Review: G.I. Joe A Real American Hero #1

G.I. Joe A Real American Hero #1 cover
Cover by Herb Trimpe and Bob McLeod

G.I. Joe A Real American Hero #1
Published by Marvel and © Hasbro, June 1982

Title: “Operation: Lady Doomsday”
Synopsis: When Cobra kidnaps a nuclear scientist, an elite counter-terrorist strike force – code-named G.I. Joe – is sent to the rescue.

Writer: Larry Hama
Penciler: Herb Trimpe
Inker: Bob McLeod

Review: A confession: This reviewer despised G.I. Joe when it first came out – and age hasn’t done it any favors. To be fair, the series’ right-leaning politics are bound to put some people off. But it’s the cardboard characters, bland storytelling and pedestrian art that seal this issue’s fate.


Title: “… Hot Potato!”
Synopsis: When a mission goes wrong, the Joes must find a way to complete their assignment without leaving team members behind.

Writer: Larry Hama
Penciler: Don Perlin
Inker: Jack Abel

Review: This story could’ve offered a poignant glimpse at the Joes’ team dynamic; instead, it’s played for a lame punch line.

Grade (for the entire issue): C-

Second opinion: “Strangely, the artwork is one of the strongest arguments for recommending this book …” – Kevin McConnell, Amazing Heroes #10, April 1982 … “Why this good paper? Did Marvel think that good paper would get people to think that there is something worth reading?” – Comics Coast to Coast #2, 1982

Cool factor: Meh.
Not-so-cool factor: This became one of the hottest series of the ’80s? A sad sign of things to come.

Notable: First appearance of Hawk, Snake-Eyes, Scarlett, Cobra Commander, the Baroness and several other G.I. Joe characters. … This issue also contains several “Weapons Profile” and “Classified File” informational pages.

Character quotable: “Son, the fan didn’t just get hit this time, it got smothered!” – Gen. “Iron Butt” Austin, calling in the Joes

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on Jan. 28, 2013.

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