We have no alternative!

I remember when I saw that on TV for the first time... my jaw dropped, and for two crucial reasons: 1.) it was a TV ad for a comic book, which was a pretty mind-blowing concept; and 2.) it was an ad for a really cool looking comic book.

It was also a source of great frustration for me... since that first issue was $1.50, my parents wouldn't buy it for me. Baxter paper or no, $1.50 was super-expensive for a comic book in 1982. I later got the oversized Marvel Treasury Edition reprint in my Christmas stocking (which also cost $1.50, IIRC, but was much larger, therefore more worthy of the spendage, I guess they thought), but it wasn't quite the same (though seeing the art all biggy-sized was something I did appreciate). I finally got around to getting a copy of the real deal a few years back... not that I was a big Joe collector anymore, but just to finally have it on principle. I was not disappointed. Sometimes, having a thing really is as pleasing as wanting it. Suck on that, Spock!

I know there's no real way of gauging it, but I would love to know just how many kids got started reading comics because of that one commercial (or any of the ones that followed... they made sporadic ads for issues at least as late as the introduction of Serpentor in #49). What a gateway drug that book was!


  1. Don't forget that awesome theme song! Well, awesome to an eight-year old anyway. My first issue was #12 ("Three Strikes for Snake Eyes!") which my brother and I continued to re-read well after the cover had fallen off.

    As I noted over on Retcon Redux, I recently finished reading the entire 155-issue run. Right now I'm reading G.I. Joe Special Missions and am somewhat surprised at the almost total difference in tone compared to the main book being published at the time.

    So how long did you keep going with Joe? I gave it up around #128 - probably a lot longer than I should have.

  2. My first issue was #8, and after that I only ever read G.I. Joe sporadically at best... I was one of those kids who liked the cartoon better. But I never read a G.I. Joe issue I didn't like at least a little, so I'm surprised I never followed it more. Origin of Snake Eyes, Silent Interlude, the Cobra Island War, the ongoing Terror Drome plotline, the 25th anniversary issue with the original G.I. Joe... all good stuff.