30th Anniversary ARAH Reading Marathon - Week 12

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30th Anniversary ARAH Reading Marathon - Week 12

Postby shanecdavis » Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:27 am

In honor of 2012 being the 30th Anniversary of the Marvel G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero comic that we all know and love, we will be holding a reading marathon. Each week we will read 5 issues and then post our thoughts here. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate, even if you aren't able to actually read the issues. Please share any experiences you had when you first read these issues, whether it be as a kid, or picking these up later as a teen or adult. If you missed out on the previous weeks, you can find the URLs at the bottom of this post.

WEEK 12 - Marvel G.I. Joe: ARAH #56-60

Optional reading - Marvel Special Missions #3-5, Marvel Yearbook #3

NOTE: There is also Marvel Order of Battle #4 and Marvel G.I. Joe and the Transformers #2-4 that came out the same time period, but since they do not offer any stories tied into the ARAHverse they are only being noted. If you would like to include them as optional reading this week though, that is fine.


COVERS
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Marvel #56 - Jungle Moves

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Marvel #57 - Strange Bedfellows

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Marvel #58 - Desperate Moves

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Marvel #59 - Divergent Paths

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Marvel #60 - Cross Purposes



OPTIONAL COVERS
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Marvel Special Missions #3 - Burn-Out

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Marvel Special Missions #4 - No Holds Barred

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Marvel Special Missions #5 - Showdown

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Marvel Yearbook #3


HIGHLIGHTS:
* First appearance of Lola, Sergeant Major, Dusty, Fred VII, Blind Master, Jinx, Outback, Raptor, Tunnel Rat/Larry Hama, Chuckles, Fast Draw, Law & Order, Lt. Falcon, Monkeywrench, and Zanzibar
* History of MARS (Military Armaments Research Syndicate) revealed
* Ron Wagner takes over as main artist
* Fred VII gives CC his Battle Armor and Billy a prosthetic limb


PREVIOUS WEEKS
WEEK 11 - Marvel #51-55, Marvel Special Missions #1-2
WEEK 10 - Marvel #46-50
WEEK 9 - Marvel #41-45, Marvel Yearbook #2
WEEK 8 - Marvel #36-40, Hasbro #36 1/2
WEEK 7 - Marvel #31-35, Marvel Yearbook #1, Hasbro #32 1/2
WEEK 6 - Marvel #26-30, DDP Snake Eyes: Declassified 1-6
WEEK 5 - Marvel #21-25, DDP Snake Eyes: Declassified Trade, Hasbro #21B
WEEK 4 - Marvel #16-20
WEEK 3 - Marvel #11-15
WEEK 2 - Marvel #6-10
WEEK 1 - Marvel #1-5, DDP G.I. Joe: Declassified 1-3

Pictures courtesy of Antarctica's website - http://www.yojoe.com/comics/index.shtml#Marvel
Last edited by shanecdavis on Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby ER » Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:58 pm

Love this era of Joe! Couldn't wait and got started with the reading over the weekend :)

Special Missions #3 (the November 1986 issue)
A fabulous story with Deke the mercenary pilot, and I believe this is the first time we see Col. Sharif since his debut way back in "Hot Potato." This one really packs a punch - Deke being tortured, and then his courageous sacrifice at the end, putting his life on the line for his fellow Americans when it mattered most.

#56 (November 1986)
Absolutely love this one as well. Very cool seeing the Joes work together to move the Terror Drome parts and fake-out Cobra. This is also really the only time you see Serpentor in action while he is the undisputed Cobra leader. The drama of Scarlett having to put the mission ahead of rescuing Snake-Eyes is also well done. And for the first time in the series Tripwire does something useful!

Yearbook #3 (December 1986)
"Hush Job" is sort of a follow-up to #21 and it's great! (though not as good as #21, it still delivers) It's the second "silent" Joe story we get and it's similar to #21 in that it involves SE, Scarlett, Storm Shadow and Red Ninjas. It's the first time we're in the Cobra Consulate building - love the huge World/Cobra statues on the inside and all the action against the Red Ninjas is a total blast! The "My Dinner With Serpentor" short-story is fun as well. I didn't notice this for years, but this is actually the comic debut of the Viper soldier. There's two of them standing in the background on the opening panel when the Dreadnoks are bringing in the dinner. Also, I always thought the mention of "Kitchen Vipers" was extremely funny for some reason - I imagine chef hats with Cobra logos. We've seen downtime with the Joes in previous issues, but it's more rare to see a story where the Cobras are just hanging out in-between adventures - fun to see!

#57 (December 1986)
This issue is my official jumping-on point in the series - the first Joe issue I bought with my own $, not counting YB#3. Another great one! Very fun to see Flint and Lady Jaye working with both Destro and the SAS. The first comic book mention of M.A.R.S. and the introduction of Castle Destro! And may I just say again how much I love having Castle Destro back in the current issues? So cool. The Major Bludd twist wowed me as a kid, but reading it as an adult, I think it's a pretty big stretch that Bludd could have pulled off the impersonation for so long with Destro's own troops! But oh well - I still find this one to be thoroughly entertaining.

Will do more reading tonight!
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Postby Mamu_Nestor » Tue Mar 20, 2012 7:33 am

ER wrote:#56 (November 1986)
Absolutely love this one as well. Very cool seeing the Joes work together to move the Terror Drome parts and fake-out Cobra. This is also really the only time you see Serpentor in action while he is the undisputed Cobra leader. The drama of Scarlett having to put the mission ahead of rescuing Snake-Eyes is also well done. And for the first time in the series Tripwire does something useful!


Yep that about sums it up. The first image of the comic was a bit disturbing to me because it looks like SE is dead, but once you read the bubbles you know he is alive. Also I wouldn't want to be a trooper with a rifle on my shoulder with the barrel pointed at my head and neck... I also thought it was kind of funny that Mindbender thought capturing SE was going to save him from the wrath of Serpentor.

EDT: Also seeing Destro get on a plane at the end to head home for family business was pretty cool. There's no way he'd make it though security today with a Beryllium Steel mask...well maybe he would...
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Postby Mamu_Nestor » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:22 pm

Year book 3 is probably my favorite. I love the story "Hush Job." It recaps one of the best years of Joe, the full page art is awesome. The only mediocre thing is "Dinner with Serpentor." it was just OK.

Hush Job shows StormShadow at his best. The tricks he and Scarlett pulled to get Snake Eyes out were pretty cool. It picks up nicely after issue 56.

SM 3 "Burn Out" wow this issue is serious. Lots of people died in this one. Deke sacrificed himself to save the mission. He knew the bad guys would kill him either way and he had no life back home. Kind of sad really. This was a real tale of the difficulties some soldiers have after Coming home from war. There were 7 (including Deke) American pilots flying for the Commies. Deke is the only one we get a back story from but Stalker almost seems to pity him. Stalker was the man with the plan here, calling ahead for backup from the Royalists. Lots of action excitement and explosions with a little political and human intrigue.
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Postby Mamu_Nestor » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:25 pm

57 "Strange Bedfellows" it has been a while since the issue was just one story. Destro returning home to find an imposter was already there. Flimt and lady Jaye are sent after Destro and hook up with some SAS boys. This story reminds me of a couple of episodes of the Sunbow series where they mention that Lady Jaye and Destro share an ancestry. I would love to have seen that play out in the comics. Anyway I love the ending with Destro flirting with lady Jaye and Flint looking ticked about it. How Maj. Bludd could have fooled Destro's men kind of concerns me. Do they really not know their laird? Overall a fun issue.
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Postby CrazyK » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:02 am

GI Joe Special Missions #4 & 5 are two of my favorite Joe comics ever. (And #3 ain't too shabby, either).

While I hated Lifeline in the cartoon, I thought he was handled really well here in the comic. It just made more sense to me, and of course he saves the day in the end. Plus, any comic with the Oktober Guard and a HIND was gonna gain a lot of points in my ledger!

#5 is another "Dogfight" issue, which we all know was a standard of Hama's. But I loved 'em all. And to see the Night Raven in action made me want to play with the toy all the more (it was a favorite)...
"I... I don't believe it..."
"That. Is why you fail..."
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Postby shanecdavis » Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:08 pm

Marvel #56 - Jungle Moves

I wasn't very impressed with the cover of this issue, but I was excited for it to see exactly what happened to Snake Eyes. The title page did paint a pretty grim scene, until you actually read the dialogue. Personally, I would have rather they used normal HE rounds with Snake Eyes not quite getting out of the range. The whole concussion grenade thing didn't make much sense to me.

While the previous two issues fell a bit short, Mr. Hama came through with this one. It was an enjoyable read from the first page to last. I did groan when I saw Trip-Wire disembarking from the Tomahawk though. That was until he actually made himself useful for once. While any Joe could have snipped the line that stopped the Wonder twins from blowing up the Drome, I doubt anyone besides him would have the know-how to place the charges the way he did. Congrats Trip-Wire, it only took you 41 issues to become relevant.

One of the better moments followed, where the twins were watching the Joes disassemble the Drome. Xamot was whining about contacting Serpentor while Tomax resisted. Then we saw some good Joe ingenuity, followed by the twins sharing a statement - "Better call Serpentor!". I also appreciated Mr. Hama getting away from the crappy cartoon/filecard elements of the twins. Still can't stand the circus costumes, but I'll take that over the all that other garbage.

The Joes diversion was very smart, and I will admit I got fooled too. I thought that was Flint and was hoping those were concussion missiles. Okay, okay, I'm joking about that. Thankfully the next page put me at ease. How ironic would that have been though? COBRA captures the Joe they thought they captured when this whole mess began?

The last scene with Destro was cool, althought the next issue wasn't so much. This was also the end of the line for Mr. Whigham's tenure as Joe artist. Thankfully Ron Wagner was pretty similar in style, but just not quite as good. The comic just wasn't the same when Wagner was replaced.


Marvel Yearbook #3

While it didn't capture the magic of #21, I still thoroughly enjoyed Hush Job. Reading #57 the first time I figured it would be a Scarlett op, and being not much of a fan I wasn't thrilled....until I saw the cover. The name of the story and the inclusion of Tommy made sense. Scarlett dropping in on Tommy was cool, as was the scene with the three punks in the subway. Classic. I was afraid Scarlett would play too prominent a role, but thankfully she didn't. Snake Eyes broke free of the BWS right as Tommy showed up and the sword brothers were together again! I did like seeing Tommy carrying the AK at the end, just to remind us that he is never against using a firearm if the situation requires it.

The only thing that bugged me was the two thinking they could just stroll out through the front door. They would have been better off ex-filtrating the same way Tommy got in, but it was necessary to make Scarlett seem relevant to the story I guess. Still didn't make sense though as why would Baroness walk the two out of the building, especialy when she just brought Snake Eyes in to be interrogated? Oh well, aside from that it was a great story.

The rest of the issue was mildly entertaining with nothing really noteworthy.
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Postby ER » Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:12 pm

Special Missions #4 (the January 1987 issue)
Officially the Jan '87 SM issue, though I happen to know that this was out a little early - I got it for Christmas along with quite a few Joe figures. At this time the only other Joe issue I had was #49, having gotten that for my birthday earlier that year.

When I read SM#4 that Christmas day I was totally BLOWN AWAY. I had liked #49 but this was even better - unlike when I read #49, this time I absolutely had to have more. The thought didn't occur to me at this point that I would want to collect the series full time or try to collect all the back issues - I just wanted to have some more.(And fortunately I had some Christmas money to spend :) ) A day or two later I bought Yearbook 3. I enjoyed Hush Job but didn't really get what was going on. I had thought Storm Shadow was dead (from reading #49) and how was it possible that Cobra had this huge building right in the middle of the city? But I did enjoy the ninja action. But then when I got to the recap of issues #45-56 - this was really the moment when I knew I was on board for the long haul - that this was something I wanted to collect. I suddenly saw how #49 and "Hush Job" fit in with the bigger story, and what an amazing story this was! A day or so after this I bought #57 at my mall comic shop and also found a comic three-pack at a toy store - (#51, 53, and 55 in a bag - these are all second printings that came out when #56 did) Along with this 3-pack I also bought Leatherneck and the Tele-Viper figures - what a great day! :)

By the time Christmas vacation came to an end I was totally obsessed with the series even though at that point I only had 7 issues. One of my friends learned about my new hobby and he said that he had a few issues and that I could have them - I got #50, 52 and 56 from him. From this point on it gets foggy as to which back-issues I got next, but I was snatching them up as quickly as my budget and the selection at the local shops would allow.

Anyway, SM#4 is an extremely important issue to me because if I had never gotten it as a present, I never would have bought YB #3, and if I had never read YB #3 I don't think I would have ever collected the series (what a dreadful thought!)

So does SM#4 stand the test of time, reading it years later for our marathon? Absolutely!

The opening action with both crafts being blown out of the sky is beyond awesome! I love the little moments like burning the leeches and Life-Line convincing the others not to shoot the tiger. The Joes getting ambushed by the OG on the smuggler trail - wow, a pretty brutal moment. And then the twis with both parties being captured by river pirates and forced to fight for the entertainment of the crew - fantastic story-telling! And I love the twist of Life-Line being able to outfight Horror-Show!

The script is perfect. My only complaint with the issue is the way Sarawak Sally is drawn. She looks more like an 80's pop star than a river pirate :roll: But oh well. This does nothing to stop me from loving this one!
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Postby Mamu_Nestor » Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:45 pm

CrazyK wrote:GI Joe Special Missions #4 & 5 are two of my favorite Joe comics ever. (And #3 ain't too shabby, either).

While I hated Lifeline in the cartoon, I thought he was handled really well here in the comic. It just made more sense to me, and of course he saves the day in the end. Plus, any comic with the Oktober Guard and a HIND was gonna gain a lot of points in my ledger!

#5 is another "Dogfight" issue, which we all know was a standard of Hama's. But I loved 'em all. And to see the Night Raven in action made me want to play with the toy all the more (it was a favorite)...


Lifeline always drove me nuts in the Cartoon also. It never made sense. I have always had the opinion that is summed up in this quote.

"A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy, he chooses non-violence." –Takamura Yukiyoshi

Without the option / ability your just an untrained unskilled victim. Another way of saying it is the quote I use in my signature.
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Postby Mamu_Nestor » Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:17 am

58 Desperate Moves: To me this feels like a transition issue as the Joes are on an intel op, Cobra Commander is with his son and Fred VII in Denver, Destro is home in Scotland, and Serpentor is on Cobra Island plotting his next move.

I did enjoy the story with Dusty Mainframe and the Kid. Dusty and Mainframe were pretty bada$$ in the desert. Hama gets to present more of his feelings on fighting men at the end of the issue, which makes it more poignant. Also I hope it taught the kid that there are other aspects to fighting men other than just shooting and blowing things up. They have to be smart and see the bigger picture.

CC get's his new battle armor which I think he only actually wears in this issue, because Billy wakes up and doesn't remember anything. CC is so happy to see him alive and awake that he admits to being his father. CC is definitely a confused man of contradictions. downside to this issue we get the first hint of Raptor...At least we don't see him in this issue.
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Postby Mamu_Nestor » Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:52 am

It doesn't look like Classic 15 will be out in time for the movie. :-(
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Postby Mamu_Nestor » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:09 pm

Issue 59 Divergent Paths takes Cobra Commander on a run at the Joe's. I never liked the pogo. Raptor has a singular use and it was shown in this issue. Strange issue, but it introduced us to Tunnel Rat.

SM 4 No Holds Barred. Great action. We get introduced to Lifeline. The battle with the Oktober Guard were good. But I can't imagine a river Pirate relating or respecting pacifism. I get that she let them go because he held his convictions and that is rare. I also thought it was important to say that he was a non-combatant. According to the Geneva Convention they can't carry or use weapons.

Pretty decent issues. Not my favorites but good solid issues.
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Postby ER » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:44 pm

#58 (January 1987)
Technically Dusty's first comic appearance is in Yearbook 2, briefly seen in the OG story, however this is his first appearance in the regular series. This is a great story - love seeing both Dusty and Mainframe on a mission so well suited to their specialties and I really like the Rashid character. (I believe this is the last issue that Rod Whigham draws until #116-118. And by coincidence #116-118 is the arc when Rashid turns up again.) Great to see Rashid have to eat his words when Mainframe's computer skills saves the day in the end. And I also love all the CC/Billy/Fred 7 stuff here.

#59 (February 1987)
This one isn't as good. I like the bits of seeing the Joes testing equipment and being on the convoy, and I like how Raptor's falcons find the Joes, but the action of the story falls flat - the Pogo and the tunnel, etc just doesn't do much for me. When I first saw the Raptor figure I was horrified - but it's funny, I ended up getting the figure for my birthday (my parents not knowing how stupid I thought he was) and my brother and I loved to make fun of the figure. Over time I somehow developed some nostalgia for Raptor because I have so many fond memories of my brother and I making fun of him! So I actually like his appearance in the Marvel run now (and I think Larry did an amazing job making such a goofy character work) and I would love to see him in the IDW reboot, bird-suit and all (and I know most aren't going to agree with me on that) Anyway, the issue isn't a complete loss, there's enough little things that I like about it that keep me from actually disliking the issue as a whole.

#60 (March 1987)
Ugh. This one's pretty bad. Right down there with #20, #37 and #44. I like the characters of Falcon, Law and Chuckles in issues to come, but even as a kid I could never get into the story for this one. All the action on the beach is poorly done and doesn't engage me at all. I give Larry credit for coming up with a unique idea for how 4 more members joined up, instead of just having them show up at the Pit like we usually see, so this wasn't necessarily a bad idea, but the delivery just didn't get the job done.

Special Missions #5 (March 1987)
Fortunately SM more than made up for #60's shortcomings so the month wasn't a complete loss. In some ways this packs more of a punch than #34 because we get the satisfaction of seeing the Night Raven shot down in the end! Not to mention there's quite a bit of excitement with Ace being shot down and the X-30 narrowly taking a swim. Seeing the contrast between the Joes rescue team and the Cobra rescue team is awesome and a total crack-up! The Strato-Viper's well deserved fate, slowly sinking while trapped in the plane is quite chilling. First rate action, art, and dialogue - a Hama classic! :D
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Postby ER » Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:05 pm

This Week's Rankings:

Excellent
1) Special Missions #4
2) Special Missions #5
3) Special Missions #3
4) #57
5) Yearbook #3
6) #56
7) #58

Meh - Take it or leave it
8 #59

Don't Care For It
#60

Another strong, strong week (minus #59 and 60), though out of all these I'm only putting SM#4 and SM#5 into my Top 25. To make room, I'm eliminating #32 and #50.

Top 25 as of #60
#1, 2, 4, 10, 12, 13, 15, 16, 21, 23, 26, 27, 31, 34, 38, 39, 45, 47, 49, 53, 55, SM1, SM2, SM4, and SM5
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Postby Mamu_Nestor » Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:10 pm

I agree issue 60 is pretty bad. And I do like Law and Order and Lt Falcon and IDW Chuckles. Actually as a kid I liked the Fastdraw figure too.

This week was pretty darn good with all the special missions and a great yearbook. Most of the issues were good and great (except for 60)
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