GI JOE Godfather Larry Hama Set For RetroCon 2013

Up until recently I really had no idea that RetroCon even existed, and for that I am greatly ashamed.  It came up on a board I visit and upon learning that none other than GI Joe Godfather Larry Hama is scheduled to appear.

Image via []

Image via [Comics Beat]

Hama scripted every issue of the original 155 issue GI Joe run at Marvel along with composing the file card biographies of many of the GI Joe 3 3/4 action figures.  I cannot even begin to describe how both the comics and file cards filled my imagination.  Both were so good that when the cartoon came along, I was actually disappointed in the translation to screen.

What happened to Snake Eyes being a complete ninja badass? Why is he comic relief? WHOSE RESPONSIBLE THIS

RetroCon is a one day pop culture convention held in Oaks, PA (essentially my backyard) on September 14, 2013.  With nearly 140 vendors, panels and an interesting guest list, this looks like a can’t miss show on your nerd calendar. Pre-sale tickets are available here.   Now I need to figure out what I’m going to have Hama sign.  Do I bring GI Joe #21 the infamous “Silent Issue”? I have quite a few figures, comics, and prints that are deserving.

If any Interweb Buddies are planning on attending RetroCon let me know.  Let’s plan a meet up!

Collection Spotlight — GI Joe #95 (1989)


GI Joe #95 Cover Scan from my collection

Thanks to the dealers at Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con I am now roughly 40 issues short of a complete run of Marvel’s GI Joe series.  One of the purchases I made was G.I. Joe #95, the second part of The Snake Eyes Trilogy, and I immediately fell in love with cover art.  There’s just so much to love here, a battered Snake Eyes silhouetted against flames and a Cobra insignia amidst a pile of broken (and most likely dead) Cobra Vipers.


Toy Hunting At Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con

I enjoy the obscure vintage toy line as much as the next guy; but I saw lots of Megos, vintage Masters of the Universe, and GI Joe going for prices WAY above market value.  This valuation is driven by two factors: 1) paying off the insane booth rental fees at the Con and 2) Travel Channel’s hit shot Toy Hunter.

During my wanderings I documented some of my favorite finds that I most definitely could not afford or risk bringing home and having to explain said purchase to my wife.

Vintage GI Joe

Vintage GI Joe Sky Raven — Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con 2013

A sealed GI Joe Sky Raven, which was going for $400 at the Con. A repaint of the very popular Cobra Night Raven, but the savvy eBayer can pick one of these up for around $250.00

Kenner's Sherwood Forrest Playset

Kenner’s Sherwood Forrest Playset

I thoroughly respect anyone who has had this Sherwood Forrest playset sitting in their garage since the release of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.  I’m sure someone walked away with this for $75 at the end of the show on Sunday.  

Remants of the much maligned Street Fighter ... err GI Joe Street Fighter line from Hasbro

Remants of the much maligned Street Fighter … err GI Joe Street Fighter line from Hasbro

 This dealer wanted $40 a piece for these figures which is a complete non-starter.  He also had a slew of vehicles from the Street Fighter line as well.  I remember getting some of these for a steal at KB Toys.

Tally Hawk!

Tally Hawk!f

This Silverhawks electric toothbrush holder/electronic figurine was quite simply the greatest thing I saw all weekend.  I never even knew this thing existed, and those are the finds I enjoy the most.  

MIB Playmates' Starship Enterprise-D

MIB Playmates’ Starship Enterprise-D

Despite the lurid instructions to PRESS HERE, this dealer was not having it.  When asked if I could test the electronics (because I wanted to make an offer) he removed it from the table.  Ass clown.



Another dealer had a bin full of broken GI Joe vehicles from anywhere from $12-$15 a piece.  Very dirty, but some really great vintage items in that Rubbermaid tote of despair.  


And what did I walk away with you ask? Two very cool figures … a carded Nightfighter Robocop from the Kenner Robocop and the Ultra Police line and a Star Trek Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Chief Medical Officer Raphael.  Look for reviews on both coming up shortly.


Zanzibar, The Gas Siphoning Dreadnok Pirate

I’ve long felt that Larry Hama’s 155 issue run on the Marvel GI JOE comic book often goes unheralded. It was a lot more gritty than its cartoon counterpart, where Snake Eyes went from a scarred Special Ops Vietnam Veteran to a wacky background character.


For what it’s worth, Hama did a decent job having to shoehorn new characters and vehicles into his stories. One such character is Zanzibar, who made his first appearance in GI JOE #60. His gimmick is that he’s a modern day pirate, terrorizing the New Jersey shore points on his Air Skiff. According to the character’s Wiki:

Zanzibar was raised on a garbage scow, spending most of his formative years picking pockets on crowded piers. He tried river piracy, stock fraud and smuggling, but felt that these were too much like real work and not nasty enough for his tastes

So how did Zanzibar come into play as an adversary of the Joe Team? Zanzibar was accepted into the Dreadnoks by their leader Zartan after he was discovered stealing bootleg gas from them which he previously sold them. Apparently that initiative was all it took for Zartan to recognize the innate qualities which made Zanzibar a welcome addition to the terrorist group known as Cobra.

While Zanzibar may have the worst back story and his most pirate behavior is essentially siphoning gasoline from a band of British miscreants, he did have a pretty cool vehicle.

Meanwhile, around The League

Rediscover The 80s ran down the 8 Best Pirates from 80s & 90s Cartoons.

Branded in the 80s highlighted some standout pirates in pop culture, including The Pirates of Dark Water

Plaid Stallions highlighted some really cool Fighting Furies Pirates by Matchbox

The ‘GI Joe: Retaliation’ Teaser Is Better Than The Entirety of The First Movie

Looking back, GI Joe: Rise of Cobra wasn’t the worst movie adaptation of a toyline to hit theaters in the summer of 2009. Hands down, that honor goes to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, which for all intents and purposes is a steaming pile of shit. I didn’t wholly disapprove of RoC, but feel that there were some opportunities missed in the execution.

When it was announced that Jon Chu, director of the Step Up sequels and the Justin Beiber movie, “Never Say Never”, had been selected to helm the sequel/reboot to RoC I was not enthused.

This week saw the debut of the teaser trailer for GI Joe: Retaliation. Prepare to have your face melted in with some truly awesome Joe imagery.

Sweet merciful baby Jesus. Wait was that Cobra Commander looking like … Cobra Commander? Did they just kill Channing Tatum?!? Is that Snake Eyes fighting a bunch of Red Ninjas on the side of a mountain? HOLY SHIT. I’m buying my ticket now. See you in line asshats!!!