The Marissa Faireborn mystery has been revealed…

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.

References: Yojoe.com, tfwiki.net, Wikipedia.com

The next evolution of military action figures – Marauder Valkyries Reviewed

Ever since getting my first few figures as part of the Kickstarter shipment a couple of weeks back, I’ve been feeding for more and starving to get a review posted.  Well, this past week I got both accomplished!

As soon as I got my grubby mitts on the first few Valkyries figures, I immediately needed more and made a purchase from MarauderInc.com within a few days.  Once I received that shipment, any love I had for this new generation of Task Force figures and accessories only sky-rocketed.

I feel like I’ve only just scratched the surface with how cool these figures are, and I’ve spent hours swapping parts, gluing gear down and just mixing and matching.  It’s pretty astounding just how incredible these toys are.  Designed to near perfection by Boss Fight Studio, with the folks at Marauder developing a spectacular concept, these truly are the best of all worlds.

Check out my review at the Marauder Task Force Review page, or the direct link below.  Spoiler Warning – I’m pretty much in love.

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Marauder Task Force Valkyries

How can I properly express just what lengths Marauder “Gun Runners” has come in the past few years?  Evolving from manufacturing and selling unique 1:18 scale weapons to distributing diorama accessories, then finally, through their first successful Kickstarter they started developing their Task Force action figures.

Since then, their second Kickstarter for the Task Force Valkyries was successful as well, and they’ve simply taken their formula for enhancing 1:18 scale action figures and spun it completely into a second stratosphere.

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With the first run of Task Force figures, I was suitably impressed with what Marauder had accomplished, actually designing and producing (with the help of the best toy designers in the business, Boss Fight Studio) a fully functional action figure line, yet they were essentially the same figure buck and many of the same accessories, just spun out in some different colors.  While certainly exciting, I saw them mostly continuing as enhancements to an already large roster of 1:18 military figures.  What a difference a couple of years makes.  With what Marauder has done over the past 18 months alongside their additional Kickstarter is to add an immeasurable amount of versatility, customizability and variability to what was already a fantastic formula.  Thanks in no small part to the addition of several new female action figure styles, new head sculpts, new arms and legs, and many new paint decos, we now have a veritable barracks of different combinations with the ability to build out any number of combinations of strike teams.

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Marauder Task Force is no longer an enhancement, it’s an evolution, and things may very well never be the same again.

Looking at the female figures first, thanks to the sculpting of Boss Fight Studio, we have some of the finest built female figures in 1:18 military history.  Fantastic layered sculpting throughout the uniforms, nearly seamless armor enhancements, and the unique “faux-ring” articulation scheme gives us tough and rugged female troopers to serve alongside our roster of male soldiers that we’ve already amassed.  Even with the elaborate sculpting, the articulation is absolutely top notch, with great range of motion in every joint.

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Along with the standard military buck, Marauder also included some spare arms without armor and developed a brand new t-shirt torso which is spectacular, especially for how comparatively plain it is.  The arms are sculpted narrow, but really well articulated, with flexible fingers and wrists that can hold all manner of weapons without fear of breakage.

Additional female head sculpts are incredible as well, with various skin tones, hair designs (and hair colors) allowing for a massive amount of variation here, too.

To equip the female figures there are several different versions of combat vests now available as well, from a plain flak vest (ready for pouches currently sold or that came with the previous Kickstarter), to a great armored vest, and a very nicely sculpted additional heavier combat vest as well.

Along with the Valkyrie female figures, Marauder also included the fantastic Stedi-Cam gunner which added several great new elements to the Task Force collection.  Not only did it give us a very cool new weapons system including the gun, armored mask, and armored plate chest (with amazingly engineered web gear) but it also provided some added short sleeved arms and non-armored legs, which has provided a wealth of great variability to the existing Task Force collection.  The new limbs match the fantastic sculpting style of the rest of the figure with amazing articulation and some great new flexibility with existing tooling.

But let’s talk more about the web gear and chest plate.  The chest plate connects to the web gear via two of the standard Task Force pegs, which means you can take it off, then use the underlying web gear to mount pouches, holsters, and whatever else you can dig out of your Task Force storage bins.  For some reason I wasn’t aware of this neat feature, and it was a very pleasant surprise when I got the Stedi-Cam Gunner in hand.

As a great added bonus, Marauder has dedicated a wealth of different plastic color options (and decals!) for the Stedi-Cam gunner gear as well, really ramping up the potential for great mix and match variation.

What may be the coolest aspect of the Stedi-Cam Gunner, though, is the camouflage paint scheme.  This intricately decoed camouflage pattern is among the best I’ve ever seen at this scale, and the way Marauder has carried it over to a female figure as well is exceptionally cool.

As you read through this review, you’ll notice that I’ve grouped collections of accessories together, mostly because that’s how they were offered with the Kickstarter.  Keep in mind, though, through the wonders of MarauderInc.com you can pick and choose any number of thousands of variations of figures, heads, gear and other add ons which essentially makes the combinations nearly infinite.  If you see a figure you like in this review, but think it would look better with different gear, you have that option right at your fingertips.

Keep in mind I haven’t even talked about a number of new male head sculpts in different hair (and beard) colors, not to mention all the new paint schemes and additional new accessories including a fantastic flight helmet with translucent goggles.  Don’t even get me started on the baseball hat…it’s made from a fantastic flexible rubber, which lets it fit seamlessly over many different heads, and you don’t get the typical gap or stiff fit that you see when it’s been tried elsewhere.  There are bandoliers, belts, a duffel bag, a weapon sleeve, backpacks, baseball bats, the list goes on and on, and each new accessory comes with some level of customization available, whether its decals or holes for the standard Task Force plug.  There is just so much to talk about here, it’s very tough to frame a review around it, so I’m trying to look at this from a holistic perspective.

The figures are also incredibly easily customizable with simply swapped ball joints at the hips, the waist, the head, and even relatively easy to remove arms.  Boiling and popping is the best way to ensure smooth lower arm removal, though you have to crack the torso to pull off the shoulders.

One comment, because I know people will ask… yes, there are a lot of small parts, and yes I very strongly recommend finding a combination you like and gluing the pouches and accessories down to ensure maximum playability.  This stuff is not expensive.  You can certainly beef up on more pouches and vests and feel confident that dedicating a few key small accessories to a particular look isn’t going to break the bank, and will only make you happier as you pose and play with the figure you’ve designed.

In short, the improvements and enhancements made to the Task Force line since its inception are impressive and downright amazing.  It’s a completely different line now than it was even 18 months ago and has grown into a world of its own.  I am fully in love with this evolution of the Task Force, and have already made follow up purchases after the Kickstarter, and I’m poised to make some more.  I cannot wait to see where things continue from here and I’m greatly looking forward to the exo-suit Kickstarter coming this year from Marauder.

Great stuff, head over to MarauderInc.com and beef up your barracks now!  And if you have any questions about the product or just want to show off your creations, the Marauder Task Force Facebook Group is the place to be.  A ton of awesome looking customs and a great community willing to answer all sorts of questions.  MJ and Marauder Ruben are always there to interact and listen to suggestions as well.  Hit it up!

New images of Marauder Valkyrie test shots and production update

Marauder “Gun Runners” just got back from their factory trip and while they have some unfortunate news about the timing of distribution of their Valkyrie Kickstarter figures, they did bring back some fantastic new images of some of the test shots, which make us even more excited to see the finished product!

Check out the great images below, as well as the update on the timeline for production and distribution.  Keep watching the Marauder “Gun Runners” Facebook Page for updates.

MTF Valkyries project update 8/12….after Factory Visit
Posted by Marauder GR (Creator)
For backers only
Hey “814 Valtaskers!”

Hope your summer is going well! Your “Gun-Runners” spent several weeks at the factory in China reviewing the MTF Valkyries project. 15 hour plane flights and 98 degree temperatures with 90% humidity…JOY was had by all! When not dealing with weather, unique food and cultural & language differences; we spent all of our time working on the project. We reviewed EVERY part, EVERY feature and EVERY version. Our driving goal was and is for the figures & accessories to not only meet your expectations, but possibly surpass them!

Here are images of some of the production samples. We hope you agree that the head sculpts, new accessories and paint decos are looking pretty good! Again, SEVERAL changes were made on the items in the images and final versions might vary slightly from those shown (lip color missing, incorrect colors, several color versions NOT shown, etc). There are several color changes, corrections and adjustments being made to the items shown, so please don’t get concerned if something isn’t an exact match to a previously mentioned and/or shown item…THESE ARE NOT FINAL.

We had to make a huge number of paint/deco adjustments, change the hardness/softness on many of the items and correct the fit/function on several body parts & accessories. The good news is the vast majority of the parts & working features were correct. The bad news is some of the seemingly relatively minor issues with “fit/function” require NEW production tools. These new tools take some time to complete & test. Couple the new tool need with the factory requirement that the massive order be split into 2 (TWO) separate production runs and our revised end of August ship is now not possible. We are so sorry about the delay and AGGRESSIVELY pursued every option to avoid disappointing our supporters, but there is no other choice. A temporary inconvenience for a long term gain is the only answer in this situation. We don’t have a definite avail date, but we’re working to get everything complete & shipped out as soon as possible. As we get updated production info, we will let you know the revised shipping timeline. Rest assured, we will add some NEW “bonus” items (NEW items NOT available in the Kickstarter event) to every MTF Valkyries Kickstarter order to help make amends for unforeseen delay.

Thanks again for your support and we are quietly optimistic that you will really like the new Val items.

MJ & the entire MGR Team

 

Huge G.I. Joe Convention High Res Image Update – Marauder, Eagle Force, Legends of the West, AWOK goodness

Huge thanks to YoJoe staffer Phil for making the rounds on the convention floor today and agreeing to grab some better images of the Marauder Task Force, Eagle Force, Legends of the West and Animal Warriors of the Kingdom figures that were revealed yesterday!

There’s a ton of great stuff being shown during JoeCon, and you can check out some fantastic images below.  Please check out the YoJoe G.I. Joe Convention 2016 Photo Galleries as well for some other great images straight from Loveland, Colorado!

Big kudos to Phil and the YoJoe team for their coverage.  Expect them to be all over the Hasbro Team presentation at 11am Mountain/1pm Central TODAY!

Marauder Task Force

Eagle Force Returns

Legends of the West

Animal Warriors of the Kingdom

Marauder Task Force reveals fantastic new offerings for 2017

As if there wasn’t enough news already!

By all accounts the Marauder Gun Runners booth at JoeCon is hopping, and in the midst of all  the eager Task Force fans, Marauder has revealed some amazing new items coming in 2017!

First and foremost, what looks to be a Task Force compatible Exo-Suit (think Edge of Tomorrow type of thing) and a fully articulated military K-9!  Articulated animals are something that fans have been clamoring for throughout the years that I’ve been a member of the community and it’s pretty fantastic to see some of those dreams realized.  The images aren’t great I’m trying to get someone to take some better ones) but you can get an idea of what’s coming from Marauder.  Also in their booth are some test shots of upcoming items to be released including lower arms without armor and some new vests and accessories previously unrevealed!

Also, somehow I missed this news tidbit, but physical samples of the Valkyrie Test Shots have also been released via the Marauder Gun Runners Facebook Page, and those are mirrored below.

This has been an amazing start to JoeCon 2016 and both Hasbro and the G.I. Joe Collectors Club are still to come with their reveals.  What an explosive finish to the Fun Publications reign, I desperately wish I was there to enjoy it with everyone else.

Marauder Gun Runners offering special JoeCon Exclusives!

A short while ago Marauder “Gun Runners” announced that they would have some JoeCon exclusives available in Loveland, Colorado next week, and now we get an idea of what they’re offering!

Check out the post on the Marauder Facebook Page and the mirrored images below.  If you’re hitting JoeCon, make sure to stop by the Marauder booth and stock up!

Hey Folks!
We are excited to unveil the MTF Con Exclusive figures:

Tan with Green ASSAULT-OPS
Green with Brown RANGE-OPS
Tan with Tan HAVOC-OPS

These were the MOST requested color combinations and we are delighted to release them! In addition to new color gear for the Range-Ops & Assault-Ops versions, there are new “SKULL-FACE” balaclava heads. They’ll be available at Joecon and will make remaining inventory live on the website after the show. We hope you like them and look forward to seeing all of you next week at the con!
MJ

Exciting JoeCon news for Marauder Task Force!

Over on their Facebook Page, the folks behind Marauder “Gun Runners” have posted an exciting announcement about the upcoming G.I. Joe Convention in Loveland, Colorado!

Hey Folks!

We hope to see you ALL in a couple weeks at the upcoming Joe convention in Colorado! At the con, we will have:

-A huge 3 booth Marauder “Gun-Runner” display

-The MTF Valkyries figures & gear from the production tools on display

-NEW & UNANNOUNCED MTF accessories & gear on display that are ALSO getting released this summer

-Special con pricing on MTF items & MGR weapons,

-UNVEIL our upcoming and ALREADY IN THE WORKS Marauder Task Force 2017 projects

-3 (THREE), never before released, MTF Convention EXCLUSIVE figure styles: Range-Ops, Assault-Ops and Havoc-Ops (details and images to come!)

-Ryan Lord, the artist responsible for the MTF cardart illustrations & MTF skull/knife design, will be at the booth with a wide variety of artwork & custom items.

Again, would love to see you all at show! Please stop by, check out the booth and say “Hi” to your “Gun-Runners!”
MJ

Sounds pretty exciting!  Everyone make sure you check out the Marauder booth at JoeCon, I’ve hit it in year’s past and it’s always a highlight of the Convention!

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Special exclusive G.I. Joe/Transformers Cover for Roll Out Roll Call!

An exciting announcement from the folks at Roll Out Roll Call!  Attendees of the show in London Heathrow will get a special opportunity to own Transformers vs. G.I. Joe #13 with a special exclusive cover by Robert Atkins and Joana LaFuente.

There will be a run of only 250 of these exclusive covers featuring a number of characters played by convention guests Morgan Lofting and Neil Ross. Your best chance to get this exclusive comic is at Roll Out Roll Call!  Along with this, they’ve already announced exclusive availability of previously sold out Botcon exclusives!

The show is July 8th – 9th at London Heathrow and is a favorite show for many fans.  Boss Fight Studio will be there, likely with a bunch of product in hand to sell!

There’s going to be lots to love about this year’s Roll Out Roll Call, and you can find all of the great details over on their Facebook page.  Tickets are on sale now, so don’t wait!

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GeneralsJoes Reviews Boss Fight Studios Vitruvian HACKS

There were times I wasn’t sure this was going to come together this week.  Every time I thought I was done with images, I came up with something else, which is a testament to just how feature packed and revolutionary these action figures are.  Whether you’re a Greek Mythology fan, or a customizer, there is a LOT to love in almost every part of these spectacular figures.

I have posted reviews for all the character based toys now (the Blanks are coming soon).  Check the links below for all the review action.  I have posted a quick dio-story in the “Overview” section, so don’t skip it!  :)

Boss Fight Studio Virtuvian HACKS (Overview)

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