IDW Publishing has released their preview for G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #253, which is a “special missions” style issue focusing on Duke. Check out the solicitation info and the preview below.
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #253—Cover A: Brian Shearer
Larry Hama (w) • Brian Shearer (a & c)
“Special Missions,” Part 3 (of 5). G.I. Joe. Cobra. Two opposing forces. Two powerful war machines, each made more lethal by the undeniable strength of their individual parts. But who and what are those parts? Living legend Larry Hama shares some of their amazing stories in “Special Missions”—one-shot stories featuring a variety of characters and different artists to draw them! This issue, longtime G.I. Joe alum Brian Shearer joins forces with Larry to present G.I. Joe’s intrepid first sergeant without equal: DUKE!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #253—Cover B: John Royle
Larry Hama (w) • Brian Shearer (a) • John Royle (c)
I could spend hours extolling the virtues of Duke as a character, but let’s face it, after over 50 different versions of the character, almost everything that could possibly be said about Duke has been said. While there isn’t a whole lot of new ground to cover when it comes to Duke the character, it’s interesting to look at this particular Duke action figure.
After the original 50th Anniversary run, there were rumblings among the fandom asking why we couldn’t get an updated version of Duke similar to Flint that we got in 2014. It was something that many folks asked for, in spite of the numerous versions of the character we’d already seen, because interestingly, Hasbro has never really done a modern update (past the questionable 25th Anniversary versions) that tied directly back to the vintage look.
Well, in 2016 Hasbro does a little bit of both, but I’m not certain the figure is better off for it.
While they certainly mirror the vintage look of the figure from a color perspective, Hasbro elects to modernize the figure with a bulkier, almost arctic looking uniform (using components from the Data Viper). The range of motion and articulation is really great, though the choice of different parts than, say the 2014 Flint does raise some eyebrows. Duke’s legs are from the G.I. Joe: Retaliation G.I. Joe Trooper, though thankfully seems to have deeper foot holes that fit in the pegs better than some other figures that have shared these parts.
From a color scheme perspective, Duke obviously pulls homage from the 1983 version, but is cast in a strangely bright hue, his shirt looking much more vibrant (and thus a little less realistic) and his pants a deeper, richer green.
All in all, Duke definitely has the look of the character, though the colors don’t quite jive with a more realistic looking version of the figure. The sculpting and articulation are both really good, thanks to more modern figure components, but they look like a more arctic version of the figure. Also, for whatever its worth, once you take off Duke’s vest, his torso is from Rise of COBRA Breaker and looks really skinny next to the baggy cloth of the arms.
Duke comes with a wide array of cool weapons, though none of them especially stand point. He’s got a familiar machine gun and pistol, the green Shock Trooper tactical vest, smaller M249 heavy machine gun. He also has a green backpack. Pretty traditional looking weapons assortment that works fine, though isn’t especially remarkable.
Duke is one of the timeless characters of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero lore. Rather than go full bore vintage, Hasbro uses some vintage homages with some new twists, which generally I’m a fan of, though in this case it doesn’t work especially well. It’s a decent looking figure, but doesn’t bring a whole lot of new elements to the table, which feels necessary for yet another version of this character. Either go full vintage or go full on new, this walking the line in between isn’t especially effective.
I know I’ve been lagging a little bit behind on my reviews for the most recent G.I. Joe product, but now, with huuuuuuuge thanks to Chris from The Full Force podcast, we have a video review for the Duke vs. Tombstone 2 Pack! This video was a huge undertaking as Chris combed through years of history to look at nearly every single version of Duke that exists.
Anyway, hit up the GeneralsJoes YouTube Page for the latest review, and I promise written reviews (and more video ones, too!) are on the way.
Okay mark this in that “things I never thought I’d see column”. Kotaku revealed today an upcoming game from Ubisoft entitled Toy Soldiers: War Chest, in which a bedroom full of actual toys come to life and fight against each other, shooting rainbows.
Yes, you read that right.
But that’s not the best part. Mixed in these makeshift pretend toys, Ubisoft apparently acquired some actual toy licenses, featuring Masters of the Universe and… G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.
You’ll have to sit through almost the entire video to get a good look at what a vintage o-ring figure looks like in its 3D rendered glory, but all I can say is “holy what” and “awesome”. This looks kinda insane, and I’m still struggling with how Hasbro and Mattel came to an agreement for two of their largest inhouse brands to face off against each other in video game form.
As a Masters of the Universe Classics and G.I. Joe fan, I’m all for it, though my current lack of next Gen video game systems leaves me grumbling.
Check out the trailer below, and join me in my mouth hanging wide open at exactly how this all came together.
According to Kotaku, there are still some armies left to reveal… I don’t even know what’s going on here.
While I’m still pretty hesitant to believe the hype behind a possible return of Channing Tatum as Duke to the G.I. Joe film franchise, director Jon Chu certainly doesn’t dissuade the interviewer from making that proclamation in a recent interview with MTV News.
The short interview and article is low on details, but high on buzz words and speculation, which is totally cool with me this soon in the process. It mentions that Chu and new script writer Evan Dougherty are hard at work nailing down the script, which Chu promises takes the franchise “to another level”.
Now, to Jon Chu’s credit, when asked about Duke’s potential return, he only says “you never know” and uses Storm Shadow’s return as an impetus for fueling more speculation. It’s a smart move, as Tatum’s name is an automatic headline generator. We’ll see what happens as we get closer to production.
There’s already been plenty of discussion about whether or not this version of Duke is truly “ultimate”, and I guess it depends on your perspective. I think going by the movie universe he certainly qualifies, looking pretty much like a movie version of the character should look with an extremely movie accurate uniform.
Whether or not you agree with the terminology or the overall aesthetic, this figure is pretty fantastic. Check out my G.I. Joe: Retaliation Review Page, or simply click the link below.
This morning brings us even more exciting video from the production of G.I. Joe: Retaliation, this time in the form of a 14 minute long behind the scenes video. Mingled among this video is plenty of scenes from the film itself. I would warn against watching this too much for folks who are avoiding spoilers, but for folks like me who are just sucking these things up, it’s a pretty excellent 14 minute experience.
Thanks to chorvacommander of HissTank.com for digging this up. Check it out on YouTube or embedded below.
The hits just keep on coming… these aren’t TV Spots or trailers, they look to be Celebs.com interviews with the G.I. Joe: Retaliation stars, including everyone from Ray Stevenson to Elodie Yung, Dwayne Johnson, DJ Cotrona, and Adrianne Palicki.
There doesn’t appear to be much new actual film footage in these interviews, but the interviews themselves are still very enlightening, but keep in mind some movie spoilers might be contained. Click the Read the Rest of the Story link below to check them all out. Thanks to Skinny from SerpentorsLair.org for the keen eye.
The two largest G.I. Joe Kre-O sets from the first series caused some mixed reactions with me…some very positive, but some not so much. You’ll have to check out the reviews to see which was which. G.I. Joe Kre-O week continues on GeneralsJoes on my G.I. Joe Kre-O Review Page, or the direct links below!
Over at MovieFone we have another G.I. Joe: Retaliation clip featuring Duke! Channing Tatum’s character has been somewhat elusive and the source of many questions over the past few months, so it’s interesting to see an entire clip focused purely on him. There is some cool new footage scattered throughout, though.
EDIT: Some script problems were killing the MovieFone Clip. Here’s a clip straight from Paramount International of the gun scene:
If you want to check out the MovieFone one, with additional Tatum-speak, hit MovieFone.com.