Friends, when it came to my tastes in comics as a kid, they were…well…weird. Sure I loved to pick up Batman when I could as well as Superman too. It was another DC Comic title that I gravitated to the most however and that was of course Weird War Tales. Why? That naturally had to do with being a monster kid and science fiction buff. Which is the reason I loved both The Creature Commandos and G.I. Robot!
I find it rather funny that in my youth, my Father was rather set against me picking up the likes of The House of Mystery. Yet had no qualms about me snatching up an issue of Weird War Tales. I don’t know, perhaps the former just had scarier cover art or something?
G.I. Robot actually first appeared in another DC Comics title. That was Star Spangled War Stories #101. As matter of fact this would be the first of six robots to be known as the G.I. Robot, with this first unit known as Joe.
I can only assume that Joe stayed put when he ended up on Dinosaur Island. Which I certainly hope will one day make it into one of the live action DC films. The second robot with the G.I. moniker appeared in Star Spangled War Stories #125. This time it was a unit known as Mac who was teamed up with the original Suicide Squad, the team made up of WWII soldiers.
Mac made it a whole issue before sacrificing itself to halt a rampaging T-Rex. It was in Weird War Tales #101 that a brand new G.I. Robot was introduced known as J.A.K.E. 1 (Jungle Automatic Killer – Experimental Number 1). In this case the unit was teamed up with Sgt. Coker as they served in the Pacific War. Coker I should add is not only demeaning to his partner but frequently cruel as well.
J.A.K.E. 1 made it twelve more issues until it too, like Mac, was destroyed. As you might have guessed though it is quite hard to keep a G.I. Robot down for the count. J.A.K.E. 2 appeared in Weird War Tales issue # 113. This is where I actually was introduced to the character!
Soon though he was teaming up with the likes of the Creature Commandos. Which is how the unit found itself on a rocket shot from Berlin, straight into outer space, to their apparent deaths.
While the Creature Commandos were later found to have survived the trip, the fate of J.A.K.E. 2 hasn’t been revealed in the comics. Although the DC Comics Encyclopedia makes mention that the robot survives up until the 31st century!
Since those issues of Weird War Tales there has been a J.A.K.E. #6.1, which was revealed in 2008. As well as a special mini-series that also began in 2008 entitled The War that Time Forgot. Written by the legendary Bruce Jones, it threw in a ton of Silver Age characters. Such as Enemy Ace, the Viking Prince, Tomahawk and of course a new G.I. Robot. One that I must point out calls itself…Joe.
What does the future hold for DC Comic’s robotic soldier? Obviously only time will tell but I am more than willing to bet that we haven’t seen the last of this particular comic character!
Did you know that the G.I. Robot made an appearance in 2010?
Not in a comic book of course but on the popular Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode entitled Plague of the Prototypes!. Not just our favorite military robot either, Sgt. Rock makes an appearance alongside Batman as well!
[Via] GameSpot Universe