Captivating Cover: GI Joe #59
Before the days of the Local Comic Shop, my purchases were irregular in terms of titles as well as individual issues. As a kid with limited funds, I was picking up whatever looked interesting on the cover. Being a Marvel Zombie, I was mostly into Spider-Man, the Avengers and X-Men. Of course, GI Joe made the cut as well, and I was always on the lookout for new issues. Before I picked up issue 59, my last Joe comic adventure was issue 49. Yeah, news stand distribution was not dependable in the 80s, at least at the likes of 7-11 and Quik Trip.
I know we adult collectors often look down upon the post-86 elements of off-the-rails concepts like the Pogo and Raptor, but you gotta admit that in the hands of talents like Mike Zeck and Ron Wagner, this shit just looks cool. The interior story and character changes were dramatic and interesting to me, having been away from the title for nearly a year. I ate up the new stuff, especially Billy and Raptor. Good memories all around.
Raptor was competent and had the figure looked like the artwork, he would have been so much better. This whole issue is solid.
The POGO…Raptor….Battle Armor Cobra Commander…lordy it’s like the yellow on the cover is from the flames of a classic Joe bonfire. Poor Outback and Tunnel Rat have their work cut out for them fighting back the “suck.”
Seriously though, I love each figure on that cover and Raptor looks as bad ass as he possibly can.
That POGO though? Sorry, I have owned that thing since release, and while I like the looks of it, functionally its a turd. My eight year old has no love for it and he loves Star Brigade and Ninja Force. His collection is full of the Joe red-headed stepchildren and he just gave it to me and told me to put it on display. He has a busted x-wing(Windmill’ s ride) with no canopy, missiles, engine cover and a broken gun he likes more then the complete POGO. Whew. Sorry got a little wound up there.
Story wise the book was on another level around this time. Hamas had found the balance between the serious comic and wacky cartoon. Brilliant.
I seem to recall that even in the comic, Cobra Commander was like, “Yeah, this stupid Pogo thing is a hot garbage fire and we should never use it again, but this outing wasn’t a total wash because Raptor turned out to be a pretty useful weirdo.”
”1987 Cobra Commander encased in his new Battle Armor.Raptor looks like a spokesperson, for the Atlanta Falcons,being Cobra’s Falconer.The Pogo looks like a mechanical frog.The G.I.Joe S.L.A.M.looks like something out of the Gulf War 1991.Tunnel Rat and Outback look as cool, as when they were introduced in 1987.Overall ,an excellent issue from Marvel Comics 1987.”
I feel like the 1987 hate-machine snowballs people into disliking things without giving it much thought. Raptor is silly, but a fan favorite character is a guy in a steel mask that somehow allows for facial expressions. The Pogo is goofy, but it’s no more crazy unrealistic than the Flight Pod/Trubble Bubble. Armored Cobra Commander…him running around in a chrome domed helmet was okay, but fully armored is bad?
I admit I thought OUTBACK was silly back then because a survivalist running around in a white tee that said SURVIVAL on it. Maybe I held GI JOE to higher standards than Cobra? But whatever, my reaction to Outback seems petty now.
Mike Zeck = gold