On Continuity (Backstory--Possible Spoilers)

Discuss the original adventures of the Red Shadows and Action Force!
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On Continuity (Backstory--Possible Spoilers)

Postby FrustratedPilot » 15 Nov 2004 05:03

Now, I know it's a very daunting task to unify the different versions of both Joe and Action Force, and I don't want to ruffle anybody's feathers needlessly. That said, I would like to open some discussion on the subject.

For the most part, BAF's storyline is about 18 months behind the Joe comics continuity--especially if you set the Ascendency Island battle as part of the real-life Falklands War. (The Falklands War is mentioned in the Joe story that has Lady Jaye and Flint paired off with two SAS Force men in Scotland.) This also sets "Blood Day" (the Red Shadows' acts of terrorism that spawn the UN Resolution #909 calling for their destruction--and the merger between the Joe team and Action Force!) to July 1984, which coincidentally has a Friday the Thirteenth!

The Marvel version of Action Force is more out of whack than the Battle version in terms of timeframe--that storyline is at least two years later than the US Joe comics and up to three years later by the middle of AFM!

In a while I'm going to start a timeline of events in the Action Force continuities and see what can be accomplished. I still have about a third or so still to read of BAF, and I'm missing two issues of Marvel UK AFW...so I can't say that this will be all-inclusive. But watch this space.
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Postby The Baron » 21 Nov 2004 16:42

Firstly I just wanna say how rewarding it is for me when people get so involved in my site, thank you for posting and I'm so glad that you've been grabbed.

I still have a way to go with my Joe comics, AFW and TFW reprinted roughly issues 25-75, I'm up to about issue 15, then will probably re-read them all. However if I can help out I will, which 2 issues of AFW do you need?

Aside from the events of World Enemy No. 1, I'm curious as to whether the other stories fit the GI Joe continuity. There are a few origin storylines here and there, do any of them clash that badly?

It would be great to marry the two universes together if at all possible, as I understand it there were several Cobra Commanders, and the use of cloning appears in both storylines so we should be able to find a way.

What would be mind-blowingly fantastic would be to create the definitive linking story here at AFO...
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Multiple Cobra Commanders and Other Topics

Postby FrustratedPilot » 21 Nov 2004 22:18

S

P

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S

P

A

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!

In the US comics, there was Cobra Commander and Fred VII. Fred VII was a Crimson Guardsman who attempted to kill Cobra Commander and took his identity for a while. Cobra Commander finally returned and got revenge on Fred VII, killing him off and several other enemies within Cobra.

The US comics version of Cobra didn't do much in the way of cloning before Destro and Dr. Mindbender created Serpentor. The Crimson Guard was explained, as I remember, as highly trained Cobra troops who submitted to plastic surgery and other methods to take the place of the other people...doppelganger agents and such. The Freds were not clones of anybody--and Wade Collins was a Crimson Guardsman Fred briefly (he left them when he met Joes he knew in Vietnam).

Cobra Commander did have a habit of using body doubles when he suspected he might be in a dangerous situation, but this was relatively rare. (He did this about as often as Ironblood did. One such example was in the story that introduced the October Guard in Afganistan.)

As for origin story friction, the worst has to be for Storm Shadow (in BAF). I suppose I could buy the name changes and the backstory a little, but the idea that Stormy and his brother were set against each other as rivals for Mastery is both cliche and goes against how the US version of the ninja clan operated. Is the Grandmaster the Hard Master, the Soft Master, or somebody else entirely?

Duke's BAF origin is good. Making his last regular forces assignment the Grenada intervention fits perfectly with when he enters the US comics continuity.

Gung-Ho's BAF origin is weaker but nearly works fine too. He came from a large and close-knit family...but IIRC he was he only had sisters. Losing his only brother makes his story somewhat more tragic and provides a worthy impetus for his motivation against Cobra and other terrorists. It also explains his wariness around strangers. In the US comics he claims he got wounded in a fight with a Creole enemy before he became a Joe...perhaps he had more adventures before the BAF story.

There is little in the way of main storyline friction as most of the US comics are set in the US and few of the BAF comics stories happen in North America (at least in the era before World Enemy #1). Destro alone can explain the crossover in hardware--both the Shadows and Cobra bought from him or licensed his designs!

(The AFW comics I'm missing are #9 and #22.)
"I have met the Devil Incarnate, and He likes bacon. And first-person shooter games."--Tepid 1:13
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Proposed Timeline

Postby FrustratedPilot » 28 Nov 2004 04:43

The following timeline is incomplete, as I still need to read almost half of the Battle Action Force comics. I hope it makes sense. :?

MILESTONES IN THE CONTINUITY OF BATTLE ACTION FORCE AND MARVEL ACTION FORCE

CIRCA 1978: Karl Veder is thwarted in his attempted takeover of Space Station Alpha by "Sky Raider" Connors.
CIRCA 1979: The Red Shadows emerge as a global threat and the first Action Force units are raised in response. The Black Major defects to Ironblood's side.
APRIL 1982: The Falkland Islands War. Baron Ironblood takes advantage of the chaos to seize the nearby Ascendency Islands as a gambit for a trap against Action Force. The Action Force is sent in and reconquers Ascendency, ultimately using it as an advance base against the Red Shadows.
LATER SPRING '82: Ironblood's Revenge--a multi-theater offensive against all four Action Force commands.
SUMMER '82/WINTER '82/'83: Operation Bloodhound, a large-scale SAS campaign against Ironblood's forces in South America.
SUMMER '82: The Q Force uncovers the Red Shadow Navy's Sea Fury battleship and destroys it. The Duna War between Z Force and the Ghibli movement begins and takes several months.
FALL '82: The Red Shadows raid Norway and Tawaichu.
WINTER '82/'83: Z Force goes up against the Mamba Men terror army in Natanga. At the same time, SAS Force stumbles upon Ironblood's Austrian HQ during a training exercize.
SPRING '83: Q Force field trials of a new sub are undermined by a Red Shadows terror raid; Z Force recovers a lost spy satellite in Malaysia; SAS Force finds and destroys a Red Shadows base in Canada.
SUMMER '83: Ironblood continues to have terror operations in Africa and South America--and is almost captured in Africa.
WINTER '83: SAS Force endures a Red Shadows invasion of Scotland. Z Force holds off an invasion of a Pacific Ocean atoll. A Space Force pilot is forced to go rogue in order to uncover a Shadows base on Luna.
SPRING '84: The SAS pilot Blades finds a major Red Shadows operation in Australia.
JULY '84: Blood Day--after four major acts of terrorism including a strike on the UN Headquarters in New York, the UN makes Baron Ironblood "World Enemy #1" and passes a resolution merging the Action Force commands with the American Joe Team. Raids against Red Shadow bases all over the world are accomplished. Baron Ironblood goes underground...and Cobra begins to pick up the pieces of the Red Shadows' action.
WINTER '84/'85: The Black Major, Red Laser, and Red Vulture gather the remaining Red Shadows and declare their emnity against Cobra. They take advantage of an Action Force operation against Cobra and try to assassinate Cobra Commander.
SPRING '85: SAS Force accomplishes Operation Stubborn in Arabia...and then goes up against a cabal of former Nazis and Red Shadows in South America. The London branch of ActFor foils a delivery of armaments to the city. Soon thereafter, they stop at least two Cobra terror bombings of European capitals. In response, Destro and Farouk stage an elaborate ruse which goads the British government into curtailing ActFor's activities there for two months.
SUMMER '85: Z Force is in action in India against Cobra. A Cobra unit in China revolts against Cobra command and is put down by both Cobra and ActFor. From about this time on, The Black Major leads sporadic Red Shadow assaults against both Cobra and Action Force.
FALL '85: Destro and the Dreadnoks raid a weapons plant in Stonesbury.
WINTER '85: Farouk turns against Destro and tries to kill him; Destro survives and takes his revenge. Some time later, the Crimson Twins infiltrate ActFor's London station.
SPRING '86: Trent is killed trying to rescue his daughter from the Dreadnoks. ActFor campaigns on two Middle East fronts against Cobra. Around this time was the last known incident involving the Black Major and the Red Shadows.
SUMMER '86: ActFor rescues the crew of a crashed Stealth Bomber in Indonesia.
WINTER '86: Flint captures Destro in Greenland and brings him to the London station. Within days Cobra sends a major strike force to "Blitz" the city and Destro makes his escape.
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I've Finally Finished BAF! Whoo-Hoo!

Postby FrustratedPilot » 18 Jun 2005 05:22

Anyway, I don't have much to add to the timeline that I've already posted above other than having the Battle of London ("London in Peril") set to February of 1985. In fact, all of the series after Blood Day ("World Enemy #1") can be compressed into the twelve months or so after July 1984. The reasoning?--The characters that don't appear in BAF, and the characters that show up in Marvel Action Force.

In fact, "London In Peril" dovetails quite well into the establishment of the Marvel version AF London station and the appointment of Trent as Mo'D Liaison.

"Manhattan Transfer" and "Assassin!" both work as lead-ins to the confrontation between Storm Shadow, Soft Master and Snake-Eyes in the two-part "Snake-Eyes the Origin" US comic. Either way, the majority of the BAF "Cobra era" stories (in my opinion) would have to inhabit the time bracketing the story arc of the Marvel comics from issues 23 to 33, of which "Silent Interlude" was the prologue. This is very possible as the action in issues 25 thru 29 only takes a few days at most.

More to come...
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Postby seaneley » 18 Jun 2005 06:39

Actually, I would almost have to say that if Cobra Commander is Baron Ironblood, then the Red Shadow timeframe would have to fit in the year 1980. (The only problem I see with this is the mention in Operation: Claymore, where the timing - 1985 - was based on the anniversary of a Scottish battle.)
After Ironblood becomes Cobra Commander (1981), Cobra is born! Then Destro, Major Bludd, Storm Shadow and Firefly all join Cobra at its founding. (Baroness comes later.) This would all take place before issue # 1 of the U.S. Marvel G.I. Joe - A Real American Hero (1982, I believe).
Also, Red Jackal could not be the real Destro. He is Ukranian, and James McCullen (Destro) is Scottish. Also, James McCullen killed his father to don the mask of the "Clan Destro" (Action Force Weekly - "Destro: Down and Out", a tradition tracing back to the 1600s. Thus, at some point, the Scottish Destro replaces the Ukranian "Destro" / Red Jackal. The Scottish Destro is fully a part of Cobra by issue #11 in the U.S. Marvel comic.
Storm Shadow's past can be explained with a little twisting of history. Storm Shadow's father died at some point in his past and he went to live with his 2 uncles. Now, if he had a brother, and that brother (though young) had a hand in their father's death, then Stormy might feel an obligation to kill him if he ever found out. This might be especially true if Storm Shadow's brother had done this after being sedeuced by another, rival ninja clan. In the Marvel run, there was a rival ninja clan that hated Storm Shadow - the Night Creepers! It was never explained why they wanted him dead. But, if Storm Shadow had joined them for a time, pretending to be a student under a false name with his brother, then killed his brother (an ally of the Creepers), and then killed their master, this might explain the link! After this deed, Storm Shadow would go back to his clan, train for years, go to Viet-Nam, meet Snake Eyes, return and train more, and finally be accused of killing his oldest uncle, the Hard Master. After fleeing, he would be a "ninja for hire" as represented in the B.A.F. history, until he joined Cobra. (In B.A.F., we see S.S. kill the Grand Master and turn to a "life of crime". Note that the people he killed were mostly criminals themselves. The one event seems to instantly follow the other, yet the Marvel sequences, which took years, could be inserted with some ingenuity.)
After all that, it is just a matter of figuring out when Duke and Flint (taking turns) were allowed to lead Action Force, while they weren't performing their duties with G.I. Joe, back in the U.S.
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...

Postby FrustratedPilot » 19 Jun 2005 01:51

But if Karl Veder is Baron Ironblood, that sets the "Skyraider" to the early 1970s...which is rather ludicrous given the technology involved. I've said elsewhere on this board that I don't hold to the premise of Cobra Commander and Ironblood being one and the same, simply because of the larger US premise of Billy being CC's natural son. Remember that CC was still with Billy at least to Kindergarten age (five or six years) and Billy wasn't even a teenager when the Joes came to Springfield the first time.

I consider the Action Force to be an international alliance to which the Joes, Z Force, Q Force, SAS Force, Space Force and so on are member entities. Individuals from one group can go on temporary or exchange duty to another as needed. But I agree with you that keeping track of popular characters' movements can be tough.

It's a shame about Krano (the one "good" element of "School for Snakes")--he could have made a great "wild card" recurring antagonist! Looks like he could have eaten Serpentor for breakfast if given an opportunity...hehhehheh.
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Postby jamarmiller » 19 Jun 2005 02:51

Well what I did with Storm SHadows origin is................

Its not TOMMY from GI JOE!!!! and it didnt happend along time ago!!! It happend very recently before the events of Master and Apprentice 2.

WHY? because hasbro is never going to let tommy in toy form be a good guy and they will continue to make him a bad guy ( see Sigma Six). So Azaki Suromo comes on the scene and really is a bad person as his BAF origin states.( IMVHO) The name Storm SHadow is respected and feared and now that Cobra doesnt have him anymore and he is somewhat missing Azaki Suromo takes the mantle/name to inspire fear and respect.

This gives me a NEW bad Storm Shadow but also makes my favorite character TOMMY Arashikage a good guy , as he should be!!

I dont have to change the story at all except the time

NOW eventually there will be a interesting Meeting between the newly named Phonenix Master ( Tommy ... see Master and Apprentice 2) and the new Storm Shadow ( asaki Suromo)
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Re: ...

Postby seaneley » 19 Jun 2005 05:58

FrustratedPilot wrote:But if Karl Veder is Baron Ironblood, that sets the "Skyraider" to the early 1970s...which is rather ludicrous given the technology involved...
I don't see how Karl Veder could be the Baron. He doesn't look anything like him. (The Baron must have really aged in 5 years!) Ironblood didn't have his plastic surgery until he became Cobra Commander. Also, the Baron's profile (as possibly being Marcus Kassels) does not jibe with the story of "Karl Veder"...
As far as technology goes, Space Force had a fully functioning space station orbiting the earth in 1983! At this point, in reality, I think the U.S. had only had one shuttle mission. Further, Skyraider was remembering back "5 years before" to the space station when K. Veder invaded it! And Veder had an enemy spaceship of his own! This all happened in 1978 at the latest; which was well before the realistic timeframe of space travel.
What's the answer? The U.S. and Britain really had a top secret space station and myriad shuttle craft available, but they didn't want the global community to be aware of it, so they hyped the N.A.S.A. space shuttle. (Remember that the Baron would clone Krakens shortly thereafter, and cloning did not exist until the year 2000!)
So, how hard would it be to push the Veder assault back to 1975, "5 years before Skyraider tells his story in 1980" (my time-frame)? It might help to remember that the 12' G.I. Joe and Action Man had their own space ships and space suits by this time. I see them sold on e-Bay all the time! They always had "cutting-edge / top secret" equipment that was unknown to the regular public, just like James Bond! :)
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Re: ...

Postby seaneley » 19 Jun 2005 06:11

FrustratedPilot wrote:I've said elsewhere on this board that I don't hold to the premise of Cobra Commander and Ironblood being one and the same, simply because of the larger US premise of Billy being CC's natural son. Remember that CC was still with Billy at least to Kindergarten age (five or six years) and Billy wasn't even a teenager when the Joes came to Springfield the first time...
I believe Billy was at least 11 - 12 when the Joes raided Springfield in 1982. He was roughly 5 - 7 when his father kidnapped him and went on the run (1977?). Thus, "Marcus Kassels" would have hired Zartan to kill Snake Eyes in Japan shortly thereafter and by 1979 he would have adopted the alter-ego of "Baron Ironblood". Clandestinly he would have been forming Cobra in the U.S. at the same time in the little town of Springfield.
By 1981, he would have betrayed the Red Shadows and transformed himself into "Cobra Commander" and violently pushed the concept of Cobra in S.E. Asia. The membership would quickly grow here. (Remember: the Red Shadow threat only lasted one year exactly in the regular B.A.F. run - from Oct. 1983 - Oct. 1984.) Billy would have been 9 or 10 and probably already left his father and joined to the "Anti-Cobra Underground" by 1981.
If the timeframe is put in its proper place for the Baron to become Cobra's leader (1980), then many chronological problems are removed.
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