In Abandoned an’ Forsaked, we examine comic book stories and ideas that were not only abandoned, but also had the stories/plots specifically “overturned” by a later writer (as if they were a legal precedent).
Reader Ed K. wanted me to feature a weird little bit of “G.I. Joe” history here. It’s a bit of an odd retcon, as I dunno if it necessarily counts as a retcon due to just HOW it was presented.
You see, in 1985, Sylvester Stallone not only starred in “Rocky IV,” where Rocky Balboa single-handedly ended the Cold War, but he also starred in ” Rambo: First Blood Part II,” where John Rambo single-handedly reversed the decision on the Vietnam War, as well.
So Stallone was kind of a big deal.
He was a big enough deal that Hasbro decided to follow up their deal with the professional wrestler, Sergeant Slaughter, by turning Rocky into a member of the G.I. Joe team. The deal was progressing to the point where Hasbro gave the go-ahead to writer Larry Hama and artist Herb Trimpe to add Rocky to a special 1987 Marvel comic book series, “G.I. Joe: The Order of Battle,” which listed the various members of the G.I. Joe squad (since the deal wasn’t official yet, Trimpe couldn’t use Stallone’s likeness just yet).
You can see him on the cover, as well…
(Click here to enlarge)
They even came up with a Cobra nemesis for Rocky, Big Boa…
However, just like you are not supposed to count your chickens before they hatch, so, too, should Hasbro not have counted on their Rocky deal before it was signed, since the deal fell apart when Coleco cut a BIGGER deal with Stallone to do a whole toy line based on Rambo. Apparently the deal meant that he couldn’t do both (I don’t know who said he couldn’t do both – maybe both sides?).
So in one of the most awesome retcons around, the very next issue Marvel had to let readers know that Rocky was not and had never been a member of the Joes…
That’s a hilarious retcon.
There you go, Ed!
If anyone else has a suggestion for a notable comic book retcon that they’d like to see featured, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!