Yes, again by the toys. This is a much better look than the Combat Heroes version. I’m still for it. I would prefer the domed mask or the hood, but I can deal with it. This is his first mask, and I assume it’s to heal his scarred face.
I’ve said this before, but I don’t mind it. It was a given that they were going to change some character designs. They have a new audience to try and suck in, and if HALO is real popular, some HALO-like designs show up. Not shocking to me. This whole movie is based off of a long running toy line.
Essentially this whole endeavour is one big marketing project. The “brand” they are promoting is “G.I. Joe”and they are doing it to make money. They want to get the majority of the populace that they can to go see it, and if they determined that the “hood” (looking too KKK-ish) could be harmful to that goal, they will drop it in an instant. This isn’t high art, or one man’s vision. This is really entertainment by focus group, trying to reach the widest audience possible. They will toss in things for the fans, but the movie isn’t being made just for us. They are trying to sell movie tickets, comic books, action figures, bedsheets, junior novels, toothbrushes, candy, soundtracks, pez dispensers, and any other conceivable thing they can put the Joe or Cobra logo on. One of the best parts for them is that they don’t have to pander to us. They know we are going to see it anyway. It is nice that they are including things that we might enjoy, but I wouldn’t expect much in that regard, unless they thought it would bring in more money.
With a property like this, the potential money calls the shots.
It’s not high art, nor has a strict “canon” to follow after (like “Twilight” perhaps).
There have been lots (and I mean LOTS) of different versions of these characters, in different costumes and with different personalities. All perpetuated by the property holder, Hasbro.