Tagged: G.I. Joe

Chris’ Comics: G.I. Joe Deviations #1

GIJoe-Deviations-coverG.I. Joe: Deviations #1

Paul Allor, Corey Lewis, Gilberto Lazcano

IDW $4.99

2015 was the year that I took some time to read some comics about Transformers, specifically Windblade, who is the best. 2016 sees me purchasing G.I. Joe: Deviations #1, a one shot done in the what if style. I assume I’ll finally be given IDW’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle series a shot comes 2017.

G.I. Joe: Deviations probably wouldn’t have landed on my radar is it was mentioned on Comics Alliance few times, or if it wasn’t drawn by Corey Lewis, who’s Snark Knife I’ve enjoyed and upcoming Sun Bakery I’m very excited for. It also helps that the premise for this comic and its execution is right up my ally.

The plot for GIJ:D sounds pretty grimmdark at first as the few pages sees Cobra successfully conquer the world and lay waste to their enemy G.I. Joe. But then it flashes forward 5 years later, where we see Cobra Commander at odds with his role of leader of the world and his desire to be a cartoon super villain. Now that he and Cobra have succeeded, he has very little time for inane world conquering plots involving questionable gi_joe_deviations_preview_03technology. He has to focus now on being a bureaucrat, something he does not enjoy doing obviously. “Luckily” for him, 4 Joes remain, and are looking for revenge, which obviously leads to hijinks (who is NOT a existing G.I Joe character surprisingly).

Writer Paul Allor does an excellent job of telling a solid story while making sure there’s some laughs to be had. The original G.I. Joe animated series has not aged well, and Allor is well aware of what the internet has mined from this show for meme purposes. Case in point, this comic starts off with a PSA parody that goes pretty dark real fast, but is also funny in an incredibly cruel way.  This comic is very much an action comedy, as Cobra Commander’s inability to give up his love of causing a ruckus leads to some interesting decisions.

As stated above, Corey Lewis was a key reason why I bought this book, and he does not disappoint. His style is perfect for a book like this, as his stylized, Jim Mahfood-esque art successfully gives the book a animated feel. I love his character designs, which make all sorts of pop culture references, but only if you’re in on the joke, so they don’t really gi_joe_deviations_preview_05distract much. His art really shines when it comes to the book’s action scenes, as his kinetic, manga esque layouts really make for some fun visuals. I’m glad that Lewis inks and colors himself as well, because the finished art really pops, re-imagining the old animated series in the best way possible.

My only complaint is the price tag. Its 5 bucks for 36 pages, but a lot of those pages (14!) is dedicated space for extra content. Had I not been such a fan of the artist, chances are I would have skipped over it to be honest, and it may be a deal breaker for those of you who want a more serious story. That being said, I’m okay with my purchase, especially since it’s a done in one. G.I. Joe Deviations is a fun alternate universe one-shot that I can’t recommend enough if you want a different take on a beloved property. By not being the most serious of affairs, the books works for me in ways other G.I. Joe comics haven’t before. If you’re willing to drop the $5 on it, there’s a lot of fun to be had.

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May 7th Mega Signing

The-Woods-Mega-SigningMay 7th had so many awesome releases we couldn’t decided who to have a signing with, so we’re doing everybody. Come down to Forbidden Planet and get you copy of Vertigo’s  CMYK Anthology and In the Dark signed by a slew of amazing creators.and James Tynion IV (Batman Eternal) will also be on hand to sign his brand new series The Woods. And if that wasn’t enough the man, the legend Larry Hama will also be here in the flesh. Don’t miss out folks.

 

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Ch-ch-Alterations

Comic Books as we know them are now over. Too bad, really, there were some super sweet books coming out this week, such as The Goon #41, Wolverine and the X-Men #15, Before Watchmen: Minutemen #3, Avenging Spider-Man #11, The Detective Comics Annual #1, and Justice League #12, which sure seemed like it had a great deal of promise.

It is a low down shame that none of that matters now. The seas are about to boil, and Lobsters are going to rule the land. How do I know? Because another book hitting the shelves this week is the Green Lantern Annual #1, and this book has very terse, direct solicitations; This book promises that “Everything changes here! EVERYTHING!”

Well that Sucks.

EVERYTHING CHANGES

I sure hope you didn’t like breathing air and drinking water, because NOW we’re going to have to drink coal and breath Carbon Dioxide. We’ll need to walk on our hands, except when we fly, and cars will drive US to work, which will now consist of paying someone else to allow you to loiter.

Maybe DC doesn’t mean it…but they do have a Legal department. I’m sure if DC meant that “everything in the fictional world of the Green Lantern changes,” they would have written that instead of stating that everything will change! EVERYTHING! Were it to be otherwise we could sue them for Liable, and DC Legal is not about to let that happen.

Diamonds will now be called Mondiads, and will be the most common stone on the Earth, where we won’t live anymore, btw, because that will change too. We’ll probably be whisked away to some crazy new planet…or maybe we’ll have to live on a Moon now, as we lived on planets back before everything changed.

You know who goes to moons sometimes? Darth Maul!

Hey, did you know that Darth Maul, the short, evil Jedi from the first Star Wars movie isn’t (fictionally) dead, but is now half cyborg and hanging out with his pissed off brother named Savage Opress? Well now you know, and you can read more about it in the latest Dark Horse Star Wars comic, Star Wars: Darth Maul : Death Sentence #2.

Or you could have “read all about it,” but now everything has changed. Now you’ll have to “smell nothing about something else.” Thanks a HEAP Green Lantern Annual #1! Continue reading

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G.I. Joe Retaliation Roadblock Review

For reasons unknown to me, Roadblock was always one of my favorite characters in G.I. Joe. I could never really understand why—heck, he only had, what, one GOOD mold during the entire O-ring era of G.I. Joe? I don’t know, there was just something appealing to me about a gigantic, muscular black guy who spends half of his time carrying around a big machine gun not meant to be used as a handheld weapon, and the other half as a master chef. Sure, he did all those godawful rhymes in the cartoon, but well, I tend to disregard the cartoon whenever I can. Roadblock was… just awesome.

When I first heard that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was playing Roadblock, I was a smidge skeptical. I just wasn’t sold. Yeah, he was big enough, but he just didn’t have… the look. Maybe it was his skin tone, or hair color, or something, but I just wasn’t sold on the idea. But, I tend to keep an open mind, and you know what? Once I finally got to see him in costume, my opinion shifted. One look at him said “That’s Roadblock.” And all things considered, I was pretty happy.

This is the second figure Roadblock has received in the Retaliation line so far, and it’s a certain improvement over the first one. This figure actually has two functional hands as opposed to a stupid gimmick hand that lacks any functionality whatsoever. Apparently early production samples had him with two of those hands, but thankfully, that’s not the case for the final toy.

I really like the head sculpt for this figure. While I think it could be a bit better, maybe with The Rock’s trademark “one eye bigger than the other” expression, it’s good for what it is. I actually like the lighter facial hair color here—it makes it look like he’s been out on patrol for awhile, going along with the whole “Night Ops” look. Continue reading

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GI Joe Ninja Dojo Set part 1 Kamakura

For the G.I. Joe Retaliation line, it seems like Hasbro has been making a big push for the ninjas. You know, as if they never did that before. As a result, we’re getting all sorts of toys released with “ninja” somewhere on the package, regardless of whether or not it makes sense. But hey, most of the time, just slapping a word like that onto a package doesn’t really hurt anything. The days of Ninja Force and the like are thankfully behind us, and it looks like we won’t have to deal with action features anymore. Thank god.

For the next three reviews, I’m going to be covering each figure in one of the first two “G.I. Joe Ninja” sets, the Dojo set, featuring Kamakura, Roadblock, and Beachhead. I’ll be starting with the set’s actual ninja, Kamakura.

Kamakura was one of the few (only?) characters from G.I. Joe’s short-lived affair with Image/Devil’s Due comics to get his own figure. It’s a shame he was all we got, as I would have loved a figure of Firewall. We do have Zanya now, however, but there are still many others that deserve figures. Since he received his first figure in 2003, he’s become a mainstay in G.I. Joe as a whole, and you know something? I quite like him.

Kamakura’s last figure was released during Rise of Cobra. Unfortunately, he was possibly the rarest figure in the line and now fetches quite a premium on the aftermarket. Let’s just say I REALLY regret turning him down the time I saw him for $12 in a CVS…

The parts on this figure come from a rather off assortment of figures. The torso and upper legs come from everyone’s favorite Storm Shadow (30th Anniversary), the head and hood come from Resolute Storm Shadow, and the arms and lower legs from that Tornado Kick Snake Eyes figure that is best left forgotten. If I didn’t know better, I would have taken this figure for a Night Creeper.

That’s mostly due to his rather odd choice of colors, however. They’re very reminiscent of the Night Creeper figures from the Spytroops/Valor vs. Venom Era. It’s not a BAD color scheme per se, it just doesn’t suit Kamakura. Maybe if it was greener it would… Continue reading

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IDW FTW

My hat is off to IDW, as they are truly showing the other companies what it means to publish comics in the new millennium. They publish the most mainstream of mainstream titles, but find the coin to get the nicest, small interest art books on the shelves to boot. They have all the prestige of a small boutique press, but are shameless in their high profile licenses.

If I went back in time twenty years and told you (if you were alive, and demographically speaking that is a safe bet) that ONE COMPANY would have the licensing rights to ALL of the following titles, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Crow, Godzilla, G.I. Joe, and Magic the Gathering, you would swear I was lying…and those are just the titles they’re shipping this week!

And True Blood, which I omitted as nobody from twenty years ago knew what the heck that was.

NOW keep in mind that IDW is also publishing Frankenstein Alive, Alive! #2, the sequel to Bernie Wrightson’s Frankenstein (arguably one of the best rendered fantasy art stories of our time) as well as putting out beautiful, Artist edition reprints of Bernie Wrightson’s Muck Monster AND Sergio Aragone’s Groo and you can begin to see the bigger picture.

IDW is performing miracles, churning out quality comics to appeal to both the lowest of the mainstream ignoramuses and the snootiest of the high-minded comic book purists.

Get on board the IDW love fest and drink the IDW Kool-Aid! Continue reading

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G.I. Joe Retaliation Snake Eyes

Another year, another Snake-Eyes figure.

But well, what do you expect. The movies looks like it’s going to be loaded with all sorts of Arashikage Ninja action, so of course we’ll have a ton of new Snake-Eyes figures to deal with. But hey, I say that like Hasbro ever had a REASON to make fifty Snake-Eyes figures in any given year. Still, I’m a big enough fan of Snake-Eyes and the G.I. Joe movie aesthetic in general to justify my buying of another figure, and besides, it wouldn’t be as fun having the new Storm Shadow without an appropriate Snake-Eyes to fight him.

This new Snake-Eyes figure, well, certainly is a Snake-Eyes figure. I have to wonder if Hasbro ever gets tired of his design and tries to do something new with him. That’s probably how Temple Guardian Snake-Eyes came about, you know, one of those toys I never found. Ah well. I guess this figure will hold me off for awhile, even though I feel as though he’s inferior to the “God Tier Snake-Eyes” from 2010 in almost every way.

Seeing as Hasbro almost never changes Snake-Eyes’ design, it feels like he’s one of those characters whose design can never go wrong, not even in movie form. Well, okay, there was that hideous mouth on the suit for the first movie, but thankfully, that isn’t the case here. It’s back to the old look here.

In fact I really like this head. The wrinkled/slightly baggy look is very reminiscent of the Snake-Eyes mold introduced in 2005. In fact, now that I think about it, the whole figure kind of is. That’s pretty cool and all, but honestly, I’d like something a bit more “new”. Maybe we’ll see something like Paris Pursuit Snake-Eyes soon. That was a fun toy.

Much like the new Storm Shadow, there is no sacrificed articulation here. He’s got it all: hinged wrists, ankle rockers; again, pretty much everything save for the fabled double-elbow. However, he’s not as good as Storm Shadow in the knee department. The “fabric” on the back of his pants hinders some of the articulation, preventing the legs from going back all the way.

My biggest issue with the figure is the accessories. His sword is cool, as is his gun (despite it being… blue. What is this, 1993?) but he has no cool webgear. No backpack, no straps, nothing. The lack of any kind of webgear is really disappointing to me. Without any, he just feels so boring and plain. Continue reading

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Shadow of the Summer Box Office

I’d make a clever pun regarding the heat but my brain is currently a pile of mush thanks to a combination of binge drinking over the weekend and said heat. That and I’m never clever, hung over or not. Let’s make with the toy news instead, yes?

For those of you not the know, this summer’s G.I. Joe Retaliation has been pushed back to next March, because of “The desire to be converted into 3-D to please the international market” which is really code for “YO THE AVENGERS KILLED BATTLESHIP IN THE BOX OFFICE, MAYBE WE DON’T RELEASE THIS THING RIGHT BEFORE A NEW SPIDER-MAN/BATMAN DROPS!” Yeah I don’t get it either, but if you were looking to pick up some of the new Retaliation figures (which Loran has looked at in the past), now’s the time to do so, as Hasbro’s been trying to get retailers to send them back and wait for 2012 to bring them back. We have a limited supply of some figures still in stock, so if you want them now, come get ’em, or wait until 2013.

Speaking of Bat, the 2nd wave of Arkham City figures have been released by DC Direct, just in time for the Game of the Year Edition to be released this week (also the new “Harley Quinn’s Revenge” DLC for those who already bought the game but feel like giving WB games more cash). This set includes the like of Hush, the Riddler, Catwoman, The Mad Hatter, and Smurf Batman, or as it’s actually called “Detective Mode Batman”, which makes sense if you played the game. Sort of. I dunno, I’m fairly certain this is just repainted Arkham Asylum Batman made to meet the 1 Bat per wave quota. Either way, the quality of these figures vary, as again, you have Blueberry Batman, and a tiny Mad Hatter, which is definitely not worth the $20 they retail for. The Riddler and Hush are both solid figures though, but I’m not exactly crazy about their sculpt’s poses. However it’s probably the only chance you’ll be able to get these figures in these versions, so you may want to pick them up if you’re a fan. The Catwoman figure is easily the best of this wave, and I easily recommend her over the rest. In addition to these figures, expect the first set of deluxe figures (Killer Croc and Mister Freeze) to drop in either June or July, and the 3rd wave/final deluxe figure to drop in the fall. Also expect a ton of “Dark Knight Rises” tie-in action figures to drop any week now. Continue reading

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GI Joe Renegades Cobra Trooper Review

By Loran

Well, in addition to not getting anything close to a full line, it seems as though the toys for G.I. Joe Renegades are going to be a pain to find, as well. Some of the main characters have proven easy to find, but side characters and Cobras have proven to be a challenge, especially the amazing Storm Shadow figure which I have yet to see. Still, it’s better to get a bunch of impossible-to-find figures than none at all, I guess. This makes me glad they only ever did one army builder, which I happen to have right here…

What G.I. Joe toyline would be complete without a standard Cobra Trooper? Yep, thankfully, Hasbro gave us the Cobra Soldier from Renegades in toy form. Although, I actually have a bit of a hard time calling him a “Cobra Soldier” or a “Cobra Trooper” considering Cobra’s role in the television show. They aren’t as much of an evil terrorist organization as they are an evil business trying to destroy the world’s infrastructure from the inside-out. As a result, the Cobra Troopers are less like footsoldiers, and more like security guards. I like this concept, as it can easily be worked into Joe lore as a whole. Gotta have someone at the front desk of Extensive Enterprises, don’t you?

Like many of the other Renegades figures, the Cobra Trooper reuses older parts to save on costs. What amazes me is what figure they chose for it. With the exception of the kneepads and head, obviously, the Cobra Trooper shares his mold with the fantastic Pursuit of Cobra DUSTY figure! Yeah, it surprised me, too! And amazingly, it works!

The vest is the most essential new piece. The turtleneck covers a good chunk of the figures face, which makes him seem almost sinister. The back has a white Cobra emblem with SECURITY written underneath it. See, even Hasbro saw the whole “Security Guard” aspect of the figure’s design!

The figure includes a choice of two heads, one in the animation model and another wearing a mask. I actually don’t like the masked one that much. It almost looks… TOO evil, and actually kind of un-Cobra-like. I like the regular head more because despite the expression, he still looks like your average schlub that just so happens to be working for an evil corporation trying to take over the world. But then again, aren’t we all?

Also like many of the other Renegades figures, there’s a serious lack of accessories here, but it doesn’t hurt him too much. He comes with a standard-issue pulse rifle, a new-sculpt nightstick, and a pair of handcuffs. All of them suit his purpose nicely, and I’d rather have a figure with a few well-thought-out accessories than a bunch I’ll never end up using. The handcuffs are probably the coolest ones, even if it can be hard to get them around the wrists of some figures. They’d be better with a longer chain.

While he’s far from the last Renegades figure I’ll be reviewing, I’m saddened by the fact that I’m running out. He’s a good army builder, and I suggest getting at least one, provided you can find it at some place like FPNYC. I won’t be happy until I get… hmm… two more. 😀

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Cobra Black Dragon VTOL Review

By Loran

With the miniscule amount of toys G.I. Joe Renegades seems to be getting, it’s a miracle we’re seeing any vehicles at all, especially one that isn’t the Coyote. We did get to see the new HISS in action (which I still need in some form), and the HISS is always great; really, it isn’t G.I. Joe without one. But there was one vehicle from Renegades that stood out to me, one that just jumped out, mostly because it was a variation on the Osprey, one of my all-time favorite pieces of military aircraft. Sure, it’s not as big as it is in the cartoon, but that sure doesn’t hurt it.

The Black Dragon VTOL takes its name from another faction in the G.I. Joe Universe, one introduced through the collector’s club back in 2005. Really, I think it’s an attempt to keep the copyright, but hey, the name works well enough. This heli is sleek. I swear, I’m gonna need a few more of these. This whole aesthetic goes perfectly with my vision of Cobra, always being one step ahead of the game in terms of military tech. On that note, actually, I might grab one of these to paint up in an Iron Grenadier color scheme. I can definitely see a lot of these patrolling good ol’ Castle Destro.

Like any good vehicle, there’s “some assembly required” and it really impressed me how Hasbro fit a vehicle this big into a box smaller than that of the VAMP. But there’s one thing that won me over: NO STICKERS! Yes, all the detail on this puppy is painted, and it looks fantastic. Stickering vehicles is okay until there gets to be over, oh, FIFTY for a single vehicle? I remembering buying a case of 25th Anniversary vehicles back in 2009, and it took me about four hours to put the stickers on all of them.

This vehicle has a good selection of gimmicks that don’t hurt it in ANY way, shape, or form. Both wings can be positioned to the rear and with a push of a button they swing into place. The second button opens up a pair of containers each loaded with four bombs and deploys a machine gun. AND IT WORKS! AMAZING. Continue reading

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G.I Joe VAMP Mk. II Review

By Loran

I think if Cobra had the HISS tank as its iconic land vehicle, the Joes had the VAMP. Sure, it may not be as well known as the Skystriker or the USS Flagg, but it’s definitely one worth mentioning. The original was there since day one, and its successor was around for several years after the fact through its initial retail release and countless mail-in offers. I’ve always been partial to the Cobra Stinger, myself, but the VAMP is far easier to come by, and it was always great even without anti-air guns and a slavish black color scheme. The new VAMP may be pretty far off from that little jeep, but that doesn’t hurt it in any way; in fact, it helps it.

The new VAMP, specifically the VAMP Mk. II here, is basically what would happen if the original VAMP mated with the Warthog from HALO, and produced a sexy baby. This thing dwarfs the original VAMP, coming closer in size to the fantastic Humvees we got during Valor vs. Venom. This version can fit three passengers and a gunner, with a few guys running sidearm (if that’s the proper term. I doubt it is).

Interestingly, this thing has an old-style trailer hitch, so you can hook up great old vehicles like the Whirlwind and the MMS to it for some extra firepower! Continue reading

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Pursuit of Cobra Beachhead review

By Loran

Hey look, a Joe I forgot to review!

Beachhead is a character I’ve always had mixed feelings about. I don’t hold him in the contempt I do for Duke, but I always felt that he could never stand up to Stalker as the team’s #1 Ranger. Maybe it’s because of my distaste for the Sunbow cartoon (of which he was rather overused) or my preference for Stalker’s backstory in the comics, but Beachhead just never did it for me. Regardless, I know an important character when I see one, and I always try to keep them active in my collection.

Too bad most of his figures up until now kinda sucked.

Released in the first wave of Pursuit of Cobra figures as a part of the City Strike assortment, Beachhead is one of the few figures that didn’t need any cosmetic changes. While some like Duke got a new head to move away from the movie likeness, others like Ripcord had to be made into entirely new characters. Being an offscreen character that wears a mask, Beachhead ran into no such problems. I’m glad, too, since the one we got with the Snarler Cycle during Rise of Cobra was really lame, and made even lamer when placed against the AMAZING Airborne repaint he came with.

Beachhead’s base figure very much has the “five minutes into the future” aspect that Pursuit of Cobra was going for. He’s actually one of the few vest-wearing figures I’ve seen that looks good without it. With a few more paint applications, he’d be able to stand well enough on his own.

One issue I have with the base figure is this weird… meter thing on his leg. I’m not sure what exactly it is, but it’s more trouble than it’s worth. It always pops out and won’t stay at all if you try to bend his knees. Maybe it’s like the bombs the Predators use whenever everything goes wrong, so like if he gets stuck behind Cobra lines he can blow himself up? I dunno. Continue reading

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Renegades Snake Eyes Review

By Loran

The Renegades keep marching in now, with another constant of the G.I. Joe Universe: Snake-Eyes! Yeah, I figured I should just get the “big three” out of the way first, or else I’d probably never buy them. I always like to focus on the side-characters first and make up my own backstories for them and whatnot, then add all the “big names” later on. I mean, there are always gonna be Snake-Eyes and Duke figures, but how often do we get, say, a new Low-Light, Airtight, or Sci-Fi? Not often enough, I would say… and I still need to find a Low-Light…

Renegades Snake-Eyes borrows heavily from Resolute Snake-Eyes. Actually, that’s a lie… pretty much his entire mold is Resolute Snake-Eyes. That’s not a bad thing, mind you; Resolute Snake-Eyes is a great mold! I remember searching high and low for him back during the first movie and the total elation I experienced when I finally did find him. Admitted, I already had the mold from that Target-exclusive four pack, but I still wanted the full experience. For awhile he was my default Snake-Eyes, up until the Pursuit of Cobra Wave 3 one came out. Come on, we all KNOW you can’t top that one.

…and, that’s really the main problem with this figure. Until Hasbro (somehow) tops it, Wave 3 Snake-Eyes will remain the DEFINITIVE version of the character, and all other versions will just be living in its shadow. Sure, you can do some gimmicky figures like Temple Guardian, but no matter what, they won’t beat the real thing.

In fact, the only NEW parts to this figure are the arms. The head is the same as the alternate one we saw in the Wave 3 version. A nice head for sure, though I would’ve liked to see something new. Personally, the visor look never did much for me. I always preferred goggles, and one of my favorite molds for the character is the 1991 “Hockey Mask” version. I don’t know why, but I always dug it.

The new arms work well enough, avoiding the wrist problem Duke had. I don’t see the point of giving someone like Snakes the dual-joint system, since it’s not like he has any rifles to hold. The hands themselves are nice and tight, and Hasbro was smart enough to NOT band the gun to his hand itself in the package. I hate it when they do that.

Unlike Duke, Snakes got off with a pretty good assortment of weapons. He comes with two swords, a knife, a sai, a backpack, and some kind of phase machine gun? It’s odd, but it suits Snakes. Not only does he come with a lot of weapons, but he can actually store them all! Wooo! The sai and knife store in his backpack, the gun on a new-sculpt holster, and his swords in… some kind of pouch thing? Whatever, I’ll run with it.

If you already own Resolute Snake-Eyes in some form, you’re really not getting much new here aside from a pair of new arms and gear. Between him and the Wave 3 Snake-Eyes, the choice is obvious, but if you can’t find that fantastic figure or if you like Renegades, he’s good enough. Snag them from FPNYC before they disappear just like the show did!

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Renegades Cobra Commander Review

By Loran

G.I. Joe Renegades was probably my favorite incarnation of G.I. Joe of all time. In many ways it felt like G.I. Joe how I would have done it, namely the whole “Cobra is watching you” angle. The show was absolutely fantastic, and it was clear that the writers were having a blast with it. At the 2010 G.I. Joe convention, I got to see the panel that the show’s creators were hosting, and one of them said, “We’re writing this show for us, in the hopes that kids will like it, too.” A great way to approach writing a children’s show in a franchise you love, in my opinion.

I absolutely LOVE the design for Renegades Cobra Commander. It’s a departure from designs we’ve seen previously yet it’s still immediately recognizable as him, unlike his design from the movie. While I liked the design from Rise of Cobra, it’s really hard for me to use it as the “original” Cobra Commander because of how different it is. Plus, I don’t exactly like the idea of the Commander being disfigured. I always saw him as someone who just wants his face concealed. After all, remember what Fred VII said: “It could be anyone behind that mask…”

Indeed, my enthusiasm for the Renegades design mostly comes from how it was executed. Instead of looking like a straight-up dictator, Cobra Commander now looks halfway between “dictator” and “businessman”. There is nothing showy about this design. It’s very nondescript, and looks more like he’d be seen behind a desk instead of some elaborate, snake-shaped throne. I like my Cobra Commander behind a desk, running Cobra like a business enterprise. Something about that seems a bit scarier to me.

Both of the Commander’s facemasks from the cartoon are included; the half-mask from the first part of the series and the more “traditional” full mask from later on. As much as I like the mask from the earlier portion of the series, it doesn’t work for me in plastic. The skin tone is just TOO white, even for something that’s supposed to be cartoony. A lighter skin tone like the 2000-2001 figures would have been far more effective. The “classic”-style mask is a bit better, and probably how I’ll be displaying mine. I actually got the helmet from the DVD Battles figure to fit on it, and I love the way it looks. I wonder if I could find a hat and make an Old Snake custom… Continue reading

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Review: Marvel Universe Doctor Doom

By Loran

I’m really starting to think I need to put more “rhythm” into my comic character collecting…

I got Deadpool before any of the other X-Men, Ms. Marvel before Captain Marvel; I own Iron Patriot and no Captain America (which I need to fix), I don’t have a good Hulk figure, I own Black Widow and Namor for… some reason and I have more Iron Men than I really need. And of course, I continued this by getting Doctor Doom before anyone in the Fantastic Four! At least there’s a boxset to help fix that now. Besides, he’s Doctor Doom. Who needs reason to own him?

I always thought Doctor Doom was kind of cool, probably because I like Destro from G.I. Joe so much. He’s kind of like the prototype for Destro, even if was a bit cooler, at least in my opinion. This mold was previously used in one of the Secret Wars comic packs with Wasp and Absorbing Man, sporting a much more “animated” color scheme. Whether you like the animated look or the “realistic” look is really a matter of opinion, but either way, this one gives you the option of just getting Doom by himself. Continue reading

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