Now I’m just downright excited, more excited to write something than I have been in some time!
See, Amazon has reached a deal with Hasbro to license G.I. JOE to the Kindle Worlds Universe. For those that don’t know, Kindle Worlds is where writers can write fan fiction for their favorite worlds. I have one book in the program right now, my Kindle World’s Kurt Vonnegut book, Room 223.
Here’s the Amazon G.I. JOE press release and here are some snippets from it. According to Michael Kelly, Hasbro’s Director of Global Publishing, the company is entering into a great agreement. Here’s what he had to say:
It is with equal excitement that Hasbro now enters a new segment of the business by embracing the concept of open-source storytelling, and officially unlocking the world of G.I. JOE to our fans through Amazon’s Kindle Worlds.
Authors Are Interested
I’ve started a forum thread there to try and get authors to cooperate and make some stories together, kind of in an attempt to really dominate this market right when it’s opened.
Here are some links I think will help authors interested in the G.I. JOE Kindle World:
My G.I. JOE Kindle Worlds Story
So far I’ve decided to focus on a group of villains, the Dreadnoks.
The Dreadnoks were based out of Australia originally but have since relocated. They primarily live in the swamps somewhere in the Florida Everglades, although no one is really sure where.
The gang started with three original members and grew from there. They’re crude, rude, and uncouth and often have dirty mouths and unconventional weapons and methods of engagement.
All of them love chocolate donuts and grape soda. What’s more, they torture their enemies, usually with laughing gas or pools of piranhas. Below are the main members of the ever-shifting roster.
Zartan can also mimic anyone’s voice and is proficient in over 20 languages. He may have been trained at the European military academy at St. Cyr.
He favors silent killing weapons and grew up in a Catholic orphanage before hitting the streets of London. There’s a bit of sibling rivalry with his older brother, I think.
She’s quite the actress, and can often fool just about anyone.
He started riding with the Melbourne Maulers motorcycle gang upon his return to Australia and quickly joined the Dreadnoks after that. He’s an illiterate who’s extremely stupid and violent. He uses his torch to crack safes and likes to find junk in the swamp.
It was while studying biker gangs in Australia that he fell under their evil sway and joined up. He uses a diamond-toothed chainsaw as his favorite weapon and all-purpose device.
He keeps a pet warthog named Clyde and smells just as bad, viewing all synthetic products as sure giveaways to animals that he’s coming. He was chased out of Africa for cheating at cards and smelling awful, then joined up with the Dreadnoks in Australia.
He kicked around London raising hell for years before heading to Australia to join the gang.
He likes his power cutting tools and has a mighty blade he uses for most everything.
That may have set him down the wrong path, as he got kicked out of kindergarten for stealing milk money and even got the boot from the cub scouts. He has an odor problem and it has cost him places in gangs before.
It was on one such smuggling mission that he delivered stolen gas to Zartan’s filling station, and was hired immediately. He still keeps up his pirating, usually from an “air skiff” and blusters a lot. Many don’t like him as he gets on their nerves, and they think his eye patch is fake.
Thrasher & The Thunder Machine
In my story we’ll focus on just one vehicle at first, although I have a feeling these criminal geniuses might make some more.
Thrasher created and drove the Thunder Machine, cobbling it together from all manner of spare parts, junk, and other crap lying about. He got a 1980s Pontiac Trans-Am for the front nose, which is over where the truck’s engine would be, and which also has two large armor-piercing Gatling guns attached.
There are also pieces form a dune buggy and pickup truck chassis, much like that of a Humvee. A jet engine fuels he beast, making it extremely fast but very difficult to maneuver as well, although the racing tires somewhat obviated that.
Armor plating protects the sides, much of which is thought to come from old tanks. If you believe Thrasher, the Thunder Machine can take just as much or even more damage as a Cobra H.I.S.S (Hi Speed Sentry) tank.
The Dreadnoks Timeline
The G.I. Joe team hears about this illicit place run by scum and heads on in with guns a blazin’. Zartan is captured while the other members manage to escape using their various skills, mainly at disguise.
Here they’re actually hired to have the Cobra Command leader, Serpentor, killed. To do this they dress as Joe team members but are discovered by Cobra agents in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #52 (February, 1986)
One thing to remember is that you can find all of these old G.I. JOE comic books on Amazon for about $1 an issues, all bundled into 10 issue volumes.
I know I'll have to consult a few before I start writing these books seriously.
Here Buzzer and Ripper are seen chasing Snake-Eyes, who is wounded at the time. What occurred I'm not sure of, and it's just another reason I need to get caught up.
In G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #70-71 (April-May, 1988) we see Zarana, Monkeywrench, and Thrasher working with the Joes to get out from under the other gang members and get away from their troubles.
The Dreadnoks serve as personal escorts for Cobra Commander during the Cobra civil war that takes place on Cobra Island. Later, they are sent to guard the west side of the defenses, facing the seemingly impenetrable swamps. The Joes make it through and capture most of the Dreadnoks,
I think it’s around that time they head to the US for the first time, although again, I’m not real sure. I need to buy these comics!
It’s shortly after these comics that things go haywire, and Cobra is finally defeated for good by G.I. Joe. Zartan sets down roots in the US for good and gets gangs set up in more than 50 cities, with the main branch down in Florida.
Strange things begin to happen, like Zartan’s kids showing up and his own problems with skin developing which won’t allow him to go into sunlight. His daughter Zanya therefore gets more power, something other gang members resent.
One who is really miffed is Zarana, who heads off to lead the Chicago chapter of the Noks, leaving Zartan for good. Things don’t go good for them (Whether Chicago or Florida I’m not sure) and several of the members are killed.
This is then handed over to the Joes in a “distraction plan” carried out by Serpentor in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero vol. 2 #23 (October 2003).
What that conflict is I don’t know. What I think it involves are Tomax and Xamot’s efforts to get their “Coil” plan started, which would rise up from the ashes of Cobra Command to take over the world, using their Extensive Enterprises front.
The main action of this occurs in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero vol. 2 #24 (Nov 2003) and I think this will be a good starting off point or “reboot” for my story.
I’m not real sure what happens in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero vol. 2 #25 (October 2003), but it’s the last comic I know of featuring our “heroes.”
Well, What Do You Think?
Now I know most of the back story for this group of characters and I really feel I can get done with 3 short, 10,000 word stories for this new program.
I’m excited, and I sure hope some of my readers are as well! How about you? Or could you really care less? Honestly, I'll be surprised if anyone reads this far.