8 Massive Franchises You Didn't Realise Started As Comic Books

7. GI Joe


Comic strips and books based on a G.I. Joe character have existed since his comic book debut in the June 1942 issue of Yank Magazine - a World War II US army weekly.

However, the character failed to become widely recognisable until US toy company Hasbro licensed the GI Joe character in 1965 and produced a range of 12" action figures.

Following the success of the original toy line, a revival of the character was undertaken in 1982 with the creation of the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero brand which became a global phenomenon during the 1980s and 1990s.

This new range of action figures received considerable attention due to the accompanying major Marvel comic series, created by Larry Hama, which established the mythos around the character and spawned the successful animated TV series of the same name which aired from 1985 to 1986.

Hasbro would later continue to expand the franchise to include video games and, more infamously, two derided live-action feature films in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and 2013's G.I. Joe: Retaliation.


Student, part-time freelance writer, holder of many questionable opinions and impassioned hater of Lord Of The Rings (disagree? Find me on Twitter, @JoshSandy)