Saturday, July 19, 2014

GI Joe: A Real American History - Part 2

I know I'm going to piss off some people with my posts. I apparently pissed off a few on a GI Joe Facebook group where I linked to Part 1. Someone made a snarky comment about how prosperous everyone has been under Democratic Presidents and how everyone has suffered under Republican Presidents. Just a few comments was enough to alert the moderators and my post was deleted. No harm done; I probably shouldn't have posted the link there due to politics being involved.

The initial stupid comment involved the actual buying of the toys in regards to either a Republican or Democratic President, which was totally ridiculous because the 80's were huge in terms of sales for GI Joe product. But that's not really the point of where I'm going with this series. I'll address the toy sales of the 80's, but not yet. Besides, the main focus is primarily a question of "What If?"

What if GI Joe and Cobra were real and how would they have interacted with how our history progressed?
Let's get Part 2 rolling along with a look back at the original 12" GI Joe and the Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter Administrations. That would seem to be a lot to deal with, but based on the history of the toys - not so much.

In one of the later issues of the Marvel GI Joe comic series, Larry Hama crafted a story in which a young Lt. Joesph Colton was pulled out of Vietnam and delivered to the office of President Kennedy. The President tasked Colton to create a small team that would undertake special missions and report directly to the President. Unfortunately, this meeting occurred early in November of 1963. Based on the military aspect of the toy line ending in 1969, it would be easy to assume that Colton retired from the military in that year.

That would mean that the GI Joe team of the 60's served under the prime direction of President Lyndon Johnson. Now I don't know much about Johnson, but I'm guessing the President had Colton working some pretty dirty missions. 

Colton retired from the military in 1969 and got together with some other former GI Joe team members and formed the Adventure team, a somewhat covert team that undertook a few "spy" missions, but primarily were a group of explorers and researchers, finding lost treasures or discovering unique animal species. 

Perhaps funding ran out, or maybe the former GI Joe team just needed to retire. GI Joe and the Adventure Team ended in 1976. How does that work out with Presidents? No real impact, Nixon came along, got impeached, Ford served for less than a term, and then we have President Carter.

One important event from the 60's related to the anti-war protests - the seeds of Cobra are being sown. 

The biggest military issue in relation to GI Joe would come in 1980 during the Iranian Hostage Crisis. An attempted rescue mission failed and soldier's lives were lost and no hostages were rescued. This is important because it had been initially implied that that was the mission in which Snake Eyes had his face and vocal cords permanently ruined. It was later described as another unrelated rescue mission, but it still would have been sometime in the early 80's, prior to the creation of the new GI Joe team. 

Another important issue to consider is that Snake Eyes' history includes serving in Vietnam. That would make him between 60 and 70 years old. Same guy in Rise of Cobra and Retaliation? I doubt it. I'll address that issue much later in this history series.

We come to a close at the end of the Carter Administration with a failed military mission that had potential, but not the proper tools and authority. 

Get ready for President Ronald Reagan!

But what about the Super Joe Adventure Team toy line from 1977-1978? Do I really have to talk about them? Can't I just ignore them? How about this -  the Super Joe line was an actual toy product of my alt history loosely based on the declassified, somewhat fictionalized missions of the real Adventure Team. Does that work?

If not, please feel free to give me some ideas in the comments!

1 comment:

Sam Sears said...

shame it got deleted. I meant to to reply to it there, but wanted to read the article first and just got around to it today.

At this point for the Joes to be active in present day, it has to be rebooted, even if softly.

Good stuff so far.

-Sam Sears