G.I. JOE writer and the author of G.I. JOE: Snake Eyes Chuck Dixon responded to Snake Eyes actor Henry Golding’s recent comments about the character.
At a press conference in Japan announcing the beginning of production for Snake Eyes, Golding stated, “For us to never really see what is beneath the mask, it always missed something.”
He continued, “Snake Eyes was always seen as a weapon, as almost an inanimate object.”
Golding then added, “But when you get to see someone’s eyes, you get to see their past, their future, the personality behind that.”
Dixon responded to these comments on YouTube saying, “He kinda misses the point that that’s what Snake Eyes is all about; the mystery.”
The Snake Eyes author then recounts the origin of Snake Eyes.
Dixon explains, “At the very beginning Snake Eyes was created as a generic character, a generic action figure as part of the initial G.I. JOE line. His entire purpose was to increase the profit margin of the line.”
He continued, “Because hand painting all of the characters was a big expense…So they decided that if they had one figure in the set that didn’t require painting it would make the entire line profitable. And that character is Snake Eyes.”
Dixon then details, “No one knew that this character that was basically created almost like a Stormtrooper character for the series would become its most popular character. And in fact for years the most popular character in comic books as well as toys. And all of that is because of Larry Hama.”
Dixon continues, “Larry Hama understood the very simple principle that mystery enhances and engages the reader. The less you know, the more you want to know. And he made Snake Eyes a mystery and by making him a mystery he made him cooler.”
Dixon then details that Hama knew that kids like to project themselves on their heroes.
“The other thing that Larry understands and I learned over time writing comics is that kids, who are supposed to be our primary audience, kids love to project themselves on their heroes. And who better to project yourself on then Snake Eyes, we don’t know what he looks like and he doesn’t talk. So any kid could imagine that they are Snake Eyes.”
Dixon then explains why he decided to respond to Henry Golding, ” What’s my dog in this hunt? I want to stand up for Larry, I want to stand up for the truth here. And maybe explain to those who don’t understand what was so cool about this.”
Dixon concludes the video by discussing his G.I. JOE series and the challenges he faced with writing Snake Eyes, but also why he enjoyed it.
“I got to write the character and was definitely the most challenging character I’ve had to write because the the guy doesn’t talk, he doesn’t emote. But he does, he does emote. And that was the hardest thing to get across what this guy was about without using dialogue. Enormous challenge, but one I enjoyed immensely. I loved writing this guy. Because he is just so super cool. And that’s just built into the character that he is very, very cool.”
What do you make of Chuck Dixon’s response to Henry Golding?