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Movie Review: G.I. Joe: Retaliation
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G.I. Joe: Retaliation
Directed by Jon M. Chu
Screenplay by Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Channing Tatum, Ray Park, Bruce Willis
Paramount Pictures
Rated PG-13 | 110 Minutes
Release Date: March 28, 2013

Directed by Jon M. Chu (Step Up 3D), G.I. Joe: Retaliation is the sequel to Stephen Sommers’ instantly forgettable 2009 film, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

At the conclusion of that film, Zartan (Arnold Vosloo), having had his physical appearance altered by nanomites, infiltrates the White House and assumes the identity of the President of the United States of America (Jonathan Pryce).

Chu’s sequel begins with Zartan in control of the United States government. The master of make-up and disguise frames the G.I. Joes as traitors and launches an all-out attack on the Joes, wiping out their ranks (including Channing Tatum‘s Sgt. Duke) in one fell swoop.

Meanwhile, Storm Shadow (Lee Byung-hun) and Firefly (Ray Stevenson) infiltrate a top-secret subterranean prison to free Cobra Commander. Previously portrayed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the supreme leader of COBRA is played by Australian actor Luke Bracey this time around and voiced by Robert Baker.

Cobra Commander’s plan is simple: eliminate the world’s stockpile of nuclear weapons so COBRA can rule the world unopposed by using Zeus, a sub-orbital weapon of mass destruction that’s twice as powerful as a nuclear bomb.

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Comic Review: Cobra #21
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Cobra #21
Written by Mike Costa
Art by Werther Dell’Edera
Colors by Arianna Florean
Letters by Neil Uyetake
Editors: John Barber & Carlos Guzman
Covers by Antonio Fuso, Joe Eisma, Juan Castro & Simon Gough
IDW Publishing
Release Date: January 23, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

Sadly, Cobra #21 is the last issue of the series. But, in typical fashion of this book, it goes out with a bang and a boom!!!…and some unsolved mysteries.

Writer Mike Costa does just what he’s done with this title for years. He makes it awesome, plain and simple. Let’s face it, everyone thinks that their villains are the most interesting characters, but Costa PROVES it! There’s just about everything that there should be in a book about Cobra. Mysteries, betrayal, crime, etc. It’s hard to really put this book into any kind of genre. It’s part crime, part superhero, part drama. It’s basically a catch-all of everything that you love about comics. While you’d think there’s MORE than enough material to do a book about NOTHING but Cobra, Costa throws in a couple of fan-favorite Joes, that should make everyone happy. I’m sad to see this book go, but it’s been a great ride. Thank you, Mike Costa!

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Comic Review: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #179
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G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #179
Written by Larry Hama
Art by SL Gallant
Inks by Gary Erskine
Colors by J. Brown
Letters by Neil Uyetake
Covers by SL Gallant, Herb Trimpe & Larry Hama
IDW Publishing
Release Date: June 6, 2012
Cover Price: $3.99

Very few comics can pick up right where they left off 20 years ago and still maintain the level of creative goodness that G.I. Joe A Real American Hero #179 does. I believe that’s due in part to the creative team, but also to the minds of the audience. All it takes is opening the cover and you’re right back where you were a couple of decades ago. Sure, you might have a kid or two, a family, a house of your own. But inside we’re all the same 10 or 12 year old kids that loved reading this book. The book hasn’t changed. We have. A little.

Every G.I. Joe fan needs to buy Larry Hama a drink. If for nothing else, for the fact that he’s just awesome. This issue is action from cover to cover. I’ll be honest with you, there’s not much Joe action here, it’s a Cobra-centric issue as the forces of Cobra take on the Blue Ninja Clan, with the help of a Joe or two.

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Comic Review: Cobra Annual 2012: Origin Of Cobra Commander
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Cobra Annual 2012: Origin Of Cobra Commander
Written by Chuck Dixon
Art by S L Gallant
Inks by Gary Erskine
Colors by J Brown
Letters by Neil Uyetake
Covers by menton3 and Robert Atkins
IDW Publishing
Release Date: January 11, 2012
Cover Price: $7.99

I was very nervous about reading Cobra Annual 2012. Wasn’t looking forward to it at all. I’m a big fan of non-origin origins. I liked that in the Marvel Comics’ G.I. Joe series, all you knew about Cobra Commander was that at some point in his life, he was a used car salesman who went off the deep end. Another great non-origin was that of He-Man. All we needed to know about him, he told us in the cartoon’s opening. In the back of my mind, I was really worried that the new Cobra Commander would be a tortured soul who’s mother never loved him, his father beat him, and on and on.

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Comic Review: Cobra #8
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Cobra #8
Written by Mike Costa
Art by Antonio Fuso & Werther Dell’Edera
Colors by Scarletgothica
Letters by Shawn Lee
IDW Publishing
Release Date: December 21, 2011
Cover Price: $3.99

Right now is a fantastic time to be a G.I. Joe fan (unless you collect the toy line). Although, after reading Cobra #8, it’s a better time to be a Cobra fan. The new Cobra Commander has been chosen and he means business. And, he’s not wasting any time.

You’ve got to hand it to writer Mike Costa. He makes being a bad guy look like a hell of a lot of fun. When I was a kid, I always wanted to part of the G.I. Joe team. My great fear is that kids reading the G.I. Joe comics today will see that being a member of Cobra is a lot more interesting, and in about 20 years, we’ll have thousands of young men starting up their own ruthless, terrorist organization. But I digress.

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