G.I. Joe Volume 1 #152
I always liked this cover. So much so that I didn't pick up a GI Joe Colton figure until recently because the pancake beret wearing figure, while true to its 12 inch figure's roots, did not look anything like the bad ass on this cover. It is everything you want to symbolize GI Joe. Yet it completely betrays the actual content of the story inside. There is no triumphant glory to the start of the early GI Joe.

Joseph Colton is a natural born leader. He graduated at the top of his class at West Point. He got assigned to the Green Berets under Capt Charles Beckwith in the 7th SFG. He served with distinction in operations in Laos, Cambodia, and North Vietnam. His impeccable record and devotion to the men who served under him caught the attention of President John F. Kennedy.

The President, as a long time supporter of US Special Forces, wanted to create a covert team that could be inserted anywhere to take on any mission and answered directly to the President. The project was called GI Joe and Colton was going be the team's Commanding Officer. Lt Colton accepted the mission.

This early incarnation of GI Joe operated in every major hot spot throughout the 60's. As the situation in Vietnam worsened the reluctance of other nations to support US military operations grew. For that reason project GI Joe was mothballed and Colton went on a sabbatical. In reality the team and its leader became a CIA fronted private security firm under the guise of being international exotic tour guides and a humanitarian rescue operation.

During a Cobra attack on a government scientific research facility in New York City, Colton helped the modern Joes fend off the attack. General Hawk tried to recruit who he thought to be a highly trained civilian onto his team. General Colton became a close adviser with the team, working with the Joes on several occasions.

After an attack that left General Hawk in a wheelchair, General Colton took over as acting commander of the team.


Top and Specialist Vasquez were the only survivors of the Green Berets that went on this mission. Vasquez got injured in a landing zone explosion and gun fire. When the group boarded the next chopper, Colton ordered the pilot to head to the nearest hospital, but the huey pilot told him, his orders are to make sure Colton gets to Washington. Vasquez died on the way and Colton stayed with the body to make sure it got sent home, per the dieing man's last wish.

These guys were pretty much filler for the cover shot but when I took their group shot I tried to make it look like a WWII era band of brothers vibe.


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