SDCC: Marvel: Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends Panel
COMIC LEGEND: After Hasbro bought the company that made the equivalent of G.I. Joe toys in England, the comic adaptation had to transform the Action Force main villain into Cobra Commander!
Action Force was the British equivalent of G.I. Joe. After G.I. Joe became really popular here in the United States in the early 1980s with the 3 inch figures, Palitoy Limited came out with a version in England called Action Force based originally on their Action Man toy series. Their line of soldier toys sold very well and eventually they began re-painting Hasbro G.I. Joe figures and vehicles.
The toy line proved popular enough that it soon added a feature in long-running British war comic, Battle Picture Weekly. It grew SO popular that the comic was even renamed from Battle Action to Battle Action Force!
In 1985, Hasbro purchased Action Force from Palitoy and just officially made it the British version of G.I. Joe. Same figures, just called Action Force.
However, a problem with the transition was the fact that in the comics, the bad guys were Baron Ironblood and the Red Shadows.
So in a storyline in Battle Action Force #507-513, Ironblood decides to break up the Red Shadows and re-invent himself…
One of the surviving members of the Red Shadows, the Red Jackal, tracks him down and check out the awesome transformations into recognizable characters…
Isn’t that fascinating? Rather than just rebooting the comic, they went through all that effort.
Thanks to Anthony Durrant for the head’s up about this one!
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