If I had to list my heroes you’d probably not know one of them. Everyone has heard of George Lucas, Clive Barker and JRR Tolkien but not so many have heard of Larry Hama,. For me he’s up there with those icons.
Larry Hama was the writer of a toy tie-in comic called GI Joe, released by Marvel in 1983 to cash in on the toy run’s popularity. The thing is, it would have been easy for Hama to dial this in. But he didn’t. Sure it had to feature toy of the month and some of those were pretty whacky, but Hama always embraced it, treating his tie-in universe with the respect you’d expect on a big A-list project. No-one was expecting it to last for years, yet I believe at one stage it was Marvel Comics’ biggest seller.

And I think, in no small part, the series’ longevity was down to Hama. Long after I stopped by the toys, I still bought the comic religiously. There were scenes that were stupid and derpy and fun and then there are scenes that will never leave me.
G.iI. Joe was the comic that taught me that pulpy didn’t have to mean crap, that no matter how idiotic the subject matter, you respected it and served it well. It’s the comic that’s responsible for my work attitude. It’s probably because of how seriously Hama took it that the comic lasted 155 issues, only to be resurrected and continued 16 years later with a further 20+ produced so far.
Recently, despite having the majority of the 155 issue run originals here in my lodgings, I saw the digital versions on sale and bought them all. I thought, before I delve into the new issues, it would be good to start from the beginning. There are a few early issues I have never read. Plus it would be interesting to see whether the entire series still had the same impact on me as it did when I was in my teens.
So in the style of those Tor.com Re-reads, I’m announcing my own G.I. Joe Comic re-read. I will start at issue #1 and work my way forward. I plan to encompass the annuals and (if IDW releases them digitally as there are a few I do not have) the Special Missions spin off.
I’m really looking forward to this, not so much as blog content but really for my own pleasure