Grunt (1982)

So today is 8/2. Since Star Wars fans have their own unofficial day with May the 4th, fellow Joe fan Dave from Flag Points thought that the 2nd of August could be a similar type of event for Real American Hero GI Joe fans. Well, here’s my contribution to the day, going all the way back to the first Joe listed on the first cardback in 1982. Where were you in ’82? I was still a Star Wars kid, but I remember being intrigued by the first GI Joe toy commercial I saw. It was the version that introduced the team, and I vividly recall the sound of the voiceover artist, as he called out each specialty and code name.

Grunt was the face of the new GI Joe for a time, which is ironic considering that the line would focus on and embrace a strong aspect of individuality for the team member after just one year. Many stars emerged on the Joe team in later years, but Grunt was the first Real American Hero character to occupy the spotlight, if only for a short time. So Grunt, here’s to you on 8/2. Yo Joe!


















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  • Dreadnok: Spirit

    It’s a very basic figure and that’s all it needs to be. Nice looking figure.

  • I love the OG13.Grunt was used very little in the comics. At one point, Larry Hama showed Grunt using his GI Bill and jogging with a sexy co-ed. In Joe continuity he seems to be the forgotten man.As long as were reminiscing, I remember when the 83 Joes were introduced and how quickly the OG 13 other than SE,Scarlett and to a lesser extent Stalker were forgotten for the most part.
    It’s very serendipitous to feature Grunt today as the cover teaser for G.I.Joe A Real American Hero #193 shows diplomat Robert Graves held captive by rebel forces in Sierra Gordo.

  • Where was I in 1982 you ask? Seeing as how i was borne in 1986 i wasnt really anywhere.

    Grunt wasnt really forgotten about in the comics or in the cartoon for that matter. Going to university and jogging with his coed actually helped develope his character. He may have been shoved aside in the cartoon as [in the words of John de Lance] “It was made to sell toys”. But he must have helped Clutch and Steeler defeat parrelel universe Cobra as he reappers in Arise Serpentor and in the ’87 movie [blink and you’ll mis him though].

    For what its worth. I do have respect for the DIC episodes ELDORADO and [the other one with that kid who looks like a carbon copy of Erkel who plays computer games] as those were the two episodes to actually give Grunt the most screen time he has ever had

    The only Grunt figure i ever had was V2 version. His pants are a bit….interesting

    On the subject of the latest comics. I saw the preview of one at Hisstank today. I was a bit off put by the fact that Lady Jaye was about to die [again] but i couldnt stop laughing when i spotted what appeared to be Rene Belloq in the background

  • I wonder if he was named after the English poet/writer Robert Graves who fought in World War One. Knowing Hama’s tendency for real world references, probably.

  • In 1982, I was nine going on ten and still a Star Wars kid. I remember watching that very first toy commercial with the announcer (Jackson Beck?) doing the roll call. Not long after, I got straight armed Flash and Short-Fuze, followed by Zap. I don’t recall having Grunt until the swivel arm version came out the following year. I only fully switched from Star Wars to Joes after watching the commercial with Gung-Ho, Airborne, Doc, Snow Job, and the Polar Battle Bear. That’s when I also began reading the comic with issue #12 and eagerly awaited The Mass Device mini-series on TV first shown in September of ’83.

    The original Grunt has always been a favorite figure from that initial year. He was easily the brand’s face for most of the merchandising done early on. I didn’t like it when he was written off the cartoon and comic, although he returned in the DIC series and Larry Hama brought him back along with his girlfriend Lola as a civilian ally of the Joes. In the Devil’s Due comics, Grunt and Lola married and eventually had a child together. I’m looking forward to seeing Grunt again in the IDW Hamaverse comic’s present story arc.

    @Nega: I’d wager that Larry Hama did, indeed, borrow Grunt’s real name from author Robert Graves. I’m a fan of Graves’ classic “I, Claudius” and the TV series which followed which was very popular in the 1970’s.

  • Wasn’t it Grunt in the corner of the cover of the Marvel comics for much of it’s run…?

    As troublemagnet says he’s destined to reappear in teh next RAH storyline too!

  • The first 1982 A.R.A.H. G.I.JOE i.m.o.!


  • @troublemagnet
    DIPLOMAT Robert Graves? When did Grunt get into international relations?

  • @Acer I have no idea! On the last page of #192, It shows the Joe canteen with an Image of a disheveled man with rebels behind him with the headline ”
    Diplomat Robert Graves held captive by rebel forces in Sierra Gordo”,

  • Where’s my avatar. ARRRGGHHH

  • From such humble beginnings a great line would emerge (well, not sure the comic could be considered humble. It seemed rather high profile and outstanding in the early-mid 80s). Grunt is a plain figure, but despite the plainness and the wash of army green, there is detail (a classic GI Joe characteristic) like the suspender pouches, suspender knife & grenade, the bright green arm pouch, the sweater collar, and the face, while not the prettiest, is very expressive and distinct. Personality, individuality is what separated GI Joe from its earlier incarnation and other military-inspired lines. Expand upon that detail, add in swivel-arm grip, and it seemed obvious in hindsight that Hasbro would have a surefire winner on its hands.

    I agree, 8/2 (for ’82) seems a natural ‘holiday’ for G.I. Joe as opposed to an unknown day in April or May. What month was G.I. Joe originally released in 1982? Of course 8/4 would be the equivalent for Transformers (or 8/8 if one builds it around the G1 movie release date), which is kind of close (as TF now overshadows GI Joe).

  • Actually a few of my friend were trying to rally around August 1st. The phrase “Til All Are One” is prominent in the mythos. So much as “May the Fourth” sounds like “May the Force” we were trying to popularize “Til August One”.

  • Kirk B loves the 8/2 idea, btw. 8/2/14!!

  • Pingback: August Review Round-Up (August 1st-16th) 128 Links! « It'sAllTrue.Net

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