G.I. Joe reassigned to IDW Publishing

Bill Radford
The Gazette (MCT)

G.I. Joe is marching back onto the comics scene under a new publisher.

Comics featuring the elite G.I. Joe military unit and based on the Hasbro toys have been around since the early 1980s, starting with a long run by Marvel Comics. Dark Horse and, most recently, Devil's Due also published G.I. Joe comics. Now the license is in the hands of IDW Publishing -- not a surprising move, since IDW also publishes comics based on Hasbro's Transformers.

Though IDW's line of G.I. Joe comics won't kick off until early next year, a special preview issue out in October, "G.I. Joe" No. 0, will offer an action-packed taste of what's to come.

"It is the absolute beginning, the first issue of a brand-new launch of G.I. Joe," says Andy Schmidt, who is overseeing the new line.

And, he's quick to point out, the preview issue is only a buck.

The G.I. Joe line is dumping past continuity and starting anew. "You don't have to have read G.I. Joe back in the '80s or anything," Schmidt says.

The new line will start with three titles. The first, simply titled "G.I. Joe," launches in January and is what Schmidt calls "the meat and potatoes G.I. Joe." It will follow the fledgling G.I. Joe organization as it explores the threat posed by the shadowy organization known as Cobra.

Fans of the old G.I. Joe cartoons know Cobra as "the ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world."

"That worked in the '80s, but you don't throw the word terrorist around anymore," Schmidt says. So he and the writers have updated Cobra as a more sophisticated and secretive organization "that has its fingers in everything."

The second title in the line, "G.I. Joe: Origins," begins in February and is just what it sounds like, Schmidt says: the origin of the G.I. Joe team.

"There is no big base of operations yet. This is the ground floor."

"G.I. Joe: Origins" is being written by Larry Hama, who wrote the original Marvel series and also is known for writing character profile cards for Hasbro's action figures.

"It's funny," Schmidt says, "because everyone sort of defers to Larry. Everybody's like, 'I don't want to step on Larry's toes.'"

March sees the start of the third initial title in the line, "G.I. Joe: Cobra," as a miniseries that will view the threat of Cobra through the eyes of Chuckles, an undercover operative known for his love of Hawaiian shirts. Though Schmidt found him a laughable character in the past, Chuckles, like Cobra, has been reinvented.

"He is the guy who is beginning to infiltrate Cobra and he isn't even sure what Cobra is," Schmidt says.

A live-action movie, "G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra," is slated for release next summer. IDW plans a couple of miniseries tying into the movie, with the movie comics and the regular comics following separate paths.

For Schmidt, a longtime G.I. Joe fan, editing the new line is a dream job.

"I grew up in the zeitgeist. I read the comic book when it originally launched and I watched the cartoon every single day after school."






A Fresh Look at Free Will and Determinism in Terry Gilliam's '12 Monkeys'

Prof. Susanne Kord gets to the heart of the philosophical issues in Terry Gilliam's 1995 time-travel dystopia, 12 Monkeys.


The Devonns' Debut Is a Love Letter to Chicago Soul

Chicago's the Devonns pay tribute the soul heritage of their city with enough personality to not sound just like a replica.


Jaye Jayle's 'Prisyn' Is a Dark Ride Into Electric Night

Jaye Jayle salvage the best materials from Iggy Pop and David Bowie's Berlin-era on Prisyn to construct a powerful and impressive engine all their own.


Kathleen Edwards Finds 'Total Freedom'

Kathleen Edwards is back making music after a five-year break, and it was worth the wait. The songs on Total Freedom are lyrically delightful and melodically charming.


HBO's 'Lovecraft Country' Is Heady, Poetic, and Mangled

Laying the everyday experience of Black life in 1950s America against Cthulhuian nightmares, Misha Green and Jordan Peele's Lovecraft Country suggests intriguing parallels that are often lost in its narrative dead-ends.


Jaga Jazzist's 'Pyramid' Is an Earthy, Complex, Jazz-Fusion Throwback

On their first album in five years, Norway's Jaga Jazzist create a smooth but intricate pastiche of styles with Pyramid.


Finding the Light: An Interview with Kathy Sledge

With a timeless voice that's made her the "Queen of Club Quarantine", Grammy-nominated vocalist Kathy Sledge opens up her "Family Room" and delivers new grooves with Horse Meat Disco.


'Bigger Than History: Why Archaeology Matters'

On everything from climate change to gender identity, archaeologists offer vital insight into contemporary issues.


'Avengers: Endgame' Culminates 2010's Pop Culture Phenomenon

Avengers: Endgame features all the expected trappings of a superhero blockbuster alongside surprisingly rich character resolutions to become the most crowd-pleasing finalés to a long-running pop culture series ever made.


Max Richter's 'VOICES' Is an Awe-Inspiring and Heartfelt Soundscape

Choral singing, piano, synths, and an "upside-down" orchestra complement crowd-sourced voices from across the globe on Max Richter's VOICES. It rewards deep listening, and acts as a global rebuke against bigotry, extremism and authoritarianism.


DYLYN Dares to "Find Myself" by Facing Fears and Life's Dark Forces (premiere + interview)

Shifting gears from aspiring electropop princess to rock 'n' rule dream queen, Toronto's DYLYN is re-examining her life while searching for truth with a new song and a very scary-good music video.


JOBS Make Bizarre and Exhilarating Noise with 'endless birthdays'

Brooklyn experimental quartet JOBS don't have a conventional musical bone in their body, resulting in a thrilling, typically off-kilter new album, endless birthdays.


​Nnamdï' Creates a Lively Home for Himself in His Mind on 'BRAT'

Nnamdï's BRAT is a labyrinth detailing the insular journey of a young, eclectic DIY artist who takes on the weighty responsibility of reaching a point where he can do what he loves for a living.


Monte Warden and the Dangerous Few Play It Cool​

Austin's Monte Warden and the Dangerous Few perform sophisticatedly unsophisticated jazz/Americana that's perfect for these times


Eleanor Underhill Takes Us to the 'Land of the Living' (album stream)

Eleanor Underhill's Land of the Living is a diverse album drawing on folk, pop, R&B, and Americana. It's an emotionally powerful collection that inspires repeated listens.


How Hawkwind's First Voyage Helped Spearhead Space Rock 50 Years Ago

Hawkwind's 1970 debut opened the door to rock's collective sonic possibilities, something that connected them tenuously to punk, dance, metal, and noise.


Graphic Novel 'Cuisine Chinoise' Is a Feast for the Eyes and the Mind

Lush art and dark, cryptic fables permeate Zao Dao's stunning graphic novel, Cuisine Chinoise.


Alanis Morissette's 'Such Pretty Forks in the Road' Is a Quest for Validation

Alanis Morissette's Such Pretty Forks in the Road is an exposition of dolorous truths, revelatory in its unmasking of imperfection.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.