TreasuryCast #6 – G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero


Rob welcomes Brian Heiler (Plaid Stallions) to the show to talk about Marvel’s one-shot G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero treasury from 1982. Learning is half the battle!

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9 responses to “TreasuryCast #6 – G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero

  1. Great episode as always, although I wish you guys would have spent a little more time talking about the stories in this edition. Then again I already spent plenty of time talking about with Aaron Moss and Kyle Benning on the first episode of G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HEADCAST.

  2. Never had this treasury, never even knew it existed, but I still enjoyed the show, just because I liked the stories both you and Brian told – your childhood memories attached to it, why you liked it and so forth.
    I actually had about the first half-dozen regular issues of G.I. Joe, but I remember dropping it as I was generally unimpressed with it at the time. I was later surprised when I learned how popular that series became, and how long it lasted.
    By the way, sorry to be part of that dog-pile on Ross in the comments to the preceding podcast. For my own part, all I can say is that I’m usually the lone dissenting voice on most comic blogs or forums when the subject of Alex Ross comes up (and I’ll say that I often rather like his covers – I just don’t like it when he does interior art).

  3. I was right in the butter zone for when A Real American Hero became a thing. At first I was more into the cartoon and eventually did two tours of duty with the toys for the Christmas of ’86 and ’87. Some say I was on the wrong side of that war and that when I finally got into getting the toys they were on their way to becoming damn silly and when you have recruits like Sgt. Slaughter and The Fridge (not to mention the five second where the ORDER OF BATTLE had Rocky Balboa as a recruit because I know I want a leg breaker turned boxer teaching the world’s foremost killing machine the finer points of boxing) it’s hard to argue the point but I loved those toys.

    Except for the Cobra La three pack. That was terrible.

    Oddly enough I didn’t glom on to the comics until I was in my early twenties. This was before the eighties came back in a big way and Joe comics were affordable. I picked up issues 26 to 107 at a shop for about forty cents a piece and devoured them. I was amazed that Larry Hama was able to take a property like GI JOE and make it a true military soap opera with characters I cared about. It felt like the adult version of the cartoon, which is weird because both were aimed at kids. I learned why Snake-Eyes was so cool and that Cobra Commander was not a complete joke. Digging deeper I discovered that the commercials for the comics were a way to get around the restrictions on animation in toy commercials of the time.

    GI JOE #100 is one of the best comics of all time.

    I guess what I’m saying is that I was really excited that you covered this treasury. It’s one of the few times that the story “Hot Potato” has been reprinted as you won’t find it in the Marvel or IDW trades. The Marvel trade makes a kind of sense. It came out shortly after 9/11 and there were concerns it would look offensive. Now I think we’re passed that but I’m just happy that IDW finally reprinted the entire series and SPECIAL MISSIONS whereas Marvel bailed on that at issue 50.

    Great job, gentlemen. I used to have a copy of this but I gave it to a friend who lost his copy to an angry cat.

    Yo joe!

  4. Didn’t know this one existed but do have the original. I collected the Joe monthly for the first year or so. Lucky enough to still have them after a parental purge of much of my early collection in the 90s. And even more lucky to get the first 4 signed by Larry Hama at a local con last summer.

    I used to love the commercials for the comic that would air on TV. They were updated monthly! Included the cover! I mean, in those preinterntet days that was a sneak peek!

    And with so many toy lines, you’d think there would be more of these things now. Who,wouldn’t want a giant sized DC Superherogirl Treasury?

    And yes, I would buy a Shogun Warrior one now! Had the Great Mazinga as a kid. Watched the ‘Force Five’ cartoons and even ready the comic sporadically.

  5. Hey Rob. A great episode. This episode was especially fond to me, as I’m a big G.I. Joe fan. This treasury is one of the few ways I don’t have the first issue, but I wish I did.

    I’ve loved G.I. Joe since the cartoon. Didn’t get in to the comics until 87, so I missed this when it came out, unfortunately.

    But this was a great story and I think Larry did a great job taking these toys he had to “sell” and making them in to great comics.

    I thought you and Brain did a great job covering this, if only you’d talked more about the actual story. But as Ryan said, since we covered this a little over a year ago on my own show (G.I. Joe: A Real American Headcast located at, it wasn’t a huge disappointment… I just like to hear other people’s opinions on these stories.

    Also, regarding the second issue Brain mentioned… back in the day when I was starting to look for back issues, I remember that the second issue was always more pricey than the other issues…. Somewhere (I forget where now, as I didn’t have the internet) I heard a story that this issue was more pricey as a warehouse they were stored in was flooded (or something) so there wasn’t as many issues…
    I don’t know how true that story is, but that’s what I heard from a guy… 8)
    And now you know… and knowing IS have the battle.

    Anyway…. keep up the great work Rob.

    Yo Joe!

  6. Great episode guys. I was resistant to the lure of G.I. Joe: RAH, even though I was at the right age. The military thing was the stumbling block for me too, but man, those TV ads were really working on me. When the first TV mini-series hit, they finally hooked me, as that was playground discussion #1 all of that week. You HAD to watch the Joe mini-series, or you might as well line up in the restroom for the resultant swirley.

    Soon I was buying the toys AND the comics, and even though I initially disliked the fact that the comic didn’t line up with the cartoon, I soon realized the comic was far superior. I remember seeing this treasury on the stands, but my copy of issue #1 was a regular-sized reprint issued at the height of Joe’s popularity.

    Great stories on how each of you came to own the comic in question. And I love the fact that Brian made his parents go buy him the Batman treasury so he could make sure Robin hadn’t bought the farm.


  7. Rob and Brian hit it exactly on the nose about this comic being accessible to those who weren’t into superhero comics. At the tender age of 10, I enjoyed superhero cartoons, but could not get into the comics no matter how hard I tried. The other comics gateway for me, Star Wars, never seemed to be available at the 7-11s and drug stores in town.

    Enter G.I. Joe. I was a latch-key kid in those halcyon days of the 1980s and the foremost parental directive was to do homework first, and then I could go out and play so long as I was home before dark. No one said I couldn’t do homework with the TV on, so I caught that groundbreaking Marvel commercial a lot. A friend down the street had the Treasury Edition, which I was able to read (I wouldn’t buy my first issue until #12 due to the same spotty distribution that prevented a regular Star Wars fix) and I was hooked. I can’t explain why I was so mesmerized at the time. Was it because of the toy tie-in? Was it because it was something new and different (to me anyway)?

    Reading G.I. Joe regularly paved the way for me to try superhero comics again, which led to a habit that has more or less stayed with me for the past 30-something years. I had the pleasure of meeting Larry Hama, Herb Trimpe, and Bob McLeod at Baltimore Comic-Con a few years ago and they all signed my copy of issue #1, which is stored in a safe along with my birth certificate and passport.

    Thanks for featuring this Treasury Edition on the podcast. As you can see, it stirred up a lot of pleasant memories.

  8. I have only one Marvel G.I. Joe comic in my collection and it’s G.I. Joe Yearbook #1 which ALSO reprints the first issue’s story. I had actually bought it for my kid brother who collected the toys, but as he didn’t ultimately become a comic book geek, it ended up in my boxes when I moved away from home.

    I have half a plan of some day reading the entire Hama run, up to and including when he picked it back up at IDW and continued the story. I keep hearing about how good it is, so I’d do it even if I’m not a huge fan of the property. But I admit to playing with my brother’s figures. The first one in the house? Destroy and his helicopter!

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