Nostalgia Trip: G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO! #49

(Page 2 of 5)

We open “Somewhere in the Mid-East” where they speak Arabic. Destro, whose name I remembered, and the bare-chested, bald, fu-manchu-ed, monocle-wearing pervert men call Dr. Mindbender, whose name I did not, are up to a little tomb-raiding.

(Click on any photo to see a readably large version.)

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The all-caps roll call of 35 or 40 G.I. JOE characters in the indicia at the bottom of the page, all listed as the property of HASBRO, INC., takes me back.

The “local constabulary” — I remember asking my dad what that latter word meant — interrupt, but they have no idea who they’re dealing with, the wretched fools. I really want to write something where I find a context to quote this very specific line of dialogue in tribute.

It's a great line. I remember looking up "constabulary."

It’s a great line. I remember looking up “constabulary.”

So we’re off to a breakneck start here. Some nakedly expository dialogue in the following panels tells us this heist was part of the villainous organization COBRA’s plan to steal the remains of history’s most ruthless military leaders. And then use them to clone a brilliant super-tactician — this is four years before the publication of Jurassic Park, now — to lead them to victory.

Awesome. And then, this.

BONK! This fruit candy was all about dropping comically swollen pieces of fruit on your head. And robot watches.

BONK! This fruit candy was all about dropping comically swollen pieces of fruit on your head. And robot watches.

One of the many reasons I stopped buying single-issue comics more than a decade ago is because they have ads in them. I wouldn’t a watch a movie on TV with commercials, either. But this ad tells us who our audience was: People considered at least somewhat likely to be swayed to buy a candy whose whole sales message was “we will concuss your skull by dropping a freakishly enlarged piece of fruit from a great height” because they were offered a digital watch that can, how you say, transform into a robot. Transformation, also a trademark of HASBRO, INC., was very big at the time. Examining this comic book in 2013, I’m grateful for what this ad contributes to the time capsule. But in 1986, this juvenile bullshit really pissed me off.

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