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Larry Hama Is Still Writing GI Joe: A Real American Hero Comics

Larry Hama has just celebrated his 74th birthday, but he is working away, writing GI Joe: A Real American Hero comics to follow #300.

The modern version of GI Joe – as in, the last forty years – is all down to Marvel Comics and a meeting in the gent's toilets between the respective Presidents of Hasbro and Marvel at the urinals. Hasbro wanted to reactivate the trademark on G.I. Joe as a toy line; Marvel suggested they do the creative for Hasbro and get the comics licence in the bargain. Writer/artist/editor and army veteran Larry Hama has already been developing an idea for a new comic book called Fury Force, with the son of Nick Fury assembling a team of elite commandos to battle Hydra. At Marvel EIC Jim Shooter's request, Hama switched it to be about GI Joe, creating almost all of the characters for GI Joe: A Real American Hero, with Marvel editor Archie Goodwin, adding Cobra and the Cobra Commander, and the comic was advertised on TV using animation rather than the toys which had more restrictive advertising codes. With the release of the toys, Hama was primarily responsible for writing these character descriptions for ten years, and when dealing with Hasbro, Larry Hama was given free rein, the GI Joe comic was Marvel's best-selling title on subscription, and the cartoon produced by Marvel Productions, drove sales for both.

So when IDW picked up the GI Joe license years later, Larry Hama was hired to continue writing the GI Joe series as if it had never ended. The final issue of GI Joe: A Real American Hero was with #300 last year. Well, now Bleeding Cool has confirmed that Image Comics/Skybound are the new publishers of Transformers and GI Joe comic books, with the first appearance in next week's Void Rivals #1, out on Wednesday. But what of Larry Hama? He's just celebrated his 74th birthday, but he is working away.

In June 2022, with the news that IDW had lost the license, Larry Hama wrote on Facebook, "Let me be clear: nothing has been officially announced about who will take over the GI JOE license, and nobody has contacted me. It may well be that #300 will be my last issue. #300 will be both a conclusion and a cliffhanger with enough leeway to allow continuation of the ARAH storyline without killing off any characters. It has been a wild ride these past forty years, and I am humbly grateful to all the loyal fans that have stuck by the Joes through thick and thin."

But he didn't stop writing. In and out of hospital, in February this year, he posted, "Not 100%, but feeling better. Back to work, and halfway through plot for ARAH #303". He is still writing issues of GI Joe: A Real American Hero following in from his IDW run. And now we know who will be publishing it. Will we see GI Joe: A Real American Hero #301 from Image Comics in September? Or will we have to wait till later? #300 did end on a cliffhanger, after all…

Larry Hama Is Still Writing GI Joe: A Real American Hero

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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