The thing about GI Joe is that it's weird. I mean, it's always been weird, for the simple fact that you can't really do a comic about a bunch of action figures fighting a megalomaniacal used car salesman bent on world domination without it getting at least a little bizarre, and the Joes, as a franchise, have never really done anything by half measures. That's actually the thing that I like most about the franchise, in that it has this grounding in realistic military action that manifests itself in a world that's about as far from realism as you get, a world full of ninjas, cyborgs, cyborg ninjas and all the other stuff that makes those toys so great.
So believe me when I say that what series creator Larry Hama and artist SL Gallant have been doing in the latest arc is completely off-the-charts bonkers, even by GI Joe standards --- and that's exactly why it's one of the most fun and rewarding comics on the stands.
In 2011, Hasbro started releasing its own building block sets under the Kre-O brand. GI Joe made its debut in the line in 2013, and Hasbro has slowly been rolling out sets based on the classic Real American Hero brand. This year at San Diego Comic-Con, Sgt. Slaughter and the Marauders make their debut in grand fashion. Not only that, but he'll be joined by Destro and his Iron Grenadiers.
Unlike this year's Transformers Kre-O exclusive, this set is more than just a collection of minifigures. The GI Joe set will also include a Tag Team Terminator vehicle to build. Yes, the Sergeant's Triple "T" single-pilot tank is here in all its Kre-O glory. It's quite a little set, and one that brings back incredibly fond memories of sitting around watching GI Joe with my cousin and being jealous he got all the cool vehicles. Who's laughing now, Steve? It's me because now I have the cool things.
It's a sad truth about this world of ours, but our freedom is constantly under attack by Cobra Commander and his sinister army of snake-themed soldiers. I mean, no, it's not as bad as it was in the mid-80s, when you couldn't even chew gum, get a hamburger or listen to the latest Cold Slither record without finding yourself under assault by Night Creepers and Alley Vipers, but the threat is still out there, chipping away at our safety in the most unexpected ways.
Take, for example, the Commander's latest sinister plot: Taking over America two feet at a time alongside New Balance and BAIT, collaborating with Hasbro for a limited edition set of sneakers decked out with a snakeskin pattern in Cobra's traditional colors.
If you went to Comixology yesterday to check out the week's new releases, you wouldn't have seen a GI Joe sale featured on the main page, but there's one going on right now that features a whole lot of great comics. The main attraction here is probably the six issues of Tom Scioli and John Barber's senses-shattering Transformers vs. GI Joe on sale for a buck each, but let's be real with each other: If you are the kind of person who takes this site's recommendations on what comics to buy, there's a good chance that you've already got those.
What you might have missed, though, is one of the best Joe stories in recent memory: Mike Costa and Paolo Villanelli's Snake Eyes: Agent of Cobra. It's compelling, character driven, features one of the best fight scenes of the year, and, perhaps most importantly, it has Destro and Snake Eyes teaming up to take on the world. If you haven't read it, you should pick it up - even if you've never been a fan of GI Joe.
Remember when you were a kid and you'd pit toys from different lines against each other, like, say, having the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fight the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation in a crossover that somehow never happened? Remember how this was something you definitely did as a kid and not, like, this weekend when you were bored and realized that you paid good money for all these toys and so you might as well get some use out of them? Well, Ubisoft, the video game publisher best known these days for the Assassin's Creed franchise, is certainly hoping you do, because that seems to be the premise of the upcoming Toy Soldiers: War Chest.
June 7 marks the birthday of Larry Hama, unquestionably one of the comics industry's greatest creators. In a career that kicked off in 1969 working alongside the legendary Wally Wood and continues to this day, he's worked in virtually every aspect of comics as an editor, writer, artist --- and outside of comics, he's every bit as interesting as the stories he created.
To say that Tom Scioli and John Barber‘s Transformers vs. GI Joe is an unusual comic is underselling things quite a bit. On paper, it’s a natural fit, an ongoing series that follows in the footsteps of earlier books that have combined the two toy lines into one massive interplanetary battle. In practice, though, it’s something a lot bigger, a comic that almost assaults the reader by cramming in as much big, wild stuff as it possibly can — a toy comic so weird, and so great, that it almost feels like it shouldn’t exist.
With the book's second storyline well under way, throwing in everything from vikings to old gods to Dinobots (and a new printing of his amazing American Barbarian on the way this summer), I talked to cowriter, artist and occasional ComicsAlliance guest contributor Tom Scioli about the series. Today, he talks about building a history for a universe that's even more important than our own, the two-page Free Comic Book Day story, and why his book isn't a paean to Snake Eyes.
To say that Tom Scioli and John Barber's Transformers vs. GI Joe is an unusual comic is underselling things quite a bit. On paper, it's a natural fit, an ongoing series that follows in the footsteps of earlier books that have combined the two toy lines into one massive interplanetary battle. In practice, though, it's something a lot bigger, a comic that almost assaults the reader by cramming in as much big, wild stuff as it possibly can --- a toy comic so weird, and so great, that it almost feels like it shouldn't exist.
With the book's second storyline well under way, throwing in everything from vikings to old gods to Dinobots (and with a new printing of the amazing American Barbarian on the way this summer), I talked to cowriter, artist and occasional ComicsAlliance guest contributor Tom Scioli about the series. Today, in the first part of the interview, he talks about the exhausting process of fitting it all into 20 pages, and reveals the adaptation he wrote for a Transformers vs. GI Joe movie that does not actually exist.
If you were just going by what was on the covers when you grabbed your Free Comic Book Day titles on Saturday, you might have missed one of the best comics on the stands. I almost did --- as much as I've been enjoying IDW's Transformers comics now that I'm finally reading them, I haven't had much of a chance to watch the new cartoon, and as a result, I skipped over the FCBD tie-in comic when I picked mine up.
It wasn't until I flipped through it later that I realized there was a short story from Tom Scioli and John Barber in there, tying into their GI Joe vs. Transformers ongoing series. And it's amazing.
If you haven't been reading Tom Scioli and John Barber's Transformers vs. G.I. Joe series from IDW, you may be somewhat confused by the images you're about to see. The series is a beautiful, weird thing of beauty that does virtually nothing that a longtime comics reader might expect from a licensed comic book featuring two of the biggest franchises in movies, cartoons and comics.
Instead of focusing on years and years of continuity, Scioli and Barber take these toys out of the toybox and play with them as if that's what they are, filtered through a lens of Jack Kirby, Jim Steranko and lots of other Silver Age artists. It opens up incredible avenues for storytelling. That's what makes it great.
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