Although the G.I. Joe toyline has been a pop culture institution for well over half a century, the version boasting the tag “A Real American Hero” is easily the most recognizable and fan-beloved.
While the brand has existed to varying success on store shelves since the 1960s (scaled roughly in keeping with Barbie dolls), by the late ‘70s/early 1980s toymakers Hasbro are losing a battle to smaller action figures, championed largely by upstart competitor Kenner’s licensing of the Star Wars juggernaut.
Looking to take the fight to this (downsized) arena, a relaunch of Joe is greenlit- except it’s still missing its “hook.” Serendipitously, Marvel Comics is set to reboot a new S.H.I.E.L.D. book roughly envisioned as “Fury Force”- focusing on an all-new elite super-spy/commando team. When Hasbro’s ad execs tap Marvel for a consult on “Operation Joe,” the two projects sort of merge into a multi-format endeavor the likes of which is rarely seen- especially as it continues to endure to this day. [Read more…] about G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Reading Order