IDW’s G.I. Joe #3 and Transformers and G.I. Joe #4 Previews

Today is new comic day, and IDW Publishing is releasing two G.I. Joe themed issues today. The fourth “season” of the flagship G.I. Joe title hits issue #3 today, complimented by the zany and wild fourth issue of Transformers and G.I. Joe by Tom Scioli.

Check out the previews below.

G.I. Joe #3

Karen Traviss (w) • Steve Kurth (a) • Jeffrey Veregge (c)

THE FALL OF G.I. JOE continues…and things get worse. Who is Duke working for—and why? Plus—while the G.I. JOE team is under fire, Scarlett struggles to hold them together…and the COBRA peacekeeping force continue its advance.

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Bullet points:

  • Bold new era continues with superstar writer Karen Traviss (Halo, Gears of War, Star Wars: Republic Commando)!
  • In the battlefield, there’s no black and white—only shades of gray.
  • Connecting Variant cover by David Williams!

Transformers VS G.I. JOE #4

Tom Scioli & John Barber (w) • Scioli (a & c)

THE WAR AT HOME! But whose home—and whose war?! Interstellar war has never been so cosmic! The G.I. JOE team faces the TRANSFORMERS—on Earth and Cybertron. Plus—just in time for Halloween… meet the OCTOBER GUARD!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Bullet points:

  • The biggest crossover the cosmos has ever faced JUST KEEPS GETTING BIGGER!!!
  • Ask your retailer about the Tom Scioli connecting variant cover! Connects with the variants for #2 & #3 creating one big piece!

Darkness Falls Episode 35 – Heroes Fall is now online

First and foremost, I know I missed a week last week, and I apologize.  Hopefully the super-sized episode makes up for it this week.

Not only is this super sized, but the culmination of Project: Eclipse explodes into this one massive episode with dramatic and final results.  As G.I. Joe and Cobra exchange brutal gunfire, one member of the team may not make it out alive.

Check out Episode 35: Heroes Fall, or check the Darkness Falls section directly.

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What’s on Joe Mind Episode 97 is now online

It’s been a little while, but the WOJM are back with a new episode featuring all of the latest news and G.I. Joe intel… from like a month ago. Oops.

In all seriousness, it’s not like G.I. Joe news has been hot and heavy these past few weeks, and we touch on some great topics, even broaching the hot-button issue of G.I. Joe Shattered Glass! We also talk about 50th Anniversary releases, the Kre-O Terror Drome and many other great topics.

As always check out the latest episode embedded below or at our Podbean Page.

SHOW NOTES

Not exactly a timely episode, but hey, not a lot is going on. No worries, #98 is right around the corner. You may be wishing for it after you hear Chuck ramble in the opening segment. We basically catch up on some old news, discuss COIL Con V and have a small roundtable on the Club wanting to experiment with Shattered Glass and more TF/Joe Crossovers…which make Gary very grumpy. Enjoy the funk!

News and Intel

Hasbro is rebranding “The Hub” – What does it mean?
G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary Wave 2 is released
G.I. Joe Kre-O Terror Drome hits!
GeneralsJoes Reviews the Terror Drome
TFCC Marissa Fairborne and Afterburner
SyFy “Face Off” with a G.I. Joe themed episode
Skinny’s recap of the Face Off Episode

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Burger King Kid’s Meal G.I. Joe themed toys now found in the US

A while ago we had reported on International Burger King Kid’s Meal toys which were strangely G.I. Joe themed for no apparent reason. Well those strange international items have just been found in the United States. Iowa, to be exact.

Over on Facebook, Matt Brandenburg (former Hasbro design wizard who provided some excellent work in the Pursuit of Cobra toy line among others) reports that he has visited a local Burger King and found one of the G.I. Joe themed Kid’s Meals. In case you were wondering, Matt got the AWE Striker looking thing.

Start checking your local Burger Kings, kids!

IDW G.I. Joe Solicitations for February, 2014

IDW Publishing has posted their solicitation list for upcoming comics for February, 2014 including new issues for the main G.I. Joe title, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, and Snake Eyes: Agent of Cobra.

As one might expect, you could find spoilers below.

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Happy Honda Days with Jem and G.I. Joe just because

I actually saw a Happy Honda Days commercial with Skeletor yesterday morning and thought it was pretty hilarious, but immediately wondered why the He-Man villain got top billing over some of the Hasbro cast of characters. Well, as of last night, I no longer had to wonder, as another Happy Honda Days commercial was posted to YouTube, this time featuring Jem and … of course… G.I. Joe!

The commercial was focused on the 12″ guys, but it’s still awesome. The G.I. Joe and Barbie trope is quite thoroughly abused, so at least the G.I. Joe and Jem mix up stays in house.

Check out the video below and thanks to skinny for the heads up.

Darkness Falls Episode 33 – Twists and Turns is now online

The doors to the Cobra command center have been broken and the G.I. Joe team is at the gates!  But what machinations are going on behind the scenes with General Flagg?

A Cobra agent makes their shocking return and everything comes to a head.  Check out the Darkness Falls section, or click the link directly below.

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January Solicitations for IDW’s G.I. Joe titles

Some cool, new G.I. Joe themed things are coming at us in 2015, and IDW has just released their solicitation list, featuring the premier issue of Snake Eyes: Agent of Cobra, not to mention a possible revelation about exactly who is in that mysterious glass tube in G.I. Joe’s new PIT headquarters!

Check out the full solicitation list after the jump.

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G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero – The Dreaded 6″ Discussion

If you’ve been perusing the online G.I. Joe community this week, you’ve no doubt seen mention of the possibility that there are some whispers of 6” scale G.I. Joe figures drifting in the winds. Heck, the 2015 San Diego ComicCon was even mentioned as a kick off point for these figures.

Is it true? Nobody knows at this point… but whether or not it is true, it does bring up some valuable discussion points.

I’ve received a lot of personal messages asking what I think about the whole thing (as if my opinion matters more than anyone elses). And, as usual, I can see both sides.

My first instinct is that G.I. Joe should try and focus on being the best toy it can be at one scale before it starts spiraling off into other scales. Over the past 50 years we’ve seen many different styles, formats, and figure scales, but things always seem to fall back to the old standby 12” and 4”, with 4” obviously being the dominant force in recent years. Well… dominant in relative terms at least.

So with 50 years of market data telling Hasbro that G.I. Joe is most successful at those two scales, why muddy the waters and introduce yet another scale and format to even further divide the fandom?

One might argue that G.I. Joe is having trouble finding a retail foothold at the $8 price point with 4” figures, even backed by a $400million film. Will $20 6” figures do anything to further the lifespan of the brand? Emphatically I say no.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a entirely bad idea all together.

Perhaps G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero could use a little spark, right? Perhaps, instead of wondering why Hasbro is trying to spread thin a brand that already is watered down, we need to consider the fact that since G.I. Joe isn’t a behemoth, maybe this is the time to start something new?

My only concern is that Hasbro at this point seems to be treating G.I. Joe as a short term prospect. Most toylines are short term prospects these days, but each assortment of these 4” figures is so specifically geared for a short term theme that you wonder if there are any long term plans. In recent years, G.I. Joe has obviously become a film-based toyline, with some cost-savings filler figures to fit in those gaps when movies aren’t in the theaters. I don’t see a 6” line changing that. I think we all know that the 6” line will simply revisit the vintage look at a larger (and more detailed) scale. In some instances I think that could be fun, and I think (again) short term that will provide some spark. But it’s a finite spark with a clear beginning and end. Unlike Star Wars there aren’t thousands of diehards who’ve been waiting 30 years for a 6” Ponda Baba. As soon as G.I. Joe starts dipping into 3rd tier characters (which will happen far sooner than many folks admit, I think) the 6” line will be on thin ice, and we’ll once again be faced with the whole “what’s next” approach?

G.I. Joe needs some serious revitalization. It needs some kind of Beast Wars, Sigma 6, or dare I say it, G.I. Joe: Renegades level support and effort (only maybe without friggen killing the landmark animated series before it even aired this time). A toyline can only survive on the regurgitated designs from 30 years ago for so long, and we’re reaching a breaking point.

Transformers has survived and excelled because it has successfully reinvigorated itself on a consistent basis throughout the past 30 years. Beast Wars led to Robots in Disguise, led to Armada, led to Classics, led to Generations, which has been further supplemented by fantastic comic books that Hasbro is actually using as inspiration for more toys, not to mention video games (yes I’m forgetting the films on purpose).

G.I. Joe has had one clear behemoth success, and it was three decades ago. Eventually we need to stop looking back and start looking forward, or the brand will always be taking things one year at a time, with no clear direction. While 6” figures might be a fun distraction and a quick spark, if Hasbro is serious about making G.I. Joe a player again, they must realize that’s not the solution to their problem.

G.I. Joe needs synergy. The same synergy that has worked so well for Transformers over the past few years, films notwithstanding. Get an animated series rolling, develop a video game with CARE, PRECISION and continuity. Embrace the comics! For the love of God, don’t be afraid to take some chances and put some resources behind it and maybe, just maybe give the thing half a chance to succeed or fail before you pull the plug. You might just be surprised as the results.

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Image courtesy of D & D Customs and HISSTank.com

IDW Publishing G.I. Joe #2 (Season 4) Preview

Karen Traviss and Steve Kurth continue the resurgence of the main G.I. Joe title from IDW this Wednesday, and you can check out a preview of the upcoming second issue below.

G.I. Joe #2

Karen Traviss (w) • Steve Kurth (a) • Jeffrey Veregge (c)

THE FALL OF G.I. JOE! Scarlett’s last chance to save the G.I. JOE team’s existence is threatened on all sides—the U.S. government, shady spy organizations, two warring factions in a nation in the throes of civil war… plus the benevolent peace-keeping forces of Cobra?!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Bullet points:

  • Bold new era continues with superstar writer Karen Traviss (Halo, Gears of War, Star Wars: Republic Commando)!
  • SCARLETT commands the G.I. JOE team!
  • The world will always need the G.I. JOE team—right?!
  • Ask your retailer about the David Williams variant cover, connecting to variants for issues 1, 3 and 4!