A Real American Hero is the first G.I. Joe miniseries. First airing in 1983, it features the majority of the product line to date, with the notable exception of Hawk. The miniseries was written by Ron Friedman, who went on to pen the second miniseries and the 1987 movie.

# Title Writer Original airdate Production code
1 The Cobra Strikes Ron Friedman September 12, 1983 #4005
Cobra seizes control of a new satellite for use with a new transportation device, and Duke is captured in the attempt. The Joe team learns that they must build their own device to defeat Cobra. 
2 Slaves of the Cobra Master Ron Friedman September 13, 1983 #4006
The Joes travel to the arctic to retrieve rare minerals to fuel their MASS device, but Cobra ambushes them, and Snake Eyes is presumed dead. Duke manages to escape the Cobra base with the help of a slave girl, but he is injured and cannot remember the base's location. 
3 The Worms of Death Ron Friedman September 14, 1983 #4007
Snake Eyes returns home with the help of a wolf (Timber) and a blind man. Joes and Cobras battling for undersea elements must join forces to escape giant tubeworms on the ocean floor. 
4 Duel in the Devil's Cauldron Ron Friedman September 15, 1983 #4008
G. I. Joe tries to throw off Cobra with a false surrender while mounting a mission to the Ring of Fire for the third element. Destro sabotages the operation but is pursued by Scarlett. 
5 A Stake in the Serpent's Heart Ron Friedman September 16, 1983 #4009
Destro returns to Cobra base and seizes control of the operation from the Commander. The now-captured Scarlett and the slave girl organize a slave revolt. Duke's memories under sensory deprivation lead the Joes to the Cobra base where a final battle takes place. Cobra Commander is captured and taken to prison, but Destro escapes. 

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