If you’re not reading IDW’s excellent licensed comics, you’re missing out. They’ve managed to take a bunch of toys and cartoons from our childhoods and weave them together into what can only be called the Hasbro Non-Cinematic Universe. Their Transformers book has low-key been one of the best reads on the stands for years, and now with friend of Geek Aubrey Sitterson signed on to write the main G.I. Joe comic and a massive crossover in Revolution, it’s the perfect time to hop on board.That said, we don’t expect every single Joe from the toy line’s history to make an appearance. Hasbro had to knock out a disturbing number of figures every year to keep the money flowing, and once you get away from the iconic guy’s things get a little weedy.In this list, we’ll spotlight eleven Joes that should probably sit this next fight out. Knowing Aubrey, though, it’s more than likely you’ll see a few of them just to spite us.Captain Grid IronTo truly discuss the weirdness of Captain Grid Iron, we need to talk about another Joe: William “The Refrigerator” Perry, the first-round draft pick who rode to fame with the Bears and the Eagles before becoming one of the few people with Joes modeled and named after them. So the team already had a football player, right? Why, four years later, would they add another one? Captain Grid Iron was the QB of his squad at West Point but never played in the NFL, instead opting to join the infantry. He was a “hand to hand combat specialist,” which was a little odd because he carried an enormous shotgun and a bunch of football-sized grenades, which one thinks would slow a soldier down.AltitudeOne of the biggest issues with G.I. Joe is that eventually they just ran out of ways to differentiate the characters from each other. Altitude (real name thankfully not Al Titude) is a perfect example. The dude’s ostensibly a paratrooper, but pretty much every warm body in the Joe force knows how to jump out of a plane because they explode all the time. So they had to give John Jones, the aerial recon scout codenamed Altitude, a little something different. The geniuses at Hasbro decided on “he’s good at drawing” – apparently when he’s floating up there Altitude whips out a pen and pencil and uses his photographic memory to make sketches of enemy encampments. Dude, even the cheapest cell phone has a camera in it now. You can relax.BullhornYou know what totally works well in dealing with international terrorists named after snakes? Negotiation. Psyche, we’re just kidding, those guys never give up or make deals. That’s why Bullhorn is such an inexplicable addition to the Joe roster. His file card says that he’s the type of guy to “negotiate with wackos and fanatics who have an axe to grind with society.” Presumably, he uses the giant novelty voice changer he got a Party City to talk in a robot alien voice because of hostage takers like that.MuskratGetting a code name from a wild animal is classic military stuff, but what happens when all of the good ones are taken? Then you get Muskrat, the Joe from down in the bayou with a heart of gold and the hat of a hobo. We’ll give him this: if you spend a lot of time in the swamp, you get very familiar with snakes. After joining the Army Rangers, the Joe squad was the next step. We have plenty of questions about Muskrat’s whole deal (and what he smells like, besides “bad”), but the top one is the accessory that comes with the figure: a “Swamp Skimmer,” which is basically a boogie board. Do people really boogie board in the Everglades and if so what is wrong with them?Sci-FiThe general concept behind Sci-Fi isn’t so crazy: he’s a “laser trooper,” armed with a high-tech futuristic rifle that shoots beams of energy instead of bullets. Hey, wait a minute – don’t all G.I. Joe weapons shoot beams of energy instead of bullets? Yes, they do, and herein lies the tragedy. The one thing that was supposed to be Sci-Fi’s niche in the Joe squad was taken away from him unceremoniously. He went from “Sci-Fi” to “Just Some Guy” in the blink of an eye, and the only thing he had left was his oddly Power Rangers-esque outfit.MaceThe thing with G.I. Joes is that they were victim to the constantly-escalating arms race of 80s toys. Each year’s models had to be more intense and extreme than the ones before, which is how by the time the 1993 Battle Corps line was released we wound up with a soldier billed as an “undercover operative” who wears a bright yellow helmet with a freaking missile launcher bolted onto the side of it. Where exactly Mace is going undercover in this insane outfit is anybody’s guess. Maybe Burning Man? He was in the second to last grouping of figures to be released before Hasbro shut the line down in 1994.Dee JayPeople come to the elite fighting force that is G.I. Joe from many different branches of the military – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines. But a few are enlisted from civilian life for their special talents. Like Dee Jay – he’s in the group because he can wrestle sick beats from his radio. The “Comm-Tech Trooper” carries a communications device, that (and this is straight from the back of his toy card) he can “make it work, fix it and coax strange sounds out of it with an infectious beat.” Yes, I’m sure that when you’re trying to stop a bunch of goofy snake men, identical twins, dudes with metal faces and assorted creeps and cretins from conquering the world you really want to take a second to bust a move or two.Ice Cream SoldierIf you’re a wrestling fan, you might be familiar with Pennsylvania-based indie promotion Chikara. That company has a pair of masked luchadors named El Hijo del Ice Cream and Ice Cream Jr that work a frozen dessert gimmick. So one would think that the G.I. Joe codenamed “Ice Cream Soldier” might be similar? Wrongo, buddy. In fact, he’s a heavily-armored dude who carries a flamethrower around, because everybody loves the flaming ice cream you get at strip mall Japanese restaurants. Unfortunately, you can’t show charred corpses on afternoon cartoons, so Ice never got to do his job.ChucklesWhen kids are playing with G.I. Joes, there’s always a battle between who gets the flashier figures like Snake Eyes and Duke and who has to settle for the dregs. In the entire history of pretend wars held in backyards and bedrooms all across America, we can confidently say that nobody has ever called dibs on Chuckles. The team’s undercover intelligence officer is just some jamoke in a cheap Hawaiian shirt who used to be an insurance investigator. Apparently, he’s really good at blending in with Cobra dudes, which is a little shocking because they all wear full face masks. How hard can that be?HardballGoddammit, another sports guy? Hardball epitomizes the real tragedy of G.I. Joe: no uniform dress code means they could wear whatever idiotic outfit they wanted into battle. For dudes like Quick Kick, that meant going barefoot and shirtless. For Hardball, that means wearing his minor league baseball uniform into combat like a damn lunatic. Dude, we get it: you left your angels in the outfield and are taking out your roid-fueled frustrations on Cobra. But we can’t all be Kenny Powers. It’s time to let your dreams die and move on with your life.Colonel CourageThere are a lot of moving parts in keeping a fighting force active, but let’s be real here: kids don’t want to fantasize about being mess cooks, drill sergeants or desk jockeys. Colonel Courage (real name Cliff V. Mewett) was the latter, a designated “Administrative Strategist” who for some reason came armed with more guns than he could carry. Do you think they gave him that bad-ass code name as a sort of passive-aggressive jab on his duties? “Thanks so much for signing and filing my equipment requisition forms, Colonel Courage.” It’s like Office Space, but instead of a stapler, it’s a live grenade. Stay on target Toy Tuesday: Yo! It’s The Best ‘G.I. 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Hands-On: ‘Stranded Sails’ Is a Relaxing Farm Sim AdventureHere’s an Hour of Incomprehensible ‘Death Stranding’ Gameplay Stay on target The PlayStation 4 has dominated the Xbox One this entire generation. However, Microsoft’s console does have something Sony’s doesn’t: a premium controller. Though the DualShock 4 is great, it doesn’t have the versatility of the Xbox Elite controller. Now thanks to SCUF, the PS4 finally has a legit premium controller to call its own. The new SCUF Vantage is the perfect answer to the Xbox Elite controller and a must-have peripheral for PS4 players who want to get the most out of their games.The SCUF Vantage is more or less an upgraded version of the Impact controller. Like that device, the Vantage features four back paddle buttons, which users can customize with the functions of the face and shoulder buttons. The controller has rubberized handles which make it easier to grip if one’s hands become sweaty. It has removable vibration modules, thumbsticks, d-pad, and trigger buttons. Users can add concave or domed thumbsticks, a control disk d-pad, and extended triggers. They can also change how quickly the triggers stop when pressed and the amount of tension they have.As far as new features are concerned, the main one is the overall design of the controller. The Vantage is actually similar to an Xbox One controller with its asymmetrical thumbstick placement. Even the shape of the handles is very reminiscent of an Xbox One controller. Some PlayStation purists may scoff at the Xbox-like design, but one can’t deny the results. Because of the design and the rubber grips, the Vantage feels absolutely perfect in one’s hands.In addition to the back paddles, the Vantage has two extra buttons on the left and right-hand sides. Like the paddles, you can assign them to have the functions of any of the shoulder and face buttons. Given their placement, the SAX buttons (as they’re called) are easy to press by simply extending one’s index finger. If you don’t want to use these buttons, you can always remove them. I didn’t have much need for these extra buttons, but I kept them on since I like the way they look on the controller.Another new feature is the slide bar located between the handles. With this, one can control audio when using a headset. Sliding one’s thumb to the left lowers the volume while going to the right raises it. One can mute the mic by pressing the slide bar. The only catch is that the slide bar only works in wired mode. That aside, the slide bar is a neat feature that makes volume control effortless to access.The anti-friction rings around the thumbsticks are another awesome new feature. As the name implies, the rings reduce friction, which makes for smoother motions when using the sticks. The rings come in various colors and it’s (literally) a snap to swap them out. It would be easy to overlook the anti-friction rings since they aren’t as obvious as some of the other features. However, they do a lot to enhance the overall gameplay experience. It’s the little things that have the greatest impact, after all.The removable vibration modules are a big deal. The Impact controller I own doesn’t have them. Because of that, the controller feels very light. This is fine for some, but personally, I prefer my controllers to have some weight. The Vantage controller is slightly heavier than a DualShock 4, which is ideal for me. At the same time, it isn’t heavy to the point where it’ll tire your hands during extended play sessions. The weight is spot on.For this review, I tested the wired and wireless Vantage controllers. They’re both identical in terms of overall features, with the only exception being one is playable wirelessly. The interesting thing about the wireless controller is that one can set it to wired mode for reduced latency. If you’re playing a single player game, this feature isn’t really necessary. It’s most useful when playing online, where you want to eliminate as much lag as possible. The wireless controller comes with a 10-foot long wire, which should be more than enough length for most users. Of the two controllers, I preferred the wireless model, though both are equally great.Customizing the Vantage is relatively straightforward. Removing the magnetic faceplate to swap out the thumbsticks and vibration modules is a breeze. It’s also easy to program and reprogram the back paddles and SAX buttons. You’ll still need to use the SCUF key when adjusting the tension of the triggers. Besides that, all that’s required is one’s bare hands.The SCUF Vantage comes in a relatively large box containing a 10-foot cable, domed thumbsticks, extended triggers, extra anti-friction rings, a control disk d-pad, and a SCUF key. You’ll also find a hardshell case to keep the controller inside of when not in use. I really like how the box opens from the top like a music box. Though the package is somewhat large, I’m hesitant to toss it out. It looks so cool! I definitely want to give SCUF props on designing such an awesome looking box.As far as I’m concerned, the SCUF Vantage is by far the best PlayStation controller available. SCUF truly went all out when designing this bad boy. It feels fantastic to use and the amount of customization options is without equal. At $169.99 for wired and $199.99 wireless, the controllers aren’t exactly cheap. However, they’re worth every single penny. I know I’ll be hard pressed to go back to the regular DualShock 4. If you have the cash, you owe it to yourself to try out the SCUF Vantage. You will not be disappointed.See our review of PowerA’s officially licensed wireless Nintendo Switch Controllers. Find out how 8BitDo’s DIY mod-kits can help you repurpose old controllers. See SCUF’s pretty in pink Valentine’s controller. 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