The Mets receive an unflattering Joe job
Over at Mets Police, they covered the The Amazing Spiderman and the Amazin’ Mets in honor of the new Amazing Spider-Man film. Well, Spider-Man isn’t the only Marvel comic franchise that was supposed to have a movie opening this summer. Until somebody noticed that 3D movies have higher ticket prices (even if the 3D is from a second-rate conversion), we were due to get the second installment of the “Does Channing Tatum really have to be in everything that Shia LaBeouf isn’t working on?” G.I. Joe movie franchise. And as you might have guessed, G.I. Joe also has a Mets connection.
Back in the late ’80s, G.I. Joe comics were in high demand. In search of more money (some things never change…), Marvel added a second Joe comic to the monthly rotation: G.I. Joe Special Missions. The Special Missions series often featured standalone stories that were unrelated to the main comic storyline and/or documented events that were kept secret from the bulk of the Joe team. Published toward the end of the 28-issue run in August 1989, G.I. Joe Special Missions #24 was a story that most fans wish had been kept secret from the public. Titled “Ladies’ Day,” the issue takes place at a baseball game between “the World Champion New York Mites and their fierce cross-town rivals, the New York Dandees.” The game is attended by the newly-elected President, setting up the preposterous action that follows. Don’t try to make sense of the timing, this issue has much bigger problems.
I don’t know if they changed the team names because of rights issues or because of how terrible this issue is, but they kept the thinly-veiled Mary Sue fanfiction naming convention for the player names too. The Mites lineup includes Wooky Millston, Seth Kernandez, and Darren Blueberry. They don’t mention any of the Dandees, but we do see a uniform with the name (yeah, I know…) Beachum on the back, so I guess that would make him Mobby Beachum. So who is responsible for these, um, creative names? It’s not the comic’s usual (and, after 30 years, current) writer Larry Hama, who is known for crafting engaging stories that still hold up decades later. No, the writing credit goes instead to Hama’s usual artist, Herb Trimpe. And what happens when you let a comic book artist write? Well, for starters, this:
We open a baseball game with leggy dancing girls griping about being objectified by assholes like whoever wrote this crap. And what are the guys disguised as? Batboys? Hot dog vendors? Nope, Cobra called dibs on those:
The Joes, a (poorly-kept) secret military organization, were in full uniform standing next to their toys outside the stadium, where they are sure to be a lot of help. Until Crystal Ball, one of Cobra’s hokiest gimmick characters, hypnotizes them by showing them his accessory disc thingy.
Cobra’s ranks also include Raptor (the guy who dresses like a bird) and a Cobra Commander impostor in battle armor in addition to the aforementioned Firefly disguised as a hot dog vendor and Zarana dressed like a Mites ball girl. Everybody gets a stupid costume! Even the blimp got in on the fun.
As for the action, um, there were some smoke bombs, some fighting in a blimp, the baseball-themed Joe pitching a smoke grenade that gets batted up to the blimp, and a Presidential rescue. All of this would add up to a mediocre episode of the mediocre ’80s cartoon, but the comic series was held to a higher standard (at least as much as Hama could get away with it, selling toys was always the main reason for the comic’s existence). Ladies’ Day is widely considered to be the worst issue of the original comic run and possibly the entire G.I. Joe franchise. I usually enjoy having something from the Mets show up in my other collections, but this is one I could have done without.