Ever since the majesty of Medusa was first revealed, G.I. Joe fans everywhere have been dreaming of a male figure build with the snake tail for…well, for reasons. With their seventh wave of Vitruvian HACKS figures, Boss Fight Studio has delivered, and what’s especially nice is that they’ve delivered a pretty damn cool action figure in its own right to boot.
Ever since first reading the biographies for Eurayle and her Disciples I became extremely interested in that element of the Gorgon universe. Devoted human soldiers under the hypnotic trance of one of the Gorgon sisters seemed like a really intriguing twist on the infamous Medusa mythology. With very cool pale green skin tones and some great weapons, I ended up buying a few of the Disciples and love where that story is going (especially with Achilles’ release in Wave 6). The fact that Boss Fight Studio bumped up production of their male lower-torso (initially slated for release with the Naga Serpent in their Fantasy series) to work it into a Series 1 release is really awesome from a fan point of view.
The Berzerker Disciple Gorgon is a figure that works exceedingly well in many different ways. The various shades of green throughout the figure compliment each other flawlessly and put together a strikingly beautiful look. Familiar light “Disciple” green along the belly, embraced by a much darker, vibrant green at the edges makes for one heck of a nice looking Gorgon. He’s got the bald Blank head with a two-toned green deco that further emphasizes his “berzerker” nature.
I’m happy to see that the articulated snake tail works to perfection with this new male lower torso and the entire figure feels like it was designed this way from the beginning, from head to toe…err… tail. Construction, deco, and character concept are all terrific.
The Berzerker Disciple Gorgon doesn’t come with a ton of weapons, but what he does come with makes for a fascinating combination. He has two separate sheaths, which ends up in a great cross-strap look across his bare chest (he doesn’t come with armor) and the darkened Gorgon skull helmet sets it all off nicely. He comes with two short swords dipped in venom and looks like an excellent fast attack, lethal trooper. I really like what he’s got.
To say I was excited when Boss Fight announced the early release of the Berzerker would be a wild understatement. One might say I went “berzerk”. He’s a fun, intriguing figure with some unusual accessories and for the first time since Wave 4, a newly tooled part included (with the lower torso). Great, GREAT figure and a nice compliment to my already growing horde of Gorgon villains.
Somehow this slipped past my radar in recent days, but there is another awesome looking Eagle Force Trading Card Kickstarter project going full steam ahead, and it’s revealing some fantastic updates to upcoming Eagle Force and Monster Force projects!
Check out the Kickstarter right here and help unlock some stretch goals. Funding has been met already, but there’s plenty of more to still be unlocked. It’s a great looking project, and I’m always interested in some new Eagle Force/Monster Force intel.
So anyone who has been dialed into the status of the Eagle Force Kickstarter has no doubt started seeing some hints and clues scattered around for a mysterious new project called “Monster Force”…
What the heck is this? Very good question. Bill Murphy from Fresh Monkey Fiction was kind enough to talk to me a little bit about what we can expect from this mysterious new endeavor…
GeneralsJoes: So Monster Force is still a ways off by the looks, with a date of 2018. What can you tell us about the background of this idea?
Fresh Monkey Fiction: Craig at Remco and I were bouncing ideas around and we started talking classic monsters. Craig and I are huge classic monster fans and we wanted to figure out a way to produce some sort of monster figures. I was out to dinner with my writing partner Sean Rourke working on our next Pendragon book and mentioned it to him. He ran with the idea and thought why not connect monsters to Eagle Force and Midnightmen our WWII comic. We had already folded the Midnightmen into the Eagle Force universe with Ultima Thule, so it seemed like a perfect fit. We’ll feature General Brown and Mr. Legacy as our cross over characters.
GeneralsJoes: Will the “Monsters” in Monster Force be familiar creature characters or more generic beasts?
Fresh Monkey Fiction: They will be our unique spin on classic monsters. If you’ve seen the Monster Force Egyptian Amulet logo (which is a homage to a classic 80’s monster movie) you’ll get an idea of a few of monsters we’re thinking about.
GeneralsJoes: It certainly looks like the Monster Force logo and Eagle Force logo share similar characteristics. Will Monster Force be an Eagle Force “tie in” of sorts?
Fresh Monkey Fiction: Yes, it’ll tie in to Eagle Force for sure. General Brown is our main cross over character to the world of Eagle Force, but you’ll see a couple other Eagle Force/R.I.O.T. characters in the mix as well. A fan demanded R.I.O.T character, from the vintage line, will make his figure debut in Monster Force.
GeneralsJoes: If it does tie-in to Eagle Force, is it an “alternative universe” storyline or part of the main Eagle Force vs. R.I.O.T. story?
Fresh Monkey Fiction: Well it’s not an “alternative universe” story, it takes place in the same world as Eagle Force, but these monsters pose a much different threat than R.I.O.T., so General Brown forms a new team to deal with them. We’ll reveal more details later this summer and we hope to launch the line in early 2018.
Big thanks to Bill for talking through this a little bit, hopefully you all join me in my excitement for whatever is to come from Monster Force! It sounds pretty great! Keep watching the Eagle Force Returns Facebook Page for the latest info!
First and foremost, a HUGE thanks to Josh over at YoJoe who has been doing spectacular work with their comic archive, tying the IDW Universe together, even as G.I. Joe has been criss-crossing continuity with other Hasbro properties. He’s managed to make it easy to follow and make sense, and with the latest reveal of Marissa Fairborne, he goes above and beyond! He’s written a terrific guest post for GeneralsJoes.com which you can read below. Again, big props to his loyal and devoted following to the ongoing IDW continuity and how this all ties back to history. Some really great stuff!
Big News in the GI Joe and Transformers world has just happened in the IDW comic Optimus Prime #3!
An event literally 30 years in making has finally been confirmed (In continuity).
Summaries of all of the different series can be read at YoJoe.com, so you can follow the stories.
Yes, its official, Marissa Faireborn of The Transformers Earth Defense Command is the daughter of GI Joe’s Flint. And they actually sit down together in a coffee shop and talk.
For 20 years it was only rumored that Marissa was related to Dashiell and the mother was a mystery. Outside of a DVD commentary, no cartoon, comic or other media has ever confirmed their relationship.
Now for the first time ever and within the IDW continuity, the Joe and Transformers worlds have been combined allowing a long time meeting between Flint and Marissa to happen.
Both GI Joe (not ARAH which is written by Larry Hama) and the Transformers along with Action Man, MASK, ROM and Micronauts are all included in the IDW continuity. The mini-series Revolution recently tied all of the Hasbro properties together into one universe.
But one mystery that has never been solved officially in any cannon is who is Marissa Faireborn’s mother?
Let’s dive into some Transformers and GI Joe history that got us to this huge reveal.
First, in 1985 Series Four of GI Joe A Real American Hero toys, a character named Flint aka Dashiell Faireborn was released. He actually premiered in GI Joe: the Revenge of Cobra cartoon episode #1 “In Cobra’s Pit” on Sept 10th 1984, he is voiced by actor Bill Ratner. Flint has been a leader of the Joe since his first arrival in toys, comics or cartoons. And in both the comics and cartoons his love interest is fellow GI Joe Lady Jaye aka Alison Hart-Burnett, who also was released in Series Four. Flint’s in continuity cartoon stories took place in the 1980s.
On September 16th, 1986 a new character named Marissa arrived in the second episode of the third season of the cartoon The Transformers. The title of the episode was called the “Five Faces of Darkness, Part 2”. Marissa Faireborn was part of the Earth Defense Command (EDC) that was helping and fighting the Transformers on Earth. In the timeline of the Transformers series continuity, Captain Faireborn was living in 2005.
At the time of Marissa’s premiere on the cartoon, GI Joe and Transformers had no official connection between the toy lines. This was the first hint of many crossovers to come in the 30 year history of Hasbro toys and the Faireborn family.
In The Transformers cartoon episode called “The Killing Jar” with had an airdate of Sept 29th, 1986. Disguised as a shuttle, the Transformers Quintesson ship docks with an EDC space station, and Marissa Faireborn is lured on board by an illusion of her father. Although not officially called Flint, this character is voiced by the same actor Bill Ratner who performed Flint in the regular GI Joe cartoon. “Flint’s” appearance in this episode has him with grey hair in his 60s, still active with the military and in good if not distant relations with Marissa, at least well enough for the projection to fool her.
Happening in another part of the Hasbro universe, released in January 1987 in Marvel comics, was a completely different kind of crossover between GI Joe and the Autobots. Writer Michael Higgins wrote an official in the ARAH continuity 4 issue mini-series called GI Joe and The Transformers. Now this mini-series does not contain nor reference Flint, Marissa or even the Earth Defense Command. But forever became official A Real American Hero cannon, whether the fans liked it or not.
Over in the United Kingdom, on August 8th, 1987 issue #125 of Marvel’s UK The Transformers is released with an original crossover story called Ancient Relics Part One. The rest of this story also appears in the Marvel UK Action Force comic #24 titled Ancient Relics Part Two, #25 is Part Three, #26 Part Four, #27 is Part Five. Flint is the leader of Action Force in the UK, when in the London underground a Transformer is discovered and it’s Megatron. Autobots Wheeljack, Grimlock and Blades all fight with Flint and his Action Force team against Megatron. Additionally, the Ancient Relics storyline was reprinted in 5 parts in the UK’s Action Force Monthly (Issues #1-6) in 1988 which in America is called European Missions (Issues #1-6) as in 1988. It has always been debatable whether European Mission is officially part of the ARAH continuity. But either way it is still an original story that crosses over Flint with The Transformers, presumably before Marissa was even born.
6 years later in 1993, The Transformers appear within the GI Joe A Real American Hero comic starting with issue #139 until #142. Now this is officially within the ARAH continuity. Megatron shows up and partners with Cobra Commander and of course the Joes fight them. At the conclusion of #142, Marvel’s The Transformers Generation 2 becomes a spin off comic book series starting with #1. The GI Joe’s only appear in 3 issues of the series and Flint appears in Transformers Generation 2 #6.
Since GI Joe and Transformers first official crossed over they have since crossed over in comics numerous times with several different publishers since 1993. Generally, each of these is their own continuity and the publisher’s were Devil’s Due Publishing, Dreamwave and IDW. The Dreamwave Transformers GI Joe series has the Joes fighting in World War II against The Transformers. This series introduces Nathaniel Faireborn who is Flint’s father and Marissa’s grandfather. In the Devil’s Due crossover series Flint actually goes to Cybertron. In Dreamwave’s G1 Transformers series Marissa now holding the rank of Commander, rather than Captain, portrayed as a member of the EDC, which in the Dreamwave continuity clandestinely handles terrestrial/extraterrestrial encounters. Following the Transformers’ return to activity on Earth early 21st century, The Transformers plans were stopped, but Marissa’s superior officer did not share her fondness for the Transformers. Dreamwave’s bankruptcy and subsequent closure left remaining stories of Marissa Faireborn untold.
Marissa was a key character in US the Transformers cartoon series but never appeared in a Marvel comic in the 1980s. In the 1990s in a comic in Japanese, Manga style, that was never released in America and connected to a radio series, this is called KISS Players. Marissa as a child in the 1990s, lived in New York, where she met and became friends with Shaoshao Li, who developed an extremely strong attachment to her. The young Marissa resented her military father, so when one of his missions went awry and she and her father had to be rescued by Optimus Prime, she quickly came to view the Autobot leader as a surrogate father figure… and perhaps a little bit more.
Ok, so that covers comics and cartoon references between Flint and the Joes and Marissa and the Transformers. In recent years the toys have started to crossover Joes and Transformers and the Transformers and GI Joe Collector’s Club in 2015 released a Marissa Faireborn toy, see the GeneralsJoes toy review.
But who is Marissa’s mother.
Fans speculated for two decades that the character Marissa Faireborn in Transformers is his daughter, since they both share the same last name. The writers of both shows remained coy whether Marissa Faireborn was actually Flint and Lady Jaye’s daughter or not. However, cast notes for “The Killing Jar” refer to Marissa’s father as being “a 60-year-old Flint”. The mystery was finally solved on November 7, 2006, with the 20th anniversary DVD release of The Transformers: The Movie. On an interview on the DVD, Flint Dille, story editor for Transformers, confirmed that Marissa Faireborn is indeed Flint and Lady Jaye’s daughter. This would subsequently make Marissa a distant relative of Destro as well. However, in an interview with G. I. Joe fansite Joe Headquarters, Dille added the caveat that “I’ve always thought of Flint as being too young to have a daughter that old.”
And now you know and knowing is half the battle. But we don’t know who Marissa’s mother is within the IDW continuity. Stay tuned.
Throughout the Vitruvian HACKS toy line to date there’s been a healthy helping of influence from the Greek Gods, and the Helios Warrior is no exception. Helios is a titan, (which I believe is actually an elder to a God) and is the physical manifestation of the sun in Greek Mythology. Like several of Hades operatives that have already been released, the Helios Warrior serves the will of the titan against the Gorgon Horde.
Purely from a design perspective, the Helios Warrior is simply beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous. One of the few unsung aspects of the HACKS line has been their use of translucent plastics throughout different figures, and it is used to perfection here. The base color of the figure isn’t like the existing Transparent Orange, it’s much brighter, and is offset beautifully by the metallic red shine of the Spartan armor. These two colors combined together really produce a fantastic “flame warrior” effect that works in concert together and provides a terrific supernatural vibe.
I know there has been some hypothesis that the base figure for the Helios Warrior is little more than a Translucent Orange Blank, but I will tell you that this is definitely not the case. The Helios Warrior is a very vibrant, almost clear gold figure that looks starkly and amazingly different than the standard clear orange blank, something that is clearly evident when looking at them side by side. The Helios Warrior is on your left below:
Along with the excellent combination of light translucent and metallic red, the phoenix deco on the armor is fantastic as well, adding some real spirit to the figure. Intricately painted flame wings and the upturned beak look really, really nice, with a great concept and even better execution.
For the most part we’re not seeing a whole lot of new excitement when it comes to Wave 6 accessories, since they’ve all been released several times already. However, looking at the Helios Warrior accessories I see a ton of vibrant color combinations that truly bring this gear to life. Red handles and orange blades, not to mention the Phoenix tampo on the shield all add some real awesome spark to these existing accessories. The yellow trim on the red leg armor is fantastic as well and only goes to further accentuate the “fire” elements of this figure. The red isn’t merely “red”, it’s got a spectacularly rich finish with a great shine to it, the very definition of “candy apple” red you’d be more likely to see on a fancy sports car than an action figure, but it works to perfection.
Ever since we got our first glimpse of the Helios Warrior I was looking forward to getting this one in hand. The Undead Warrior is already one of my all time favorite figures, mostly due to his transparent deco, and the Helios Warrior now joins him in this fantastic supernatural cadre coming in to do battle amidst the Spartans and Gorgons. I’m really looking forward to seeing the Eos Warrior as well in Wave 7, and I think they’ll both make fantastic compliments to each other. Great stuff!
The Myrmidon Warrior was a figure whose backstory I knew nothing about when it was first released in the initial Vitruvian HACKS Kickstarter. I’d heard of the Athenians, the Spartans, etc… but for whatever reason the Myrmidons was a group I was unfamiliar with. I did some quick research leading up to reviewing the figure and was quite pleasantly surprised to see them affiliated with one of my favorite Greek Mythology heroes, Achilles.
When it was revealed that Wave 6 would include not only Achilles himself, but also the Myrmex Warriors, another evolution of his mercenary team, I was extremely excited. According to mythology, many of the Myrmidon Warriors were created from armies of ants, and they seem to be taking this concept close to home with the Myrmex Warrior who is quite obviously patterned with those ants in mind.
The base figure itself comes with one of the short haired Blank heads which is great, and of course the Myrmidon Warrior armor (chest and legs) for obvious reasons. What I love most about the figure is the deco, with a healthy amount of red, complimented by brown and gold trim, which ties him in nicely with Achilles himself and with the rest of the Myrmidon crew.
Articulation and paint is fantastic as we’ve come to expect with the Vitruvian HACKS figures, and while I’m not sure the Myrmex Warrior is a hole I felt needed to be filled, I do find this figure it be a fun addition to the steadily growing human legions.
The Myrmex Warrior comes with a basic accessory compliment, including the Myrmidon themed armor pieces I mentioned above, a short sword with sheath, a spear, and the shield with a really nice ant tampo. It’s fine, though nothing exceptional and not a whole lot that you can’t necessarily find elsewhere with other figures. Like all of the shields from Wave 5.5 on, the handle has been extended slightly to allow for an easier grasp with male hands.
This figure is nice. He does somewhat get lost in the shuffle with three other far superior aesthetic figures in this wave, but he’s a welcome addition to the ever growing Achilles division, and I’m glad to have him.
Ever since we first read the Odyssey as a class in fifth grade I had some fascination with the characters from Greek Mythology, especially as it pertained to characters with greater than human abilities. After all, I was a comic book fanatic back then as well, so the idea that a character like Achilles who was more or less described as a super hero really appealed to me. When Boss Fight Studio released the Myrmidon Warrior in their first series, it was clear that they at least had Achilles in their viewfinder. Once Penthesilea was released, Achilles’ character grew even more fleshed out, and here, in Wave 6 we finally get our hands on him as his own figure.
He does not disappoint.
The basic figure buck is obviously the same one we’ve seen numerous times at this point with great construction, sculpting and articulation. His head sculpt is the same short haired head we get with the Blanks, but in full deco you can barely tell the reuse.
One awesome aspect of the figure, too, is that he also comes with the bald head from the blanks as well as a swappable right foot so Achilles can also serve as another sort of Myrmidon Warrior to help further his personal army and also help get some great mileage out of this figure. I know I have plans to buy more of these figures to now use as troopers.
Speaking of the right foot, the silver foot was included to show Achilles’ wearing some kind of protective armor, since that’s the most vulnerable part of his body, and it’s a neat look, certainly separates him from the crowd in some good ways.
The overall look of this figure is excellent. Using the Myrmidon torso and leg armor ties him in with his troops, and the deco here is spectacular with some very nice golden trim, it really helps blend Achilles with his army, but also sets him apart. The brown color of the armor is very leather-looking, but a slightly different shade than some others, showcasing the awesome ability of the Boss Fight folks to choose just the right color tone for these figures.
I really enjoy Achilles’ accessory assortment. As I mentioned previously, the armor looks great with the dark brown and gold trim, and the deco on his shield is astoundingly great at such a small scale. His helmet, spear, sword and scabbard have great paint applications that blend with the rest of the armor nicely, and I’m always a fan of the throwing axes. Black and gold handles with silver axe blades are great combinations of colors and finish of this compliment of accessories to perfection. What really strikes me about all of these parts is the vibrant colors. The silvers are just stark and bright and amazingly well chosen.
The shield certainly deserves some attention. It’s an amazing array of symbols very closely based on Achilles’ legendary shield. Obviously on a smaller scale not quite all of the different layers can be applied, but I think Boss Fight did a spectacular job approximating the overall look and feel of this piece of epic equipment for one of Greek Mythology’s most iconic warriors.
A terrific character which builds on the existing Vitruvian HACKS mythology while also bringing some new elements to the table is something I will always embrace enthusiastically, especially a key character like Achilles. Add to that the inclusion of spare parts to turn the character into a trooper, excellent adjusted paint deco and a great accessory compliment, and you have one heck of a great figure for Wave 6.
The evolution of the skeleton figure in the Vitruvian HACKS toyline has been pretty impressive, and this Warrior Skeleton is only more proof of the amazing sculpting and production values of those figures.
Initially part of their wildly successful Kickstarter, the Skeletons were seen as add on items that could compliment the already impressive hordes of humans and Gorgons, but as time went on, they got wrapped into the story a bit more fully, especially starting with the Wave 5 Cursed Skeleton figure, which was the first to include the Skeleton as an actual base figure to build a packaged figure around.
Here we get the Warrior Skeleton which dials back the hyper-enchanted look a little bit and dives deeper into realism, but the end result is the same. The figure looks spectacular.
First and foremost, unlike any of the other skeletons to date, Boss Fight Studio went super realistic here, adding very nicely layered paint wipes to a white Skeleton base giving us a figure that looks a lot like a living, breathing Skeleton with worn bones as if it pulled itself right out of a freshly dug grave. The texture achieved with the added paint is fantastic and brings this figure to a whole new life (no pun intended).
Along with the excellent new deco on the Skeleton, we see Medusa’s arm armor in a very nice golden bronze paint finish alongside the Amazon skirt and the Myrmidon helmet, which sets the whole figure off nicely. The accessory color is so bright and clean that it just looks striking, an amazingly cool combination against the worn and hewn bones of the living skeleton wearing it.
The combination of armor and the intricately painted skeleton underneath is truly awesome and really portrays a sense of dead soldier come to life. As with all of the other Skeleton figures, I’m astounded by the level of articulation and sculpted detail within a figure that is so skinny, but Boss Fight managed to make a Skeleton that looks like a true 1:18 scale Skeleton and is still a very functional toy. It’s pretty amazing, and this one is no exception. I’ve been really impressed with the durability of this figure, the movement, and the fit of the armor, it’s been exceedingly impressive.
I really love the somewhat outside the box armor choices and the octopus tampo on the shield is really terrific as well. An excellent and interesting logo, though I’m not sure what the specific inspiration was. A combination of brown and gold/bronze gives a great sense of realism, and I enjoy the helmet choice as well. This is a great figure and comes with some excellent, if understated, accessories.
Another excellent entry into Boss Fight Studio’s increasing skeleton army. He looks great alongside all of his skin and bone comrades (and in fact, his excellent worn paint scheme makes some of the others feel a little under-detailed) and I’m excited to scoop up some more of these bad boys to stock up my skeleton legions.
Toy Fair is this weekend, and we’re starting off with some exciting news from our good friends at Boss Fight Studio and Continuity Comics! The official press release for the upcoming Bucky O’Hare action figure line (co-created by G.I. Joe legend Larry Hama) has been sent out, with some spectacular new images of the work in progress sculpts and designs for Bucky himself. Things are looking pretty great! Check out the press release and the images below and join me in your anticipation of this fun upcoming toy line from Continuity Comics and Boss Fight Studio!
Boss Fight Studio has teamed up with Neal Adams’ Continuity Studios to celebrate the hero who goes where no ordinary rabbit would dare!
The upstart toy company will be producing highly-articulated collectible toys of Bucky O’Hare, his S.P.A.C.E. allies, and Toad enemies! Created by Larry Hama and Michael Golden, Bucky O’Hare tells the story of a brave band of mammal freedom fighters trying to save The Aniverse from the all-conquering Toad Empire. As part of a special gallery show at Continuity Studios’ New York headquarters, showcasing collectibles and the classic comic art that inspired them, Boss Fight is giving the public a first look at the new product line with a prototype of Bucky O’Hare. This all new figure features spectacular detail, super articulation, interchangeable hands and faces and his trusty automatic, self-cleaning laser pistols. Bucky is on display alongside Golden’s original graphic novel cover art!
The Bucky O’Hare product line is planned to be offered for preorder in late Spring of 2017. As they did with Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S., Boss Fight Studio will be sharing regular in-progress updates with fans via social media outlets.
Drawing from the original comics, animation and more, this is sure to be a dynamic and KOMPLEX collection!
Available NOW at bossfightshop.com is a limited quantity of the hard to find Bucky O’Hare comic!