GI Joe General Discussion

Videoviper

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Was watching Renegades on Hasbro Youtube. I know a lot of people didn't really like this GI Joe prequel/A team version, But I love this show, lots of world building & would have led into some great things if allowed to continue.
 

nacho

"Big Guns"
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While I know not every Joe fan was into the comics back in the day, I think everyone probably has a basic familiarity with issue #21, the classic "silent issue", and its significance. It was a big deal that reverberated through Joe fandom and all of comics for years.

Yesterday, the original artwork for the cover was sold at auction. Without googling it, anyone want to hazard a guess at the final gavel price?

joe21 Screenshot 2022-01-14 210929.png
 

ThunderDan19

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I have zero idea what a reasonable number is for this kind of thing, but I’ll take a wild guess of $10K.
 

nacho

"Big Guns"
Founder
Wait for it........
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Wait for it....
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That particular piece of original comic art fetched
a solid $312,000, a record for Joe pages
.

And if that sounds crazy, the interior page of Secret Wars #8 that depicts the very first rendering of Spider-Man in the black symbiote costume that would later become Venom, just fetched a whopping
$3.36 million
.

Screw real estate or vintage sports cars. I wish I'd bought comic art pages with every spare dime I had in the 80's, 90's, and 2000's!
 
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nacho

"Big Guns"
Founder
So I finally finished my rewatch of the full Sunbow series as well as the "movie" (only took 9 months). I have to say, as many times as I watched these on an endless loop as a kid, they still held my attention for the most part. The voices are just as iconic, even if I can quote half the lines. Many of the plots were cheesy, and there were far more of them focused on monsters, supernatural, and occult stuff than I remembered. In my head, every ep was just the Joes countering Cobra's sci-fi MacGuffin-of-the-week, but in reality, the show was far more "out there" than my brain could recall.

Then I got to the movie, and it was much like I remembered, good and bad. I tried hard over the years to forget Big Lob ever existed, and I'm sticking to that policy. Plot-wise, I hated Cobra La and the manner in which it flew in the face of everything we knew, how it gave CC a backstory as a scientist from an ancient species of snake people. That's pretty far out if you knew nothing else, but if you read the comic and knew that CC was just a failed used car salesman, so disillusioned that he started his own cult/pyramid scheme/terrorist group... the whole "snake people" thing felt like it was a plot point stolen from a very different franchise, not the Joe we all knew and loved. The plot parallels with the '86 Transformers movie and Star Wars were also pretty apparent. The animation was definitely a step up from the tv series, but not nearly as impressive as it's TF predecessor.

Overall, I still enjoyed the first two miniseries the most, and I could probably pick out about a dozen episodes of season 1 that really embody everything I love about the franchise. S2... it was ok, but the focus on Sgt Slaughter, Dial-Tone, Wetsuit, Mindbender, and Serpentor just didn't work for me nearly as much as the heyday of Flint, LJ, Breaker, Torpedo, and Shipwreck. Looking back, the class of '86 kind of screwed itself from being the complete replacement the TF Movie characters were, by not having any new female Joes, so they couldn't fully ditch LJ and Scarlett the way Zarana made Baroness completely redundant. And the Joes had no new intra-team love interest following in the footsteps of Duke/Scarlett and Flint/LJ. Thus they had to keep some of the older characters around, probably the only thing that saved S2 in my mind.

Favs that stood out -

minis:
MASS Device
Weather Dominator

s1:
Jungle Trap
Synthoid Conspiracy 1 & 2
The Gamesmaster
Captives of Cobra 1 & 2
Excalibur
Worlds Without End 1 & 2
Memories of Mara
The Traitor 1 & 2
Cold Slither
Skeletons in the Closet
There's No Place Like Springfield 1 & 2

s2:
Cobrathon
Grey Hairs and Growing Pains
My Favorite Things
Raise the Flagg
Sins of Our Fathers

Overall, it was a fun trip down memory lane, and I'll probably do it again in another decade. That's about how long it'll take me to reread the Marvel/Image/DDP comics again just for good measure. I'm only on issue 4, so I have a long way to go... :) Part of me wants to watch the DiC series for the first time, but being full of those awful late 80's and 90's characters, wrong voices, sub-par animation... I just don't think I can torture myself like that.
 
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Videoviper

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Skip DIC unless as far as a continuation it’s very loose. I was working in the real world by the time I was able to see it on reruns, so my give a shit was limited given I usually had to get to work.
 

ThunderDan19

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Yeah, I definitely did not care for any "far out" elements in my GI Joe media, whether it be cartoon or comic book. I always wanted it to be more gritty and down to earth, with the military elements front and center. That said, I do appreciate the creativity of the cartoon at times, particularly with some of its stories and character elements, and even some of the comical elements, that kept things entertaining, way more so than most modern cartoons.

I detest the Joe movie from start to finish. I have always been and will always be disappointed with it, and consider it the ultimate "jump the shark" moment for the franchise. I never watched any GI Joe in that era after that.
 

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Damn how old are you farts!

I don't remember a difference between the original and DiC.. I remember renting tapes of the DiC episodes as a kid and liking them.. I think. It was all so long ago.

Is there some place easy to stream all these? I'd love to give it a go and see what I remember.

And yes the GI JOE movie was ass.. Cobra La sucked and should be banished from existence.
 

nacho

"Big Guns"
Founder
I detest the Joe movie from start to finish. I have always been and will always be disappointed with it, and consider it the ultimate "jump the shark" moment for the franchise. I never watched any GI Joe in that era after that.
I agree in general. But you didn't watch any GIJoe in that era after that because there wasn't any. The movie was the end of the sunbow run.

Damn how old are you farts!

I don't remember a difference between the original and DiC.. I remember renting tapes of the DiC episodes as a kid and liking them.. I think. It was all so long ago.

Is there some place easy to stream all these? I'd love to give it a go and see what I remember.

And yes the GI JOE movie was ass.. Cobra La sucked and should be banished from existence.

Born in late '74. How young are you?! I was seven when the '82 toys hit, the perfect age for Joe and MOTU, was nine (4th grade) when TF blew up. Couldn't have hit Reagan-era FCC deregulation any more precisely. Good job, mom and dad!

I didn't even know the DiC series existed until I was married in my mid-20's when Amazon recommended it to me. The movie really was the jump the shark moment for me in '87, and while I collected a few figs and vehicles in '88 and bought the comic through issue 100 out of habit, I basically aged out post-sunbow.

The offical Joe youtube channel has a lot of episodes streaming but I'm not sure how comprehensive it is.

A couple of months ago, I found this one teenager on Joe-reddit who painstakingly upscaled all the Joe and TF cartoons to 1080p. In the last 10 days, he got hit with a bunch of strikes from some japanese company, not even hasbro, so he took his youtube channel down. Good thing I downloaded them all ;)
 

ThunderDan19

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I agree in general. But you didn't watch any GIJoe in that era after that because there wasn't any. The movie was the end of the sunbow run.
When did the DiC run happen on TV? I thought that was the next season after the movie.
 

ThunderDan19

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Damn how old are you farts!

I don't remember a difference between the original and DiC.. I remember renting tapes of the DiC episodes as a kid and liking them.. I think. It was all so long ago.

Is there some place easy to stream all these? I'd love to give it a go and see what I remember.

And yes the GI JOE movie was ass.. Cobra La sucked and should be banished from existence.
Also late ‘74 (Christmas to be exact), so I got my first Joes just after they introduced swivel arms, and wrapped up with a few items from the gold headed Destro wave.
 

nacho

"Big Guns"
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When did the DiC run happen on TV? I thought that was the next season after the movie.
Per the TVDB, the sunbow series stopped in Nov '86, movie in '87, while the DiC series began in Sept '89. A three year gap in the syndicated episodes, most of us just assumed it was over and moved on. Plus, by fall of '89, you and I had just started high school and would have largely abandoned toys and cartoons, discovering girls and cars by then.

Also late ‘74 (Christmas to be exact), so I got my first Joes just after they introduced swivel arms, and wrapped up with a few items from the gold headed Destro wave.
Same here, the '88 Destro and IG figures were essentially my last, definitely the last x-mas I asked for toys. My first Joes were a mix of swivel and straight arms, so I clearly caught on during the changeover in late '82.
 

ThunderDan19

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Ah, no wonder. I didn't recall seeing any of them or even knowing when they came on. By then I definitely wasn't going looking for them after the movie train wreck and then a gap like that. I believe I also stopped getting the comic book, as we had moved to a new area and I don't remember finding a shop there.
 
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nacho

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Ah, no wonder. I didn't recall seeing any of them or even knowing when they came on. By then I definitely wasn't going looking for them after the movie train wreck and then a gap like that. I believe I also stopped getting the comic book, as we had moved to a new area and I don't remember finding a shop there.
If you had seen them, you'd have been highly disappointed. Very few of the sunbow characters were used in the DiC series, and most of those had different voice actors. And the animation studio was not up to even sunbow's mediocre standards, so it was a monumental fail for many fans. I've tried to watch Operation Dragonfire (the initial DiC miniseries) more than once, and I can't make it through the first episode.

If NSA couldn't tell the difference as a kid, that tells me that he's much younger than I thought!

But speaking of the '87 movie, as bad as it was, the full intro is all kinds of badass.
 
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ThunderDan19

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You nailed it on the movie intro. It was one of the most badass Joe cartoon scenes ever put out there in all its epic "military battle to keep Cobra from destroying a national icon" glory. And... it was downhill from there...
 

nacho

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Ya I kept up with the comics but once GI joe had pink guns I was like are they even trying anymore?

but then again Transformers had their main bad guy call Gee-Ax-us.
As much as the Joe comic went completely off the rails the last few years with all-ninjas, all-the-time, the TF comic was always a shitshow. It went from being nothing like the cartoon b/c they started it before the toon hit to being unrecognizable because the creators seemed to dislike everything about the franchise and just did whatever they wanted.

They religiously ignored every character except the group that was "new" that month. Hama always had a few rando issues introducing the new wacky characters and vehicles, but he didn't let them dominate the plotlines or displace main characters. TF just went with whatever head-power-pretend-master of the week, randomly mixed it with a bunch of batshit crazy TF UK characters (we had never heard of) and concepts (because they hired the same creative team), and by the end, I had no clue what was going on, didn't know 75% of the characters, and it didn't even resemble the toon or toys. It was a hot mess of the greatest order. Even when IDW revisited the era (with THE SAME DAMN CREATORS) to let them give it a proper ending, it just got more convoluted and bizarre. TF should have stayed a limited series and died with issue #5.
 
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Videoviper

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I have all 80 issues of the 4 issue limited series.

A lot of it was dictated by Hasbro & Marvel really had little choice as TF & GI Joe were their biggest selling comics & the reason teens were checking out other titles.

At the same time, The lady who wrote Star Wars had some choice words about Lucasfilm.

She could not let certain characters meet.
Couldn’t use Darth Vader
Stories would be tossed or changed at the last minute because reviews weren’t done on time.

Apparently Marvel tried to make a Teddy Bear alien race before Jedi & Marvel freaked out. (They had no clue because they weren’t allowed to see scripts.)

Marvel was happy to get rid of Star Wars but it was good experience for dealing with Hasbro who was just as hands on.
 

nacho

"Big Guns"
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The difference is that Joe and TF weren't trying to fill in gaps in an ongoing movie franchise. SW was a truly special case in that regard.

Hama successfully satisfied Hasbro with one of every 6-8 issues being the "new shit non-sequitur" issue, while TF just ran wild with the UK stuff mixed with Hasbro demands in an incomprehensible mess. Dealing with licenses is always tricky in any medium, but I would argue that Joe and TF are great examples of how-to and how-not-to handle them.

The biggest problem both series faced was that I don't think they had great contracts back then. Ownership rights for new characters in publishing were always a sticky issue. I think that's why it took 20+ years to get figures of Billy & Hard/Soft/Blind Masters (and Jhiaxus and Straxus), and we never got figures of Dr Appel or Candy. ROM still has that problem to this day.
 

Videoviper

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TF debuted some superheroes Circut Breaker (Mostly naked super hero designed for boys coming of age) She was supposed to get her own spin-off but Hasbro claimed rights because she & her friends debuted in TF comics.

So when they brought in Death’s head (2) he made a quick debut in another comic first before being the guy that hunted down Transformers.

DH2 then made more cameos than Sam L Jackson when he had 10 minutes a day not booked up.
 

nacho

"Big Guns"
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Exactly. Not sure how hasbro signed a deal that allowed marvel to own part of their own toy's lore. The only logical explanation is that they never dreamed that anyone would remember the comic 24 months later, much less 40+ years later. In the early 80's, having a comic tie-in for your toys was a throw-away lark, just a monthly advert that they couldn't imagine having any value beyond the sales pitch. Comics weren't collected much, had little inherent value, and were almost never reprinted, so who cares about reprint rights?! Had they known, I'm sure they'd have insisted on ownership after the expiration of the license or some other sunsetting agreement.

Then again, I'm not sure they ever imagined that ARAH in general would have any life beyond 3-5 years. In prior generations, toys came and went, were forgotten, and that was that. Nobody at hasbro could have foreseen that decades later, the kids they marketed to in 198x would still be hung up on this stuff...
 
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ThunderDan19

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So I'm going to jump in on a tangent because... I still have a beef with Larry Hama, and... why not? I know I can rant here and he'll never so much as catch word of it anyway, but I'll feel better blowing off steam some 30 odd years later about how he made my childhood less fun than it should have been, had GI Joe stayed as good as it started out. So read on or tl;dr. This is therapy for me. :LOL:

You mentioned never getting those civilian supporting characters from the comic as figures. I'd argue that there was never a significant enough market for those add on characters that, while adding some depth to the comic story line, would have brought any additional value to the toy line. I, for one, despised basically every one of those characters. Why? Because they took page time from all the characters I actually cared about, the ones I owned and played with regularly, the ones that looked cool, had guns, drove tanks, and flew planes and helicopters, the ones that were the reason I loved the line to begin with.

I had no desire to see any of the backstory/sideshow characters in the comic books, and certainly would never have paid for action figures of any of them out of my meager kid income. If I didn't actually do it (can't recall at this point), I know I thought often about writing to Hama to tell him to stop wasting time and space on these non-Joe, non-Cobra characters, and spend the major bulk of the comic actually telling us more about the actual (particularly the new) Joes and Cobras, and letting them go to war. There is always something new to learn about each of them, their capabilities, their missions, their personalities and their backstories. So why waste the time with outlying civilians?

I felt ripped off when I'd spend said kid cash for a GI Joe comic book and it was filled with a frankly boring (to me) storyline involving these fringe characters, somehow intertwined with the actual characters (who were then often drawn mostly outside of uniform in said stories, without their weapons and not kicking butt on a battlefield) because Hama was apparently not satisfied with the characters he helped develop for the line and had to bring in weird, convoluted relationships with boring, non-toyline characters.

Anyway, rant off (okay, just kidding), but I said all that to say that I don't believe those characters would have sold as action figures to most of us Joe kids. Why? Because most of us really just wanted action ready Joes and Cobras that we could set up in bases and have battles with. We played war, not soap opera dolls. We wanted characters that brought firepower to our battles, not weird gimmicks or nothing more than some kind of backstory relationship with the real characters.

It's the same reason that boring or one note toy line characters like Quick Kick, Jinx, Crystal Ball, Dress Blues Gung Ho, Big Boa, Sneak Peak, Raptor, Croc Master and even Mindbender (who would have peg warmed even worse were it not for prominence in the Serpentor origin) hung in the toy aisles long after everything else had been gobbled up by excited fans. Those figs brought very little playability with their non-weapon accessories and/or oddball personas. They were often just the leftovers that your aunt got you for Christmas because that what was left at the toy store. Then they only really served as bullet sponges for your battles since they had nothing to shoot with anyway. I really don't think Hama's comic pets would have fared even that well as figures back then.

Yet he kept introducing and featuring characters that were not in the toy line at all, while barely even showing a lot of the (actually useful) new characters and gear that were coming down the line from Hasbro. He might well have single handedly kept some of the new characters from doing as well because he didn't give them the page time/character development that (long out of production) ninjas and non-toy characters got. Makes me wonder if he was in some kind of contract dispute and was not happy with Hasbro or something. Or maybe he was just bored. Who knows?

I'd argue the Joe would have lasted longer if they had stuck with what made them popular in the beginning - military themes in the vane of real and concept equipment and soldiers, with comic books and cartoons to bring the characters to life and get kids to like them. Did Hama's lack of interest in actually developing more characters in the back half of the '80's cause Hasbro to think they needed more gimmicks just to get the same level of interest that earlier characters had gotten due to being featured in the comics and cartoon?

The weirder things got or the farther it went off on some whacky (Tiger, Night, Battleforce, Eco, Cobra-Lalalalala, whatever) theme, the fewer and fewer new kids came to replace those of us who were aging out. I'd even argue that the Dreadnoks (while having an actual role to play, and yes, I owned nearly all of them) were way overused in the cartoon and comic, and that screen/page time could have been used to develop new characters in the later waves.

Seems like Hama was at least partially to blame for the ultimate downfall of the line he was so influential in making great. I feel like maybe there was some Stan Lee envy in there somewhere, like Larry wanted to have carte blanche to create any story or character he wanted like independent comic creators could, and not be stuck with whatever was coming off the line in Hong Kong that year. There's a Greek tragedy story in there somewhere.

Ok, actual end of rant. I feel better now... 😝
 

nacho

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Ha, I think there's plenty of truth in your rant. Hama has stated many times that he hated having to shoehorn the new hasbro stuff into the book, and I think he was more than satisfied to write about his dozen or so favorite characters for a long time. IIRC, many of the early characters' bios were based off people he served with, so it makes sense those would be ones he knows and likes the best.

I never minded the weird and wacky when it was on the cobra side. Terrorists, biker gangs, weapons dealers, even the DNA mish-mashed emperor... I could roll with it because they were "bad", so I didn't have to accept or approve of their oddball neuroses. Sometimes evil is just also strange. On the other hand, some of them just sucked (I'm looking at you, Crystal Ball and Raptor... i.e. the MOTU castoffs).

But the longer I was into Joe, the more I hated the new Joes that got wackier. TF, NF, BF2000... all of that just didn't fit with my military specialists. Even Bazooka, BBQ, and Airtight looked like they came from a circus. They became more outlandish year after year, trying to stand out, which made me hate them more. Mutt came with a dog... ok I could accept that, as dogs are used by militaries around the world. The guy that came with a pet bobcat, Spearhead (?)... that was f#$%ing stupid. I feel like the development team had good ideas about halfway through the class of '85 (Flint, LJ, Shipwreck, Dusty, SE, CG, Dreadnoks) and then just started phoning it in for the next decade until the line died. "Let's give a functional retard a bazooka and a stoner an M-16 and act like they somehow are the best-of-the-best?"

As for the ancillary characters in Joe comics... I agree they most likely wouldn't have sold great as figures, but then again, Joe was Marvel's #1 selling title for a few years, so I could at least see guys like Dr Venom selling well. Candy would have looked like shit anyway, as hasbro couldn't sculpt females back then, and I suspect Billy would have had the same problem, with weird kid-proportions would have looked like a ReAction figure. Part of me says they'd have peg-warmed, but on the other hand, many of those characters are more interesting than Tire-Rotation Viper and Landline (the joe communications guy that will replace all the other communications guys out of the blue for no apparent reason). Seriously, they phoned it in hard for several years.

But I differ in my feelings towards the non-toy characters. Dr Venom and Kwinn were neat additions to the lore, as well as some of the more prominent generals, same for the Oktober Guard. I liked that Candy existed, that Ripcord had a girlfriend and made a daring rescue attempt on cobra island. And it was dramatic that her father was a CG. Wade Collins was an old friend turned foe, both in military settings. No problem with any of that since it still involved them doing soldier-y things.

Billy was a little annoying, but I think Marvel saw him as a POV character for the readers (I didn't see him that way, but maybe someone did?). The host of ninja-masters were fine when they told the SE/SS backstory, but they wore out their welcome quickly. The White Clown and his little group of misfits needed to die in a fire, I can definitely agree on that one.

So I see your point, but I don't mind our covert team having some civilian interactions. It's just that they often lasted too long or were oddly too prominent given the number of cool characters Joe had available. Still, I think Hama did more good than harm. Without his real world service and the special sauce he put on the franchise, the series probably wouldn't have lasted more than a dozen issues, like every other toy-tie-in comic.
 
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NSA

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So yeah, I was born in 1980, so I was 2 when ARAH came out.. so I didn't get into them until 1983/1984/1985, so by 1989 I was PRIME age for Joe Cartoons. I was with the line all the way until they hit ECO WARRIORS. I had some of those, but that was pretty much the end of the line for me.

I remember the cartoons would be on in the morning but I have no idea if it was Sunbow or DiC or what. I do remember the DiC opening logo so I had to have seen those at some point.
 

nacho

"Big Guns"
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So yeah, I was born in 1980, so I was 2 when ARAH came out.. so I didn't get into them until 1983/1984/1985, so by 1989 I was PRIME age for Joe Cartoons. I was with the line all the way until they hit ECO WARRIORS. I had some of those, but that was pretty much the end of the line for me.

I remember the cartoons would be on in the morning but I have no idea if it was Sunbow or DiC or what. I do remember the DiC opening logo so I had to have seen those at some point.

Holy s#!%, you're just a baby! Are you even a Gen X or are you just an old millennial? :laugh:
 

NSA

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Get off my lawn!

Depends on who you ask. To me, if you were 18 or older at the Millennium (2000) then you're not a millennial. So I self-identify as a baby Gen-X. I had a whole ass youth before the internet and all that. It's a bit of a fuzzy line as I did get to experience some of the cool tech stuff in high school and college and learned computers at an earlier age than you old farts.

All that being said, I did get to experience pretty much the whole ARAH run while still a kid. I even loved the Sky Patrol.. Air Commandos.. Ninja Force nonsense. The Eco Warriors were bought but that was pretty much the end of the line. By 1992 I was 12 and fully invested in video games and computers.
 

Videoviper

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Dreadnoks were pushed hard by Hasbro in both the cartoon & comics. There are many stories of distain from different writers.

Same with other weird characters.

Croc master will always be a Star Wars bounty hunter as that was the only way I could justify his weird look.

As a kid Joe was an add on to SW, & eventually overcame SW.

I always appreciated the humanization of certain characters as Larry a Korean war vet, & that guy from mash. Knew many kids would sign up for the military because they liked Joe, & tried to add in a little realism where allowed. The Joes did not go to war without someone dying.