As a child of the 80’s G.I. Joe reigned supreme in my entertainment universes for years. I watched the cartoon series. I read the comic books. At one point I must have had well over 100 figures and vehicles that were played with on a daily basis. Going into my teens I still loved them. The last issue I bought of the spinner rack at the local gas station was #103. That was right before going into middle school.
After that the books were put away in a box and the majority of the figures were passed on to my stepbrother in an attempt to look “cool”. When #155 (the last issue in the original run) came out in 1994 comics were the furthest thing from my mind. At that time I was so hellbent on being able to afford my own car that the end of an important era in my childhood didn’t make a blip on my radar.
On Free Comic Book Day in 2010 IDW Publishing brought “G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero” back from the dead with issue #155 ½. When they did this they picked up the storyline close to where it left off after a 16 year hiatus. As coincidence may have it, that was when I got back into comics. Since then a new issue has been released like clockwork every month. After more than a decade this isn’t exactly news that turns heads.
On Wednesday, May 12 IDW Publishing put out “G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero” issue #281. This is news because in this issue we get a new member added to the Joe team. Her code name is: Sherlock. She’s an MP with a good head on her shoulders and incredible investigative skills.
Fans of all things G.I. Joe should be celebrating this first appearance for several reasons:
- This is the fourth woman of color to be on the team. The first, Shooter, was killed in action before we really even got to know her. Jinx has been with the team since 1987; but she spends most of her time with the ninjas. Dawn has been a hit since she came on the scene in 2018. We’ll see how involved Sherlock will be after the “Murder by Assassination” story arc is completed.
- Sherlock coming into the fold means more content from a different perspective. We’ve had years of watching the Joe team rough up Cobra all over the world. A story focusing on security at the Pit will be a nice change of pace. Having Sherlock in an “NCIS” style story talking about the dangers of drugs wouldn’t be a bad idea for a think piece.
- This title doesn’t come out with new characters very often. Allow me to rephrase that. Since the G.I. Joe boom in the 1980’s ended; it doesn’t happen frequently. I’m all for getting to know another member of the team.
- Most titles don’t introduce a new character right before ending a series. I had worries that Larry Hama, the primary writer for this series, was getting close to calling it a remarkable career. I am hopeful that the appearance of Sherlock means canceling the title is unlikely to happen anytime soon.
For the people out there that like to buy books on speculation (buying a book in hopes that the value will sky rocket) what does this first appearance mean? Probably nothing. With the exceptions of #1 (the original team and Cobra Commander) and #21 (Storm Shadow) first appearance issues with this title aren’t really a hot commodity outside of the fandom. The first appearance of Destro (#14) can be bought on eBay for around $60. The first appearance of Zartan (#25) can be picked up for less than $30.
My advice to anyone trying to make money selling comics is buy what you like. That way if the value doesn’t go up like hoped you will still have a great story. With “G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero” issue #281 you’re getting a great story.