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He Never Gives Up, He’ll Stay ’til the Fight’s Won

It has been a while since I have begged for a 6-inch G.I. Joe line. A drowsy bit of optimism made me think that we’d get surprised by a sneaky (possibly snakey) prototype at SDCC. Then I heard about Hasbro’s Hascon, and figured if Hasbro was going to reveal something, that would be the place. But both events have come and gone with nothing but the tombstone whistle of “we have no plans at this time.”

With a new movie possibly on the horizon, the popular train of thought being a 6-inch line might accompany the cinematic rejuvenation of the brand. However, if 6-inch G.I. Joes are made, yet end up as movie versions that bear little resemblance to the characters I love, the acidic bitterness left behind will erode my tongue. Sure, they’ll be some type of army guys. They’ll carry the names, they might even share a few nods to the original designs, but they won’t scratch that itch. If 6-inch Joes had accompanied the previous movie (in the same way the 4-inchers did) then I’d have a Rock that called himself Roadblock but looked nothing like a chef named Marvin that killed so many bad guys with his .50 caliber machine gun he should be licensed as a weapon of mass destruction.

A new movie will validate the Joe brand. Media dependency. It’s a necessary evil. I can’t help wondering how the validity of the present negates that of the past. This huge history in my head seems like media enough. Back then, every month a new comic added another 20-odd pages of history. Every year brought brand new file cards filled with characters. On the television screen, Joes fight Cobras, red lasers and blue lasers zipping back and forth and yet never causing harm.

Has it really been so long since all of this happened? How old am I …

In the comic, Snake Eyes and a mercenary named Kwinn survive a point blank missile attack in a sinking bunker. Dr. Venom survives as well. His destiny and Kwinn’s were connected.

In the cartoon, Shipwreck wakes up in a nightmare of melting loved ones and Cronenbergian horror.

In the cartoon, Serpentor was going to have Sgt. Slaughter’s DNA, but in the comic he got some of Storm Shadow’s instead. Storm Shadow had been gunned down by the Baroness but went into a ninja trance in order to cheat death.

Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes were invading Cobra Island to get to Zartan, the man who killed the Hard Master, who was also Storm Shadow’s uncle. And you think your family is complicated.

Zartan once infiltrated the Joe Headquarters disguised as Ripcord, who was there to avenge the death of his girlfriend, Candy. Never take Ripcord’s candy.

Ripcord, who Zartan had switched clothes with, was almost killed by Storm Shadow, believing him to be the real deal. He was saved by Candy’s father, a Crimson Guardsman, who took the blade meant for Ripcord.

Doc, a pacifist, once disarmed a Cobra soldier with a snowball. Many issues later, Doc died dirty in a ditch at the hands of a nameless S.A.W. Viper. Karma’s a bitch.

In the cartoon, the Viper is coming, and the Joes are ready to stop him.

Despite the cartoon’s portrayal of Bazooka as slow-witted, his file card referred to him as a “decisive fast thinker.”

Cobra Commander was a former scientist of Cobra La in the cartoon, a used car salesman with dreams of domination in the comic. He was turned into a snake in the cartoon, and shot in the back by a Crimson Guardsman in the comic. In both, he got better.

While a feud between Spirit and Storm Shadow was hinted at in the cartoon, there seemed to be no history between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow, despite the comic’s lengthy analysis of their time together.

Despite the portrayal of the Dreadnoks as all having very limited intelligence in the cartoon, Buzzer was a sociology teacher from Cambridge.

In the comic, the Baroness was one of the few who knew Cobra Commander’s true face. She also knew Destro’s true face as well. Baroness knew a lot of masked dudes.

In the cartoon there was no big story behind Snake Eyes and his mask. In the comic, those who saw him without it were horrified. When his so-called “heavily ravaged” face was finally shown, it was kind of disappointing. Danny Trejo is more horrifying.

In the comic, Snake Eyes had a twin sister who was killed in a car accident. The driver of the other vehicle dies at the scene as well. Her killer? The brother of the used car salesman who would become Cobra Commander.

Major Bludd and Baroness almost made Cobra Commander’s own son assassinate him. Good lord, this family …

In the cartoon, Steeler, Clutch and Grunt stayed in a parallel world, because their toys were old. That’s a hell of a retirement plan.

In the cartoon, Quick Kick was an actor that happened to join the Joes due to … being there. Apparently Joe recruiting parameters stop at “no shirt in a snowstorm.”

Cobra Commander’s son, Ripcord’s girlfriend, and Storm Shadow’s other uncle all ended up in the same car. Small world, man. Small. World.

The Oktober Guard were, like, exactly the same in both comic and cartoon. A true rarity.

In the cartoon, Dr. Mindbender appeared and made speeches with an accent. In the comic, Dr. Mindbender was once a dentist. A dentist who really liked his own chest.

In G.I. Joe the Movie, Falcon was Duke’s half-brother. In the comic, Falcon was neither Duke’s half brother, nor was he voiced by Sonny Crockett. You win some, you lose some.

In the cartoon, Cobra Commander was a buffoon and a bungler, responsible for some petty crimes that never succeeded. In the comic, Cobra commander started off as the most dangerous man alive, but gradually lost his edge and screwed up a lot before retiring, then dying, then returning to kill a bunch of people.

In the comic, the Baroness, who as I’ve said shot Storm Shadow and tried to have Cobra Commander shot, also shot Scarlett point-blank in the head. The Baroness is a bitch-and-a-half.

A new movie might come out, but if 6-inch Joes accompany that movie, I hope that they’re based on the original toys. Even if they have to be interspersed alongside new designs. These memories seem like they were acquired just yesterday, and they are G.I. Joe to me.