It’s 1984. The ‘real’ GI Joe: A Real American Hero’s 21st issue script has gone missing, leaving Marvel with a strict time limit to get a replacement issue ready for publication. Series creator Larry Hama has three weeks to get an issue ready, so he takes on art duties himself – and to ensure that there’s less steps than usual in the process of getting the comic ready, decides to create a ‘silent’ issue – in which the mute GI Joe soldier Snake Eyes takes on a challenging infiltration and rescue mission – negating the need for a letterer or any scripted dialogue.

Not only did he do it, but Hama created one of the most iconic single issues of the 80s, perhaps of all time. Not bad for a comic series originally created to sell toys, right?

Hama would continue to raise the bar on expectations for licensed comics, with GI Joe featuring some fantastic storylines – and, after the critical reception of #21, further silent issues too – across an impressively lengthy run.

Now, for the 40th Anniversary of GI Joe: ARAH, IDW have released this special issue – which reimagines the silent issue in a unique way: each page of the original story drawn by a different artist. It’s a brilliant tribute and a worthy experiment – whether you’re familiar with the original comic or not. There’s some really cool art on display and every page really does feel unique, with each creator bringing a new feel to the material.

Not only is the main feature this new spin on an old classic, but the iconic issue #21 is also included in full, so you can check out the story in its original form (and compare it to the 40th Anniversary version). Rounding out the issue is an essay by writer Chad Bowers, a longtime GI Joe fan who was recently able to work on a GI Joe comic of his own. It’s a great read.

Overall then, this 40th Anniversary Special is a worthy tribute to and celebration of a surprisingly long-lasting pop culture franchise; one which is almost certain to still be going, in some form or other, in another 40 years!

Enjoyed what you’ve read? Want to support my blog? There’s no pressure of course, but every penny helps to keep this site running, as I earn no income from my writing here (though I may earn small fees from affiliate links posted on my pages).

However, I’d be truly grateful for any support that you could offer – and it’s easy to do so at either of these links: or PayPal.

Any donations are truly appreciated – and I also appreciate you taking the time to read my articles. Thank you so much!

Help support me here!

All donations are gratefully received and will help me keep the lights on here – as well as help to keep my writing dream alive! Please be aware though: there’s no pressure. I just hope you’ve enjoyed reading my article!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s