First I will put up my collection of IDW Comic panels along with commentary:
I didn't get into the IDW comics because the little I saw of them online didn't make me love this version of the twins. It's like the writers took away the fun and spirit of G.I. Joe and made it harsh, real world. The characters were more brutal and the body count was high, something I never enjoy in any work. Good or bad, I'd rather everyone stayed alive, especially main characters. I cringed when I saw these twins working as mafioso slavers. It's like they made them the lowest of the low. They even had them spending three years hanging out with Muammar Gadaffi. That's pretty hardcore.
Tomax and Xamot mostly played the part of corrupt corporate tycoons. There was no flashy costumes, acrobatics or even much in the way of a psychic connection. I still remember that starstruck feeling I got when I was twelve and first saw them on ARAH. Every time I caught a glimpse, my heart would race, and I'd try to imprint every part of what they looked like in my memory because they were so AMAZING. They were like super hero rock stars and out of place as villains, which made them more intriguing. Then they had that magical psychic connection on top of it. In the comics, I never saw evidence of pain sharing or thought finishing. They weren't even mirror image. The following panel shows the only hint of a connection:
Side Note: I like the Extensive Enterprises motto in the comics, 'Are We Not Drawn Onward To New Era?'. The ARAH version was 'We Will Mortgage the Future in the Present', which was so cheesy but in the spirit of that show.
Tomax and Xamot were shown as identical twins who dressed in different colors so the reader could tell them apart. Tomax was always in white with a blue shirt, and Xamot was in black. When they were together, Tomax's words were surrounded in blue and Xamot's in red. I tried to think of what Tomax might have meant when he said, "Slavery is freedom....the awful lie of free will is exposed in the unbreakable connection between my brother and myself." I had to think about it for a while, as it came across so nonsensical. I finally came to two conclusions: 1.) Tomax might be clearing his conscious. Maybe he has this attitude like since he was raised by a mafia, he never had any choice in the direction his life went, therefore he could never be held completely responsible for the wrongdoing he so enjoyed. This isn't true, of course, but since he's a villain, he's capable of deluding himself such. 2.) This was a way he expressed both his love for his brother and the satisfaction his life had brought him. The present situation was copacetic for Tomax. He had his successful business, excitement in the form of Mr. X, and lofty goals in the service of Cobra.
Xamot on the other hand....
Xamot got shot in the face. I included a picture of him close up because of how absurd his injury looked in this comic. He had the same looking injury as Scar from the Lion King, except on the opposite side. It's obvious Scar was slashed by a claw, but how the hell did Xamot supposedly get shot at that angle? Was someone lying flat on his/her back shooting straight up? Come on now...oh well, artistic license.
Anyway, this whole situation accurately expresses their individual personalities, per my head canon. It's likely Xamot had been dissatisfied with his life for a long time, yet the injury gave him the courage to finally admit it. Tomax was totally clueless, working at this desk all day, calling his brother every so often to ask when he's going to come into work and "-By the way, we haven't spent time together in a while have we?" Xamot wouldn't take his calls because he was dreading the inevitable confrontation where he had to tell him things he knew his brother won't understand/have patience for.
From the Comic: Returning to work, Xamot was never lacking for attention or company, but he still felt isolated. More and more, he sought time alone, rather than spending it with Tomax. He was afraid that his life had become stale, and longed for a return to the days when all it took to change the world was a pickup truck and a gun. With so many tools at his disposal, so much within his grasp, he was losing perspective.
To Xamot, managing a business empire was an empty task. Conflict had become less profitable than peace. Bored with building infrastructure, Xamot stopped taking his brother's calls, and spent more time alone. He was famous as a businessman, but his heart longed for the open field of battle, not boardrooms.
Feeling absolutely no connection to his brother any more, Xamot looked at himself in the mirror and chose to give up the comforts of society that were making him weak. Thinking back to his Mediterranean upbringing, he used a pair of clippers and began shaving his head, just as young Corsican soldiers would do when they felt consumed with purpose, obsession, and misguided individualism.
Finally they would get together. After Tomax would get over the shock of Xamot's shaved head, he would try to patiently listen to him blather on about how he wasn't getting enough excitement in life and needed to find his purpose or inner child or some crap. "Don't you miss the days when we used to shoot rebels from a pick up truck in the stinking jungle?" Xamot would ask, "Those were the days, when it was just you and me, a couple of guns, maybe a bottle of shine. We'd end a perfect day in a remote, peaceful village, having our ways with a couple of under-aged slave girl virgins. Things were so uncomplicated back then."
Tomax would think about his comfortable penthouse suite and high priced hookers and roll his eyes. He'd reply, "Goddammit Xamot..what has gotten into you? You sound like some loser dwelling on his high school glory days. We are fabulously wealthy and run one of the most successful companies in the world! We are on the verge of getting everything we've ever wanted! How could this not be enough? Sometimes I don't feel much of a connection with you either!"
Perhaps Tomax didn't understand that his dreams weren't necessarily Xamot's dreams. Xamot wanted his brother to be happy, yet he wasn't getting his needs met in this continuity, per my Myers-Briggs head canon. -Well, kinda. They still had the Crimson Guard. Being the intuitive thinker, Tomax would have been happier in an impersonal office setting, whereas intuitive-feeler Xamot would have been happier directing the Crimson Guard on missions. Xamot would have been perfectly content in the IDW world if he would have been able to do fun stuff, like in ARAH, such as riding around in ATVs, flying trouble bubbles and dressing in flashy costumes while doing acrobatic stunts. I didn't see any evidence of this in IDW. All they had was Mr. X, which stopped being fun after Xamot got a bullet graze too close to his brains for comfort.
Having this thought just now makes me think the twins (or maybe just Xamot, idk) might be borderline sensors, like their intuitive characteristics only dominate just so.
I also wonder about Brothers of Light Xamot. He doesn't get to do all that fun stuff either. This version of the twins is more subdued, yet I can see them as the type to put on flashy shows for their disciples. There's also their dream of spreading their faith to the outside world, which would give them hope for further excitement. I'll go into the woulda/coulda/shoulda of Season 2 BoL later.
I included the following panel because it shows Tomax being sensible, while Xamot is being a reckless nutjob for fun. I read the synopses. The man they have captive is Chuckles, who has a beef with the twins because they were responsible for getting his gf Jinx killed while they were fucking around playing Mr. X. The Cobra Commander made a secret deal with Chuckles that if he joined Cobra, he could get his revenge on the twins and take Extensive Enterprises. This because CC doesn't feel they are doing a good enough job running the business since they started fighting a lot, and Xamot seemed to turn unproductively nutty. Xamot figured out the conspiracy while Tomax stayed clueless. In typical Xamot fashion, he took steps to save their lives.
In the next panel, Xamot had just knocked Tomax unconscious with a blow to the head, then handcuffed an arm to a leg. Since he was seen as unhinged, his access to certain areas of the building was restricted. He would need to pose as his brother to move around safely.
Somehow Xamot was able to turn up a wig looking exactly like Tomax's longer hair style. My guess is the making of this was Tomax's idea. He made him wear it to look attractive when they would heartily bang each other. The twins might have been at odds much of the time in this continuity, yet Tomax knew if Xamot showed up rocking a wig and big cheesy smile, then it was time to put aside his differences and start wetting his lips. Anyway, moving on....
Xamot dressed in a white suit and wig, then used makeup to cover his scar so he'd look like Tomax. Then he went out to take down Cobra Commander in a coup. At the same time, Chuckles was on the move wreaking havoc. I enjoyed the fourth panel. It's as if Xamot be like *te tum te tum te tum* Look at me, I'm Tomax. I'm cool and composed when my life is in danger. *hrraderk*
Meanwhile, Chuckles found the real Tomax, freed him, forced him to lead him to restricted areas, since Xamot had stolen his pass earlier. -Thought it was interesting reading the following in the synopses: Chuckles tells Tomax that he needs access to certain rooms to continue the destruction of the facility called Section 20. So Tomax submits and walks him to the areas he asks. Chuckles thinks to himself, "It's always the ones who love to make people hurt that fold the fastest." Chuckles had labeled him a typical bully...sadistic, yet a coward deep down. I think this was a bit unfair. Tomax had been having an incredibly bad day, and oh boy, was it about to get worse. First he found out that the Cobra Commander was murdered, shot in the head by Chuckles. Then after he escaped in a plane with the Baroness, Chuckles managed to blow up the whole Cobra base, incinerating himself and Xamot, who happened to be sitting right next to him. It said in the comic Tomax screamed at the loss. I'm guessing it was from shock at feeling the connection ending for real in an instant. There was no body to mourn over. Xamot was gone, wiped from existence completely. Incidentally, it's the same way he went in that terrible transformers continuity.
**One thing I should add that's incredibly sad...Tomax's last memory of his brother in the IDW world would be of them quarreling and having his brother commit an act of violence against him.
-So Tomax lived on, but then IDW kept writing about him! He ended up in the Cobra Civil War series, where the top members of Cobra fought to become the new Cobra Commander. Tomax seemed like the least likely candidate. Not only was he distraught over losing Xamot, but he ended up in prison right away. The prison guards were told he was a special prisoner and not to be harmed. This meant solitary confinement, no hanky-panky in the showers, etc. With the only person he ever loved gone and nothing to live for, Tomax was in such anguish he looked around his cell for something to kill himself with. Seeing nothing obvious, he (this really happened, no joke) decided the best plan was to peel toxic paint chips off the walls and mix them with his food. He quickly got ill and showed symptoms of poisoning. Guards rushed him to the infirmary. After a while, Tomax snapped out of his despondency and went on a killing spree to escape. I couldn't find details in the synopses, but Tomax eventually got disqualified from becoming the Cobra Commander. It probably wasn't for any better reason than he was too ordinary. The writers likely wanted someone flashier and more interesting to be the new leader, such as Zartan or Destro. This makes me wonder...why kill off Xamot? From a marketing pov, why kill off the person who made Tomax interesting? Without that psychic connection to a mirror image twin, he was just a regular guy who ran a company. They might as well have called him by his real name, like Max Paoli or 'Tom' or something. Perhaps they were just too much of oddballs to fit into this particular universe, and the writers weren't interested in writing about twin powers, to which I say LAAAAAME!!
Adding paranormal elements to a real-world setting always makes a story more fun. That's why I was a fan of such shows as the X-Files, Matrix and Men In Black. Currently, I'm on the second book of the World Made By Hand series Witch of Hebron, which gave me a pleasant surprise by revealing supernatural elements toward the end of the first book. Some was a bit ott, but I went with it. When G.I. Joe 3 comes out, I hope that version of the twins has all the symptoms of the psychic connection, like sentence finishing and pain sharing. I hope they don't kill one of them off in that movie. It has to be both or neither. Killing one off and leaving the other with the connection severed would be too psychologically cruel imho.
This was the last thing I found Tomax in by himself (WHY?!). The G.I. Joes captured him; he decided to cooperate with them and tell them about Cobra Commander's son 'Billy'. Supposedly, it had an abrupt and sad ending, yet I couldn't find a complete summary anywhere. If anyone reads this and has read Son of the Snake, could you just tell me what happened? I have anonymous comments open.
Moving on to my weird thoughts about the Brothers of Light. I had to think for a day to ever remember what I had wanted to write about. It's been a full month since an LJ friend of mine did a post inspiring me to wonder about a few things. He had written:
My speculation is that the curse of death is to be understood as applying to humans specifically, and this, not because human flesh was inherently immortal prior to the Fall and has undergone a physical change, but because Man's unity with God was (or could become) such that he would be suffused with divine power and would not be enslaved to material limitations. It is obvious that as to the animal side of our nature, humans are just as mortal as beasts. But the central theme of Christian anthropology is that God made Man for union and communion with Himself: that we would become partakers of the Divine Nature through being joined mystically to the Body of Christ the God-Man. Like an electric appliance is by its very shape and design intended to operate while plugged into a power source greater than itself, so the human being is designed to be "plugged into" God. Such were Adam and Eve originally, though I opine they were innocent but not perfected; they had yet to grow up into the fullness that God had planned for them. Once "unplugged" from God, they and we didn't work right anymore, doomed to run down, break down, and die. By contrast, when a fallen person is "plugged in" by Holy Baptism and subsequent faith and obedience, his parts begin to be set in order, first within the soul, then at length in the body as well. Our example of the omega-state of humanity is the resurrected Jesus. In his appearances, it is clear that He retained the same tangible flesh that died on the Cross, but He also was able to exceed the limits of the flesh at will. "The corruptible must put on incorruption, and the mortal must put on immortality." (1 Corinthians 15:53)
Moreover, per Romans 8, this creative, life-giving power will not end with the human body, but will extend throughout creation, over which God appointed Man the steward in the beginning. It is possible there will indeed be a literal fulfillment of Isaiah 11. If so, it would not be done by physically remodeling the lion to have the teeth and guts of a herbivore so he can eat straw, but rather by extending a sliver of supernatural peace, order and immortality to the lion, so that he no longer needs to strive and kill to survive, yet retains his fierce majesty. And maybe the universe will indeed take on a timeless quality, but if so, it won't be by rewriting natural law, but by transcending it. The sons of God will spread heaven across the earth. "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."
I left the comment saying that I believed this thought of his was true, and that I had been making a mockery of it with my fandom. The Brothers of Light are going around pretending to be gods and using their mind control powers to make their disciples become 'plugged in' to them. -But it's all a lie. They are committing the sins of prideful self-idolatry and of being false prophets. It made me wonder...are head canon Tomax and Xamot committed atheists? If not, then how would they dare to do this without fear of offending a higher power? My answer is that they might believe in a god, but imagine Him as a remote being who doesn't get involved in the lives of mortals. Maybe they don't believe they are even doing anything wrong, like, "We are gods among men, but would submit to a divine authority if it presented itself." *wink*
I also had the strange thought they'd have a memory of being connected to God at one time, yet now feel a bitterness deep down at feeling the connection severed. This is another demonic analogy, as fallen angels would also have felt the pain of this loss. With the twins though...they aren't demons, but they are genetic anomalies who subliminally remember being connected for a blink of an eye in time between the time they were made and the time they were born. After, they had to be content living with their own loving bond.
Disclaimer: This particular fuckery is not a reflection of myself and my beliefs. Someone in a locked post expressed the opinion I might be using the twins to figure out life or express ideas from my repressed subconscious mind. It might be true. I'll keep an open mind because of the whole Johari's Window Blind Spot theory. Most of this is me expressing my love for these characters by making up personality traits to give them depth. They didn't get enough screen time to give the viewer much in the way of what they were like as individuals beyond their soul less cohesion. Granted, some of my head canons are horrific, yet there are many people who love villains and their atrocities. Look at The Joker from Batman. He's loved even though he intentionally mass murders people and enjoys chaos.
Tomax and Xamot are nowhere near as evil as the Joker. If I had to place them into tropes, per my head canon, then I'd call them Unwitting instigators of doom -or- Oblivious Evil. They know they are villains, yet if someone sat them down and interviewed them, they might have different ideas why. Take the Crimson Twins for example:
Interviewer: "Why do you think people perceive you as being the bad guys?"
Crimson Twins: "Well, because we engage in illegal activities working for a terrorist organization..." "...and have been building our own private army for the goal of..." "WORLD DOMINATION!" "Other than that, we believe we are alright guys..." "...and would be fair supreme rulers. After all, our Crimson Guardsmen love us.."
Interviewer: "Yes, but what about all the times you got people hurt/killed while performing your reckless stunts?"
Crimson Twins: "We can't be held responsible for other people..." "They need to watch themselves.." "It's difficult enough for us having to deal with the..." "..liability of our shared sensations.."
The interviewer would have to try and explain the others weren't willful participants of their fun times, and that their almost super human gymnastic abilities gave them an unfair advantage. It's the same with the Brothers of Light. If someone asked them why they'd think it was okay to rape someone under mind-control, they'd vehemently deny raping anybody. They'd only believe they were guilty of both the mind-control and the direct orders they gave. IE: Tomax and Xamot told their disciples to attack the Joes. They'd consider themselves responsible for that assault. They didn't have to tell their disciples to sleep with them; the brothers and sisters ran to their arms willingly, therefore they thought it was real. Ask them if their disciples would still sleep with them while not under hypnosis and they might be like, ..why wouldn't they? Just look at us; we are beautiful and amazing.
Anyway, back to the whole plugging followers into them idea. I wonder how far their mind-control would have gone if there had been a season 2 of Renegades? It's a creepy thought. I'm trying to imagine the Brothers of Light in suits doing their whole Extensive Enterprises schtick. Would their office buildings be full of adoring, mesmerized followers? Would they have idols holding up eyes in pyramids spread around as prolifically as cell phone towers?
It has taken me a month on and off to get this entry done! I'm on vacation from work right this moment, so I had a little free time to work on fandom and also crank out the first entry for against_pc currently in moderator queue. I hope it catches on. One thing I miss about LJ is the prolific political debates I used to get involved in. Now the communities with the most traffic have become echo chambers for sjws or hard leftists. therightfangirl gets good from time to time, but it's a community kept locked to keep out the troll horde.