Issue #5 came out as part of the second assortment of comic Joes and involved Cobra's nefarious attempt at world domination by way of... disrupting a parade. General Flagg oversees the festivities and has a surprise in store-- the MOBAT, piloted by Ralph "Steeler" Pulaski. And of course, everybody loves the Cobra Officer because adult toy fans love nothing more than villains or cannon fodder, and figures that fit both bills are like gifts from above.
It's particularly great that the Officer was included in this set because as of the first eight comic packs, there are only four members of Cobra-- something this line is sorely lacking.
We have no idea what the draw will be for fans of this set, although we've seen many of these with the Cobra stolen out of it. Because, well, fans are savages. It's our favorite in the set but then again, we do love the Cobra army builders and obviously, so do you.
Like pack #4, one of the three figures is basically a striaght reissue with new paint, while the other two have new head sculpts and/or are made from other figures.
Ralph "Steeler" Pulaski was not made off of the original Steeler, nor was it modeled after the green jumpsuit used for the bulk of other Joes in this collection. Instead, he used the same torso as Double Clutch from G.I. Joe Comics Pack #3 with arms from a figure that wore gloves. You may say "hey, his hands look flesh colored, don't they?" Yes, they do. Such is the problem.
The head is good, but it seems that the figure's paint got a little goofy in transit. The helmet may have mussed up the hair a little, but them's the breaks unfortunately. Aside from Steeler's helmet, General Flagg's hat is removable-- a nice little bonus, surely.
Flagg's made off of Headman, a suited villain from the Drug Elimination Force series of Joes. It's been repainted such that the hankie in his pocket looks like some indicator of rank, although the suit does look a smidge ill-fitting, and the packaging art was obviously modeled after this look. The sunglasses are not removable, which is for the best. It's one less piece to lose, and that's a good thing.
Finally, there's a Cobra Officer. The figure outranks the Cobra Trooper from G.I. Joe Comics Pack #1 but reminds us of a downside-- we have an officer, and one Trooper. The line needs more troopers, or some means with which to buy more of them. The Officer is cobbled together from the original 1982 figure of the same name and has the waist of Roadblock... but odds are you'd never notice it since the parts are more or less interchangable with these old figures. The figure itself is well painted and looks just different enough from the first Cobra Trooper from this line to make you mad. The head is the same old sculpt, unfortunately, but the coloring is excellent and it really fits in nicely with the rest of the line.
It's an excellent set and a great way to round out the second series of these figures. While a MOBAT version of Clutch (double or otherwise) would be nice to see, as always, it's something that can be customized should push come to shove.
So far the comic sets have been very friendly to collectors by including a number of non-goofy weapons, more than the figures need-- this is as close to weapons packs as we're likely to see anytime soon.
Seven more guns, a backpack, a knife, and two removable pieces of headware are offered here for your armament pleasure. While not necessary, these are fantastic extras and it shows Hasbro's really going the extra mile on this line to make these appealing to new and old fans alike. Who hasn't wanted a few spare guns? These, and the new heads, show that despite using a lot of old parts, Hasbro isn't totally cheaping out on the fans.
Unlike the first series of figures, the second series of G.I. Joe Comic Book Figure Packs has updated its artwork to look more contemporary, and not like the figures in the actual book. While disappointing, it's understandable as it makes them blend in with the figures elsewhere on the shelves. And since collectors will buy them anyway, they have to look good for the kids.
Above, you can see the front and back of the package and the filecards. The packaging does a good job highlighting everything that comes in the set, with new and different art starting with this series. While I much preferred the flatter 1980's style seen on the first three sets, it's not like this is somehow unacceptable. The Cobra figure and artwork don't totally jive in the head area, but it's good enough. For now, anyway.
Hasbro took great pains to remove all mention of Marvel Comics, the original publishers of the book, from the first series of these figures. While they haven't missed a beat as far as the actual comics go, for issues #4 and #5 Hasbro kinda goofed up on the packaging. As you can see to the right, the tiny images on the cardback show the original Marvel Comics Group logo as well as the original price-- $0.60. A comic in today's market goes for $2.95 or more. Ah, progress.
While not shown, this set is worth five Battle Points.
Also included is a reprint of G.I. Joe issue #5. In it, they introduce the MOBAT, the tank used in the first year of the G.I. Joe toy line back in 1982. The toy has been reproduced a few times and even repainted as a Cobra vehicle, but here you can see it as it was originally intended-- as a vehicle fighting for freedom and infiltrating parades.
Cobra basically is there to cause trouble with their agents infiltrating a marching band. We've always known marching bands were evil, and now it's nice to have that backed up in print... well, OK, it's nice that it was backed up in print in 1982. Still.
This is the first comic pack to feature removable helmets and thankfully they were well done. The paint jobs on our sample beneath the removable headgear was less than spectacular, though, and we hope that's just an issue of one bad set. It's a good set, though, and if you've been keeping up with these so far we see no reason for you to stop now.
Text and photos by Adam Pawlus
Review posted on February 5 2005
Sample purchased from a Fry's Marketplace for $7.99 in January, 2005.