Open wide!

Hold on to your dentures and prepare to have your minds bent like never before. This post will showcase our beloved orthodontist, evil genius (ahem), proficient in genetics, cloning, engineering and all things science, you name it, he can do it! The Impel Trading Card # 37, presents Dr. Mindbender.

Dr. Mindbender was brought into the Cobra fold to replace the departed Dr. Venom. He introduced us to the B.A.T.s and his 6-pack in Marvel comic # 44. Personally I can’t begin to think what Larry Hama was thinking when he created this figure with a pornstache, monocle, no shirt, suspenders and a purple cape. Would be funny if he based it on his personal dentist. Funny and a bit creepy maybe. During his time with Cobra, he switches side more than once, serving Cobra Commander, Serpentor and even Fred VII. He dies of botulism when he is buried with several other traitors when Cobra Commander (the real deal) rises back to power. Eventually Dr. Mindbender was cloned and served Cobra Commander again.

After Dr. Venom’s demise, a gap within Cobra needed to be filled and I must admit that Dr. Mindbender sure did just that. As Cobras chief scientist, he was crucial to all kinds of wacky schemes Cobra Commander released in the world. He made several additions to the Brainwave Scanner and created the B.A.T.s. His greatest achievement however is the creation of Serpentor, based on the DNA of several of the world’s greatest warriors and a little bit of Storm Shadow baked in him. Together with Destro, he searched and raided the tombs of men like Napoleon, Genghis Khan, Julius Ceasar, count Dracula and some others. I’m sure that it wouldn’t be considered politically correct to have mentioned Hitler, but face it, Dr. Mindbender would have put some of that madman into Serpentor.

The same story is used in the animated series, where Mindbender creates Serpentor because he feels Cobra desperately needs a leader that inspires courage in its troops. Safe to say, Cobra “Retreat” Commander is lacking a bit here.

In Spy Troops, he created new and improved B.A.T.’s and has begun research on the Venom Troopers. When the Cobra base gets destroyed, he loses his research. Said research is rebuilt and in Valor vs Venom, Mindbender turns General Hawk into Venomous Maximus, a creature so powerful he quickly seizes power of Cobra with the help of Overkill. (Rehashing a story I believe this is called…). Venomous Maximus received his own Trading Card in the 2004 Wizards set G.I. Joe vs Cobra (actually he was packed with the DVD/VHS – remember that kids? – and was not sold seperately).

See what I did here, another Trading Card. This series will eventually make it to the blog when I have been able to complete the set. If you can help me get the final missing cards, check out my needs list! Eternal gratitude will be upon thee.

In the Riso of Cobra movie, we get to see Dr. Mindbender with a full set of glasses and a shirt on. He locks himself up in his lab, together with the man who would become Cobra Commander, when the lab is getting bombed. He passes his knowledge to Rex (the brother of the Baroness) and so the whole nano-mites story and Cobra begins. The actor portraying Dr. Mindbender is the same one that played Beni Gabor in The Mummy (the 1999 movie, aka the good one). His character is described as a lying, cheating, obsequious, arrogant, greedy, cunning, cowardly, deceptive, avaricious, sycophantic, manipulative, subservient, and thoroughly unpleasant little man. Perfect for Cobra 🙂

As far as the action figures go, Dr. Mindbender has seen 7 incarnations. The first one from 1986, is the iconic look from the comics. Bare chested with a cape showing the Cobra sigil and monocle. In 1993 (the crazy 90’s), Mindbender got bright yellow pants and a shirt. The 3rd and 4th version from 2002 and 2003 show him with an open shirt and some very serious cleavage. V5 of 2004 teleports the doc into the 21st century, giving him sharp spectacles and a lab coat. Version 6 of 2009 was released as part of the Defense of Cobra Island set and brought the old look of the cape wearing, bare-chested maniac back. And finally, in 2015, the Collector’s Club released an Arctic version of the Doctor, sporting a purple coat with white fur lining.

I was a bit surprised when I noticed that I actually have most of these figures in my collection. I’m only missing the 93 and 09 version. The doc doesn’t come to mind when I think of my favorite characters, but the more I think about it, the more I like the guy. The fact that he is still a character in the comics is great (although technically he is a clone) and he’s still Cobra’s main science guy. Not too shabby for an orthodontist turned crazy.

That’s all for now, join me next time when we take on a classic American space western drama television show… wait that’s not right. Damn you Google! Anyway, until next time!

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

Post con disappointments and some hope

Just a short post this time about the Joecon of last week. I followed it from afar, not being able to go. It’s on my bucket list, but since next year will probably be the last one, I guess it won’t be for me.

It’s sad to hear that no new Joe toys will be available in stores this year and next year. Not that any of those would make it over the Atlantic, but still, it would have been nice to see fellow collectors boast on Instagram 🙂

There will be a new FSS from the club, but the price of those are too high for a lot of US collectors, and if I want to buy them, I’d have to pay double to pay for shipping and customs. Crystal Ball does sound interesting though.

I am excited for the new subscription figure, Rock & Roll (v2). It was one of my favorite figures as a kid with his impressive Gatling guns. Another exciting prospect is the 2017 SDCC exclusive, the re-release of the Cobra Missile Command Headquarters. Being priced at around $54, I’m hoping to get this one pretty cheap to Belgium. It worked for the Kre-O set from 2015 with Sgt. Slaughter and his Marauders and Destro with the Iron Grenadiers (and Voltar and Darklon). I actually have 2 of those, one for display and one to keep MISB.

I don’t know what the future has in store for us (is there even a future to look forward too?), but I try to keep positive. Personally, I’d like to see a new cartoon series, maybe a second season of Renegades? Some new toys and not just repainted old models, but some newly designed vehicles. And lastly, I would really like a decent game released of G.I.Joe. I know we have the vehicles in the Micro Machines racing game, but a First Person Shooter or an Adventure game would be fantastic.

FANtastic… I guess that’s what we are, the collectors. Die hard fans who like their Joes, the memories, the battles, hell, even the struggles of getting that one thing into your collection. I wouldn’t want to miss that. Keep the Joes alive!

Happy collecting and YoJoe!

Foreign Scum!

With a title like that, one might think we’ll talk about the Donald again, but no, this time we take a look at the Impel Trading Card #36 featuring the ever charming Baroness.

I can’t help but notice there is a trend within Cobra to employ a European specialist to do the dirty work. Right from the get-go, we have the Baroness, who is European Aristocracy. Another specialist was introduced in Destro as the arms dealer, but in the first place as just that, a specialist. The Crimson Twins are Corsican Maffia, Major Bludd is an Australian poet who kills (language mostly – occasionally a Green Shirt :-)), the Dreadnoks are Australian too, … Basically, most of the worst people in the Joeverse are foreigners. I’m not saying that it’s racist or that they have come to take the terrorist jobs from the hard working American people. Just stating the obvious. True story!

Now, let’s get back to the lady of the day. Baroness Anastasia Cisarnova or De Cobray, whatever you prefer. We first meet the Baroness in issue #1 of the Marvel ARAH series. She is the one who kidnaps Dr. Adele Burkhart. Later in the issue, she uses her disguising skills to trick the Joes into thinking she is Dr. Burkhart. Inevitably she escapes with Cobra Commander to plot away at another world domination scheme.

While we don’t get a lot of background story on the Baroness, we know she has a strong connection with Destro, even from before he became an active member of Cobra. Later on in the comics, we get to see the history of the Baroness and Snake Eyes. As a young girl, she was confronted with the death of her brother. When she arrives at the scene, the soldier who would become Snake Eyes, had rushed in when he heard the shots. Seeing the soldier with a loaded gun standing over her dead brother, the Baroness assumes he was the killer.

Years later, when she is working for Cobra, she succeeds in kidnapping Snake Eyes when he is recovering from yet another plastic surgery to restore his face. The Baroness even shoots Scarlett, leaving her in a coma. Upon his escape, Snake Eyes speaks for the first (and only) time in the ARAH run, uttering the name of his beloved redhead. Scarlett awakes from her coma and is back her badass self.

The Baroness is featured in both the Sunbow and the DIC cartoon. In the DIC series, she rescues the Commander from a life of being the pet of Serpentor and is able to return him to sort-of human. Destro left her for Zarana (mid-life crisis anyone) but doesn’t need a lot of persuasions to dump the pink haired Dreadnok and return to his beloved Baroness.

My favorite Baroness is the one from Renegades. She is a corporate figure and does PR for the somewhat legit Cobra Industries. At the end of the series (and show 🙁 Will this be the Firefly of Joe fans?), she is sucked into the wormhole that was generated by the destroyed M.A.S.S. device. I just hope she’s fine, wherever she is.

I guess we now should discuss the movie. They turned her blonde! Nuff said. Moving on.

There are a few fans out there that cosplay as Joes or Cobras. A character like the Baroness is very suitable for cosplay. Sexy yet sophisticated, ruthless but pleasing to look at. I’ll leave you to google for some of the cosplay pics available out there on the world wide web. Shout out to @CobraNorth. Let me share you one, miss Leah Burroughs as the sexy Baroness of your dreams – or nightmares…

 

That’s all for this post (are you even reading this or still looking at the picture above?).

Join me next time when we take on the next card in this series. Hold on to your monocle.

YoJoe and Happy Collecting!