Ray Park Returns as Snake Eyes for GI JOE 2

Despite it’s flaws, I genuinely enjoyed GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra. It was a decent concept that ultimately got bogged down in Stephen Sommers-isms (which I’ve already discussed here at length).

With the announcement that Jon Chu would be taking over directing duties on the sequel, I was encouraged by his thoughts on the franchise. In an interview that was posted at Slashfilm regarding a new project, Chu had these sentiments to share regarding his experiences with GI Joe growing up:

I think it’s not just another action movie. Maybe the first one was that, but we’re really trying to break it down and take the shine off and show that my Joes were the ones in the mud, the sand and the trees and in the epic worldwide adventures. Each one had individual talents. So we really want to bring the experience of what I grew up with playing with these toys. What it feels like so that kids now can be reintroduced to the Joes and experience it in a different way. This is like down and dirty Joe for me.

I especially like that he emphasized the indivudal talents of the members of the Joe team. If I had a gripe, it would be that GI JOE: TRoC stripped Duke, Hawk, Scarlett, Snake Eyes, & Heavy Duty of their individuality … which is what made the toys great to begin with.

And even better news, Ray Park confirmed on Twitter that is coming back as Snake Eyes in what is being tentatively titled GI JOE 2: Cobra Strikes.

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[News Credit] The Terrordrome

Wrapping Up Baltimore Comic Con ’10

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If there is one thing that I took away from this year’s Baltimore Comic Con is that it was significantly looser than any show I’ve been to in quite some time. All credit must be given to Mr. Marc Nathan who over the years has created an environment where comic creators and fans alike have a venue to truly connect. There are no television or movie stars or broken down wrestlers charging excessive autograph fees.

Unlike other shows, whose producers alienated the bigger publishers *cough cough Wizard*; there was a showing from DC, Marvel, BOOM! Studios, Dark Horse, IDW Publishing, & Top Cow. And the biggest booth at BCC wasn’t for a cellphone or a car company, it was for Stylin Online (which I have no issue with at all).

The expansive Artist Alley was almost too much to do in just one day (which was all I had to work with); but I was able to connect with some of my favorite local Philadelphia artists like Scott Derby, Tom Whalen, and Geek Boy Press.

The absolute high for me at BCC was finally getting artist Herb Trimpe to sign some of my GI Joe: Special Missions issues. For about seven minutes Trimpe and I talked about how he felt that he had to frame Larry Hama’s scripts in an “epic light”. He stopped and flipped through #13, whose plot revolves around Dusty & Outback taking two probationary Joes on their final training mission.

The issue ultimately ends with one of the probies, Mangler sacrifice himself so that the other Joes may live. It was then Trimpe said to me, “You know the 90′s were criticized for their violence and dark themes, but Hama was really bringing some heat with these”. I laughed and agreed, and he asked me if Hama was at the show. I replied that he wasn’t, to which Trimpe said “I think he’ll be at New York, I’ll catch up with him then”.

I was taken aback that the guy who penciled The Incredible Hulk during the Silver Age would stop to have a conversation about Larry Hama with me. He was genuinely interested in hearing my take on his work and thanked me for stopping by. I’ve never experienced this before and I’ll never forget it, Trimpe is a class act through and through.

After my encounter I bumped into one of the guys from my local comic shop, Comics & More in King of Prussia, PA. We chatted for a few minutes about how we were enjoying the show and agreed that from a fan perspective, BCC is so far ahead of the pack. And that whatever formula they’ve worked out they ought to keep it the same.

From my experience, Baltimore Comic Con is the show that anyone in the Mid-Atlantic states must attend. Forget Wizard World and mark your calendars for next August … I’ll see you all there.

GI Joe’s The Pit, The Only Thing Worth Visiting In Staten Island

There are few things I love in comics more than the crazy cutaways of secret bases and headquarters. Jack Kirby was well known for working these up, which have been documented rather superbly by the folks over at Comic Book Cartography.

I found this cutaway while leafing through GI Joe Yearbook #1. It’s a Classified File detailing the five subterranean levels of “The Pit” which was the GI Joe’s base that was secretly located underneath the Chaplains Assistant School’s motor pool at Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island, New York.

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This is the kind of stuff that just blew my mind as a kid. That someone had figured out where the Joes slept, eat, trained, and even watched movies. It’s also one of the aspects of comics that get missed nowadays … the fun factor.

GI Joe’s Chuckles is Pretty Much Sam Axe From Burn Notice

There are few things in life I enjoy more than Larry Hama’s GI Joe for Marvel. In my quest to gather all 155 issues of the main series, I’ve secured nearly half of his spin-off series GI Joe: Special Missions. Running for 28 issues beginning in 1986, Special Missions were standalone stories that dealt with some of the background characters.

One such character that is featured rather prominently is Chuckles, an undercover agent who had a proclivity for Hawaiian Print shirts. Chuckles is basically Sam Axe from Burn Notice … which is awesome.

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In Special Mission #11, we find that Chuckles has brought in three female Joes: Scarlett, Jinx, & Lady Jaye to assist with a hostage situation. And while he briefs them on the situation, he doesn’t have time to be politically correct.

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The SDCC ’10 Exclusives That Will Drain My Bank Account

Every year at San Diego Comic Con there is a slew of retailer exclusive action figures, variant comic books, and shiny metal that sends fanboys into a froth covering every franchise from Twilight to Ghostbusters. For people like me, they have to rely on the secondary market or on the retailers themselves after the convention to secure the exclusives of their choice.

Unfortunately for my bank account there are some very strong showing from my three favorite properties:

  • GI Joe: Sgt. Slaughter 3 3/4″ – $9.99
  • Transformers: G1 Prowl Mighty Mugg – $15.99
  • Marvel: Ultimate WWII Captain America 3 3/4″ $9.99 & Iron Man 2 Mark VI Mighty Mugg – $15.99

The greatest difficulty in obtaining these exclusives is that when they go up on Monday on Hasbro’s consumer site … things get ugly real fast. There is never a set time for them to be released so if this year is anything like the last two years I will spend half of my day hitting the F5 key.

It’s like triage in a disaster zone, you have to pick what you want the most and make the difficult decision and cut your losses. Not that I want to jinx myself, but I have a pretty strong record … let’s hope for a good day on July 26th. For a more in depth look, io9 put up a decent rundown of their top 25 picks for SDCC ’10 Exclusives.

GI Joe’s Ninja Force Was So Badass They Didn’t Need A Catchphrase

If you haven’t figured it out yet, Larry Hama fucking rules. His work on the Marvel GI Joe series is nothing short of epic, with 155 issues between 1982-1994. Slowly I’ve been trying to piece together the entire run, and I’m about half way there. One of my recent acquisitions is GI Joe #118, Destro – Search & Destroy! Part 3 of 3, in which Destro has allied himself with the Joes, in hopes of getting revenge (and the Baroness) on Cobra Commander. While I won’t go into a full review, one panel has to be highlighted for Larry Hama’s badassery

With the newly minted Ninja Force, headed into battle with the Night Creepers … Storm Shadow (now a good guy) informs one of the new guys that they don’t have a catch phrase … just silent death.

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How did Paramount make such a campy GI Joe movie? All they needed to do was ask permission to borrow some of Larry’s stuff.

Cobra-la-la-la-la! GI Joe: The Movie is Coming To Blu Ray

The problem with GI Joe: The Movie is that the opening is so fucking awesome, the story that follows simply pales in comparison.

It is often criticized by fans for retconning the origins of the ruthless COBRA organization from a terrorist group to the descendants of an ancient reptilian civilization which once ruled the Earth.

GI Joe: The Movie enjoyed a very limited release on DVD back in 2000 by Rhino (which has since gone out of business). Now for the last year or so Shout! Factory has been doing a stellar job of putting out remastered season sets of the GI Joe series. The GI Joe fansite Hiss Tank is reporting that one of the guys from Shout! Factory announced their intentions of releasing GI Joe: The Movie in the near future on Twitter:

So the print’s in excellent condition. Looks like we’ll be doing GI JOE: THE MOVIE on Blu-ray.

FUCK and YES. Big Lob & Tunnel Rat! Chuckles? Don Johnson’s voice talents! All in glorious 1080p. I cannot wait.

A New GI Joe: The Rise Of Cobra Spot, Now With More Snake Eyes

I spied this new TV spot over at The Terror Drome for GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and even though I’ve trashed this movie relatively nonstop for the last 6-8 months it looks like it may be tolerable after all.

We get some new group shots, and Snake Eyes looking entirely bad ass, and of course those horrendous Accelerator Suits. With just under a month to go I’m sure we’ll be seeing a bigger marketing push to go along with the new toys that are taking over toy aisles all across this great nation of ours.

On a slightly related note, I caught The Mummy on SyFy in the past week and I forgot how much I enjoyed that flick. I’ve been holding Stephen Sommers in contempt since that travesty that was Van Helsing. Just maybe he can deliver the fun and action in GI Joe: ROC? We’ll have to wait and see, as this hits theaters on August 7th.

Why Is Snake Eyes Wearing Business Slacks?

There is nothing but bad buzz emanating from GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra. There were rumors last week that Director Stephen Sommers had been fired from the movie; and that Stuart Baird had been brought in to salvage the project after it was tanking in test screenings.

While I haven’t been overly encouraged by anything I’ve seen, and this latest tv spot which features Sienna Miller’s non-accent Baroness calling the pursuing Joes “…real American heroes”. Ouch.

And one thing that I’ve finally noticed after watching countless trailers … that Snake Eyes is wearing business slacks. I can almost deal with the molded lips and ab muscles, but outfitting the most bad ass ninja in history from the Men’s Warehouse … c’mon guys.

GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra Looks … Meh

When the slate of summer blockbusters boasts the likes of Star Trek, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and Terminator Salvation; it is really going to be hard to get that precious 18-35 year old male demographic into theaters come August. That’s exactly the situation that GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra is in.

While I have a deep love for all things Snake Eyes some of what I have seen to this point (and in the trailer below), is leaving me with feeling kind of … meh.

My chief complaint is that by rubberizing all of the characters, you remove their individual identities … which is what made GI Joe fun as a kid. Each character had their own gimmick … which has kind of negated in this current incarnation.

THe Hero Strut From GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra

And can someone explain the molded lips on Snake Eyes’ costume?

Snake Eyes in GI: Joe The Rise of Cobra