IDW’s G.I. Joe Relaunch In Time For G.I. Joe Retaliation Movie Reboot! G.I. Joe Renegades Still MIA!

IDW Publishing is taking advantage of 2013’s anticipated G.I. Joe Retaliation movie blockbuster starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Bruce Willis, People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive Channing Tatum, doomed Wonder Woman TV pilot star Adrianne Palicki and others.

Starting in February 2013, G.I. Joe will relaunch with a new #1 helmed by comic book writing heavyweight Fred Van Lente and artist Steve Kurth. The following two months will also see the debuts on two new ongoing series announced to be G.I. Joe: Special Missions in March by writer Chuck Dixon and artist Paul Gulacy with and G.I. Joe: Cobra Files by writer Mike Costa and artist Antonio Fuso in April 2013.

These three new relaunch series replace current “Cobra Civil War” and “Cobra Command” era series in G.I. Joe, G.I. Joe: Cobra, and Snakes Eyes (with Storm Shadow) that appear to wrap up in January 2013. However, old school G.I. Joe fans fear not. The Larry Hama penned G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero series, a different continuity that continues the old 1980s’ G.I. Joe comic adventures from when Marvel Comics had the license, keeps on trucking with issue #187 shipping in February 2013 as well.

In terms of the “modern era” IDW G.I. Joe comic book series and their relaunch IDW Publishing has issued a press release that is included below. They also spoke to USA Today revealing the following tidbits:

    The new writer says the most obvious change is that the Joes are out and about in a public fashion. In Dixon’s run, Cobra pulled a WikiLeaks on the heroes, making their existence known to the world — a problem since everyone believed them to be deceased with fake death certificates and the like.

    Van Lente liked the plot element and decided to make that the foundation of a new series: The Pentagon relocates the G.I. Joe team to Governors Island in Upper New York Bay and, with their distinctive outfits and code names, they’ll have to deal with the general population, which could be good or bad, depending on the situation.

While it isn’t made 100% clear in the reporting or the release, it is implied in the comments reported that the three new series will continue the continuity of the existing three series. However, when I posed the question to writer Fred Van Lente on Facebook he was quite clear noting that the new series carry on the existing IDW continuity.

As such, the new #1’s are a great jumping on point for new readers interested in IDW’s modern era ‘Joe storytelling and for folks who will like G.I. Joe Retaliation. While the comic series won’t mirror the movie continuity wholly, the main new G.I. Joe comic book series by Van Lente appears to spotlight some of the movie characters such as Roadblock seen on the cover of #1; a different iteration played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the Retaliation film due in theatres on March 27, 2013. So, IDW’s G.I. Joe relaunch seems more in line with Marvel Now’s rebranding than DC Comics New 52 continuity and publishing line relaunch.

So fans of Cobra Civil War fear not as this is still your G.I. Joe. In fact new readers can catch up with the latest events with the Cobra Civil War Compendium also shipping in February 2013. This collects over 24 issues and runs well over 500 pages. I read the series and, if you haven’t read this massive arc, I’d recommend the compendium so you get everything at once. I wasn’t a G.I. Joe comics fan until I read Cobra Civil War.

Sadly, there is no word on Season 2 of the animated G.I. Joe Renegades cartoon. The speculation has been that a new G.I. Joe cartoon series will launch some time in 2013 to presumably capitalize on the film. Although, credit where credit is due, Renegades did the “G.I. Joe on the run” angle quite well in its first season which appears to be what the G.I. Joe Retaliation movie will attempt as well. However, while Renegades Season 2 was not announced, the Season 1 blu ray remains available for purchase.

On a personal note, I’m glad to see Van Lente take over G.I. Joe as his recent comic work for Valiant Comics has been amazing. His Archer and Armstrong series is a must read. In addition, I am also pleased that Mike Costa will continue to helm an IDW series with “Cobra” in the title. His Cobra series has been my fave of the current three G.I. Joe modern era IDW series.

Anyhow, below is the news release from IDW on their G.I. Joe Relaunch followed by the full solicitation for G.I. Joe #1 including art.

Publisher Announces New Creative Team and New Era!

San Diego, CA (November 16, 2012) – IDW is pleased to announce not only a new creative team on their flagship G.I. JOE comic, but also an exciting new era for the beloved heroes based on the iconic Hasbro brand!

Beginning in February with G.I. JOE #1, the anti-terrorist titans will be up against a new threat: publicity! With their formerly secret identities compromised, Duke must lead his squad of Real American Heroes up against the legendarily evil COBRA in the public eye. Written by Fred Van Lente (The Comic Book History of Comics, The Incredible Hercules) with art by Steve Kurth (Ultimate Iron Man, Avengers Vs. X-Men: Consequences), the all-new G.I. JOE is an explosive turning point for those following the Joes ongoing adventures and a perfect jumping-on point for new fans to join the action.

“As a longtime G.I. JOE fan it’s very exciting to be able to launch the series in a bold new direction, with a new status quo that develops organically from events in the current ongoing series,” said Van Lente. “In the first arc, Homefront, the G.I. JOE team gets a new (but familiar) commanding officer, a new (and unfamiliar) public role — and discover that Cobra has brought their war to America in a major way for the first time. We hit the ground running with all-out combat on U.S. soil,” he continued.

This new spin on America’s classic fighting force is also an exciting opportunity for the book’s explosive artist, “It’s G.I. JOE with a superhero spin. This is the G.I. JOE comic I’ve wanted to make for 10 years and the one I’ve wanted to read for 20!” said Kurth.

If all of that weren’t enough, fans will also be treated to eye-melting covers by Juan Doe, Steve Kurth, and Jamal Igle, and a special G.I. JOE “comics history” cover by Van Lente’s The Comic Book History of Comics co-conspirator Ryan Dunlavey! This relaunch also comes with a special treat for the G.I. JOE super fans in the form of a suitably bombastic subscription variant cover by legendary artist Arthur Adams!

It’s a very exciting time to be a G.I. JOE fan, and IDW couldn’t be happier to help rid the world of the COBRA menace!

G.I. JOE #1 (FC, 32 pages, $3.99) in stores 2/13/13. Diamond order code: DEC12 0412.

More information here.

G.I. Joe #1 Solicitation

G.I. JOE #1
Fred Van Lente (w) • Steve Kurth (a) • Juan Doe, Kurth (c)

YO JOE! The truth is out: the world knows the G.I. JOE team is real. Now Duke leads his squad directly into the public eye, confronting COBRA on American soil! The best of the best just got better, as Fred Van Lente and Steve Kurth lead the charge and we roll out one new G.I. Joe title a month for the next three months!
FC • 32 pages • $3.99

*Variant covers:
• G.I. JOE “Comics History” cover by Ryan Dunlavey and Fred Van Lente, co-creators of the Comic Book History of Comics!
• Wraparound cover by Jamal Igle featuring the new team—All three new G.I. JOE launches will have one!

Bullet points:
• The biggest, most radical relaunch of G.I. JOE comics since IDW got the license!
• Bigger action, bigger thrills, bigger stories!
• Great jumping-on point for the entire G.I. JOE line of comics!
• Superstar writer Fred Van Lente (Hercules, Archer & Armstrong) joins hot artist Steve Kurth (Avengers vs. X-Men: Consequences, Ultimate Iron Man)

G.I. JOE #1—Subscription Variant
Fred Van Lente (w) • Steve Kurth (a) • Art Adams (c)

For subscription customers only… Sign up at your local comic shop! A variant BARONESS cover, by the incomparable Art Adams! Only for loyal subscription box customers!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

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