Zartan (2005 Comic Pack)
As a kid, I watched the GI Joe cartoon and read the comic book. Most of the time, the cartoon designs closely followed the look of the action figures. The comic book however, due to its nature of changing artists, often presented character looks that changed slightly from artist to artist. Zartan was one whose look could be interpreted many different ways. For example, his chest armor. In the cartoon, it was always portrayed as just that. In the comics, some artists rendered it as a kind of shirt.
The biggest difference for me among the figure and comic was Zartan’s signature hood. The Joe comic fan in me always wanted Zartan to resemble what I saw on the comic page, from the colors to the sculpt of his hood and face. It’s not that I didn’t like his classic figure, but I felt that it just needed a little tweaking to more closely resemble his comic incarnation. That’s what Hasbro did with this comic pack figure.
Like most of the figures in the later comic packs, most of it is based on the original vintage figure. New comic-based colors, a newly sculpted head and accessories bring more life to an old mold. Now that the o-ring style is retired and the de facto articulation style is based on the modern/25th anniversary, some of the Joe collecting community see the o-ring style as passe. I believe that the later comic packs provide evidence that the classic o-ring articulation style can still provide the basis for cool new figures. Imagine if someone redesigned figures based on o-ring articulation with today’s attention to detail? A group of fans and customizers are working on just that. Check out http://www.project-arah.com for all the details on new figures based on the o-ring style. Very cool and exciting new stuff.