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Sunday, February 26, 2012

G.I. Joe: Cobra Vol. 1 – Cobra Civil War

Title: G.I. Joe: Cobra Vol. 1 – Cobra Civil War

ISBN: 9781613770368

Price: $17.99

Publisher/Year: IDW, 2011

Artist: Antonio Fuso, Chee

Writer: Mike Costa

Collects: G.I. Joe: Cobra Civil War #0, Cobra #1-4

Rating: 4/5

Cobra Commander is dead. Long live the Commander. Now they need to find his replacement. There are 9 candidates to the throne, and this trade gives us a unique viewpoint into the lives of a few of them. Baroness, Tomax, Serpentor and Major Bludd.

If you haven’t read any of the preceding issues or volumes of the Cobra limited series, you might be a little confused as to what is going on. This is not the trade you should start reading if you haven’t been reading any of the other IDW stories. When it comes to continuity for their original work, IDW is on the ball… even with multiple writers and artists working on a number of different titles. I feel that IDW has a better grasp of keeping continuity than Marvel ever did with the original series. (My apologies to Larry Hama, but these writers don’t have the toy designers breathing down their necks to write for them and I think that makes a huge difference.)

As with the entirety of the G.I. Joe titles from IDW, they are not the Joes you grew-up with as a kid. People die… there’s innuendo… you have masterful manipulations… oh, and there are alligators that eat people. I don’t recall seeing anything like that from Marvel. They have taken certain iconic characters we remember (Baroness, Serpentor, Major Bludd, Breaker, Steeler) and bring them into the new generation without the old comic book code. This approach makes for a wonderful read.

Mike Costa is yet another great writer in the employ of IDW. I wish I could have been a part of the team that selected writers like him for the G.I. Joe project. I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen a better team of artists with their writers.

Add this trade to your collection and look forward to the next volume. If you haven’t started reading IDW’s G.I. Joe titles, what are you waiting for?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

G.I. Joe Vol. 1 – Cobra Civil War

Title: G.I. Joe Vol. 1 – Cobra Civil War

ISBN: 9781613770238

Price: $17.99

Publisher/Year: IDW, 2011

Artist: Javier Saltares

Writer: Chuck Dixon

Collects: G.I. Joe: Cobra Civil War #0-4

Rating: 4/5

Cobra has gone to Hell, and the Joes need to figure out what’s going on. It also doesn’t help that they still don’t know that much about the entire organization that is Cobra. Within Cobra, we know that Cobra Commander is dead, and there are a select few that are “auditioning” as his replacement.

In this trade, we see the “civil war” primarily from the outside perspective of the Joes. They seem to be reacting rather than anticipating, and that has the entire team thrown out of whack. What happens when the Pit is compromised by Cobra agents? Who thought that would even be possible?

The art is well done and is a compliment to Chuck Dixon’s script. I look forward to seeing more work from this team in further volumes. Dixon understands G.I. Joe, and that’s why he one of the best writers on the IDW payroll and best suited on his duties.

If you aren’t reading this series from IDW, you should be. When they took over a few years back, they made this brand better than the way Marvel had left it. The only G.I. Joe title that I’ve been disappointed in from IDW has been the adaptation of the movie. Everything else, get it… read it… add it to your collection. Due to their work on the various G.I. Joe titles, IDW comprises the majority of the titles I subscribe to.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Secret Wars 2

Title: Secret Wars 2

ISBN: 9780785158301

Price: $29.99

Publisher/Year: Marvel, 2011

Artist: Al Milgrom

Writer: Jim Shooter

Collects: Secret Wars 2 #1-9

Rating: 1/5

A year after the success of the original Secret Wars, Marvel published a follow-up in an attempt to keep the ride going. I remember reading some of the original comics in 1985, but it was reading this trade that makes me think that though the marketing probably worked, the story lacked the same flair that the original mini-series had.

We have the return of the “One from Beyond”, or simply the Beyonder. He’s trying to figure humanity out and decides to become human himself to learn from the experiences. This doesn’t work all too well. It also seems as though every superhero that meets-up with the Beyonder tries to attack him on site. I think that would be a clue to him to leave Earth and go back to his own little area of the universe.

My biggest problem with this trade is that if you want to follow the entire story, you have to also pick-up specific issues where the Beyonder makes an appearance. Reading this trade alone, you receive a sense of what happens in some of the other books. This is where the marketing probably worked because if you wanted to follow the complete Secret Wars 2 story, you’d want/need to buy the additional comic books. If you were an active reader of certain titles and the Beyonder made an appearance, then you might just get interested in what else was going on and pick-up the Secret Wars 2 issues. Here are the list of tie-ins for this storyline alone:

New Mutants #30; Captain America #308; Uncanny X-Men #196; Iron Man #197; Web of Spider-Man #6; Amazing Spider-Man #268; Fantastic Four #282; Daredevil #223; Incredible Hulk #312; Avengers #260; Dazzler #40; Alpha Flight #28; Rom #72; Avengers #261; Doctor Strange #74; Thing #30; Fantastic Four #285; Power Pack #18; Thor #363; Micronauts: The New Voyages #16; Power Man and Iron Fist #121; Cloak & Dagger #4; New Mutants #36; Amazing Spider-Man #273; Uncanny X-Men #202; New Defenders #152; Spectacular Spider-Man #111; New Mutants #37; Amazing Spider-Man #274; Avengers #265; Uncanny X-Men #203; Fantastic Four #288; Avengers #266; Deadpool Team-Up #1 (Deadpool sent by Kingpin to kill Beyonder)

The story is also very lacking in depth. This isn’t a “Good vs. Evil” story like the original Secret Wars was. This story is centered on the Beyonder, and there’s not enough to make him interesting. There have been very few trades that I have read that I don’t enjoy, but this is one of them. I’m keeping this in my collection simply because I am a completist and without it there would be a continuity hole in my collection.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Favorite Super Bowl Commercials for 2012

I thought I'd share some of the best commercials I noticed while watching this years Super Bowl. Enjoy.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation-

VW (Dog)-


Oikos (John Stamos)-

The Voice (Betty White)-

The Avengers-

Jack in the Box (Marry Bacon)-

Doritos (Sling Baby)-

Doritos (Man's Best Friend)-

Audi: Vampire Party-

Secret Wars

Title: Secret Wars

ISBN: 9780785158684

Price: $34.99

Publisher/Year: Marvel, 2011

Artist: Mike Zeck, Bob Layton

Writer: Jim Shooter

Collects: Marvel Super Heroes: Secret Wars #1-12

Rating: 3/5

1984 was an interesting year for me. This was the year that I was first introduced to the role playing game, Dungeons & Dragons. This was also the year that I began reading and collecting comic books. I remember my parent’s gifted me with a subscription to G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero and The Amazing Spider-Man. There was only a single comic store in my city and I only ever was able to visit around the 4th of July when my Dad would take me there to pick-up some more Star Wars trading cards.

This was also the year of the first huge company crossover storyline from Marvel; Secret Wars. This was so huge, and some of the ramifications from it are still apparent in today’s stories.

Classic heroes and villains are brought to Battleworld to help the entity known as the Beyonder understand human desire. I’m not exactly sure that the Beyonder got what he was looking for, but this is a good read none the less.

On the side of the heroes you have the Avengers, Hulk, 3 of the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the X-Men and… for some reason… Magneto. On the villain side you have Doctor Octopus, the Lizard, Molecule Man, Kang, Doctor Doom, the Enchantress, the Wrecking Crew and Galactus.

This is your classic "Good vs. Evil" story. The heroes, generally, seem to work well together. There's some friction towards the X-Men, but it get's worked out in the end. The villains don't work well together until there is a clearly defined leader... and that leader is Doom. His eyes are on more than the prize the is offered, and he will not let anyone stand in his way.
You can defienetly tell that this was written and penciled in the 80's as the dialog is a bit campy at times and the art isn't as crisp as what you would find on the shelves now. It is still a good trade and one that every collector should have in their collection.

WANTLIST - Hasbro SDCC 2024 G.I. Joe Classified Series: Cobra Commander (Once a Man) Figure

  When I first started my action figure collection, I tried to keep it within the 3.75" realm because that's what scratched by nost...