Cover Artist- Mike Zeck
Ok, I get it. Really. In the history of comic books, there are countless issues with more artistic, intriguing, controversial or just plain more interesting covers. When we started this column reflecting on our favorite covers, one of the original edicts was to pick covers that resonate with the writer for any reason. G.I. Joe #30 does exactly so in my case, so I decided to spotlight it as my latest pick.
As a fan of the toys from the 1982 relaunch and the cartoon as well, it was natural I would gravitate to the Marvel comic series featuring the Joes. I read from the first issue, getting copies from drug stores and grocery markets. Then my parents did something that changed my young life. They ordered a subscription from Marvel, and I began getting the comic, wrapped in its own brown postal wrapper monthly, through the mail. Once a month I would come home and have the newest adventures of Flint, Snake Eyes and many more sitting on my kitchen table, waiting for me to dive in. The first issue I received through this service was #30.
In all honesty the issue does not really stand out story wise. What does stand out is the fact that my young brain was melted at the promise on the cover. Zartan’s recently introduced cronies, the Dreadnoks, tear apart a Joe fighter jet with menace on their faces. As Torch and Ripper work at various parts of the plane, Buzzer cuts the tail fin off with his chainsaw. After this, the Dreadnoks quickly became favorite characters of mine, offering the Joes a different type of nemesis than the highly organized and militaristic COBRA. The Dreadnoks were something out of a Mad Max nightmare, and if they could do this damage to Joe equipment, what else were they capable of?
I continued to read the book for several more years, and remain a big Joe fan today, thirty plus years later. When my mind wanders to comics, and I think about that Marvel series, the first image I see is that Mike Zeck cover, burned into my nine year old memory for all time. Yes there are many more memorable comic covers to the masses, and that’s ok, because this one is unforgettable to me.