GI Joe veterans Scarlett and Destro get their own titles as part of Skybound's Energon Universe

Scarlett #1 cover
(Image credit: Skybound Entertainment)

The final two of four planned GI Joe limited series from Skybound Entertainment will focus on another pair of classic characters from the beloved franchise: Scarlett, and Destro. Alongside the current Duke and Cobra Commander limited series, these four titles will comprise the launch of the GI Joe portion of Skybound's new Energon Universe, in which the Real American Heroes exist alongside the Transformers in a shared continuity.

First up is Scarlett, written by Kelly Thompson (who knows her way around a femme fatale as the current writer of Birds of Prey and former longtime writer of Black Widow), with art by Marco Ferrari. As promised by the title, the limited series focuses on Shana 'Scarlett' O'Hara, a southern belle/badass undercover agent who was one of the original modern Joes who debuted way back in 1982's GI Joe: A Real American Hero #1. 

"Shana 'Scarlett' O'Hara is about to take on the most dangerous black ops mission of her career: infiltrating the mysterious rising power in Japan known as the Arashikage Clan," reads Skybound's official description of Scarlett #1. "Her one lead is her former partner - Jinx - turned Arashikage enforcer. Now, Scarlett must use her operative skills to survive undercover… and discover a shocking weapon that could change the balance of power on Earth."

The inclusion of Jinx and the Arashikage Clan may point to the possible appearance of Snake Eyes, who is himself an Arashikage ninja.

"I'm fortunate that, thanks to my job, I often get to dig into characters and worlds that I've loved for a long time," says Kelly Thompson in a statement accompanying the announcement. "But GI Joe’s Scarlett is truly one of my first geek loves as a kid, and I am absolutely thrilled to have a hand in building her for this new, incredibly cool and rich universe at Skybound."

Here's a gallery of interior pages from Scarlett #1 by Marco Ferrari and colorist Lee Loughridge, along with several covers for the issue by Ferrari, Joëlle Jones, Gleb Melnikov, Steve Epting, Leonardo Romero, Jonboy Meyers, and David Mack, some of which have been blacked out and marked "Spoiler!":

In the final limited series of the GI Joe Energon Universe launch, classic villain Destro will take center stage in a story by writer Dan Watters and artist Andrei Bressan that Skybound promises will "change the balance of power in the Energon Universe forever."

"James McCullen Destro XXIV is the man behind MARS Industries, the undisputed leader in providing high-tech weapons to world powers...for the right price," reads Skybound's announcement. "But the emergence of Energon has changed everything. As Destro’s ambitions grow, the 'Crimson Twins' Tomax and Xamot Paoli emerge to destroy their competition, and Cobra Commander realizes his current ally could be his future greatest enemy."

Tomax and Xamot are of course twins who each famously experience the other's pain - so if you punch Tomax, it's Xamot who may fall down.

"I'm incredibly excited to bring Destro to life with Andrei," says Dan Watters in a statement. "This is going to be a visceral, explosive thriller in which he [Destro] isn't very nice to anyone at all — everything you’d want from your favorite amoral arms trafficker."

Here's a gallery of pages from Destro #1 by Andrei Bressan and colorist Adriano Lucas, which include the appearance of Cobra's android soldiers the Battle Android Troopers (BATs), along with covers by Bressan & Adriano Lucas, Nikola Čižmešija, Jorge Fornes, Jonboy Meyers, and David Mack, along with a blank sketch cover variant. As with their Scarlett #1 covers, Mack and Meyers' covers are blacked out with a "Spoiler!" warning:

"Duke and Cobra Commander were two of the highest-selling GI JOE comics of all-time, and they're only the start of our new beginning for the amazing GI JOE franchise," says Sean Mackiewicz, senior vice president and publisher of Skybound. 

"With G.I. Joe and Cobra now locked on an unavoidable collision course, Scarlett and Destro will introduce new characters and factions that will disrupt their most carefully laid plans," he continues. "Kelly Thompson, Marco Ferrari, Dan Watters, and my favorite madman, Andrei Bressan are crafting action-packed, jaw-dropping comics that will forever change the Energon Universe."

Scarlett #1 goes on sale June 5, followed by Destro #1 on June 19.

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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)