Did you ever notice…


By Shawn Robare

While reading through some of my older Marvel G.I. Joe comics this past weekend, I noticed a couple of interesting things.  First, though there are some overt Nazi overtones to the Cobra organization, I’d wager that they weren’t quite as in your face as say the Visitors from the V mini series.  Anyway, in the cartoon the most you’d get would be the trooper’s matching uniforms and some of the megalomaniacal antics of Destro and Cobra Commander, but for the most part cobra has its own feel.  With the action figures, because of the varied character designs, you really didn’t get that fascist army vibe.  In the early comics though, there are some tell tale signs that the Nazis were a huge influence, in particular in panels like this…





…with a trooper giving the all too familiar salute to Cobra Commander.  I found that kind of weird.


The other thing that struck me was the more dynamic use of the character designs.  When Hasbro set out to mold the line of 3.75" action figures in the early 80s, they chose to make them more visually interesting by adding guns, grenades, and other stuff to the outfits.  These accouterments weren’t removable of course, and it lead to some intentional ignorance when playing with the figures in the sandbox.  I mean Snake Eyes (version 3) isn’t going to pull those blades off his chest and chop his way out when captured.  For me it pretty much gets to the point where some of these accouterments lose all of their meaning.  Take the stars on Scarlett’s gloves.  Are these patriotic patches or shuriken (ninja stars)?





Well, the comics certainly have an answer for this…





Anyway, just some food for thought when it comes to the various incarnations of one of my favorite properties from the 80s…