main series, and Tom Scioli’s certifiably insane Transformers/G.I. Joe amalgamation, and there’s truly something for everyone.

Check out my review of the latest ARAH issue after the break!

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GeneralsJoes Reviews Snake Eyes: Agent of Cobra #1

A new year and another new take on the G.I. Joe universe from IDW.  This issue takes the character of Snake Eyes and puts a twist on him, ripping him from the side of the angels and placing him in league with Destro and Cobra.

But are Destro and Cobra even on the same page, or will the ex G.I. Joe Commando be stuck in a twisted terrorist triangle?

Check out the review of the first issue after the jump…you might be surprised at how I felt.

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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.


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.