Larry Hama Picks Up G.I. Joe Where He Left Off


Take heed, Children of the Reagan Years: IDW Publishing has announced this week that Larry Hama, writer of all but one or two issues of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero's 155-issue run at Marvel, will be dusting off the continuity this summer and picking up right where he left off in 1994. Issue #155½ will be an IDW offering on Free Comic Book Day next month, with #156 of the ongoing series coming out, naturally, this July. (If you've been following the rest of the C2E2 news this weekend, you've seen that there was apparently a rider in the economic stimulus bill or something mandating that every comic book released in 2010 has to come out in July. Start fortifying your piggy banks now.)

As editor Andy Schmidt mentions in the announcement linked above, it does seem like a shame to spend fifteen years singlehandedly building a story only to leave everything you built behind. It's rare for a book of this nature to get that kind of care and feeding, and to the extent that G.I. Joe and its characters are popular or enduring, they got that way because of Larry Hama and the work he did every month for over a decade.

At the same time… leaving the old continuity behind did give writers the option to pick and choose what worked while abandoning what may not have. Although it had a singular author, the original G.I. Joe universe was at the mercy of a toy line that began getting more and more outlandish as time went on, even as Hama tried to inject as much military realism as possible. If you stuck with the book for its final years, you saw a lot of space shuttle gun battles, Eco-Warriors battling pollution-loving supervillains and their ooze, and a guy or two dressed like Big Bird. Canon like that can be heavy baggage in this day and age.

Also, not for nothin', but even with all of its nineties excesses the original G.I. Joe had one of the best final issues I've ever read. I almost hate to see them go back on it.

Having said all that, the Joes wouldn't be the Joes without those 155 issues. It will be great to see where Hama takes it with a little of the Hasbro pressure off (there were times in the eighties when it seemed like he had to introduce a new product line– er, bunch of characters every other issue) and the weirdness of the later years will only make it more interesting to see him explore in the modern G.I. Joe: Cobra era.

Is this exciting, or is this exciting?


  1. I agree that this feels like a mixed blessing.  I like that the more recent books have had less continuity to deal with, but I also like much of the old continuity.  I’ll buy the first issue (after the free one) and see how this works.
  2. Will it be called "G.I. Joe Forever"?

  3. Ah, the eternal ‘Can you go home again?’ question.

  4. Raptor and the Pogo! Yes!

  5. GI Joe Forever? Ok I’ll bite.

  6. Correct me if I’m wrong but I was under the impression that the Devils Due run attempted to continue the old Marvel continuity.

  7. If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it…

    I think Devils Due did do that, but Larry Hama didn’t write them.

  8. Devil’s Due aren’t they bankrupt yet?

  9. IDW

  10. I started reading GI Joe around issue 60, and only got on board around the time of that awesome civll war on Cobra Island. It wasn’t until the 100s that Hama really lost his grip on the wheel. That’s an amazing track record, and what’s more, the TPBs they published of the 1980s Marvel backmatter are still highly readable!

  11. Not sure I see what the point of this is, other than it seems lime the trendy thing to do these days. 

  12. I wouldn’t exactly call GI Joe comics from the 80’s on the same level as skinny jeans.

  13. I saw that Marvel put out best of Larry Hama hardcover. It looks beautiful.

    The Best of Larry Hama’s GI Joe.

  14. Opps I mean IDW.

  15. Oh hell yes I’m on board for this!

  16. It’s just going to be lots of ‘Nam flashbacks isn’t it?!


  17. @hawaiianpunch: LMAO!! First thing I thought too.

  18. He wrote the best G.I. Joe Origin Arc. Does this mean that I can expect him never to return to that series in liu of this one?