30th Anniversary ARAH Reading Marathon - Week 21

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30th Anniversary ARAH Reading Marathon - Week 21

Postby shanecdavis » Sat May 19, 2012 6:46 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 21 - Marvel G.I. Joe: ARAH #101-105


COVERS
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Marvel #101 - The New Guard

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Marvel #102 - What Did He Say?

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Marvel #103 - Amazing the Welkin

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Marvel #104 - Hero of the People

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Marvel #105 - Hidden Aces



HIGHLIGHTS:
* First appearance of Lt. Gorky, Sgt. Misha, Hot Seat, Stretcher
* Introduction of Sioban (Scarlett's sister), Anibal, and Metz
* Return of the Tucaros, Major Bludd, White Clown, ad Orlovsky the Dwarf
* The Joes and Oktober Guard work together in Sierra Gordo
* Mutt and Junkyard lead resistance effort in Millville
* Sioban has Scarlett's life support terminated
* Snake Eyes says Scarlett's name
* Storm Shadow sends Snake Eyes on a mission to Borovia to rescue his sister's fiancee - George Strawhacker - to get his mind off of Scarlett
* Scarlett wakes up from her coma
* Major Bludd works for the Jugglers



PREVIOUS WEEKS
WEEK 20 - Marvel #96-100 CLICK HERE
WEEK 19 - Marvel #91-95, Marvel Special Missions #26-28, Hasbro #7 CLICK HERE
WEEK 18 - Marvel #86-90, Marvel Special Missions #21-25 CLICK HERE
WEEK 17 - Marvel #81-85, Marvel Special Missions #16-20 CLICK HERE
WEEK 16 - Marvel #76-80, Marvel Special Missions #13-15 CLICK HERE
WEEK 15 - Marvel #71-75, Marvel Special Missions #11-12 CLICK HERE
WEEK 14 - Marvel #66-70, Marvel Special Missions #8-10, Marvel Yearbook #4 CLICK HERE
WEEK 13 - Marvel #61-65, Marvel Special Missions #6-7 CLICK HERE
WEEK 12 - Marvel #56-60, Marvel Special Missions #3-5, Marvel Yearbook #3 CLICK HERE
WEEK 11 - Marvel #51-55, Marvel Special Missions #1-2 CLICK HERE
WEEK 10 - Marvel #46-50 CLICK HERE
WEEK 9 - Marvel #41-45, Marvel Yearbook #2 CLICK HERE
WEEK 8 - Marvel #36-40, Hasbro #36 1/2 CLICK HERE
WEEK 7 - Marvel #31-35, Marvel Yearbook #1, Hasbro #32 1/2 CLICK HERE
WEEK 6 - Marvel #26-30, DDP Snake Eyes: Declassified 1-6 CLICK HERE
WEEK 5 - Marvel #21-25, DDP Snake Eyes: Declassified Trade, Hasbro #21B CLICK HERE
WEEK 4 - Marvel #16-20 CLICK HERE
WEEK 3 - Marvel #11-15 CLICK HERE
WEEK 2 - Marvel #6-10 CLICK HERE
WEEK 1 - Marvel #1-5, DDP G.I. Joe: Declassified 1-3 CLICK HERE

*Just click on the CLICK HERE hyperlink and that week's page will open up!*


Cover art courtesy of Antarctica's website - http://www.yojoe.com/comics/index.shtml#Marvel
Last edited by shanecdavis on Wed May 30, 2012 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Mamu_Nestor » Sun May 20, 2012 3:14 pm

I had been away from comics for a long time, but it was G.I. Joe #103 that got me back into them for a while, then It was collecting the DDP stuff then IDW's relaunch. I loved the cover and couldn't wait to read a story with StormShadow as a joe. I had the toy first and was confused by him being a Joe, so I had to go back and get all the old issues.
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Postby Mamu_Nestor » Sun May 20, 2012 8:30 pm

101... The new Ocktober Guard... Seceret mission with Joes and guard against Darklion... The beginning of the end of the Millville story and Scarlett's sister calls for her termination.

Getting the street gangs to help out is exactly what Stalker did in another issue... It seems to be a common theme... If you haven't seen the British movie attack the block.. I thought it was pretty funny. Aliens attack and the only ones who can defend ther neighborhood are the young hoods... Anyway it works I guess.

Scarlett's sister is a real B... I mean she doesn't even care about the people who care about her sister. She just wants to unplug her... It has been so long since I first read this that I have forgotten what her motives were... But it doesn't really matter. It's enough to make Tommy take drastic measures to keep his buddies mind off of it, but that is latter.

Overall an OK issue... We are on the downside of the marvel run... There are a few more good issues, but after 109, for the most part barely tolerable issues... (excepting of course for 155, which is greatness) Even though some of the cheessy goodness coming up still sticks with me, as cheese does. ;-)
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Postby ER » Mon May 21, 2012 5:25 pm

G.I. Joe #101 (May 1990)
The marathon is a breeze, now that we're back down to only five issues a week!

I like #101. Nothing amazing, but it's solid. I like the Millville plot (though the street gang does look pretty corny, the way they're drawn - ha ha) and I like the Oktober Guard mission - starts off with a bang with their plane being shot down right off the bat - very nice! I knew that Flint, Lady Jaye and Roadblock were on this one, but I had forgotten that Musk-Rat was along for the ride as well. It would have been cooler if it had been Recondo, but oh well, Musk-Rat is still cool. And I like the cliffhanger with Scarlett's sister - good stuff!

I can't believe how ridiculous Marvel was, though, in putting: "NEXT ISSUE: Snake-Eyes surprises everybody in WHAT DID HE SAY?!" at the end. What a crappy spoiler :?

In #101's Postbox, Larry gives an explanation for why SE's face didn't look as bad in #93 as most readers wanted it to:

"Snake-Eyes' face is still in transition. It's nowhere near as bad as it used to be. Rates of healing differ from person to person; I've been on fire a couple times myself and have healed up quite acceptably." -Larry
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Postby ER » Mon May 21, 2012 8:27 pm

G.I. Joe #102 (June 1990)

*Absolutely love all the Sierra Gordo stuff! Great chase through the jungle featuring the good old Desert Fox, one of my all time favorite vehicles - so cool when Flint takes it for the jump across the ravine! Also Larry creates some great tension with Flint not wanting to go back for the Oktober Guard when their vehicle was taken out. Meeting up with the Tucaros is also very cool!

*Millville revolution - very fun, seeing the Joes having to get creative to fight back against Cobra - luring the BUGG into the trap with the safe in the alley - ouch!

*Scarlett getting the life support pulled - another great cliffhanger!

#102 is a really good read - a step up from #101, I think.
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Postby Mamu_Nestor » Mon May 21, 2012 8:48 pm

ER wrote:G.I. Joe #102 (June 1990)

*Absolutely love all the Sierra Gordo stuff! Great chase through the jungle featuring the good old Desert Fox, one of my all time favorite vehicles - so cool when Flint takes it for the jump across the ravine! Also Larry creates some great tension with Flint not wanting to go back for the Oktober Guard when their vehicle was taken out. Meeting up with the Tucaros is also very cool!

*Millville revolution - very fun, seeing the Joes having to get creative to fight back against Cobra - luring the BUGG into the trap with the safe in the alley - ouch!

*Scarlett getting the life support pulled - another great cliffhanger!

#102 is a really good read - a step up from #101, I think.


Yep I agree with you here.

103 great stuff. Tommy gets the mission to keep Snake Eyes' mind off Scarlett. He puts SE in the Arashikage mindset... Makes him a sociopath. The plot in the Serra Gordo mission thickens.

This was the first issue in a long time I purchased when it came out. I collected when I was a little kid and then as a young adult.
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Postby Mamu_Nestor » Tue May 22, 2012 3:54 pm

104 Scarlett is awake, Snake Eyes is sent on a suicide mission and put into a killing trance. The jugglers capture Stalker and StormShadow and hire an assassin to stop Snake Eyes from completeing his mission. Lots of good stuff here. The battle with Darklon wages on. Joes and Guard are running for their lives.

105 if I wasn't reading the story I would think that the comic was going to tie into the animated movie based on the cover... With Roadblock blinded like he was. Anyway great action and story here. Olofsky is acting as the moral compas, but he is ignored. Major Bludd gets set up to take out Snake Eyes...this is a great storyline. The last great one until the 155 oneshot, great way to end the series IMO.

This is so much easier with only 5 issues, and now that I have the issues on my phone I can read them anywhere!
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Postby ER » Tue May 22, 2012 4:41 pm

Read #103 and #104 back to back today, and thoroughly enjoyed both! I like how both covers can serve as a "page 0" taking place just as the issues begin.

G.I. Joe #103 (July 1990)
It's a little far fetched that Storm Shadow would send his best bud into danger like that, as a way to get his mind off Scarlett, but oh well, it sure makes for a fun story! SS's comment about blaring heavy metal in front of embassies is a reference to Noriega in Panama, if I'm remembering correctly - lol

Once again Larry hits a home run with the Sierra Gordo plot - fantastic action and suspense!

I like the twist of Millville being conditioned to look like an ordinary town, causing Mutt and Spirit to be framed, but I wish we could have seen some more of their revolt before it came to this point. Two Joes leading a resistance against a Cobra-taken-over town, with no outside support is such a fun idea with all kinds of great story potential. I feel like it came to an end a little too soon.

The third Scarlett cliffhanger in a row, this time with her waking up just after SE has left! Great!

In #103's Postbox we get a statement from Larry on Joe chain-of-command:

"Duke is the First Shirt, Flint is X.O. and Lt. Falcon is S-2 and S-3 and S-4 slots rotate. The Joes aren't set up as a normal unit or they wouldn't rate a 2-star C.O. instead of a company-grade honcho. Although they function as a microcosm of a Division, in that they have their own integral support groups, air transport, engineers, signalmen and artillery, the Joes are actually a resource pool for specific missions. A temporary chain of command for each individual mission might be more appropriate!" -Larry

I've never been in the military, so I'm not even sure what some of this means, but I thought I'd go ahead and post it anyway :)
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Postby ER » Tue May 22, 2012 5:00 pm

G.I. Joe #104 (August 1990)
Switching gears, with 17 pages devoted to SE's Borovia mission, and both the script and art really deliver the goods in this one! I'm a huge fan of the way Bright draws version 3 SE! The SE action is so stinking good all through this, and though I'm generally not a fan of the over use of ninja mind sets, I have to admit that SE being in this "killer wraith" mind set does make for some splendid story-telling. A very dark moment when he leaves the little girl's father to be executed :shock: And it's so supremely fun to have the White Clown back for the first time since #66 and Major Bludd back for the firs time since #57, shoot, the good major was gone longer than CC. Anyway, very cool to have him back - like his new look with the hat! First rate action, intrigue, surprise returns of long-lost characters, all combined with the mission taking place in such an unstable political setting - this is Hama at his best, right here!

SS and Stalker getting captured by the Jugglers - very cool side-plot!

A fantastic "holy crap" cliffhanger in Sierra Gordo - great last page!

So much going on in this issue, with Larry throwing multiple plot-lines at us at a frantic pace!
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Postby shanecdavis » Wed May 23, 2012 7:43 am

ER wrote:In #103's Postbox we get a statement from Larry on Joe chain-of-command:

"Duke is the First Shirt, Flint is X.O. and Lt. Falcon is S-2 and S-3 and S-4 slots rotate. The Joes aren't set up as a normal unit or they wouldn't rate a 2-star C.O. instead of a company-grade honcho. Although they function as a microcosm of a Division, in that they have their own integral support groups, air transport, engineers, signalmen and artillery, the Joes are actually a resource pool for specific missions. A temporary chain of command for each individual mission might be more appropriate!" -Larry

I've never been in the military, so I'm not even sure what some of this means, but I thought I'd go ahead and post it anyway :)

Personally I think Mr. Hama was a bit lazy with the command structure. Here is the basic rundown:

CO - Commanding Officer: What Mr. Hama is talking about here is that a CO isn't typically a 2-star. They range from Captain to Colonel.

XO - Executive Officer: Basically second in command and handles the duties in the CO's absense, although mostly responsible for logistics. Rank ranges from 2nd Lieutenant to Captain. Having a Chief Warrant Officer as XO isn't common either.

CSM - Command Sergeant Major: Most senior NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) of the Enlisted ranks with the responsibility of the welfare for the Enlisted and coordinating with the XO. Rank is obviously SgtMaj, although the Joes don't really have one either so that falls to Duke.

S-1 - Administration: This position is basically the CO's secretary, or "administrative assistant". Even though we never saw him throughout the entire Marvel run, Sparks (in DDP's G.I. Joe: Declassified) would probably be the best example.

S-2 - Intelligence: Pretty self-explanatory. This officer overseas the collection of intelligence. Falcon is okay I guess, although I think Claymore is a MUCH better fit (assuming he exists in the ARAHverse).

S-3 - Operations: This is the bread and butter. The chief responsibiliy for this position is to plan and coordinate operations. I can see a rotation here, depending on the type of op. I would think Ace (Air), Falcon (Infantry), Steeler (Mech), and Keel-Haul (Sea).

S-4 - Logistics: Basically its support and maintenance. They coordinate support of both intel and ops and keep vehicles and weapons fully operational. A rotation of maybe Wild Bill, Steeler, and Cutter.

We have already seen a pretty good rotation of field command between Duke, Stalker, Flint, and Falcon. I would say Leatherneck, Gung-Ho, Torpedo, and Snow Job would be included in that group.

Hope that helps.
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Postby ER » Wed May 23, 2012 4:26 pm

Thanks Shane - yes, that helps (I knew that CO was Commanding Officer, but just about everything else was a mystery to me)
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Postby ER » Wed May 23, 2012 6:19 pm

G.I. Joe #105 (September 1990)

Sierra Gordo battle, 14 pages, some decent action but I feel like this climatic battle isn't as fun or cool as all the stuff building up to it that we got in #101-104. Too many characters suddenly got thrown into the fray, and the original team of Flint, Lady Jaye, Roadblock and Muskrat are lost in the shuffle. Also the side plot of Flint being jealous of Gorky (great stuff in the previous issues) falls by the wayside. And let's face it, it's just anticlimactic for all that Joe back-up to show up right when they were needed. It would have been much more fun if the original team could have found a way out of that mess on their own in the good old Desert Fox.

SE in Borovia, 6 pages, good stuff, but not nearly as exciting as the SE action in #104. Not much of a cliffhanger either, as we already knew from #104 that the Jugglers had hired Major Bludd to kill SE, but it's written here at the end of #105 as if it's a big reveal. ???

Scarlett/Jugglers/SS/Stalker, 2 pages, fun stuff! Love that they're being held in the Statue of Liberty!
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Postby ER » Wed May 23, 2012 6:24 pm

This week's scoreboard:

Excellent
1) #104
2) #102
3) #103

Good
4) #101

Blah
5) #105
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Postby Oracle1984 » Wed May 23, 2012 7:11 pm

Love this thread. I recently finished reading all 155 issues, and it was a memorable run. Got bad as we got into the 90s, but finished on a high note.
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Postby shanecdavis » Thu May 24, 2012 9:29 am

With only 5 issues to cover this week, I admittedly put off my reading. It was mainly because I had forgotten about what was in these first few issues, and I must say I was pleasantly surprised!

Marvel #101 - The New Guard

Still not crazy about the brainwashing the whole town of Millville idea, but the opening scene with Mutt and Spirit eluding capture and going on the offensive was very enjoyable. Seeking the aid of the local teens was nice as well. I didn't remember much of how this played out, other than Mutt and Spirit getting arrested, so I can't wait to find out.

The team selected for the Sierra Gordo mission could have been better. Recondo, Gung-Ho, Leatherneck, Torpedo, or Wet-Suit would have been preferred. I didn't mind Muskrat or even Roadblock as he brings the firepower, but Flint and Jaye were only added to play off of their relationship. Still the build-up to the mission itself was fun to read, with their mysterious counter-parts flying in blacked out and the reveal that it is the NEW AND IMPROVED Oktober Guard. I had mixed emotions here as SM #26 was just so good that adding new characters most likely wouldn't be able to measure up to the four that are gone. That rang true in this issue.

The action though was strong, starting off with the airstrip "landing" and their escape in the vehicles. The triangle between Gorky, Jaye, and Flint wasn't too bad. It must not have been very memoriable since I didn't remember that part at all.

Could have done without the last few pages of drama with Scarlett in the coma. Still think her death at the hands of the Baroness would have made for a much better story than this. Moping around in the hospital and then her sister shows up to pull the plug. To be honest, my first thought was that it was Zarana. We had been seeing quite a bit of her and it would explain why her sister would push so vehemently for it. But sadly it was a prelude of one of the worst moments in the mythos, which Hasbro/Marvel even solicited on the last page. Ugh.

Overall this was a very good read, but the foreshadowing left me with a bad taste in my mouth.


Marvel #102 - What Did He Say?

The Sierra Gordo story was just fantastic! The pacing was frantic and the part where Flint leaves the Oktober Guard was a great moment as it really showed his human side. He did put his personal feelings ahead of everything else at first, but he did eventually yield. The ravine jump was another great moment, especially when Flint reveals it wasn't what he had planned to do. I also was happy to see the return of the Tucaros and especially Anibal. Great stuff!

Didn't enjoy the brainwashed portion of the Millville story, but the scenes with Mutt and Flint and the others made up for it. I liked how Mr. Hama broke down the different reaction to a fire-fight and the grave realities of combat.

Like last issue, I REALLY could have done without the last few pages. Seeing Destro and Baroness again was cool, but when Snake Eyes ripped off the bandages to show his face wasn't any different than it was prior to him getting a face-full of hot coals was just stupid. Totally forgot that part. Why the hell was he wearing the bandages at all then? That wasn't even the worst part. He actually said Scarlett's name!!! I don't know which is worse, the fact he spoke or that he actually called her "Scarlett". If it was such an emotional moment, maybe it's just me but I would think he would scream out, oh I don't know, her REAL NAME??? Of course that's me being a 40-year old over-thinking a comic geared towards kids. I blame Mr. Hama. He provides so many real and moving moments, like the kids in Millville earlier, it just makes these moments stick out more.

The last few pages didn't tarnish was was otherwise a solid and enjoyable issue. This was one of those pleasant surprises that I have been hoping for as I read the latter part of the run. I can't stop the suckiness from coming, but I will enjoy stories like this as much as I can until it comes.


Marvel #103 - Amazing Welkin

This is actually the first reference we get that Tommy is with the Joes. I was VERY happy when I was kid, but now I know it signals the point where his character begins to suffer. I like him so much more on his own, training Billy and helping out Snake Eyes when the situation arises. Anyway, while the scene was a bit over-the-top, his response to Malthus' accusation was awesome!

Tommy: "If I had wanted you dead, you would simply die, and it would appear to be an accident or from natural causes. I am, after all, a professional!"

Then there was the scene aboard the B-2, with Tommy putting his bestie into the Arashikage Mindset, turning him into an "inexorable engine of destruction: Remorseless, cunning, and totally unstoppable. You will feel no joy other than the triumphant ecstasy of victory over your enemies, you will feel no pain other than that which will kill you, and you will find strength in the deepest throes of despair...". Awesomeness.

The Sierra Gordo scenes kind of fell short for me this issue. It started out strong with the fever-pitched action, but the whole blind Roadblock and gimp Misha left a bit to be desires, although I did laugh at Roadblock's "'feel for the trail' and 'drag the squirt'" comment.

I agree with ER about being disappointed with the end of the Millville story. I too would have preferred to see more resistance-fighting, but I also would have preferred more Battle of Springfield, more destruction of PIT II, and more CCW. This is the main reason I enjoy Tom Clancy novels so much. He is my Larry Hama of novel world. Still, I was glad to be rid of the brainwashing aspect.

Scarlett's awake. Damn.
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