Saturday, May 24, 2008
Review: GI Joe Snake Eyes Declassified
Ok I have not written a full book review in a long time, but I am just finishing a couple books and I have been on a big tear of reading graphic novels. First up is the new update and re-telling of the Snake Eyes origin in the devil’s Due GI Joe line. Being thirty four at the moment I am I grew up on GI Joe. Amazing that 80’s liberal parents everywhere like mine bought there kids entire armies of Joe action figures. If your not from this era then you need not read on.
There is also an upcoming Hollywood take on GI Joe and I’ll also be commenting on the movie.
The graphic novel in question is a smart well constructed book that uses the things we know about Snake eyes and fills in the gaps. One of the coolest subtexts in GI Joe was always the story behind snake eyes. A goth ninja unable to speak hidden behind cloth because of horrible scarring we assume had happened to him in battle. Snake Eyes was the only good guy in the Joe who hold a candle on coolness to the Cobra guys.
(Side note cobra had the coolest outfits, Vehicles and they had a heavy metal band named cold slither. So much cooler than Joe)
The cobra dudes always looked tough and Snake Eyes we knew had some long standing feud with cobra’s ninja Stormshadow. Here we get the story of how the men who became enemies fought side by side in the Vietnam war.Trouble happened when Snake eyes excelled at the stormshadow’s family ninja dojo. Jealousy kills everything.
So I knew this was the Snake Eyes declassified but it is so much more. I was surprised by the connection Snake Eyes has to the very birth of cobra. It was a bit outlandish but come on so is a guy named Roadblock who talks in rhyme – if I can accept that I follow this story.
Perhaps my only problem with this book is the how simple and throw away the accident that scarred and silenced Snake Eyes was. It happens in a helicopter crash on the way to a mission. Snake eyes should have been fighting 40 cobra commandos and jumped on a grenade to save scarlet. Over all the book was good.
So the movie… I am worried. It is set to be directed by Stephen Sommers whose first mummy movie was a entertaining if not vapid Indiana Jones rip off. Not great but it was no Van Helsing. The problem is the fucker directed that one too. Van Helsing was unwatchable and painful in like fifteen ways.
The worst part is I want this to rock. My friends in Indiana and I always used to talk about writing a GI Joe live action screenplay just for fun. There are several things I wish I could have expressed to the producers but I know it is too late.
Don’t make Cobra commander a wimp. Make him a brilliant anarchist organizer and not one once of camp. I think the Campyness needs to be there but not cobra cammander. He needs to quote dead Russian anarchists and have a valid argument that makes sense. He should believe he has to destroy the governments of the world who have failed to control the corporations. He should blame the governments of the world for some tradegy in his personal life.
Destro should be the crazy one driven by his family curse to simply destroy law and order. The two should not trust each other. I am all for campy-ness behind that. Bring on the cobra shaped headquaters hidden in the desert that rises up when needed. I am down. Just forget the native American Joe who has the eagle on his shoulder. What were they thinking with that one.
Next review: The Desert by Bryon Morrigan