Relevance is what brings comics value long term. Do people still care about it? Well. as one of the most collected toys of all time, I can not imagine it changing anytime soon. With the new movies coming out (Snake Eyes, Lady Jaye) there will be a new generation of collectors getting involved pushing those key comics to new heights. The Hasbro cinematic universe could take this franchise to a whole new level. Now let’s take a look at the key comics.
G.I. Joe was introduced into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2003 and is considered to be one of the most collected toys of all time. It also holds the record for the largest production toy, the 7’6″ USS Flag Air Craft Carrier. Now, with an extensive history and the new age of live-action movies, the continued success of this fantastic franchise is inevitable. With 8 decades of history in Toys, Comics, TV Series, and Movies there is no possible downside for the long term growth of these key comics.
G.I. Joe #1
Gi.I. Joe #1 is the first appearance of many key characters including Cobra Commander, Baroness, Snake Eyes, Scarlett, Hawk, Grunt, Breaker, Rock N Roll, General Flagg, Stalker, Zap and Short Fuze.
Baroness will be played by the fabulous actress Ursula Corbero in Snake Eyes. She was amazing in Money Heist and will bring this character new life. Snake Eyes will be played by Henry Golding. Low CGC census of 639 Universal 9.8’s.
G.I. Joe #21
First appearance of Storm Shadow (Actor Andrew Koji) and solo Snake Eyes story. The Silent Issue! G.I. Joe #21 has been a major key comic for as long as I can remember. It only goes in one direction, up in value.
Very tough book to find in 9.8 and with the upcoming movie certainly will not be getting any cheaper. Low CGC Census of 114 Universal 9.8’s.
The Origin of Snake Eyes. Part one of a two-part story on Snake Eyes background. GI Joe’s code name Stalker explains the history of Snake Eyes and Tommy Arashikage (Storm Shadow) in Vietnam. Snake Eyes meets the Soft Master who tells the story of the Arashikage Clan and the Rivalry between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. We learn how Snake Eyes family was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver.
Hard Master is killed and Storm Shadow is suspected of killing him. G.I. Joe #26 has an extremely Low CGC Census of 51 Universal 9.8’s. Definitely one of the key comics.
Part two of the Snake Eyes Origin. Scarlett and Snake Eyes meet and begin liking each other. Scarlett gets in trouble and Snake Eyes has to save her. He does but at great cost as a gas main blows up in his face, causing severe facial burns and a loss of his voice. Snake eyes and Storm Shadow have an altercation. Snake Eyes chases Storm Shadow onto the train tracks.
Here Storm Shadow realizes it was Snake Eyes whom he had battled in issue #21 (Silent Issue). He tells Snake Eyes there is no bad blood between them and that he did not kill his uncle, but rather a Cobra Soldier did. While his back is turned a train is coming and Snake Eyes saves Storm Shadow’s life. You also get introduced to Timberwolf, Snake Eyes dog in G.I. Joe #27. Extremely Low CGC Census of 50 Universal 9.8’s.
G.I. Joe #59 is the first appearance of Outback, Tunnel Rat, Jinx, Raptor, and the Blind Master. With Blind Master a major influence over Snake Eyes and his training, it puts him in a critical role. I look forward to Actor Peter Mensah playing the part. Although we have seen this character in the past, I believe this will be a huge character change. Mensah is a great actor from movies like Spartacus and 300, to name just a few.
Training in martial arts since he was 6 years old, Peter Mensah is perfectly suited for this part and will bring a whole new level to the character. On top of that you have Jinx, who is also a key character in the GI Joe run. She will undoubtedly be seen again in the future. Add to that 3 other first appearances who are bound to show up in future shows and this book is primed for growth potential as a future key comic. Extremely Low CGC Census of 70 Universal CGC 9.8’s.
G.I. Joe #63 So Much Fun Variant
Not only is G.I. Joe #63 a fantastic Snake Eyes and Scarlett cover, but the “So Much Fun Variant” is an absolute unicorn in high grades. There are currently (1) CGC 9.8 and (0) 9.6’s on the Census. It is safe to say if you find this one in high grade, buy it.
In G.I. Joe #93, Snake Eyes and Scarlett go to Switzerland in order for Snake Eyes to have facial reconstruction surgery. Snake Eyes wanted to look human for Scarlett and wanted to remove the rubber mask he was forced to wear. Back on Long Island, the Dreadnoks and G.I. Joe are in battle.
In Switzerland, Doctor Hundtkinder removes Snake Eyes’ mask and has him look into a mirror and states it would be the last time he looked like this. A large headshot of Snake Eyes’ heavily scarred face, mostly to the left side, is revealed to readers for the first time. The Doctor contacts Cobra and notifies them that he is working on Snake Eyes. Baroness immediately wants to take him out for killing her brother Eugene. According to reports, we will see Snake Eyes’ face in the movie. Will these comics relate? Does this make them key comics? That is the big question.
G.I. Joe has an ever-growing fan base of collectors through their cartoons (which still run daily), action figures, movies, comics, and other merchandise. Much like Star Wars collectors, the hard-core G.I. Joe collectors won’t let go of those copies easily. Add to that the fact that the Census numbers for high-grade books are extremely low and you have a recipe for major growth opportunity in the key comics. With the movie release creeping ever closer, I believe now is the time to buy.