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SIT-REP
This is the Sit-Rep, soldier, the Situation Report! It's here where we get the intel on the new troops, talk to the big brass, and generally do anything else that isn't in an archival capacity! So what are you waiting for? It's time for your debriefing!

Comic Two-Pack #10
Hard Master and Snake Eyes (v38)

Review and photos by Phillip Donnelly

I have to admit, Comic Pack #10 is definitely my least favorite of this wave. An odd looking bald man and a dull, gray ninja don't really appeal all that much to me. So I guess this is gonna be the tone for the rest of the review then. At least you know what you're getting into, folks!

I can't help feeling that the Hard Master is going to be sued for copyright infringement from Lifeline. Red and white, on my ninja? Well, it's more likely than you think. Marvel's version of the Hard Master wore a red gi with white accents. It looks nothing like this figure, though. I'm not sure why Hasbro felt the need to use the Snake Eyes (v34) body here, aside from saving costs. Changing up some of the glued-on accessories to some daggers and a scroll (...really?) does differentiate the figures a bit, but I fail to see the point in the first place. There's a prominent hole in his chest, the right leg doesn't want to sit straight, and there are grenades on his arms. This is not how I envision the Hard Master. Also, the new head sculpt? Not enough wrinkles. Maybe they thought kids wouldn't go ga-ga for the senior citizen action figure.

The Hard Master comes with a bow, arrow, sword, sheath, a headband, and a mask. The headband and mask cannot be worn at the same time, though this doesn't really bother me. The mask itself has a weird design - almost alien in nature. Very strange. The sheath does have string attached to it, so if you can find a way for the Hard Master to hold the string in his teeth, you too can demonstrate the "Blind Sword" technique!

I can see why Hasbro went with the Red Ninja (v2) head on the Storm Shadow (v21) body - the shape of the mask is spot on for Snake Eyes' Arashikage gi. Though to my eyes, the color in the Marvel appearance is supposed to be a navy blue, not gray. It's hard to tell with the yellowing of my comic (I really should find that trade paperback), so I'll give Hasbro the benefit of the doubt here. I do wish the Hard Master used this mold, too, but then these two figures might be a bit too similar to sell well. I indicated before that I find this figure pretty boring. It's not that it's a bad figure, per se, it's just that after all the Storm Shadow repaints, a gray version just doesn't grab my attention.

Thankfully, his accessories stand out. Not only does he get a sword and sheath like the Hard Master has, he also has a neat kendo stick and bo staff to train with and a stand to display the swords!

The comic is a saving grace of this pack. It's a fun tale that shows the trials Snake Eyes endured to be able to wear the Arashikage symbol on his forearm. This little detail was glossed over in Marvel's run, so I'm glad Larry Hama got to explain it here.

Archive entries:
Hard Master
Snake Eyes (v38)
Issue 10

Editor's Note:
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More action shots:

Images from the collection of: Phillip Donnelly

Figures courtesy of BigBadToyStore — get your G.I. Joes and much more at BigBadToyStore!

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Yo Joe!

01/28/09

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