I can’t remember a time when I didn’t like GI Joe: A Real American Hero. It was my comic book gateway and the kickoff to my action figure obsession. I’m really happy modern comic book fans can still enjoy GI Joe stories from the master — Larry Hama — and the comic remains a top seller thanks to its latest arc Dawn of the Arashikage.
IDW Publishing announced the latest GI Joe: A Real American Hero, issue #247, was another sell out. What’s the cause for the renewed interest in the title? Hama’s creative twist on a very familiar modern comics trope — replacing a longtime male character for a female — with Dawn Moreno now operating as Snake-Eyes.
In this case, it’s much more complicated as the longtime character was killed off a year or so back. Hama introduced Dawn back in issue #226 and she’s steadily become a main player in the comics. Dawn’s new role and status has resulted in four consecutive sell outs. That’s pretty impressive considering this is a property that’s been around since the mid-1980s.
Issue #247 was written by Hama with art provided by Netho Diaz as they roll out the ‘Dawn of the Arashikage’ arc.
Dawn Moreno, who debuted in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #226, was once a gifted high school athlete whose unique physical abilities drew the attention of Cobra Commander. The Cobra elite put Dawn under intense experimentation, accidentally implanting the memories of the original (and now deceased) Snake Eyes into Dawn’s fragile teenage mind. Now, as a haunted Dawn struggles against visions of a dark past that does not truly belong to her, Snake Eyes’ longtime ninja comrades from the Arashikage Clan have joined together to help Dawn overcome the waking nightmare her young life has become…
Issue #247 is on sale now at your local comic shop while supplies last, as well as digitally. A second printing of issue #246 is also now available to pick up which kicks off this story in the lead up to the oversized milestone issue #250 which concludes the Dawn of the Arashikage arc!
While I still miss the original Snake-Eyes, I appreciate Hama’s willingness and risk in killing off the book’s most popular character. Clearly, that risk has paid off and readers are enjoying this new direction. I’m a little too far behind in my Joe reading to regularly review, but this remains one of the last books I read when I get new comics.
Issue #247 is in stores now, but once they’re sold out of your local comic book store, they’re gone. Issue #246 has already gone into second printing. All roads lead to the anniversary issue #250, the final chapter of the arc.