In the 1960's President John F. Kennedy created a special military unit that reported directly to the White House. The highly decorated Vietnam vet, Lieutenant Joseph Colton, headed up this special forces unit under the name "G.I. Joe". The name G.I. Joe became synonymous with Colton. The team had a successful run of missions through the 1960's and 1970's before it was officially disbanded.
The G.I. in G.I. Joe stands for "Government Issue". During World War II the term G.I. Joe was coined to describe American soldiers. In 1982, the collection of action figures G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero by Hasbro, based on the action figure created by Stanley Weston released by the company in 1964, with concepts created by Larry Hama and Don Perlin in a partnership between Marvel and Hasbro, Hama reworked a comic book project called Fury Force, which featured the son of Nick Fury, director of S.H.I.E.L.D., commanding an elite group against to HYDRA, Fury Force gave rise to the G.I. Joe and HYDRA was replaced by Cobra.
Between 1975 and 1976, Hasbro had released the Adventure Team collection and to promote it, published comic book advertisements starring Adventure Team, consisting of the original G.I. Joe, Atomic Man and Bulletman.
In 1989, the writer Larry Hama reintroduced the original Joe as General Joe Colton, a highly decorated American serviceman who was appointed by John F. Kennedy to create an elite unit, which he also named G.I. Joe.
In the UK, Palitoy released in 1996 their version of G.I. Joe with the name Action Man, in 1982, was no different, the team won a version called Action Force, which had comics by IPC publication and Marvel UK, with the purchase of Tonka in 1991, a company that had bought Palitoy years before, Hasbro passed to also be the owner of the Action Man and Action Force brands, in different products.
In 1994, Hasbro released Sgt. Savage and his Screaming Eagles, about a group that fought in World War II, released a 2-part mini-comic and packs illustrated by veteran Joe Kubert. Sgt Savage was incorporated into the animated series G.I. Joe Extreme (1995-1996).
IDW created a universe with Hasbro franchises also integrating Action Man (and his arch-nemesis, Dr. X), Action Force, Sgt. Savage and his Screaming Eagles and the Adventure Team from 1970s.
Marvel Comics: A Real American Hero
G.I Joe was revived in the 1980's as an elite counter terrorism strike-force. Their main enemy being Cobra, the well funded and organized terrorist group which actually ran an entire American town (Springfield) as a sleeper cell. The original leader of this new team was Hawk (Colonel Clayton Abernathy) who quick militarily recruited Stalker, Snake-Eyes, Grand Slam, Short-Fuse, Flash, Grunt, Breaker, Rock & Roll, Zap, Scarlett, Steeler and Clutch.
The team was a complete secret and their subterranean headquarters, called The Pit, was stealthily hidden underneath the motor pool at Fort Wadsworth on Staten Island. As Cobra grew in strength, the Joes started to recruit more experts from the different branches of the armed forces. Torpedo and Wet Suit from the Seals, Gung-Ho and Leatherneck from the Marines, Deep Six from the Navy, Cutter from the Coast Guard, Ace and Slip-Stream from the Air Force and many others. Soon there were elite troops for the Joes to cover the globe.
Devil's Due / Image Comics: A Real American Hero
In 2001 Devil's Due acquired the comic book license and picked up where the Marvel series left off, except 7 years later. Devil's Due launched a 4 issue mini series through Image Comics entitled Reinstated, with high sales G.I.Joe was upgraded to a full series.
Many of the Joes were reactivated when Cobra Commander was seen on American soil. Devil's Due run ended in 2008 with an epic World War III story arc that saw the capture and imprisonment of Cobra Commander. Since the relaunch of IDW's A Real American Hero that pics up right after Issue 155 of the Marvel series, the Devil's Due run was considered no longer in continuity to the Marvel G.I.Joe-verse.
IDW reboot the G.I. Joe universe. G.I. Joe are a covert anti-terrorist unit, which is comprised of members of the military who have been declared KIA. The original team was comprised of Hawk, Duke, Snake Eyes, Scarlett, Heavy Duty, Rock & Roll, and Breaker, with new members added later.
IDW: A Real American Hero
In 2010, IDW along with cooperation from Marvel decided to continue the popular GI Joe: A Real American Hero series that ran from 1982 to 1994. After putting out issue number 155 1/2 for Free Comic Book Day 2010, IDW continued the series with issue number 156. The story, plots, and characters from Marvels G.I. Joe title were retained along with the continuation of the storyline that ended at issue 155.
Action Force is an international counter terrorism team composed of operatives from various countries' armed forces, most notably the United States and Western Europe.
G.I. Joe: Sigma 6
G.I. Joe: Sigma 6 is based on the toyline and animated TV series of the same name.
G.I. Joe made their way to theaters in their first live action movie, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, which was released on August 7, 2009. The sequel, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, was released on March 28, 2013.
G.I. Joe: Above & Beyond
IN THE HEAT OF BATTLE, THERE ARE MANY HEROES.
Part of an elite covert military team, Lieutenant Duke Hauser and his buddy Ripcord Weems are dispatched to the small oil-rich South American country of San Sebastiao to help quell a revolution. The multinational peacekeeping force known as G.I. JOE has secretly sent special ops to support Duke's unit. Their other mission: Find out who's playing both sides of the conflict by supplying each with the same advanced lethal weaponry. But it turns out the devious culprit has raised the stakes–promising to deliver an army of super soldiers in the near future. If Duke's squad and the G.I. JOE team can't stop the revolution, halt the proliferation of weapons, and eliminate the threat of laboratory-produced warriors, a dark plot toward world domination will soon be launched.
- Written By: Max Allan Collins
- Publisher: Del Rey (May, 2009)
- ISBN-10: 0345516087
- ISBN-13: 978-0345516084
G.I. Joe: Tales From the Cobra Wars
G.I. Joe: Tales from the Cobra Wars is an action-packed collection of all-original prose stories. Flint, Scarlett, Destro, the Baroness; they're all here as the ongoing war between G.I. JOE and Cobra is depicted from every angel. This trade paperback presents eight novella-length tales, penned by today's leading crime and thriller writers, such as Jonathan Maberry, Duane Swierczynski , Chuck Dixon, and Dennis Tafoya. Cobra Wars is edited by Max Brooks, who also supplies a new story, and features new illustrations for each story.
- Written By: Various, Anthology
- Publisher: IDW
- ISBN-10: 1600108814
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
WHEN A NEW BREED OF EVIL EMERGES, A NEW BREED OF SOLDIER MUST FIGHT IT.
While convoying new high-tech weaponry in Central Asia, Captain Duke Hauser and his right-hand man, Ripcord Weems, along with their NATO Special Forces Unit, are ambushed by heavily armed super-soldiers called Vipers. Just as it becomes clear that Duke's squad is seriously outgunned, and after one of the Vipers attempts to make off with the cache of coveted arms, out of nowhere comes a secret band of soldiers to help the good guys: Team G.I. JOE. General Hawk, head of the elite military ops, enlists Duke and Ripcord to join JOE stalwarts Heavy Duty, Breaker, Scarlett, and Snake Eyes in retrieving the weapons and keeping a well-financed foe from controlling cutting-edge nano-mite technology that destroys everything in its path.
Racing around the globe, the G.I. JOE team takes on the baddest of the bad: Storm Shadow, Zartan, Destro, and the lovely but lethal Baroness. And in confronting genetically manipulated super-soldiers, Duke must also face his own inner demons when a sinister figure appears to raise the stakes and maneuver events toward an even greater catastrophe.
- Written By: Max Allan Collins
- Publisher: Del Rey (June, 2009)
- ISBN-10: 0345516095
- ISBN-13: 978-0345516091
G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra - Movie Novelization
Ambushed by COBRA, Duke and Ripcord's Special Forces need the help of General Hawk's team of GI. JOEs to get them back and, in the process, thwart COBRA's deadly plan to set off warheads in four international cities.
- Written By: Brian James
- Publisher: Simon Spotlight (June, 2009)
- ISBN-10: 1416978569
- ISBN-13: 978-1416978565