The G.I. Joe Museum
Early G.I. Joe Toy Collectibles & Comics
Popular Toy Collectibles
Unique Art - "G.I. Joe and his K-9 Pups" (tin metal, windup), circa 1945
Left side: "G.I. Joe and the K-9 Pups" and featuring the incredibly rare box. Above figure in C-7 condition. (Box is C-4/5).
Right side: "G.I. Joe and the K-9 Pups." Above figure in C-9 condition.
Unique Art - "G.I. Joe and his Jouncing Jeep" (tin metal, windup), circa. 4-11-44 (licensed by the G.I. Joe Corp.)
Left Side: "Jet Propelled" - "Supersonic Speed"
Right Side: "Watch Joe Go." Above figure in C-8 condition.
Featuring the incredibly rare box. Above figure in C-9 condition. Box is C-6/7.
G.I.Joe has also been featured in a number of comic book publications over the years.
Ziff-Davis's G.I. Joe was set during the Korean War. Ziff-Davis was in the habit of numbering their first issues "10". When the series became popular, they reset the numbering system, so there are two issues for each number from 10 to 14, and no issues numbered 1 through 5.
Volume 1 started in 1950 and lasted five issues, numbered 10 through 14. Volume 2 continuing from the previous volume was published from 1951, and lasted 46 issues numbered 6 through 51.
The largest and longest running comic however was produced by Marvel, A Real American Hero.
Hasbro, Inc. relaunched a toy line in 1982 with G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, which was supported by a Marvel Comics series of the same name. It was unique at the time in that it was a comic book series that was promoted on television commercials which also supported the toy line. This 155-issue series is considered to be one of the longest-running comic book tie-ins to a toy line. Much of its success is to be credited to Larry Hama, who wrote the entire series save for a few issues with guest writers. Rather than treating the stories as a mere promotion for the toys, Hama wrote the series with seriousness and infused it with doses of realism, humor, and drama. Other than Transformers, no other series was able to duplicate its success. Notable artists include Herb Trimpe, Ron Wagner, Rod Whigham and Marshall Rogers.
A number of differences existed between the comic book and the animated TV series. Certain characters who were very prominent in the comic book, such as Stalker, were featured very little in the cartoon, while characters who were less prominent in the comic book, such as Shipwreck, were very prominent in the cartoon series. Another difference was that in the comic book featured a romance between Scarlett and Snake-Eyes, whereas in the cartoon, they are not a couple. The most notable difference between the comic and the cartoon, however, is in its handling of combat. While the cartoon had the characters use semi-futuristic laser rifles and pistols (due to an edict for "no bullets" from the studio), the comic book did not shy away from using real-world pistols, rifles, SMGs and ammunition; The cartoon characters would almost comically wade through waves of enemy fire untouched, while the comic book would routinely have characters suffer injuries from bullets or shrapnel; the cartoon showed that nearly every soldier in every battle survived (for example, many shots of aircraft being shot down were shown to have its pilot escape in a parachute), while the comic did not shy away from character deaths; for example, issue #109 included the deaths of a large number of Joes, including fan-favorites like Doc, Breaker, and Quick-Kick, while other storylines included the deaths of Serpentor and Dr. Mindbender.
G.I. Joe: Order of Battle was a 4-issue mini series which ran from December 1986 - March 1987. Written by Larry Hama, with art by Herb Trimpe, the first issue spotlighted G.I. Joe characters with code names from A-K. Subsequent issues spotlighted G.I. Joe characters from M-Z, Cobra characters, and vehicles respectively. The second issue erroneously listed Sylvester Stallone's Rocky Balboa character as a member of G.I. Joe. While negotiations had taken place to license the character, the deal had fallen through. The third and fourth issues contained a retraction stating that Rocky Balboa was not and had never been a member of G.I. Joe. A trade-paperback including material from all four issues, was published in 1987, and removed mention of the Rocky character entirely.
Subsequent use of the GI Joe name were used by Blackthorne Publishing and Dark Horse Comics, before Devil's Due Publishing brought the entire story telling series back to life in 2001.
In July 2001, Devil's Due acquired the rights to G.I. Joe and released a four-issue limited series through Image Comics, written by Josh Blaylock with John Larter and Steve Kurth as the artists. The title quickly became known to the fans as A Real American Hero (vol. 2) (following from Marvel's original series), or G.I. Joe Reinstated (the title of the first four-issue arc). A comics convention special was released before the first issue. Strong sales on the limited series led to it being upgraded to an ongoing series, with the publication of a fifth issue and a monthly schedule.
The new series picked up seven years after the end of the Marvel Comics series, and also used elements from the animated TV series. Several older characters were featured in the title alongside several new recruits. Devil's Due later broke with Image Comics and took over the publishing of the book. The series ended with issue #43, and the introduction of a new enemy. Most G.I. Joe titles published by Devil's Due Publishing are available in both comic and trade paperback formats.
G.I. Joe: Battle Files gave profiles of the G.I. Joe and Cobra teams, as well as information on their vehicles. Battle Files was published between April and September 2002. A Sourcebook trade paperback was published in February 2003, which collected issues one through three with additional profiles added.
G.I. Joe: Frontline lasted eighteen issues, and featured a rotating creative team for every story. The stories explored what happened to G.I. Joe and Cobra concurrently with the main title's continuity, with the exception of the first arc. Larry Hama wrote Frontline's initial offering, "The Mission That Never Was," a four-part series set one month after the events of the Marvel series' issue #155.
There were two four-issue limited series titled G.I. Joe: Master and Apprentice, written by Brandon Jerwa. The first series was about how Snake Eyes met and trained his apprentice Kamakura, while the second series focused on Storm Shadow and his apprentice/lover Junko Akita.
A single digest titled Arashikage Showdown featured Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow, Jinx, Scarlett, Kamakura, T'Jbang, Nunchukand Budo. The martial arts experts try to recover the secret scrolls of the ArashikageNinja Clan, to which several of them belong. This book has been considered to be non-canon by fans, as it incorporates magical and fantasy elements not present in the main series.
After Devil's Due lost the G.I. Joe comics license in January 2008, the license was given to IDW Publishing, which was officially announced on May 29, 2008. IDW's G.I. Joe series is a complete reboot of the property, ignoring the continuity from the Marvel and Devil's Due incarnations of the comic. Issue #0 was released in October 2008, containing three stand-alone stories which acted as previews for the main G.I. Joe series, the G.I. Joe: Origins and G.I. Joe: Cobra spin-off mini-series. The #0 issue is followed by an ongoing monthly G.I. Joe series, written by Chuck Dixon, and drawn by Robert Atkins, which started in January 2009. After issue #27, the series was rebooted in April 2011 with a new #0 and a few years later they reset again at Issue #0.