Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cobra Commander as He SHOULD HAVE Appeared in G.I. JOE: The Rise of Cobra Action Figure Art

The best movies based on comics and cartoons adapt the things that worked well in the original medium while not straying too far from the things that made the property successful and loved by fans. Another key is adapting the iconic visual elements from the source material. This is a logical move because it not only pleases the fans but also doesn't create new problems by breaking things that work simply for the sake of doing something new.

If you've read some of my previous posts, you know I made Hawk, Shipwreck, Roadblock, Duke, and Scarlett as they SHOULD have appeared in the movie G.I. JOE: The Rise of Cobra. This is my take on good old Cobra Commander.
In the movie, the clear mask does little to obscure the Commander's burned face, so why even bother with the mask in the first place? Since it's not keeping him alive, there no reason for him to even cover his face from a literal perspective. And since the mask isn't hiding his features, there's no reason to do it from a storytelling perspective either. Would they have sold any less movie tickets if he happened to wear his trademark cowl instead of that goofy clear plastic mask because the general public is more accepting of clear plastic than fabric?
The mask is powerful storytelling tool that great storytellers now how to use. When Cobra Commander was introduced in both the comics and cartoon, his masks (the cowl and his mirrored helmet) served the purpose of hiding his identity. But it also allowed the writer to use it as convention for revealing bits of his character. Every time we saw a new bit of his face, part of his past and character was also revealed. It's a tease, but it also made it fun for the viewer to try to guess what exactly was underneath.
Finally, the cowl, if treated properly can appear even more frightening than any "hard" material mask as it allows far greater expression for the actor underneath especially a transparent one with weird reflections and glare.
The most challenging part of creating this piece was the Cobra logo on his chest which is one of my custom waterslide decals. It took a few tries to get it right as it is positioned on a very  detailed area of the chest and required decal solvent to get it to cling to the shape. I also clear coated the entire upper torso with a gloss to make it look more like body armor and contrast the matte "fabric" of the rest of his costume.

Thanks for reading and I hope you dig him. If you do, I've made him available in my Etsy store. Click here to add him to your Cobra ranks. Until next time, I remain The Insidious One.

1 comment:

  1. I liked you switch the legs from the doctor figure, i did that too.


Like what you see? Share your thoughts!