IDW Publishing's G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero title will come to its conclusion with #300 this November, as the publisher's license for the G.I. Joe franchise ends. But the venerable title is going out in style with original G.I. Joe comic creator and longtime writer Larry Hama penning a special issue that also boasts a cover from artist Jamie Sullivan which IDW Publishing claims will set a world record for the most characters depicted on a single comic book cover, clocking in at "over 300," by IDW's count.
(Not to be sticklers, but we're guessing that's the record for the most characters depicted on a single monthly comic book cover. Alex Ross and George Perez's cover for the anniversary collection of Crisis on Infinite Earths features 562 characters).
Back to the matter at hand, behind the reportedly record-setting cover will be a story from Hama, who developed the original comic book concept for G.I. Joe at Marvel Comics in the early '80s and who wrote most of its 155-issue Marvel Comics run, as well as almost 150 issues of IDW's most recent volume of the title.
He's joined by artists SL Gallant, Maria Keane, and J. Brown, as well as letterer Neil Nuyetake - a veritable all-star creative team for fans of the long-running G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero title. It'll also receive variant covers from Netho Diaz, Kieran McKeown, John Royle, Ron Joseph, a 'virgin' style variant of Jamie Sullivan's main wraparound cover, and a second cover from Sullivan.
Here's a gallery of all the covers:
"I did 155 issues at Marvel, and they pretty much gave me free reign to do what I pleased. When IDW got the license, they wisely chose to turn me loose with my own methods, and I happily produced a run that is only five issues short of my Marvel run," reads a statement from Hama.
"Now, however, I have come to the end and it truly feels like leaving home, leaving characters that have been my friends for four decades—many of which are, in fact, based on my actual friends and acquaintances—and I can feel a real emptiness looming."
However, Hama hints that there may be more in store from G.I. Joe in comics, including the possible potential for more of his own work in the franchise.
"Somehow, though, I suspect the story doesn't completely end here, that the story will go on and the PIT will not be in mothballs for long. See you in the next incarnation!" he concludes.
G.I. Joe's owners Hasbro haven't stated where the G.I. Joe comic license may wind up next, or when fans will know what lies in store for the Real American Heroes.
G.I. Joe are technically soldiers, but they almost qualify as some of the best non-Marvel/DC superheroes ever.