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

Amazing images of upcoming Prime One G.I. Joe statues from Tokyo Winter Wonder

There hasn’t been much in the way of G.I. Joe news this weekend at Toy Fair, but statue company Prime 1 has stepped up to the plate in a HUGE way over at the Tokyo Winter Wonder Festival previewing some fantastic looking G.I. Joe statues including Serpentor and Destro!

These are not inexpensive endeavors, but they look spectacular.  Big thanks to Skinny on Twitter for the heads up, and Statue Review on Instagram for some of these images.

They’ve previous revealed both a Snake Eyes and a Storm Shadow statue, so things are looking pretty great for G.I. Joe statuary fans and collectors!

Potentially unreleased G.I. Joe 2016 Items revealed?

Package artist/colorist of the 2016 G.I. Joe line Ross Hughes has posted some images on his DeviantArt Page of artwork he has produced for recent G.I. Joe releases found at Toys “R” Us.

Interestingly, some of those images feature artwork for characters that were NOT released.  Those characters include Action Man (in two different versions), Stinger Driver (in three different versions), a Snow Serpent, Wild Weasel and Rock n Roll (resembling his look from the concept case).

Considering some of these characters (specifically Stinger Driver and Wild Weasel) it certainly seems possible that some planned vehicle releases might have included these figures, but as we know, Toys “R” Us was not on board with vehicle releases for 2016.  Whether or not these will make it out in some other format remains to be seen.

Check out Ross Hughes DeviantArt page here, and some mirrored images below.

G.I. Joe Convention Theme Announced and first figure previews

Happy Friday!  Earlier this week the G.I. Joe Collectors Club promised the first reveals from the 2017 G.I. Joe Convention, and today they delivered!

Ladies and gentlemen, the 2017 G.I. Joe Convention theme includes BattleForce: 2000 and B.A.T.S.!

Interesting choices.  I’m all in for BF:2000, but do we really need more B.A.T.S.?  Ehhh… yeah.  Not sure about that, especially at convention set prices.  But we’ll wait for some figure previews to make final judgments.

Until then, the Collectors Club has revealed Battleforce: 2000 Maverick!

01-GIJoeCon2017-BF2000-Maverick

Keep watching GIJoeCon.com for the latest updates!

FORCE OF BATTLE 2000!

We’re celebrating the 30th anniversary of the G.I. JOE BF 2000 team with this untold
tale of the original team members from a recently declassified special mission.

The G.I. JOE BF 2000 team is the walking, breathing proving grounds for tomorrow’s battlefield technology today!
These highly trained specialists are entrusted with one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art prototype weapons. Their mission
is to field-test experimental equipment under battlefield conditions.

COBRA has developed a new laser weapon system so dangerous that it threatens the safety of the entire planet!
The G.I. JOE: BF 2000 team is called into action and must travel through the Pacific Northwest into British Columbia to dismantle the operation.
What they don’t know is that COBRA is ready for them with a battalion of their upgraded B.A.T. (Battle Android Troopers) guarding their base.
This G.I. JOE team will be fighting against insurmountable odds, and must pull their individual specialties together to battle these deadly threats.
Will the cold and calculated programming of the COBRA B.A.T. SQUAD LEADER be the end of this G.I. JOE team?

Meanwhile, on the 12″ side we have what looks like a combination Adventure Team/G.I. Joe Jungle Fighter collection!  Check out the first image below.

01-GIJoeCon2017-12inch-Mockup

Back in in the war G.I. Joe was a specialist serving as a Marine Jungle Fighter. During an undocumented mission in and undocumented area,
something went terribly wrong and they were being over run. As he was evacuating due to an impending air strike, he fell into some sort of ancient
buried temple that appeared to have something to do with the worship of snakes. Using his flamethrower for illumination, he realized that…
the snakes were still there! As he was fighting his way out through the snakes something caught his eye, a golden cobra shaped staff.
There was no time to get to it out. The airstrike was inbound and he had to evac!

For years this memory haunted Joe and led him to his current career in the Adventure Team as their Jungle Explorer.
Where was the old temple? Was that golden staff still there? Did it really happen, or was it just a hallucination?
He spent years researching and searching for this lost temple. Now he thinks he has finally found the answers!

This year’s 12” Convention Set is based on the vintage Marine Jungle Fighter and the Adventure Team, Jungle Survival accessory set.
It comes with: Painted Head Figure; Marine Jungle Uniform; Belt; Canteen and Cover; .45 and Holster; Boonie Hat; Vinyl Shoulder Radio;
Flame Thrower; Tall Brown Boots; M-16 Rifle; Machete and Scabbard and Dog tag; Flocked Head Figure; Jungle Survival Uniform;
Tall Black Boots; Belt with Canteen; two Snake Anti-Venom Pouches; Pith Helmet; Yellow Short Radio; First Aid Kit; Compass;
Machete and Scabbard; Tranquillizer Rifle; Equipment Storage Crate; Dog Tag and Golden Cobra Staff.

It also comes with a Mini-Comic with a surprise ending!

GeneralsJoes Reviews 2016 Heavy Duty and Stiletto

The holidays are past us and I’ve gotten a couple more 2016 G.I. Joe reviews under my belt… Heavy Duty and Stiletto can now be found on the G.I. Joe: 50th Anniversary review page.

Along with this, with Chris from the Full Force Podcast’s help, a video review has been completed to compliment them and that can be found below, or embedded within the review itself.

Enjoy!

gijoe-2016-heavyduty-05

G.I. Joe 2016 Stiletto

gijoe-2016-stiletto-01 gijoe-2016-stiletto-02

Okay, I admit straight up.  This is going to be a tough review to write.  I was desperately hoping that Whisper might end up winning the fan vote, and I fully admit I was pretty upset that she didn’t get the nod.

That’s not meant to be any slight against the other three excellent candidates, but I’d be lying if I said this review wasn’t being written through at least some gritted teeth.  As it stands, the Stiletto figure came out pretty good, and manages to capture the elements of Bill Nedrow’s character relatively nicely.

gijoe-2016-stiletto-05

The new head sculpt is decent, but would have benefited from better paint apps, especially on the scar and potentially missing left pupil.  The figure build is essentially Rise of COBRA Agent Helix with Lady Jaye arms, and as much as I love the parts for that figure (I consider her one of the highlights of the excellent Rise of COBRA toy era) the color placement on Stiletto is odd to say the least.  Purple and black on the torso with oddly green colored pants and a blue scarf makes for an eclectic and eye-opening array of colors that seem almost arbitrarily chosen.

gijoe-2016-stiletto-20

While I fully admit to being somewhat disgruntled at Whisper’s shunting to relative obscurity, I’m generally a fan of new characters, and Stiletto works in that regard, although her filecard is in pretty direct contrast to the actual character in the fiction.  That leads to some challenges, as she is clearly a COBRA agent in the books, but is written as purely a G.I. Joe member according to the filecard.  It’s an interesting dichotomy which will make for some intriguing storytelling opportunities.

ACCESSORIES

gijoe-2016-stiletto-acc

As an expert in edged weapons, Stiletto comes with two swords and knives aplenty, as one might expect.  She also has a submachine gun and a Drugonov sniper rifle.  I’d argue out of the 2 packs she is the best equipped figure and has the most sensible assortment of weapons out of the whole crew.

gijoe-2016-stiletto-04

Stiletto is an intriguing new character and I’m happy for Bill that she managed to get included in the 2016 assortment, and I’m still totally not holding a grudge about Whisper.  All that being said, this figure is a decent build with some strange color choices and a nice assortment of useful accessories.

YouTube Video Review

G.I. Joe 2016 Heavy Duty

gijoe-2016-heavyduty-01 gijoe-2016-heavyduty-02

After the run that Heavy Duty had in the early 2000’s, it’s tough to picture a time when fans might actually be looking forward to a new version of this 90’s character.  Essentially a Roadblock replacement when the trademarks were lost during the new sculpt era (and into Sigma 6), Heavy Duty was often the target of derision from collectors who much preferred the more popular Roadblock.

gijoe-2016-heavyduty-05

Now here we stand in 2016 after getting a healthy helping of Roadblock from G.I. Joe: Retaliation and now people seem happy and satisfied with a new Heavy Duty.  In truth, there’s a lot to be satisfied by.

Heavy Duty here is by and large the Retaliation Roadblock from the neck down, with what looks to be a new head sculpt.  The result is a large, imposing looking figure as the classic was meant to be, though this version’s baseball cap is replaced by a bandana.  His shirt is off-white, like the vintage version was, and the green pants offset it nicely.  I will say without some kind of vest or web gear the figure looks a little plain, but still is pretty cool. Once you put the Resolute Roadblock web gear on him, it’s a huge improvement and the figure all told is surprisingly effective. Certainly it’s basically a Roadblock repaint, but this particular Roadblock is a fantastic figure with great sculpting and impressive articulation, so it’s pretty tough to complain about that formula.

gijoe-2016-heavyduty-17

Heavy Duty is a nice compliment to other figures in this first 2 pack assortment, and I think Hasbro did a decent job with it.

ACCESSORIES

gijoe-2016-heavyduty-acc

Heavy Duty is littered with accessories to the point where he seems to have more weapons than he has places to store them.  This seems to be an ongoing issue with these modern figures as Hasbro kind of treats them like “accessory packs” simply dumping a pile of gear in there that aren’t necessarily meaningful.  Heavy Duty comes with two separate oversized machine guns along with the M249, pistol, and knife.  He also has the great Resolute Roadblock vest, too.

gijoe-2016-heavyduty-04

In spite of the prevalence of Heavy Duty back in the early 2000’s, I was excited to hear about his inclusion here, and the end result is really nice.  It’s got some vintage twists, but some new elements, and the figure is surprisingly one of the highlights of this year’s series.

YouTube Video Review

New Kindle Worlds Novella – G.I. Joe: Nerves of Stone Coming Soon!

nerves-of-stone-cover-templThe time has come! Last year we brought you Welcome to Wolf Squad, a novella based on the 2015 series of G.I. Joe and COBRA action figures… now we bring you Nerves of Stone, the follow-up Novella to our Wolf Squad adventure from last year.

Familiar characters make their returns and some new characters get introduced…each and every member of the 2016 G.I. Joe and COBRA roster appears!

When a new G.I. Joe recruit goes missing while investing a top secret COBRA research lab in Alaska, G.I. Joe’s special operations Wolf Squad team gets deployed to see what’s up. They get far more than they bargained for and when G.I. Joe reinforcements arrive, a long kept secret gets revealed…

Now, for a limited time, get an exclusive sneak preview of this upcoming novella! Sign up for the World of Wolf’s Head Publishing and you’ll get immediate access to the Prologue and first chapter of this novella, due for release in early 2017. This will be available NOWHERE else.

As an added bonus you can check out the first three chapters of my original novel The Fog of Dreams and get access to a Top Secret Research Paper outlining the Operation: Harvest story. If you’re a fan of G.I. Joe, I really think you’ll enjoy this story as well. Lots of similarities as one might expect.

Just sign up for the World of Wolf’s Head Publishing, I promise we won’t spam you or throttle your mailbox, but we will have plenty of exclusive offers and fun stuff coming down the pipe. Check it out!



G.I. Joe 2016 Duke

gijoe-2016-duke-01 gijoe-2016-duke-02

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.

gijoe-2016-duke-07

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.

gijoe-2016-duke-12

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.

ACCESSORIES

gijoe-2016-duke-acc

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.

gijoe-2016-duke-04

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.

YouTube Video Review

G.I. Joe 2016 Tombstone

gijoe-2016-tombstone-01 gijoe-2016-tombstone-02

Interestingly, in stark contrast to the other figure in this two-pack, rather than a long time established character with over 50 separate iterations, Tombstone is a brand spanking new character, something very much appreciated by this long time fan.

But is this being a new character enough to wow a discriminating collector?

gijoe-2016-tombstone-03

Along with being a new character, Tombstone also has a great new head sculpt full of character.  He’s a former COBRA trooper who has been through the wringer, and that’s immediately evident with one look at his face.  The sculpt is good to boot.  Looking at the figure build, it’s a decent one, with the G.I. Joe: Retaliation Snake Eyes arms, which I’m always a fan of and the Pursuit of COBRA Firefly legs.  The result is a pretty skinny, but flexible figure, a character that looks especially lanky buried underneath the long and heavily armored tactical vest from Firefly.

Obviously the shining point of the figure is with the new head, and the new head is pretty great and pretty gnarly with a nasty scar over his right eye making the character look like he’s seen some stuff.  It’s a really neat “battle worn” look for sure.  One thing Hasbro does a good job with in looking at the part selection is the range of motion is great.  Long limbs and non-restrictive joints means the figure can achieve all sorts of great firing positions, which is a nice effect of the way the figure was built.

gijoe-2016-tombstone-14

There’s a healthy run of purple and black throughout the figure, which leaves it nicely dark, but with some interesting colors, though I’m really not sure what’s up with the stark white shoulder armor.  It’s not an especially realistic color and it stands out in distinct contrast to the rest of the dark figure.  It’s not a bad look, just a bit on the odd side.

The backstory for Tombstone is certainly interesting, as a psychological operations guy who is now essentially the field commander for the COBRA Viper corps.  It gives him some intriguing twists and lends some credence to his strange accessory compliment.  The figure itself aesthetically looks decent, but doesn’t quite come together in all areas with some off color combinations and very lanky parts selection.  That being said, he’s a figure that even with existing parts manages to stand out from the crowd, which is a good thing.

ACCESSORIES

gijoe-2016-tombstone-acc

I’m not really sure what to make of Tombstone’s accessories other than to assume, they were more or less randomly chosen without a clear indication of purpose.  He’s got a great assault rifle, but then comes with the old school gas grenade launcher alongside futuristic laser weapons.  It’s possible these are meant to be some kind of state of the art pyschosis weapons to go along with his psychological warfare specialty, but that’s not clearly stated anywhere.  The weapons are fine, they’re just kind of there.

gijoe-2016-tombstone-05

I’m always a fan of new characters and great new head sculpts and Tombstone has both of these, which gives him a major edge in my book.  Some of the construction choices leave me scratching my head a bit and the color combinations are interesting.  The newness of the character and head, however, overcome some of those design choices and leave me with a sense of satisfaction with the figure.

YouTube Video Review