A Nice Place to Visit

This is my first post as part of Cool and Collected’s League of Extraordinary Bloggers project. This week’s assignment was “Take a trip to anywhere in pop culturedom. What fictional town, time, or world would you want to visit?” Naturally, I chose a GI Joe related locale.

Because the property had separate continuities in the forms of a cartoon and a comic in the 80’s, some elements that appeared similar in both were actually quite different. As a fan of each iteration of classic Joe media, I have an interest in visiting both.

The Silent Castle, named for the iconic comic issue in which it first appeared, was a marvel of design and the perfect backdrop for a wordless story. The setting was so distinct, I see it as more than just a setting, but a character in itself. Its chambers told the first story of Storm Shadow, following his capture of Scarlett, and her eventual rescue by Snake Eyes. The groundwork for what would become a central conflict in the GI Joe mythos was laid in this castle.

I would love to be a fly on the wall for Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow’s first comic confrontation, although I wouldn’t want to be a Cobra trooper or a red ninja, as neither fared well against the Joe team’s silent ninja commando. The simply told story took the GI Joe comic in an interesting direction that opened the series up to fascinating new characters and plotlines.

Located in the mountains of Trans-Carpathia, an inhospitable region, it is iconic, towering much higher than it is wide. Cobra iconography adorns it, speaking more to the often ostentatious tendencies of Cobra Commander than its later inhabitant, Destro. The castle boasts both high tech and medieval methods of protection, from radar to simple parapets. Like many of Larry Hama’s creations, it’s the sort of covert cool place that managed to excite and surprise my ten year old brain.

Looking almost identical to the comic’s Silent Castle, the original mini-series’ Cobra Temple was the ominous focus of the first cartoon appearance of Destro and Cobra Commander. Serving as the villains’ base of operations, it housed the MASS Device, the focus of the first of many Cobra schemes To Rule The World. The temple also was the location of the infamous Cobra Arena of Sport, in which Destro and Cobra Commander controlled their prisoners in a sadistic mix of gladiator games and Atari. I’d enjoy taking a turn at putting Duke through his paces fighting a twelve foot giant. At once intimidating and unabashedly goofy, it reflects the pure fun of the Sunbow animated series.

To check out what the League is all about, or to join up, visit Cool and Collected. Also, read what other League members had to say about this assignment:

Geek Till It Hurts

Monster Cafe

Rediscover the 80’s

Dead Man Dan



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