Published: February 17th, 2016 Written by: John Ney Rieber Art by: Jae Lee Based on:G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero & The Transformers by Hasbro
IDW Publishing, 136 Pages
It’s kind of strange that I didn’t know about this until recently but once I saw it pop up on Comixology Unlimited, I added it to my queue.
I’m a big Jae Lee fan so the fact that he was doing the art for something associated with G.I. Joe was enough to get me to check this out.
This is a crossover between the Transformers and G.I. Joe franchises but since they both exist in the same universe, it’s not the first time this has happened.
However, this is unique, as it takes place during World War II and with that, it was kind of a fresh way to cross these two properties over again.
The story was decent and I enjoyed it, as all the characters came off as pretty close to how they should be.
The art was really what put it over the top, though. I loved seeing Jae Lee do WWII era stuff and being able to mix that aesthetic in with two properties I love was pretty damn cool. In fact, this is now one of my all-time favorite looking G.I. Joe and Transformers stories.
Also known as: Snake Eyes (informal title) Release Date: July 21st, 2021 (Indonesia, Iceland, Italy) Directed by: Robert Schwentke Written by: Evan Spiliotopoulos, Joe Shrapnel, Anna Waterhouse Based on:Snake Eyes by Larry Hama; G.I. Joe by Hasbro Music by: Martin Todsharow Cast: Henry Golding, Andrew Koji, Úrsula Corberó, Samara Weaving, Haruka Abe, Takehiro Hira, Iko Uwais, Peter Mensah
“[deciding to run away from the battle] Oh, fuck this!” – The Baroness
Lens flares are back, baby! And I guess they’re getting really fancy and artistic with them now. So much so, that they’ve become more important than the action and you find yourself looking for them, as opposed to focusing on the fights, that are already obscured by this effect, as well as choppy editing, sloppy choreography and what’s apparently the director not giving a fuck about anything.
Anyway, this was the third attempt at a live-action G.I. Joe movie and it’s also a huge step backwards from Retaliation, which had its problems but was also leaning hard into the right direction. With Retaliation, a follow up never came because Hasbro doesn’t know what the fuck they’re doing with their own properties, anymore. Plus, Paramount has been creatively bankrupt with Hasbro’s properties since they originally acquired them in the mid-’00s.
At least the horrendous G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra kind of resembled G.I. Joe. Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, on the other hand, is not a G.I. Joe movie and the title character is not Snake Eyes.
To start, Snake Eyes is a masked, silent ninja. Emphasis on “silent” and “masked”. He’s also a white, blonde American that got disfigured from an accident while trying to save his brothers-in-arms during an actual war.
In this film, he’s Asian, he never wears a mask and he rarely, if ever, doesn’t shut the fuck up. He also doesn’t go to war. Additionally, they didn’t really cast an action guy and Henry Golding, despite his best efforts and I don’t blame him, completely lacked the energy and charisma needed for the role. And this left me wondering how Ray Park, behind a mask and without any dialogue, was able to bring a character like Snake Eyes to life so greatly in the previous two G.I. Joe movies?
The story was the biggest problem with the film and it’s just a very generic ninja movie that just sprinkles in G.I. Joe references because Hasbro is dumb and Paramount is dumber. In my opinion, the best Snake Eyes (and G.I. Joe) movie is 1985’s American Ninja, which isn’t even related to the franchise at all.
Now the acting was pretty shit, for the most part. The Baroness was especially awful and it kind of pisses me off, as she is one of my favorite characters in the franchise. In fact, I like her more than any of the franchise’s characters that were featured in this film. Also, she never looked like the Baroness. Honestly, she looked like an assistant manager at Wet Seal circa 1998.
I don’t know, man. This movie sucked and it was pretty fucking disappointing when the studio had a movie more than half right, eight years ago, and they never followed it up. Plus, they had Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis for fuck’s sake and an impressive and perfect looking Cobra Commander.
Instead, we got some generic ass ninja television pilot for a CW show that no one wanted.
I have finally reached the end of the classic Marvel Comics G.I. Joe run, which was almost entirely written by Larry Hama.
Most of it was great but the last four or five volumes are pretty shitty, this one being no different, which is sort of sad, considering how great this franchise was in its prime, back when Larry Hama still cared about it and when Hasbro was making great toys and not corny ones that pushed fans away.
To be fair, most of the loyal G.I. Joe fans were also more into girls by the early ’90s.
Anyway, this final collection of issues is a wee bit better than the previous lot but the series still went out with a whimper.
This is also plagued by awful art that is well below Marvel’s quality standards in the ’90s.
Most of the half dozen or so artists here were trying really hard to be the next Rob Liefeld and I don’t say that complimentary. They sort of adopted the worst parts of Liefeld’s style and gave us stories littered with bad physics, weird anatomy and messed up looking faces.
All in all, I still love this series. But everything went to shit after about 100 issues and never recovered.
Rating: 4.75/10 Pairs well with: Any of the original Marvel G.I. Joe comics.
At this point, the classic Marvel G.I. Joe comic had gotten so bad that I’m pretty sure the publisher knew it. And I really hate besmirching the great Larry Hama but I really don’t think he was giving a shit about these characters anymore.
So I guess going ninja heavy wasn’t enough to keep kids interested, so this volume went ahead and threw the Transformers franchise into the mix, as well.
Now it’s been pretty well-known since the beginning, really, that both of these franchises exist in the same universe. However, how they come together and fit has always been a bit wonky and inconsistent.
In this one, Cobra helps a disheveled but vengeance seeking Megatron get his mojo back. As part of this sinister partnership, Cobra is given Cybertronian tech to give them the edge in their quest for world domination. The story featuring some of the Transformers characters is fairly short, though.
This collection of issues, the penultimate collection in the original series, features multiple story arcs. None of them are all that interesting, sadly. Even seeing Megatron and Cobra Commander working together just didn’t do enough to peak my interest and redeem the series.
I’d say that this was a bit better than the previous volume but it was still mostly bad.
Well, only one more to go. I hope Hama at least goes out with something good. Probably not, though.
Rating: 4.5/10 Pairs well with: Any of the original Marvel G.I. Joe and Transformers comics.
Well, we’ve reached the first collected edition of the original G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero comic series that I’ve had to give an unfavorable score to.
This series, at this point, keeps getting worse. Other than the few original characters I care about, this is littered with shitty new ones and the old ones who are there are mostly wearing really awful new costumes.
Frankly, this was hard on the eyes, the story was out of gas and this went the route of “Just throw ninjas in there! A lot of ninjas! The kids love the ninjas!”
Well, when the ninjas look more sci-fi and fluorescent than traditional and dark, a ten year-old boy isn’t going to give a shit. The ninjas are no longer cool, they look like they were designed by the same toy development team that would go on to invent Bratz dolls.
This was damn hard to get through and I say that as someone that adores G.I. Joe. Hell, it’s my favorite franchise of all-time!
Luckily, I only have two more volumes to read in the original classic run. Hopefully, this finds a way to recover and go out with a bang. I fear it’s going to go out like a wet dog fart, however.
Rating: 4.25/10 Pairs well with: Any of the original Marvel G.I. Joe and Transformers comics.
The last volume was probably where I would have jumped off the series when I was a kid, if I hadn’t jumped off of it before that due to getting older and getting strange feelings around girls.
Sadly, this collection of issues didn’t pick things back up and it just continued down a crappy path.
At this point, it’s like all the good stories have been told and the series just feels like it is running aimlessly on fumes without a clear direction. Maybe Larry Hama stopped caring and Hasbro was just making him wedge in all their new, weird toys, which, in my opinion, wrecked the franchise and killed it due to terrible redesigns and stupid, unrealistic vehicles.
With this stretch of issues, the art quality also fell off fairly significantly. While this features multiple artists, the overall quality is poor and littered with issues from bad perspective to weird faces and bizarre anatomy.
This is also longer than the previous eleven volumes by a couple of issues, which made pushing through it even harder.
But at least there were a lot of ninjas!… even if most of the new ones look really stupid.
Rating: 5.5/10 Pairs well with: Any of the original Marvel G.I. Joe and Transformers comics.
This may be where the series lost me. Granted, I think I started to feel that way a few volumes back but the series rebounded in a good way.
By this point in the long-running G.I. Joe series, though, it feels like Larry Hama is just running through the motions. Also, I feel less connected to it and less nostalgic for it, as I’ve gotten to the point in the franchise where I stopped paying attention to it when I was a kid.
That had a lot to do with getting older and with the design of the later G.I. Joe toys getting bizarre and ugly. I hated most of the new vehicles of this era, as well as the new characters and old character redesigns. Some things were good from this time but 90 percent of it was garish and impractical. I liked this when it at least felt grounded in some sort of reality.
None of that is specifically Hama’s fault. He didn’t design the toys and new character looks, so he had to make the best out of what was given to him to adapt into the larger story. Besides, this comic’s original purpose was to sell toys.
Like the other volumes I’ve reviewed, this one collects multiple story arcs. Some are fairly interesting but most of them just felt really redundant.
I did like the art, which was changing with the times but this does still generally look like an ’80s era G.I. Joe comic.
Overall, I’d say that this was my least favorite stretch of the original comic series that I’ve read so far. There are still four volumes left but I’ll probably finish the series, being that I’m this far into it.
Rating: 6.25/10 Pairs well with: Any of the original Marvel G.I. Joe and Transformers comics.
You must be logged in to post a comment.