G.I. Joe #1 Cover B: Steve Kurth (p); Allen Martinez (i); Joana Lafuente (c)

Comic books are moving toward the television model in a number of ways. Season numbering has taken over and we are proud to put the footwear references aside to give you an exclusive interview with writer Fred Van Lente as he puts on his battle helmet for Season 3 of G.I. Joe from IDW Publishingon shelves today.

DIGBOSTON: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us today about your new number one G.I. Joe issue from IDW.

FRED VAN LENTE: Thanks for having me.

Last summer we saw the Summer of Valiant and your take on Archer and Armstrong. Tell me, what are the first things you think about when relaunching popular characters. Is it like when you get to jump on an arc of Spider-Man, or is there more pressure on you?

Spider-Man was a fairly unique situation, just because I was writing with six other people. When flying solo, I guess I try to get to the essence of the property, which is pretty easy with G.I. Joe — it’s an archetypal “war” story, with an eternal battle between two opposing forces, one representing democracy, the other tyranny.


Fred Van Lente - Writer at Large

G.I. Joe fans are a particular breed. For example, I saw more toy fans than comic fans when Larry Hama was in Boston for a signing last year. 
I’m signing with Larry for the book’s release date in February—I can’t wait!

Are you getting “YO JOE!” a lot when you walk down the street these days? Are people asking you to sign their H.I.S.S. tanks? I can almost guarantee someone is working on a Fred Van Lente custom figure for the next JoeCon.
Not on the street, but definitely on Twitter.

It’s a really great fan community I’m thrilled to be a part of.

So in recent years we’ve had such great writers on G.I. JOE the likes of Chuck Dixon,Mike CostaChristos Gage and of course the Admiral Larry Hama. Will your Joeverse acknowledge the IDW G.I.Joe vs. Cobra run, wherein a coup for the Cobra Command was at the forefront and a Cobra Commander was killed?

I don’t think so… To be honest, there’s been so many books and I’ve been trying to read as many as I can, but I’ve only been on the job since July, so it’s been a bit of a challenge… Our run is a continuation of Dixon’s G.I. Joe run, but we also reference G.I. Joe Origins heavily.