The G.I. Joe A Real American Hero comic book series, published by Marvel Comics, was the first time Hasbro's property was worked into an actual fiction series. It was based on the A Real American Hero concept of G.I. Joe toys. The series began publication in 1982 and lasted 155 issues. Larry Hama wrote the entire series save for a few issues by guest writers.
Hama had already developed an idea for a new series called Fury Force, which he was hoping would be an ongoing series for Marvel Comics. The original premise had the son of S.H.I.E.L.D director Nick Fury assembling a team of elite commandos to battle the terrorist organization, HYDRA. Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter approached Hama about the Joe project due to Hama's military background, and the Fury concept was adapted for the project. Hama collaborated with writer Archie Goodwin on some of the initial concept work, including inventing Cobra and the Cobra Commander. Hasbro was initially uncertain about making villain toys, believing this wouldn't sell. Marvel would also suggest the inclusion of female Joes in the toyline, and to include them with the vehicles (as Hasbro again worried they wouldn't sell on their own).
Even though the purpose of the comics was to sell the toys, and the TV advertising for the comic book itself could evade much of the strict regulation for toy advertising, Hama took the job seriously, approaching the stories as he would any series he would write. He infused the stories with action, drama, humor and character development. The series was notable for the great amount of military detail as Hama drew on his experiences in the military.
Marvel Comics Issues
- Template:Cite web