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GI Joe takes aim at '80s cartoon nostalgia with Saturday Morning Adventures comic

GI Joe: A Real American Hero - Saturday Morning Adventures cover
GI Joe: A Real American Hero - Saturday Morning Adventures cover (Image credit: IDW Publishing)

IDW Publishing is tapping right into the nostalgia of 30- to 50-something fans with a new G.I. Joe limited series based on the well-loved '80s cartoon, right down to the aesthetics of the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero animated series.

(Image credit: IDW Publishing)

Written by Erik Burnham with art from Dan Schoening and Luis Antonio Delgado, the four-issue GI Joe: A Real American Hero - Saturday Morning Adventures is billed by IDW as a "special send-up" of the original cartoon - with an over-the-top plot couched in storybook mythology, a la the kind of adventures of the original cartoon, to boot.

In the Saturday Morning Adventures, a group of GI Joes including Sci-Fi, Gung-Ho, Roadblock, Scarlett, Duke, Flint, Lady Jaye, and Beachhead (based on the cover art by Schoening) will go up against the latest Cobra scheme, 'The Aladdin Initiative,' which IDW's announcement describes as Cobra's "most versatile weapon yet."

Though the release doesn't flat out say it, Schoening's art indicates that 'The Aladdin Initiative' involves Cobra coming into possession of Aladdin's lamp, a powerful wish-granting artifact from the well-known Arabic folktale, which was, of course, adapted into the Disney film.

GI Joe: A Real American Hero - Saturday Morning Adventures is couched decidedly in nostalgia for "how straight-up weird" the original '80s cartoon was, states Burnham.

(Image credit: IDW Publishing)

Despite the nostalgic cartoon sensibilities of GI Joe: A Real American Hero - Saturday Morning Adventures, it's hard not to notice the optics of a militia of predominantly white "Real American Heroes" fighting a group of super terrorists over a visible metaphor for the treasures of the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) global region, considering the United States' modern history of colonialism and warfare in the MENA region.

Perhaps there's an opportunity to pick up the baton of the '80s cartoon's educational moral segments to give readers some salient facts about the history of conflict over resources in the MENA region.

GI Joe: A Real American Hero - Saturday Morning Adventures #1 goes on sale in February 2022 with a main cover by series artist Dan Schoening, and variant covers from Megan Huang and Billy Penn.

There's no better place to buy GI Joe: A Real American Hero - Saturday Morning Adventures #1 than your local comic shop.

George Marston

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)