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Welcome to the two-hundred and thirty-third in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous two hundred and thirty-two.
Comic Book Legends Revealed is now part of the larger Legends Revealed series, where I look into legends about the worlds of entertainment and sports, which you can check out here, at legendsrevealed.com. I’d especially recommend you check out this installment of Music Legends Revealed, where we learn the answer to the question “Was Barry Manilow’s ‘Mandy’ written about a dog?”
This week is a theme week, of sorts. One of the most most off-beat theme weeks I’ve had yet – every legend this week involves basing a comic on someone!
COMIC LEGEND: Rocky Balboa appeared in a comic as a member of G.I. Joe.
By 1987, Rocky Balboa had already single-handedly destroyed the Soviet Union (it would just take a few more years for their total defeat to sink in)…
So who was left for him to fight?
Well, Cobra, naturally!
In 1986, Sylvester Stallone was working on a deal with Hasbro to license his likeness and the character of Rocky Balboa as an action figure, making Rocky Balboa a member of G.I. Joe.
To commemorate this deal, which seemed like it was definitely going to happen, Marvel released the second issue of G.I. Joe: Order of Battle in late 1986.
Order of Battle was a listing of all the current members of G. I. Joe, with descriptions by Larry Hama and character art by Herb Trimpe.
In the second issue (M-Z), we met a new member of G. I. Joe…
Note that Trimpe made sure not to do a likeness of Stallone just yet, as the deal was not official.
Well, the deal, as you might have guessed, fell through. Stallone had instead signed a licensing deal for toys bearing his likeness for Rambo action figures.
Here is the unused artwork for the G.I. Joe Rocky Balboa action figure (thanks to YoJoe for the art)…
The next issue of Order of Battle had a great retraction at the end…
That same issue also had a page devoted to Big Boa, a member of Cobra who had been created to be Rocky’s nemesis…
We never got Rocky, but at least we got Big Boa!!
Thanks to reader Mark S. for writing in suggesting this one, and thanks again to YoJoe for the unused packaging artwork!
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