30th Anniversary ARAH Reading Marathon - Week 8

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30th Anniversary ARAH Reading Marathon - Week 8

Postby shanecdavis » Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:14 pm

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. 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 8 - Marvel G.I. Joe #36-40

Optional reading - Hasbro #36 1/2

COVERS
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Marvel #36 - All the Ships at Sea!

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Marvel #37 - Twin Brothers

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Marvel #38 - Judgments

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Marvel #39 - Walk Through the Jungle

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Marvel #40 - Hydrofoil



OPTIONAL COVERS
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Hasbro #36 1/2 - A Bad Day at the Circus


HIGHLIGHTS:
* First appearance of Keel-Haul, Flint, Footloose, Tomax, Xamot, Professor Appel, Barbecue, and Shipwreck
* USS Flag introduced as Joe's aircraft carrier
* Return of Candy (aka Bongo the Balloon Bear) and Dr. Adele Burkhardt
* Reveal of CC's past and creation of COBRA
* Reveal of Candy's father being a Siegie
* Introduction of the Tucaros
* Storm Shadow breaks out Billy and then begins his apprenticeship
* Creation of COBRA Island


PREVIOUS WEEKS
Week 7 - http://forum.idwpublishing.com/viewtopic.php?t=11369
Week 6 - http://forum.idwpublishing.com/viewtopi ... 6f4cbd0a80
Week 5 - http://forum.idwpublishing.com/viewtopic.php?t=11275
Week 4 - http://forum.idwpublishing.com/viewtopi ... 499#271499
Week 3 - http://forum.idwpublishing.com/viewtopic.php?t=11165
Week 2 - http://forum.idwpublishing.com/viewtopi ... sc&start=0
Week 1 - http://forum.idwpublishing.com/viewtopi ... highlight=

Pictures courtesy of Antarctica's website - http://www.yojoe.com/comics/index.shtml#Marvel
Last edited by shanecdavis on Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Torpedo » Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:49 pm

I've been impatiently waiting for this week since, like, last week! Despite a fairly lackluster issue #37 and the introduction of Tomax and Xamot, this is a pretty stellar collection of books. Issues #36 and #39 are some of my favorite and by the end of this readathon they could easily be in my Top 5!

Can't wait to get reading!
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Postby Torpedo » Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:43 pm

The first G.I. Joe comics I ever got were issues #69, #74 and #75. I started collecting the series regularly about a year after that, and I really began actively searching for back issues another year after that, right around the time that the Snake Eyes Trilogy was being published.

For whatever reason, I remember G.I. Joe #36, "All the Ships At Sea" was one of the first back issues I picked up. I remember not being wowed by the cover, but I think it was one of the cheaper back issues so I got it anyway. I never regretted that decision.

Larry Hama continued what was now standard operating procedure by introducing a new character or vehicle based on Hasbro's newest toys in the comic. Issue #36 marks the debut of the Cobra A.S.P. and Moray Hydrofoil. Larry sinks the Jane, only to replace it in the final panel with the new U.S.S. Flagg. We see the apparent death of Crimson Guardsman Fred II, which will have significant repercussions for Snake Eyes and Stalker in the future. We also get the first mention of Cobra's "major operation in the Gulf of Mexico", which will have significant repercussions for everything five issues hence!

I've always thought of this issue as a kind of response to the fantastic dogfight in issue #34. This time Larry sets the dance on the water, and opens up for multiple, simultaneous duels.

This seems ridiculous when I write it, but the Snake Eyes & Scarlett plot in this issue feels almost like an after-thought. There's some fun action, but it's so abrupt that Larry never really builds an adequate amount of tension. The last time we saw Snake Eyes under fire, he was nearly killed by Destro and Firefly. These four Siegies, on the other hand, never feel close to being credible threats. The final beat of Snake Eyes' rubber mask coming off and terrifying Fred II into falling to his death (it would seem) is kind of surreal. It reads like the climax to a gothic horror comic from the 1950s, not the "fairly realistic" military adventure we've read for three years. That said, I still enjoy this little side mission and it's not a bad subplot for this issue. I wish Scarlett had been more proactive and not acted quite so accommodating when taken prisoner, but oh well.

For a character who I don't imagine ever got any love based on his action figure and appearances in the cartoon, Larry Hama did a yeoman's job of making Deep Six a damn fine sailor and a hero. Back in issue #28, Deep Six, despite being wounded by strafing Rattler fire--and with a generous assist from Roadblock--managed to shoot down Destro's jet and save his teammates. In issue #36, he rushes onto the deck of the Jane to cut away the straps and reveal the missile launcher that will shoot down another Rattler, and wound him once again. Okay, so Deep Six never accomplished anything as a diver, his actual specialty, in the series, but he still shot down two bombers and saved his pals. Not too bad.

The real joy of this issue for me, of course, is Torpedo and Snow Job bedeviling the Cobra forces stationed at the atoll. Two of my favorite Joes in a rollicking action scene that is funny without ever being hammy or ridiculous. This is easily the most impressive thing Torpedo does in the course of the series (other than scoring with some bikini girls on Coney Island back in issue #18, which Rock n Roll strongly implies); and since Torpedo's my favorite Joe, it's kind of a big deal for me.

This was one of my first back issues of G.I. Joe, and it's one of the issues that renewed my love for the older characters that came out in the first three years of the series. From a technical and creative standpoint, I acknowledge that it's nowhere near as finely crafted as "Silent Interlude" or "Shakedown", but for sentimental reasons I like it more than either.
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Postby Mamu_Nestor » Sun Feb 19, 2012 5:24 pm

36 is another great issue. The sea faring story was ok, why didn't the Cobras turn half their guns one way and half the other? The story on the ferry was better for me anyway. Of course both parts move the overall story forward. Like the hint about what's happening in the Gulf of Mexico and getting closer to Fred II's real identity. And the sinking of Jane.

I thought 36.5 sets up issue 37 nicely, except for the fact that Fred is fine and not shot up from issue 36, and if it was that soon then he should be soaking wet too... Anyway it did tie in well to the next issue.

Issue 37 is kind of weird... The most plausable thing that happened was that Candy told Ripcord to buzz off...and Lady Jaye's reaction to Flint. The whole circus thing doesn't make sense for Corporate executives, but it might for the roadie looking bikers of the Dreadnoks. It was interesting to see Lady Jaye and Flint meet for the first time. And it sounds like from his initial experiences that Wild Bill was right about Footloose, he's only good for being a bullet stoper. He seemed way too wound up to be a special ops guy.
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Postby Torpedo » Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:06 pm

Mamu said it right about issue #37, "Twin Brothers"; it's just... kind of weird.

Larry continues to roll out new characters and vehicles. This issue introduces Flint, Footloose, the twins Tomax & Xamot, as well as the Armadillo mini-tank and Ferret ATV, all from the 1985 wave of toys.

Let's be blunt, this is not a good issue. The action is much more fantastical than credible, and the scene where Ripcord uses a trampoline to jump above rising balloons is utterly preposterous. (I also don't believe that is something he would have picked up at Airborne School, but I could be wrong. shane, did you train on trampolines?) Frank Springer returns but the artwork is really sloppy in places. He still doesn't know what the Crimson Guards look like. And he crafts probably the ugliest depiction of Gung Ho on page ten that somehow manages to look like a racist caricature even though Gung Ho's white!

On page three there's a really weird continuity mix-up. Candy Appel (ugh!) refers to when Ripcord and Blowtorch took her balloon van (ugh!). There's an editor's reference to this event happening "last issue" when it was actually four issues ago. Could this have been a simple dump counting error on the part of Denny O'Neil? Or was the scheduling for these issues kind of screwed up and out of sync for a while. The three previous issues were all self-contained, fairly interlude-like issues that didn't really affect the ongoing story all that much. And issues #35 and #36 had three or more artists working on them, as if they had to be rushed in order to get published on time.

Now. Regarding Tomax and Xamot, I'll say this: for all of my problems with the reboot continuity--and they are many--credit must go to Mike Costa and Christos Gage, because they're the only people who ever managed to make me care about Tomax and Xamot. The notion of twins with a weird tactile telepathy is really intriguing, and they could work really, really well as the leaders of Cobra's corporate interests. Unfortunately, we hardly ever see that in the comics and the cartoons, and the twins' outfits are ridiculous even by Cobra standards! It's unfortunate that characters like Firefly, Wild Weasel and Major Bludd got sidelined so quickly for more colorful characters like the Dreadnoks and the Crimson Twins.

Now. Regarding Footloose... Give credit to the designers at Hasbro for making an action figure who looked more or less like a cool infantry soldier. The problem is there was never anything really special about this guy. I've never understood what special qualifications Footloose, Grunt and Shipwreck had for making the G.I. Joe unit. Reading between the lines of Footloose's filecard, it sounds like he was a drugged-out hippy who joined the Army. Okay? And he becomes the best of the elite how exactly? I don't even think Larry knew what to do with this guy and from his dialogue in the issue, Footloose knows next to nothing about anything.

But #37 does have one redeeming factor, and it's not the debut of Flint!

I could say the exact same things about Ripcord that I just said about Footloose and Grunt and Shipwreck. So Ripcord is a HALO specialist, are you telling me the others Joes aren't qualified for HALO jumping? I'm pretty sure all of the Tier-1 Special Forces units require Airborne certification. I find it hard to believe that Ripcord is that much better at jumping out of a C-130 than Duke or Stalker or anybody else.

So why do I like Ripcord? Because Larry Hama did for Ripcord what he didn't do for any other Joe that wasn't trained by ninjas. He gave Ripcord a personal life. How many Joes throughout the series have love stories or social lives? Snake Eyes and Scarlett, Flint and Lady Jaye, and... Ripcord? Yeah. His story with Candy is unique in the life of the series, and it becomes a really, really big #@%$ing deal for the next year or so, driving one of the subplots that will take us to the Joe's fiftieth issue and the Battle of Springfield.

No, #37 wasn't a great or even a good issue, but it gave one of Larry's non-Arashikage creations a personal connection that was fun to watch play out.
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Postby Mamu_Nestor » Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:51 pm

Issue 38 I like this issue a lot even with the confusing artwork and assumptions I made.... Maj. Bludd wore an eyepatch in only 1 fram of the comic...the other frames he was in didn't have it even the ones that showed both eyes. In the one frame with it, it was on his left eye, so when the other frames show his left side or his whole face you'd think it should be there. Also with the raid.... I thought it was supose to be Fred II's house. So I was confused and thought where's the wife and kids, then I thought Candy was the older sister... Even through this read through I was confused at the end. The guy that rode out with the Crimson Twins didn't look like the overweight Dr Apple... Also in the fight scene Lady J looked like Mutt and Scarlett in some frames... The dialog would suggest that it was lady J...

But despite my issues with the Art and the somewhat confusing raid plot (was Fred and Dr Apple spying on the PIT at the same time?) this is still a pretty good issue. Storm Shadow taking in Billy, introducing Recondo and the Tucaro's and the seceret back door to the PIT.

Looking at the bored and disinterested pannel of observers of the Tribunal/inquest was spot on. No one wanted to be there. The top seceret history of Cobra through young Billy's eyes was cool. Also notice the Commander had a moment of hesitation as to wether to put Billy in the machine or not.

I don't know maybe I just a sucker for the ninja stories... I've noticed that I tend to like those the best. There are a few others like 34 and 4, but 4 had an interesting Snake Eyes story idea with him speaking through his notes. The whole story of G I Joe seemes to be told through Snake Eye's eyes for the most part.
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Postby shanecdavis » Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:07 pm

I actually didn't get #36 when it first came out. Not sure what happened that month, but what I distinctively remember is that Delores had kept a copy of this issue for me in the back. That means it was probably a few weeks after it came out, but still before #37. I thought she was really cool for doing that. I had a paper route at that point, so my routine for each month would be to grab the latest Joe rag and a Slurpee and then race home to read it in my room, accompanied by a brain freeze. Or three.

Back when IDW had gotten the license and we were waiting the 28 months before the IDW #0 issue came out, on Phil's board there was a topic about favorite stories. Since we had no Joe comic out, I took the time to organize all the Marvel and DDP stories and rank them. I really need to find that thread because I do remember #36 fell in the "pretty good" list. Well, I was eager to read it again to see why it didn't rate higher, especially just after recently finishing reading #35 and the disappointment that came with it.

The action itself was superb throughout, with the three concurrent storylines flowing extremely well. The opening drew me in immediately. Totally didn't get Deep Six's first comment for years. I always wondered what he had against hot chocolate until I got older and realized the humor in that response. It was good to see Torpedo in his environment and enjoyed Snow Job getting some love, but not in his winter gear. I just never got the inconsistency of toy accurate uniforms. In #33 Blowtorch had to put on his flamesuit (for absolutely no reason whatsoever) while Ripcord stayed in his alphas, and here Snow Job is toy accurate while Snake Eyes and Scarlett are in their alphas. If it makes sense for them to not be toy accurate, why doesn't it for Snow Job? It's the freaking Gulf of Mexico! Let the guy throw on a wetsuit or even some cammies for hell's sake!

Since we're on the topic of things bugging me, there were a few other issues that got to me. First was Trip-Wire. Seriously, why does Hawk keep this guy on the team???? He goes into a 5 minute convoluted statement instead of just yelling "Bogeys 3 o'clock!!", wasting precious seconds that could have saved the Jane from being hit at all. Then while Deep Six and Cutter were proving why they belong on the Joe team, all we got from Trip-Wire was "We're not going to make it, Doc!" and "How? The gatling gun got washed out!" and "No way!" and "I have to FIND the firing circuit first!" and "We're still stuck!" Holy smokes! Talk about a Negative Nelly! Funny how one of RB6's constant beefs with Brandon Jerwa's writing was that he had the Joe's question themselves in an issue. Apparently he needs to read this issue again. After Trip-Wire's actions in #29, you have to question if he wasn't a double agent tasked with bringing down the Jane. Sure he got the wires right, but too late as the sea Rattler exploded into the Jane anyway, nullifying the heroics of Doc and Deep Six.

The other issue was the lack of detail in the scenes with the atoll. While that is going to happen when you have 3 artists working together in a unified effort, the problem is Mr. Whigham's incredible attention to detail just made these scenes stick out even more. In the first panel of the atoll you can see the ASPs stacked three deep, with the bunkers set far behind them. The last panel of page 6 though shows one row of ASPs, with the ones on the left destroyed and the WHALE appears to be twice the size of the COBRA bunkers, and taking up almost half of the lagoon! Then the next scene you see there are more than two ASPs left. Looking at page 6 I guess the smoke from the two ASPs could have hidden the others, but that just always stuck out to me. The humorous thing is that in the Order of Battle, it says this about the ASP - "Guns traverse 360 degrees and elevate 90 degrees at very high speeds". Apparently after this fiasco CC made that improvement to the next model.

The final problem I had was when Fred II faced off against Snake Eyes and Scarlett in the stairwell. There was really no tactical advantage in turning off the lights when (a) he had no cover at all, and (b) he never used the image intensifier scope to his advantage anyway. Plus, the scene suffers again from bad proportions as it seems they are firing mere feet away from each other until their magazines are dry and neither of them get hit, and Snake Eyes has TWO SMGs! It doesn't matter that it was dark as as soon each fired the muzzle flash would show you exactly where to fire.

Just a few minor faux pas that didn't detract from the overall story too much. I won't even get started on how the inker couldn't decide on what color the Hydrofoils were. It was nice to FINALLY see the MMS in action, and we also got a rare appearance of a COBRA Officer, with the last appearance being #22. This actually may be the last time we see one as, to quote one of the stupidest Sunbow episodes I unfortunately had the displeasure of seeing - "The Viper is coming".

Some of Mr. Whigham's panels in this issue were a beauty to behold. Two that stick out the most to me is the panel on page 12 where the WHALE is bearing down on the Hydrofoil, and the final panel with the USS Flagg picking up the WHALE. Total panel awesomeness!! This issue gave me a bigger appreciation for Cutter, Deep Six, Doc, Torpedo, and Snow Job while I grew even more weary of Trip-Wire.
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Postby Torpedo » Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:17 pm

"Nobody in their right mind would even try it... except us!"

G.I. Joe #38, "Judgements" is another one of my favorite issues from when I started collecting back-issues. For years, Recondo was my favorite Joe, and even when other characters took the top spot, the jungle trooper remained close to my heart. I can't say why other than I think his hat and BDU's reminded me of Indiana Jones.

After debuting at the new Pit's dedication ceremony, Recondo disappeared for half a year. His absence is explained in this issue--sent to Sierra Gordo, the same fictional Central American banana republic that Stalker, Gung Ho, Breaker and Snake Eyes were sent to back in issue #12. While there, Recondo befriends and recruits the local Tucaros tribe and gathers geographical intelligence around the country.

Stalker and Gung Ho return to Sierra Gordo, along with Roadblock and Ripcord in one of the best squad line-ups ever, in order to rescue Dr. Adele Burkhart once again.

Meanwhile, all of the other Joes who noticeably did not appear in issue #36 converge on a house near Fort Wadsworth. As Mamu pointed out, this sequence is a little confusing as it certainly does seem like they're raiding the home of Fred II. Instead, they bust up another Crimson Guard's safe house; this guard, Professor Appel, turns out to be the father of Ripcord's would-be girlfriend, Candy, alias Bongo the Balloon Bear. (Ah, the '80s!)

There seems to be a scripting or lettering mistake when Mutt tells "Mutt" to shush. Either he's shushing himself and then telling Snake Eyes what he's doing in the third person, or Larry Hama forgot what the dog's name was. Earlier in the issue, on page 3, Stalker says they have a mission briefing with Duke, but it sure looks a lot like Hawk filling them in on the details of Dr. Burkhart's capture.

But certainly the most significant plot in this issue is the inquest of Billy's assassination attempt, and his subsequent rescue by Storm Shadow. The Arashikage heir might throw away the only chance he has to discover his uncle's killer to rescue Cobra Commander's son from torture or execution. Issue #27 cast doubts on Storm Shadow's status as "villain"; this issue may not place him firmly in the heroic camp yet, but it does prove he's a man of honor and willing to sacrifice his own agenda to spare an innocent life.

Beyond that, Billy displays incredible mental and emotional fortitude even before he receives his training from Storm Shadow. It's easy to see why Tommy wanted to train Billy in the family business.

Next up, another one of my Top 5 issues!
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Postby Mamu_Nestor » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:11 pm

Issue 39

"The more skill you acquire, the less you have to use it. The only rational purpose for mastering violence is to abolish it." T. Arashikage.

The Sierra Gordo story was great. Yeah Recondo is the man in this issue. "Don't ask"

This issue shows a lot of Larry's belief system IMO through Storm Shadow, and Stalker. I've always liked Stalker's interaction with Dr Burkhart. "We're not fighting to have everybody think the way we do...We're fighting so that people can have the right to think what they want! Even if they don't agree with us!" Stalker was always one of my favorites, especially with lines like these.

Very quoteable issue. Great stuff.
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Postby CrazyK » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:08 am

Torpedo wrote:Stalker and Gung Ho return to Sierra Gordo, along with Roadblock and Ripcord in one of the best squad line-ups ever, in order to rescue Dr. Adele Burkhart once again.


Seriously!

Gung-Ho, Recondo and Roadblock made up my top three favorite Joes at the time, and I always enjoyed Stalker and even Ripcord, so this team was IT for me when the comic hit the stands. I remember using this line up for a number of missions just after this storyline, as I was determined to recapture the "cool" of the comic after reading it.

Also, this story made me want to learn more about other special forces units from other countries, thanks to the sniper's assessment of the Joe's assault tactics...
"I... I don't believe it..."
"That. Is why you fail..."
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Postby shanecdavis » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:30 am

Hasbro #36 1/2 is the only Hasbro comic I've ever purchased. Well, technically that isn't even true since it was my son that bought it. There were a couple good moments, like establishing the connection between Flint, Duke, and Roadblock. In Trucial Abysmia no less. It was also cool to see Dr. Hundtkinder (although I am assuming that is who Dr. "H" is) working his magic on the Fred series. Still, there just wasn't enough for me to consider this issue canon. The story had a more of a cartoon feel to it and the art was not enjoyable in the least. Even though it was written by Mr. Hama himself (which I didn't know until recently), it was bad enough for me to not care about any of the rest of the issues that Hasbro produced, especially the one with COBRA La in it.

For as much I didn't enjoy #35, I think I cared for #37 even less. The cover was a pretty sweet action scene of Flint jumping off the Armadillo towards Tomax. I can't remember if I knew who the figures were before reading the comic or not. All I know is I became an instant fan of Flint and instantly hated the concept of Tomax and Xamot. Just when Mr. Hama finally gets me to accept the silly concept of Zartan (which is really the only good thing I got out of #35), Hasbro did their best Stephen Bochco impression and pushed the envelope again with the introduction of these two circus-performing twins that wore silly costumes that did anything but instill fear and somehow we were supposed to take them seriously as Crimson Guard Commanders. Oh and on top of that, they routinely shared sentences, felt each other's pain, and could talk to each other telepathically! Their introduction is even more painful to read now than it was back then. I agree with Torpedo about giving a lot of credit to Costa for taking Tomax and Xamot and making them a lot less......stupid. I will say Mr. Hama dialed back the stupidness of them later, but reading this issue again is just a reminder that even worse things are yet to come.

Unfortunately, the wonder twins weren't the only thing I didn't like about this issue. Last week I praised Springer for going out on a high note in #33. Whoops! Totally spaced that he did the interiors for #37. I made a comment that at least he didn't pull a Vosburg too. Whoops again! His work started out so promising with the title page, but as the story went along the art became very inconsistent, even brutal in some parts. His depiction of Gung-Ho on page 10, as it was already pointed out, was just horrible. Then there were the Crimson HISS Drivers.....errrrrrrrrr I mean Crimson HISS Guard. No, wait. It's the HISS Crimson Guard. I guess I'm as confused as Springer was. Springer showed his confusion further on page 21, where the Dragonfly's nose turret changed from gatling cannon/grenade launcher to missile launcher. Not only was Gung-Ho drawn in a sloppy manner throughout the issue, but Mushynsky brought back his blue hair. Needless to say I was seriously missing Mr. Whigham's art.

Now Mr. Hama is definitely not beyond the reach of my criticism either. Ripcord using the trampoline to somehow corral the balloons was a serious groaner, even when I was an impressionable teenage boy. I can't speak for the training in the Army, Torpedo, but I can with assurety state that there is no trampoline training in the Marine Corps. It also bugged me that while he was able to keep Zartan from matching his filecard/cartoon version, he presented the twins as exactly as advertised, and on page 7 it even seems he is implying they can see what the other sees.

One of the few things I did like was Flint's intro. From getting dissed by Lady Jaye to jumping from the Armadillo to face off against Xamot. Just like Gung-Ho did when he first appeared in #11, Flint carved himself a nice spot on the team from day one. While I'm not one for fraternization within the same unit, at least Mr. Hama did a good job with the relationship between Flint and Lady Jaye. Unlike Scarlett, Lady Jaye's character wasn't defined by who her boyfriend was. I also feel the same as Torpedo when it comes to Ripcord. I enjoyed his rocky relationship with Candy early on, but being included in the Sierra Gordo mission and then his desperate solo mission cemented him as one of my favorites. That is why I didn't like Wayans portraying him in the crappy RoC movie. Not because they changed his race, which bugged me since we already had a terrific character in Stalker, but becasue they totally ruined the character. Wayans is a funny guy, but was a bad fit and the writers certainly didn't help him out.

Overall a weak issue and one of only a few low points in this fourth season.
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Postby Mamu_Nestor » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:43 am

In the recent What's on Joe-mind, Larry Hama interview, I found it interesting that he mentioned that "Toy books" were like the plague to writers at the time and none lasted past 3 years. So on year 3 every was running away from G.I. Joe and no one wanted to do it. That could explain the recent bad art work and careless choices that were made.

http://forum.idwpublishing.com/viewtopic.php?t=11423

http://whatsonjoemind.podbean.com/2012/ ... arry-hama/
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Postby Mamu_Nestor » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:41 am

Issue 40. I love how the Joes act together in this issue. Doc impressed me a lot in this issue not just with the idea to reduce the radiation but him running into fire to treat Joes. I loved Shipwreck's intro, but didn't care for Barbecue's. This is the first time we see Deep Six in his toy getup. I preferred his second incarnation in the slightly more traditional diving suit, but I have always loved all the versions of the SHARC. For me it was the coolest as a kid. I loved the hidden guns, torpedoes, and overall design.

I do wonder 2 things though... What was Snow Job doing there and why did Zartan have his eyes closed and look so worried in the pannel with CC Dr Apple and Zartan when the Joes discovered the bunker.

Great issue great action... And Cobra appears to lose but actually wins big. With all those seaferring guys (Shipwreck, Torpedo, Deep Six, Cutter) you'd think one would have a clue about fault lines, sea charts, or the potential tsunami that should result from an underwater explosion of that magnitude.
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Postby shanecdavis » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:27 pm

It bugged me as a kid that there was an assassintation attempt on CC, by his own son no less, in #33 and I would have to wait for five issues (including 2 pretty bad ones) to see the fallout of it. I can only imagine that it was the same for those that read #21 when it came out and then had to wait 5 painful months before the whole Storm Shadow/Snake Eyes link was explained in #26. Not cool Mr. Hama! Actually it was rather brilliant. I know I kept looking forward the next issue, hoping to see what would happen next. Would have been even better if #35 and #37 hadn't been so weak.

Mr. Whigham's return to the interior art was VERY welcomed and appreciated. Again we have three concurrent stories developing, two of which would have BIG implications for years to come. The one I enjoyed the most was the Sierra Gorgo story. It included four of my favorite Joes in Gung-Ho, Stalker, Recondo, and Ripcord. I initially liked Roadblock, but cooled on him, especialy during the DDP years. Having to go without him until recently in the IDWverse though (not to mention the RoC movie, although now I'm VERY happy his character didn't get ruined like the others) I think has renewed my appreciation for Marvin Hinton. Like others have already said, this team is one of my favorites of the mythos. While I don't mind big battles, like we got in Springfield and on COBRA Island, I much prefer small sqaud tactics, and #38-39 was one of the best in my opinion. Mr. Hama would try to duplicate this a few times later in the run, but nothing quite compared to the magic of this story. I don't know if it is because of the Joes that made up the team or not and that just makes me biase. Possibly.

The tribunal was equally awesome. To this point I think the BWS has been a terrific plot device. Back in #10 we were able to delve into Snake Eyes' past, or better put get teased to death from brief memories of Snake Eyes' past, and Mr. Hama did it to us again. Not only do we get teased to death from brief memories of CC's past (which I STILL want Mr. Hama to expound further on!), but we see the true character of Billy in his ability to beat the BWS and not betray Bludd and Baroness. This is also where Storm Shadow turned into Thomas S. Arashikage and became my favorite character of the mythos. I'm pretty sure this was the month I received the back issues I ordered, including #27. When #32 came out was when I learned about Tommy joining COBRA to learn the identity of his uncle's killer and that he would let nothing stop him from accomplishing that. Then to get #27 and see a little taste of who he was (just a shame that #26 was sold out at that time), and then here in #38 seeing him give all that up to save Billy from torture and possible death. Ninjas were supposed to be cold-blooded assassins, so I was instantly intrigued by his ninja and what would happen next.

Unfortunately, the Joe raid of a suspected Siegie's home couldn't hold up to the other two stories, even though this would be one of the most pivotal points in the entire run. It started out pretty strong with some good dialogue between teammates enroute to the target, but things unraveled a bit once they got there. Mutt began talking to himself. Footloose disappeared altogether. The front door scene was awkward too. I guess there's really no easy way to do that. Mr. Whigham's work was beautiful throughout the issue, but here he seemed to mix up the injuries that Lady Jaye and Duke had. Plus you have to wonder if Mr. Hama had Professor Appel's character set before this issue, as the Siegie escaping with the wonder twins doesn't exactly look short and chubby. Also, not only is Gung-Ho's blue hair back, but in this issue Mushynsky brought back his toy accurate colors too. The cliffhanger though was a douzy. No, not the reveal that Candy apparently came back from an extreme makeover, but rather the reveal that Candy's father is a Siegie!! Anyone else have a hard time waiting for #39?? I actually can't wait to read it now!
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Postby Torpedo » Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:26 pm

Mamu_Nestor wrote:This issue shows a lot of Larry's belief system IMO through Storm Shadow, and Stalker. I've always liked Stalker's interaction with Dr Burkhart. "We're not fighting to have everybody think the way we do...We're fighting so that people can have the right to think what they want! Even if they don't agree with us!" Stalker was always one of my favorites, especially with lines like these.

Very quoteable issue. Great stuff.


I completely agree! For instance:

"If they had been British SAS we would be dead and if they had been Israeli paratroops we still wouldn't know they had been here."

Issue #39, "Walk Through the Jungle", became an instant favorite the first time I read it and it's still circling the top of my list. As shane pointed out, the action in big battlefronts like Springfield and Cobra Island tended to get lost, or drowned out in how much was happening. Where Larry Hama truly excelled were in the small team action sequences, scenes that showed off his knowledge for military tactics with the whimsy of the characters we'd grown to love.

Stalker's team infiltrating the bunker in Sierra Gordo and their subsequent escape under fire is damn near flawless. Gung Ho using his "blooper" and Roadblock using his .50 cal for perfect effect; the timely intervention of the Tucaros and their unfortunate sacrifices; Hell, even catching the coffee pot and cups felt exciting when it could have been silly. And how cool does Gung Ho look in the first panel of page 4 when he kicks the sentry right in the face! Semper Fi, man!

Like I mentioned for issue #38, Recondo was my favorite Joe when I read these two issues, and it was simultaneously thrilling and frustrating to see him have two, yes two, badass moments in this issue... that aren't show on the page! First, he takes out the sadistic doctor and a pair of guards without using a weapon, and from the impression Dr. Burkhart gives, his methods were too brutal to describe to the others. Then later on, Recondo doubles back and eliminates the two snipers picking up the Joes' trail. We don't see how, but he sacrifices their rifles to appease the river spirits, and possibly to avenge the dead Tucaros. As a kid, I always filled in the gaps of this scene with memories of First Blood or Rambo when Stallone would just become the jungle and pick off his prey so terrifyingly efficiently that you pitied the bad guys. I used to reread this issue over and over again for scenes like this!

And yet... as I read it again tonight, a whole other moment surprised me, something I had completely forgotten about. My favorite scene in the whole issue today could very well be the "boy scouts" scene where the Joes have to fashion a two strand rope bridge over the river. We see the Joes applying aspects of their training that have nothing to do with pulling a trigger. These guys know how to survive, how to adapt, and how to make the environment work for them. And the best part is the exchange between Gung Ho and Roadblock talking about their lives before enlisting, talking like regular guys, giving each other $#@% in the spirit of camaraderie. I feel like these four Joes should have had beers in their hands during this scene.

If issue #39 had just been the seventeen pages in Sierra Gordo it still would have been one of my favorites, but that wasn't enough for Larry. He gave us even more, including three pages chronicling the tutelage of Billy by Storm Shadow. I can't remember, but this also might be the first time we see Thomas S. Arashikage without a mask in the present time period.

In the entire history of the series, this is my favorite era for Storm Shadow. He's burned his bridge with Cobra but he's also nowhere near an ally of G.I. Joe. He's rogue, and that makes him even more captivating, more awesome because who the hell knows what he's going to do and when? His status in this issue leading up to the end of issue #47 is the high point of the character in my mind.

Like I said above, issue #39 is damn near flawless.
Last edited by Torpedo on Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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