Larry Hama

Larry Hama

G.I. Joe

Pensacon is pleased to welcome from G.I. Joe, The ‘Nam, Wolverine, Bucky O’Hare, Wonder Woman, Batman and so much more – actor, artist and writer – the legendary Larry Hama!

Planning to become a painter, Larry Hama attended Manhattan’s High School of Art and Design, where one instructor was former EC Comics artist Bernard Krigstein. Hama sold his first comics work to the fantasy film magazine Castle of Frankenstein when he was 16 years old. After high school, Hama took a job drawing shoes for catalogs, and then served in the United States Army Corps of Engineers from 1969 to 1971, during the Vietnam War, an experience that would aid in his editing of the 1986-1993 Marvel Comics series The ‘Nam. Upon his discharge, Hama became active in the Asian community in New York City.

Hama began penciling for comics a year-and-a-half later, making an auspicious debut succeeding character co-creator Gil Kane on the feature “Iron Fist” in Marvel Premiere, taking over with the martial arts superhero’s second appearance and his next three stories (#16-19, July-November 1974). He went on to freelance for start-up publisher Atlas/Seaboard (writing and penciling the first two issues of the sword & sorcery series Wulf the Barbarian, writing the premiere of the sci-fi/horror Planet of Vampires); some penciling work on the seminal independent comic book Big Apple Comix #1 (Sept. 1975); and two issues of the jungle-hero book Ka-Zar before beginning a long run at DC Comics.

There, Hama became an editor of the DC titles Wonder Woman, Mister Miracle, Super Friends, The Warlord, and the TV-series licensed property Welcome Back, Kotter from 1977-1978, then joined Marvel as an editor in 1980.

He later became the writer of the Marvel Comics licensed series G.I. Joe, based on the Hasbro line of military action figures. Hama at the time had recently pitched a Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. spin-off series, Fury Force, about a daring special mission force. Hama used this concept as the back-story for G.I. Joe. The series made frequent use of authentic military terms and strategies, Eastern philosophy, martial arts and historical references, largely drawn from Hama’s own military background. The comic ran 155 issues (Feb. 1982-Oct. 1994), of which Hama wrote 147, co-wrote another two, and penciled one.

Hama also wrote the majority of the G.I. Joe action figures’ filecards—short biographical sketches designed to be clipped from the G.I. Joe and COBRA cardboard packaging. In 2006 these filecards were reprinted in the retro packaging of the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero 25th Anniversary line.

Hasbro sculptors sometimes used real people’s likenesses when designing its action figures. In 1987, Hasbro released the Tunnel Rat action figure. The character is an Explosive Ordnance Disposal specialist, whose likeness was based on Hama.

In December 2007, Hasbro revealed 25th Anniversary comic book figure 2-packs that featured original stories by Hama. These new Hasbro-published issues were designed to take place “in-between the panels” of the classic Marvel series. In addition, an almost year-long speculation on the fate of the G.I. Joe comic books was put to an end during the 2008 San Diego Comic Con. During the panel with IDW Publishing, Hama was announced as the writer on the G.I. Joe comics reboot. &#160.

Hama wrote most of IDW’s Real American Hero comics through the end of 2022, and has been continuing that Real American Hero series at Skybound starting at the end of 2023.

From 1986-1993, Hama edited the acclaimed comic book The ‘Nam, a gritty Marvel series about the Vietnam War. Additionally, he wrote the 16-issue Marvel series Nth Man: The Ultimate Ninja (August 1989-September 1990), concerning the adventures of John Doe, an American ninja and Special Forces commando in an alternate reality in which World War III is sparked after the world’s nuclear weapons stockpiles are all destroyed. Hama also edited a relaunch of Marvel’s black-and-white comics magazine Savage Tales, overseeing its change from sword-and-sorcery to men’s adventure.

Other comics Hama has written include Wolverine, Before the Fantastic Four: Ben Grimm and Logan, and the X-Men brand extension Generation X for Marvel; and Batman stories for DC Comics. He wrote filecards for Hasbro’s line of sci-fi/police action figures, C.O.P.S. ‘n’ Crooks and contributed to the relaunch of the G.I. Joe toyline and comicbook in 2000.

While working at Neal Adams’ Continuity Associates, Hama developed a series he first created in 1978, Bucky O’Hare, the story of a green anthropomorphic rabbit and his mutant mammal sidekicks in an intergalactic war against space amphibians, which went on to become a comic, cartoon, video game and toyline.

In 2006, Osprey Publishing announced that Hama would write its “Osprey Graphic History” series of comic books about historical battles, including the titles The Bloodiest Day – Battle of Antietam and Surprise Attack – Battle of Shiloh (both with artist Scott Moore) and Island of Terror – Battle of Iwo Jima (with Anthony Williams).

That same year, Hama returned to his signature characters with the Devil’s Due Publishing miniseries G.I. Joe Declassified, which chronicled the recruitment of the squad’s first members by General Hawk. In 2007, the company added the spin-off series Storm Shadow, written by Hama and penciled by Mark A. Robinson.

In January 2014, Hama collaborated with award-winning filmmaker Mark Cheng on an original film project.

Go to Top