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It’s been a quiet year for G.I. Joe, that much is for sure, especially compared to the furer that was 2009.  With no movie, no Resolute animation, and pretty much no new toys, what can G.I. Joe fans do to keep their interest sparked and remain invested in the brand?
I strongly suggest taking some time out of your busy day to check out Blood for the Baron.  Anyone who loves G.I. Joe, will find a LOT to love about that site.  Built and run by fans of the UK version of G.I. Joe, “Action Force”, Blood for the Baron has a metric ton of G.I. Joe related content that is sure to excite the Joe fan in all of us.  Not only are there figures that we never saw first hand, but there is a whole, rich history that was written strictly for the Palitoy brand that simply never existed on US soil.  The whole Red Shadows, Black Major, Baron Ironblood mythology is so awesome.
Sure, it doesn’t really fit in with the American mythology, but fans with open minds can still really appreciate the story that they crafted overseas, especially considering these were toys designed for kids, and that licensed comics back then were mostly just phoned in.  And don’t think for a second that the fact these were written for kids means they’re not captivating.  I’ve been re-reading a lot of the Battle Action Force comics in recent weeks, and even at 36, these books are an absolute BLAST.
I took some time to talk to Jamar Miller and James Marshall (who owns and runs Blood for the Baron), and got some recommendations from them on key points to check out at the site:

  • Action Force Data Files – A quick comic with data files on a number of key Action Force and Red Shadows characters.  Not very thorough, but a really nice “quick peek” at some names that you might recognize, but not really know a whole lot about.
  • Battle Action Force Comics – This is the goods right here.  A full archive of all of the Battle Action Force comics released through Palitoy.  But this is a massive collection that can be somewhat overwhelming.
  • The BFTB Colouring Project – These are formerly black and white comics that the Blood for the Baron team has painstakingly colored, and this might break things up into some more manageable chunks for public consumption.

Of course, all of this has been sparked by the fantastic looking Vacation in the Shadows convention set that the G.I. Joe Collectors’ Club is releasing this year.  Looking at these updated versions of the Red Shadows characters, and the rich, fantastic history of the brand overseas really gives Joe fans a lot to absorb, even when nothing new is on the screen or on the shelves.  Take advantage of this dead time!