While I don't collect G.I. Joe currently, I did have several of the original 3 3/4" action figures back in the '80s, which probably the best in that scale during an era of such variety. I stumbled onto a few of these Hundred Penny Press issues recently, and my nostalgia for the characters easily coughed up a buck for this reprinting of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #1, published by Marvel in 1982, a title dreamt up between the comic giant and toy manufacturer Hasbro upon their relaunch of the property in the 3 3/4" scale. I don't believe I read any of the title, which ran until 1994- the year I got my college degree. The investment was small, so I took a chance and was surprisingly entertained. Artist Herb Trimpe's style looks far different from his 70's work on The Incredible Hulk, professionally serviceable, but not as expressive somehow. I wish these were printed on the old paper stock with Ben-Day dots, which visually smoothed the art out in a way these reprints don't recreate.
The first story is pretty good, immediately introducing us to the brunette baddie, Baroness, who didn't get an action figure until 1984. She comes out swinging, swiftly abducting a hostage for Cobra Commander- the action is pretty steady! Author Larry Hama served a tour in Vietnam as a firearms and explosives expert, so Marvel had the right guy for the job.
General Austin has the Special Couter-Terrorist Group Delta dossiers assembled, Colonel Hawk to honcho the field mission to rescue Dr. Burkhadt from Cobra Command. Among the team are all your familiar favorites like Stalker, Clutch, Snake-Eyes, Rock'n Roll, and Scarlett. I love that Clutch's jeep look just like the Hasbro "VAMP" in this book, as does Rock'n Roll's "RAM" motorcycle, with it's gattling cannon sidecar! This trip down memory lane was pure fun- I'd definitely pick up another Hundred Penny Press issue, and hope IDW Publishing will continue the imprint.
More Later- Make It FUN!