The 11th Joe A Day of the Holidays


Just one more day to go until the final day of our 12 day holiday celebration, and this one ties in nicely to Christmas Eve for me. My family has always had the tradition of exchanging gifts during that evening, rather than the usual morning routine. I think it sprang from my parents not wanting us kids to bug them another day about opening gifts. My sister in particular was especially brutal about pestering Mom and Dad to open at least one gift early. She usually got her wish.

Issue number 11 of the Marvel GI Joe comic ties in well with some of the gifts I received on Christmas Eve, 1983. I had obtained a three pack which included two characters (Doc and Snow Job) who debuted in this very issue. Doc and Snow Job were more than a passing part of the story, and both got a memorable intro within the comic mythos. The Polar Battle Bear, another winter favorite, made its initial appearance right here, along with the gliders and HISS tanks. Wow, that’s an impressive lineup of newness. Sure, the cynical could just call it product placement for a toy line, but that would be discounting the solid Larry Hama storytelling. These were issues that you wanted to read, and not just to see what new pieces of hardware the Joes or Cobra might trot out.

The animated TV spot for this issue also sticks out in my mind, not only for the cool snow action, but for the introduction of the new mystery Cobra agent. Looking back at this issue, I think it stands out as one of the great landmarks of the 80s Joe line’s early years. It was an exciting yarn, a great jumping-on point for new readers, and set the stage for so much of the future of the Marvel comic run. Iconic stuff.


  • An excellent issue with a great cover by occasional Joe artist Bob Camp. I remember seeking this one out after watching the commercial for the toys featured here, but it had sold out by then and thus, #12 became my first issue ever of the comic instead, although it proved to be an even better starting point than #11 in my case. (The classic Snake Eyes/Kwinn/Dr. Venom saga begins in #12.)

    Destro makes his debut here (in shadows) and he even goes one on one with Doc, of all people!

    I absolutely love Doc. Easily one of the best characters in the line’s history and one of the reasons why I am a lifelong GI Joe fan. (My father is a physician and I grew up watching him struggle through medical school.)

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you guys out there!

  • Having read Issue 11 for the first time as an adult (okay, late high school would probably be more accurate), I have to say, it does hold up surprisingly well as a story, despite there definitely being an element of “let’s showcase the upcoming new products.” Larry Hama did a great job at being able to bow to the corporate needs while at the same time making an excellent story.

    And also, my family shares the presents on Christmas Eve tradition because we always spent Christmas Day proper on the road. When you’re a pastor’s kid and you want to see family, you can’t leave until after December 25th, and it’s a lot easier to do presents the night before than cram wrapped presents, luggage, and four people into the vehicle for a road trip. Santa always found us at our destination, though…;) Merry Christmas to you and yours, Rob and the same greetings to the readers of JoeADay as well.

  • Happy Christmas, Hanuka, Kwanza [sory about the spelling], Solstace and Hogswatch [And any other eqivalent i missed]

    Being 17 hours ahead, i got my gifts today. 20 years ago, i got a Mudbuster, Parasite, Rat, Baracuda as well as a few other things. Today, i got a new arrival. He’s 2 foot tall and it took me 3 hours to properly apply all his stickers. Now all i need to do is take some “funny” phtotes of him.

    As for this issue. I do like the bit when Doc “fights” Destro

  • Great issue, but the end of an era.When the commercial originaly aired, I thought Snow Job was the artic Rock N Roll.Issue 11 was the end of the exclusitivity of the original 13.In my young mind, I thought the OG13 weren’t developed enough, the characterization was not in place-I wanted to know more about Grand Slam and Flash-not be introduced to new characters that would hog the spotlight! It wasn’t later when I joined the US Army and was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas as apart of the 1st Cavalry Division (Armor unit) that I realized that it was realistic to have a fairly consistant turnover in military life.

  • Merry [insert holiday here] to you guys in the U.S

    Short fuse and Steeler are my 2 favorite characters [my name sake also ranks pretty highly on my list but alas he hasnt really done much] and it has irritated me immensly that in the earlier issues they always got shoved aside [not on purpose though] and later on, nearly everyone of the original 13 was forgotten about except for the all powerful Snake eyes.

  • One of the great one-shot issues. When I tend to look at current comics, and they can’t seem to pull off one-shot stories that often or that well.

  • So who was the other character in the 3 pack?

    • I actually had a bit of faulty memory in the article. I checked the Sears ’83 Wish Book, and there were two 3 packs, so I must have gotten both. One was Snow Job, Torpedo and Tripwire; and the other was Doc, Airborne and Gung Ho.

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