If you grew up in the 80s and 90s, chances are you’re familiar with GI Joe – the iconic toy line that spawned comics, cartoons, and even a couple of movies. But have you ever wondered if GI Joe is part of the Marvel Universe? Let’s dive into the history of these two beloved franchises.
The Origins of GI Joe
GI Joe was first introduced by Hasbro in 1964 as a line of realistic military action figures. The original figures were 12 inches tall and featured different branches of the US Armed Forces. They were an instant hit with kids and collectors alike, spawning numerous variations over the years.
In the early 80s, Hasbro decided to revamp the line by introducing smaller figures – about three and three-quarter inches tall – that were more poseable and had more accessories. This new line was called “GI Joe: A Real American Hero” and featured a team of soldiers fighting against the evil organization known as Cobra.
The Marvel Connection
Around the same time that Hasbro was revamping GI Joe, Marvel Comics was looking for new ways to expand its brand beyond just comics. They saw an opportunity in creating tie-in comic books for popular toy lines like GI Joe.
In 1982, Marvel released a one-shot comic book featuring the GI Joe characters. It was a success, leading to an ongoing series that ran from 1982 to 1994. The series was written by Larry Hama and illustrated by various artists over the years.
So Is GI Joe Part of the Marvel Universe?
The short answer is yes..and no. While there are certainly connections between GI Joe and Marvel Comics, they exist in separate universes.
The GI Joe comic book series published by Marvel takes place in its own continuity separate from other Marvel comics like Spider-Man or X-Men. However, the series did occasionally crossover with other Marvel properties.
For example, in 1987 there was a four-issue crossover mini-series called “GI Joe and the Transformers” that saw the two franchises team up. There were also a few issues of the GI Joe comic that featured appearances by Marvel characters like Wolverine and Nick Fury.
In summary, while GI Joe may not be officially part of the Marvel Universe, there are certainly connections between the two franchises. The Marvel-published GI Joe comics are beloved by fans to this day, and it’s clear that both GI Joe and Marvel have had a lasting impact on popular culture.