G.I. Joe Team

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G.I. Joe
G.I Joe Movie insignia.jpg
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceG.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #1
Created byLarry Hama
In-story information
Type of organizationMilitary unit
Base(s)G.I. Joe headquarters
Leader(s)General Flagg
General Hawk
See: List of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero characters

G.I. Joe is the code name of an elite covert special mission unit operating under the control of the United States Military in the fictional G.I. Joe universe.[1] In the 1960s and 1970s, a toy military adventure character based on General Joseph Colton was available. From 1982, the name "G.I. Joe" referred to the team, also known as the "Joe team" or the "Joes". The G.I. Joe team was introduced as the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toyline by Hasbro. Later, the Marvel G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero comic books and the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero television cartoons were released. The team's battle cry is "Yo Joe!"


The G.I. Joe team consists of US Army personnel, representatives from the United States Marine Corps, the United States Air Force the United States Navy, and the United States Coast Guard. A few are from other forces such as the British Army and the Australian Army. Members are selected from the best recruits who bring with them their particular skills.[2]

Marvel Comics[edit]

In the first issue, the team’s official codename is "Special Counter – Terrorist Unit Delta".[3] The team became known first casually and then officially as "G.I. Joe". The original members of the team were Hawk, Stalker, Scarlett, Snake Eyes, Breaker, Clutch, Rock ‘n Roll, Steeler, Grand Slam, Flash, Short-Fuze, Grunt and Zap.

The team is one of the United States' many Special Operations Forces or Special Mission Units. A Mossad agent states that the Joe team members he meets are "too scruffy to be Delta [Force], and not weird enough to be SOG".[4] The team is portrayed as a covert group with access to sophisticated military equipment. Over time, the team is more public with action in high profile missions.

Devil's Due[edit]

In the comics series by Devil’s Due Publishing, the existence of the Joe team is known to the general public but its missions remain covert. The Joe team has been reduced to a skeleton staff. When a new enemy, the "Red Shadows" arrive, the team is victorious but afterwards is disbanded. However, this was a ruse and the Joe team is reformed with a new core team and the former members as reserves. In the G.I. Joe: America’s Elite series, the new team is fully covert.


In the comics series created by IDW Publishing the G.I. Joe team is a covert organisation operating under the auspices of the US military forces. Their mission is to handle extreme threats. In order to remain covert, new members of the team must fake their own deaths and completely leave their former lives. The team's base, known as "the Pit", is an abandoned military establishment in the Nevada desert.

Animated series[edit]

The 1985 G.I. Joe animated television series and the G.I. Joe animated movie expanded on the function of a military unit. The team members have many extraordinary skills. They can work in many different environments and operate many different types of vehicles and aircraft. In the animated productions, the team is known to the public. For example, in the episode, 20 Questions, the team appears on a talk show and in the episode, The MacGuffin Device, the team are greeted excitedly by children.


Generally, Hawk is the team's commanding officer. Duke is the senior non-commissioned officer and second-in-command. However, a number of differences exist between the comics, cartoon and even the toyline.

Marvel Comics[edit]

The original Marvel comic book series takes a fairly realistic approach to the military command hierarchy. In the early issues of the comic, the overall command of the G.I. Joe team falls to Brigadier general Lawrence J. Flagg. He is an administrator who liaises with The Pentagon. He dies in issue 19. Colonel Hawk is the field leader. Sergeant Stalker is the senior non-commissioned officer and de facto second-in-command. Hawk is promoted to Brigadier General in Flagg's place but continues his field role. In contrast to other productions, the Marvel Comics' Hawk is featured from the start. First Sergeant Duke appears later, corresponding with the release of a Duke action figure. He is promoted to second in command and is highly respected. Vice Admiral Keel-Haul is introduced in issue 36. General Joseph Colton (the model for a G.I. Joe 12 inch toy) appears in issues 86, 127 and 152 but is not a member of the team.

In the comic series by Devil’s Due Publishing, Hawk is incapacitated and replaced by a new character, General Philip Rey. When the team is disbanded and reformed, General Joseph Colton takes command with Duke as the field commander.

The Sunbow Entertainment animated series was broadcast well after the release of the action figures in 1982. The series focussed on newer characters. In the first season, Duke is the team leader. Flint also takes an active role. In the second season, coinciding with the release of a new Hawk action figure, Hawk becomes the commander.

In the early years, the action figure toy line did not make leadership of the team clear. In 1986, a Hawk figure was released and was described as the commander.

Dark Horse[edit]

The Dark Horse Entertainment G.I. Joe Extreme comic series team is led by the mysterious Mr. Clancy. The team's history begins in the 1960s to battle SKAR (Soldiers of Khaos, Anarchy and Ruin). In the cartoon series, the story is set in 2006. In the comic the story is set in 2009. The Joe team is a small, elite unit.

Two four issue mini series of G.I. Joe Extreme were printed by Dark Horse. The team battles SKAR and Red Scream (a group opposed to globalisation). A third nemesis, the I.R.O.N. Army was mention in the last issue. Two characters, the team members Short Fuze and Tall Sally were unique to this comic. Both died at the end of the first mini-series.


The cartoon series produced by Gunther-Wahl Productions and distributed by Claster Television was broadcast in two seasons. Some exclusive characters included Red Mc Knox, Tracker and Steel Raven.

Sigma 6[edit]

In the G.I. Joe: Sigma 6 series, the team is smaller and new characters are introduced gradually rather than en masse. The series gives the history that the team reformed with a new codename after their base was destroyed by Cobra.

Rise of Cobra[edit]

In this movie, G.I. Joe is an acronym for Global Integrated Joint Operating Entity. It is an international force using advanced technology. The team's base is in Egypt. it is well funded due to global backing.[5]


In this series, the team, called the "Renegades", is founded by Lieutenant (Scarlett O'Hara and her ninja sensei Snake Eyes. The team members include Sergeant Duke Hauser, Corporal Roadblock Hinton, Private Tunnel Rat Lee, and Private Rip Cord Weems. Their purpose is to expose Cobra Industries for its illegal transgressions. However, they become wrongly accused of the ruin of Cobra Pharmaceuticals. The team must clear its name while avoiding a new nemesis, the Falcons. The Falcons' commander is Flint. Its members include Lady Jaye, Wild Bill, Lift-Ticket, and Heavy Duty. The team is successful.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fletcher, Dan (2009-08-07). "A Brief History of G.I. Joe". TIME. Retrieved 2017-04-29.
  2. ^ Truitt, Brian (2010-04-14). "Larry Hama relaunches his '80s 'G.I. Joe 'series". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2017-04-29.
  3. ^ Hama, Larry. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, vol. 1, issue no. 1, Cover date: June 1982. Marvel Comics.
  4. ^ "GCD :: Issue :: G.I. Joe Special Missions #2 [Direct Edition]". Comics.org. Retrieved 2017-04-29.
  5. ^ Donaldson-Evans, Catherine (2007-09-07). "G.I. Joe to Become Global Task Force in Movie". Fox News. Retrieved 2017-04-29.

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