Dealing with the main characters age issue once and for all. [Archive] - YoJoe.com Forums

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Breaker's Ghost
07-05-2004, 05:44 PM
A topic that seems to come up often here and in other Joe forums is the age of the characters.

Some people choose to believe the Joe comicverse is like the DC and Marvel superhero world were time moves very slowly or not at all. And that real world events like WWII and Vietnam donít take place and happen in exactly the same way and time as they do in the real world. In sort they think of G.I. Joe taking place in a complete fantasy world that is not bound by real history and the passage of time.

Then there are people (like me) who think of the Joe comicverse as happening in an alternate reality version of the real world with some fictional countries, a global terrorist group called Cobra, and the G.I. Joe team. Ė But, history and the passage of time is the same as we know it.

People point out (100% correctly IMO) that in the original Marvel series that characters were tied with real world event like Vietnam, years and date were sometimes given, topical events of the 80ís and early 90ís were often touched on (or hinted out) Ė like the rise of middle eastern terrorism, the cold war, the Soviet war in Afghanistan, Black Ops in South American countries, the war on drugs, and the Gulf war, the break up of the Eastern Europe. All these things clearly put G.I. Joe in a ďreal worldĒ time and place and uses real dates and historic events in the Joe comicverse timeline.

Also, the passage of time is clearly shown in multiple ways, like:

(1) Billy Ė when we first see him in the Marvel series he is a young boy, by issues 30-50 he is shown as an young teenagers, and by the end of the series he is a young man in his late teens-early twenties. When he shows up in the DD series he is shown as a hard-bitten man in his very late twenties.

(2) The DD series began clearly stating that seven years had passed since the G.I. Joe team was shut down (just like in real time) and the main characters were all noticeably older. In the early issues the characters older ages was often referred to and used for light comedy. The inclusion of the Greenshirts was also brought in as a way of giving the Joes some young fresh faces.

(3) And Iím sure I could find more examples, but I donít want this to be too longÖ..


So, other then things like G.I. Joe: Cartoonverse / Reloaded / Reboot / Elsewhere World / or What If alternate realities, how should the passage of time and the aging of characters be handled?

Here are some idea Iíve come up with:

1) Donít fight it, allow the characters to age. Itís not like most of these character are THAT old. A lot people in their 40ís, 50. and early 60ís are still able to do what they did in their 20ís and 30ís. People are living longer and more active lives then ever. BUT, that doesnít mean age should be ignored Ė having a bunch of senior citizens running around pretending their in their 20ís can look a little ridicules. Part of allowing the characters to age is allowing them to age with grace. Slowly move the classic character to into the higher ranks, make them commanders, department heads, administrators, instructors, advisors and mentor to a the new generation of Joes and Cobras.


2) Put greater effort in devolving the new characters. IMO there hasnít been any truly great new characters since 87. Sure there have been memorable or ďcoolĒ characters, but none IMO that have been the whole package (interesting, compelling, or likable personality, interesting back story, and unique look and abilities). Note how all the main characters and most identifiable icons of the RAH line are all form the early years. Thereís no reasons that with some inspired writing and compelling storylines of some new main characters that could be just as beloved as the classic ones. IMO characters like: Kamakura, Dart, Agent Faces, Hacker, Cross Hair, Red Spot, Depth Charge, Wide Scope, Alexander, Lilian, Zanya, Black Out, and Scalpel all have tons of potential to become the Joe ďsuper starsĒ of tomorrow. Now all this being said I realize and completely agree with the notion that in many ways G.I. Joe IS characters like Duke, Snake-Eyes, Storm Shadow, and all the Cobra regulars. And to do G.I. Joe with out them would be imposable.

3) Bringing me to my next idea/point. I think some realist inventory of the characters needs to be taken. Just how important and necessary are certain characters are to G.I. Joe popularity and survival into the future? IMO the characters in the Joe comicverse fall into four categories.

Category 1: Are characters like - Hawk, Duke, Scarlet, Snake-Eyes, Flint, Lady Jaye, Cobra Commander, Destro, Baroness, Storm Shadow, and Zartan. These are the MAIN characters of the series and itís biggest icons. The category 1 characters are the core of the G.I. Joe comicverse and with out them it wouldnít be G.I. Joe.

Category 2: Are characters like - Stalker, Gung-Ho, Roadblock, Wild Bill, Rock & Roll, Mutt and Junkyard, Spirit, Clutch, Ripcord, Jinx, Tunnel Rat, Billy, Dr. Mindbender, Major Blood, Firefly, the Twins, and the Dreadnoughts. These characters are the important supporting players. They all ether got lots of ďscreen timeí, had memorable sub plots devoted to them, or are tied closely with storylines and history of the category 1 characters.

Category 3: Are characters like - Mainframe (RIP), Beach Head, Shipwreck, Ace, Slipstream, Wet Suit, Scrap Iron, Wild Weasel, and 99.9% of the 88-94 Joes and Cobras. Characters in this category for the most part arenít crucial to the success of the G.I. Joe and the furthering of the storyline. But, SOME of these characters (like the once I listed above) are fan favourites and have useful skills and abilities that can be vital to certain stories Ė the computer expert, the Doctor, the pilot, the tough as nails instructor, the wise cracking veteran, the Navy SEAL. Characters in this category should only be used (or brought back) if they have some thing a new character canít offer. Sure Shockwave and Muskrat were cool characters, but they were never that well devolved and arenít remember by anyone who isnít a hardcore Joe fan. New characters like Wide Scope and Cross Hair can fill the same role as they did and allow for an injection of new blood into the team. I think itís a mistake to bring back ALL the 82-94 characters just for nostalgia sake Ė like what is kind of being done right now.

Category 4: Are characters like Ė Robo Joe and Cobra-La. Nuff said. Burn in hell never to return.

4) Last idea. So if there are certain characters that are 100% vital to the identity of the G.I. Joe series and can not be (easily) replaces with new characters, how should theyíre advancing ages be handled?

WellÖ Off the top of head I got two ideas Ė and Iím afraid a lot of yíall may find them lame.

(I) Go the codename / identity baton pass off rout. Like having older characters retire or get killed off and have younger once take their place Ė Kamakura could become Snake-Eyes II, Alexander & Lilian could become the new Destro and Baroness, Billy could become Cobra Commander. Or maybe (and yes I know this is corny) have the sons or daughters of certain characters join the teams and take over for their parents - who are to say that most of Joes and Cobras donít have families out there? Or introduce new characters that are similar to older once and have the older characters mentor them and eventually retiring and handing over their codename to the young bucks.

(II) Go the Sci-fi rout. The G.I. Joe comicverse is a world inhabited by androids, space combat, clones, genetically created supermen, and Ninja mysticism Ė would some kind of cell rejuvenation device or youth serum be that far out? Couldnít yíall picture crazy old Dr. Mindbender inventing something like this? Or maybe Cobra Commander becomes obsessed with prolonging his life and goes in search of some kind of fountain of youth. And if the Cobras got their hands on something like this wouldnít it be likely that the Joes would learn the formula and give some of their best / most important personal the rejuvenation treatment?


Itís all in the writing Ė if done right this could be done with little or no cheese factor.

Anyways, Iíve said my word. I think Iíve come up with some perfectly good ways for G.I. Joe and Cobra can battle it out for as long as we would want to read about them Ė without age being a major factor.

Thanks your taking the time to read this.

Graz73
07-08-2004, 09:55 AM
You've made a very comprehensive examination of this aging issue. Nice work.

Here's my solution...

Use your idea 1 (the continual normal aging of everyone) in COMBINATION with a book like Reloaded. SO, "classic" snake eyes might be getting old and mostly acting as a sensai while RELOADED Snake-eyes can still be a mysterious guy. (Classic Snake Eyes has little mystery anyway) OR classic Hawk is a retired general, while RELOADED Hawk is a young coloniel at the beginning of his career. This technique is also a good way to bring back dead joes with no continuity contradicitons.

Obiwanjacoby
07-10-2004, 01:24 PM
(II) Go the Sci-fi rout. The G.I. Joe comicverse is a world inhabited by androids, space combat, clones, genetically created supermen, and Ninja mysticism Ė would some kind of cell rejuvenation device or youth serum be that far out? Couldnít yíall picture crazy old Dr. Mindbender inventing something like this? Or maybe Cobra Commander becomes obsessed with prolonging his life and goes in search of some kind of fountain of youth. And if the Cobras got their hands on something like this wouldnít it be likely that the Joes would learn the formula and give some of their best / most important personal the rejuvenation treatment?

EXACTLY, the best plan that would satisfy everyone would be the "Nick Fury maneuver" as I prefer to call it. :D Brilliant idea!

And slowing the aging process is low-level enough in the sci-fi department that it wouldn't make too many fans upset. Plus you could keep the continuity & whatnot.

Either way, the Joe continuities have broken up & drifted SO FAR APART now that the continuity issue isn't even and "issue" anymore (Sunbow, DIC, CGI, Marvel, DD, Joe vs. Transformers, multiple alt. universe cont., filecard cont., updated FC cont., and on & on & on. . .). Most collectors tend to ignore it altogether and simply opt-out for their own "Joe-verse" in the end. Sure they read/collect the comics and watch the new toons, but it's never their "canon" y'know?

-PJ

Dreadnok4life
07-11-2004, 06:56 PM
Or how about everyone just believes what they want to. Who cares about the age thing other than a few detail driven obsessive Joe fans.

seaneley
07-20-2004, 08:00 PM
Being born of a Viet-nam vet. father, I just don't want the whole past to be forgotten. I think that the best bet is to put the whole Joe-verse into a sort of "limbo" where the dates and times aren't mentioned. I would introduce a strong character, like Joe Colton ("original" G.I. Joe) and have him become the Pres. of the U.S. and from there it would be like everything is happening in a 4 year time frame that divests from the real world's literal time period. This would put Stalker, Snake-Eyes, Storm Shadow, Hawk, Duke, Cobra Commander, and Zartan at about the age of 50 - 60, but that really isn't a problem... My father (who is their age now) runs 8 miles a day and can kick the snot out of any 20 year-old I know, including myself! His hair has hardly grayed either! If people take care of themselves, they can look good for a long time... and this includes the Joes!:cool:

Breaker's Ghost
08-02-2004, 11:36 AM
Or how about everyone just believes what they want to. Who cares about the age thing other than a few detail driven obsessive Joe fans.

Donít get snotty.

Iím just brainstorming ideas that will make EVERYBODY happy. Allow continuity to stay intact and allow the characters to remain more or less as they are for as long as G.I. Joe is in production.

Breaker's Ghost
08-02-2004, 11:37 AM
@ Graz73, Obiwanjacoby, and seaneley

Thank you.

nightc1
08-03-2004, 04:08 PM
Another idea...

Make the stories happen in real time. Make the stories follow a real time frame and then this whole issue of aging isn't an issue. Think about it. There's 365 days in a year.. if the average joe story takes place over a 3 day time period ... then you have the space for 121 stories in a single years span. IN just 10 years you could cover 1210 stories which is more than anyone would need to probably create.. but at the same time would leave the doors wide open for future Joe stories without having to retire all the original cast. Sure that's back to back stories... but it would be a good way to make the GI Joe team appear to be more than just a handful of select joes... and instead a real force. It would also help Cobra and other terrorist organizations come to a head and get popped by the Joes. All in all I like this idea :D

To recap

Move the stories to real time
Have them stick to this real time story line


Then there's no issue of time.


Another thing this helps is.. even though one story may take place on a certain number of days... another Joe team could also be involved in another adventure at the same time. So there's still plenty of places to go back and add side stories. Plus, because this is real time... if a joe get's hurt.. they aren't in the next so many issues. If cobra is defeated... it may take months before they show back up in any real force.

Maybe that would make the stories too slow paced... but there would be so much room to make GI Joe a much bigger and more profound force... and make their fight agaist terrorist organizations actually encompase more than one major organization.


EDIT:

An alternate to this idea is simply to make each issue last a total of 1 months time. So if the series lasts 10 years.. .then big deal... 10 years on a 35 year old isn't much of an issue.

Just keep the stories more real time oriented and it leaves open the doors for plenty of stories with existing characters.

Mike JT
08-03-2004, 07:03 PM
Donít get snotty.

Iím just brainstorming ideas that will make EVERYBODY happy. Allow continuity to stay intact and allow the characters to remain more or less as they are for as long as G.I. Joe is in production.
Well keep pushing that boulder up a hill.. because you will never come up with a scenario to please EVERYBODY.

Dreadnok4life
08-05-2004, 02:49 PM
Well keep pushing that boulder up a hill.. because you will never come up with a scenario to please EVERYBODY.

Watch out Mike.. He might call you snotty. ;)

primalprimeape
08-05-2004, 03:05 PM
I say Go with the slower time thing but also bring out other characters more I would love to see a Hit&Run Story His Tech Spec was cool

Breaker's Ghost
08-05-2004, 07:14 PM
Well keep pushing that boulder up a hill.. because you will never come up with a scenario to please EVERYBODY.

Yeah, youíre right. Maybe I should rephrase that: Iím trying to brainstorm scenario to please MOST people.

I donít see way my ideas wonít make the majorities of fans happy.

Old school fan that love the Hama stories Ė we can have our favourite character, storylines, and history intact.

Fans who donít care and donít and think about this stuff Ė these people donít care on way or another. I donít understand close-minded and lack of imagination from some of these kind of fans.

And new fans who donít know (or care) about the 80ís and early 90ís stuff Ė these people can enjoy and get into the new school G.I. Joe universe with out having to be super knowable about whatís gone before.

IMO itís a win, win scenario. For MOST fans.

Dreadnok4life
08-06-2004, 12:40 PM
Fans who donít care and donít and think about this stuff Ė these people donít care on way or another. I donít understand close-minded and lack of imagination from some of these kind of fans.

There are some things that will never be settled. And much like the situation in the middle east, the Joe ageing thing is one of them. If it makes you feel better, your version is now the official version and we can all move on now. Snake Eyes and Scarlett are now 60 years old. They just look 28 because they work out alot. :rolleyes:

primalprimeape
08-06-2004, 12:47 PM
Dang tough there Works out alot hmm As for Fans not caring well in some ways true in other ways well. it seems that Just Maybe if we just enjoy the comics and try not to mesh them with any reality (sureal or actual) all will be ok. In the End they are just stories meant to be enjoyed not broken down.

Breaker's Ghost
08-06-2004, 01:43 PM
There are some things that will never be settled. And much like the situation in the middle east, the Joe ageing thing is one of them. If it makes you feel better, your version is now the official version and we can all move on now. Snake Eyes and Scarlett are now 60 years old. They just look 28 because they work out alot. :rolleyes:


God dang, your snotty little son-of-b'otch. Just j/king..... kinda. :)

Dreadnok4life
08-06-2004, 02:38 PM
God dang, your snotty little son-of-b'otch. Just j/king..... kinda.

You're finally getting to know me. :D

Breaker's Ghost
08-06-2004, 03:18 PM
lol. Thanks.

nightc1
08-09-2004, 10:28 AM
I enjoy the comics and the video adventures... and though there's plenty of overall inconsistencies already... I don't really care. I'd rather there exist new GI Joe stories more than anything.

The ageing issue I think is already pretty well dealt with in the comics. GI Joe is more about Adventure and overall story rather than trying to reflect a current day world that fully meshes with ours. However, with that said... it was still interesting and worth the time to think about how they could mesh everything to gether and also deal with the issue of aging GI Joe characters.

Dreamweaver
08-30-2004, 03:37 PM
The age question...thatīs a tough one...and you all have good points...I guess we could all try to ignore the fact that all our favorite characteres are
growing old , they have given us so manny great stories for so long that we as fans could let this one slide, you know just turn a blinde eye.

TheReverend
08-30-2004, 06:13 PM
I like the idea of the DC and Marvel superhero world were time moves very slowly or not at all. I like most comics I read to stick to something like that.

I really donít want to see the Joes grow old and die. Sure thatís part of real life. But screw that, I read comics because they are NOT real life.

I canít imagine a Batman that isnít Bruce Wayne...just canít...and I sure canít imagine a Joe comic that didnít have: Snake Eyes, Duke, Scarlett, Cobra Commander, Storm Shadow, etc. etc.

Plus being that Iím a big fan of RAH, and I really donít like the new sculpts, characters, or storylines. I would be...put off...if the core team was totally replaced by new guys (whether it was due to age, death, or giant radioactive pokadoted gerbils)

Sure you can add in the new guys into the mix as DD seems to do pretty well. but keep the core Joes, and IMO keep them (at least semi) age-less.
...Or if nothing else keep the core Joes in one title ageless (the one Iíd buy) and do whatever with other side titles (like reloaded)

that's all I've got ;)

Dreadnok4life
09-05-2004, 03:09 AM
The Reversand deserves an AMEN for that post.