Larry Hama (born June 7, 1949) is an American Comic Book writer, artist, and editor. He originally studied art at Manhattan's High School of Art and Design, and sold his first comics work at the age of 16. After high school, Hama took a job drawing shoes for catalogs, then served in the Vietnam War with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, where he became a firearms and explosive ordnance expert. Afterward, he worked with Wally Wood, Neal Adams, and Alan Weiss as a penciler and inker, then later migrated to become an editor and writer for DC Comics and Marvel Comics.
He is best known for his work on G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, where he holds the distinction of being the longest-serving writer of the series, along with creating the numerous character profiles for the Joe toys. In total, he wrote 153 issues with only a single fill-in by another writer. His other major claim to fame is Wolverine, which he wrote for eight years. Other works created by Larry Hama include Nth Man: The Ultimate Ninja and Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars!.
Larry Hama is also an actor and musician; he has appeared in minor roles on television, and was a guitarist for the band K-Otics.
Larry Hama's works include:
- G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero
- Mort the Dead Teenager
- Marvel Premiere: Iron Fist (penciller)
- Nth Man: The Ultimate Ninja
- Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars!
- Peter Porker: The Spectacular Spider-Ham (editor)
- Wolverine: Patch
- The Nam (editor)
- Moon Knight (penciller)
- C.O.P.S. (Animated Series) (character profiles)
- Generation X
- Barack The Barbarian
- Robotboy (writer)
- SpyHunter/Paperboy (DC Comics mini-series based on two classic arcade games)
Tropes associated with Larry Hama include:
- Action Figure File Card: This trope exists because of Hama. When he was asked to write the G.I. Joe comic, he kept track of the large cast by creating dossiers for each character. Hasbro execs liked the dossiers and put them on the toy packages, other lines from Hasbro and its competitors followed suit, and a trend was born.
- Action Girl: Hama's women are almost always strong and independent. His portrayal of female Joes in G.I. Joe helped the comic attract a large female readership.
- Author Appeal: Military warfare and Asian culture appear regularly in his works.
- Battle Couple: Snake-Eyes and Scarlett, Destro and The Baroness, John Doe and Colonel Novikova.
- Combat Pragmatist
- Creator Cameo: The head sculpt for the G.I. Joe action figure "Tunnel Rat" is based on Hama. This was done by the toy developers as a tribute.
- Deuteragonist: Destro being the most famous example.
- Dirty Communists: Always averted.
- Even Evil Has Standards
- Evil Versus Evil
- From Nobody to Nightmare: A recurring theme; Cobra Commander was originally a used-car salesman, and Alfie O'Megan started off as an orphan.
- Glorious Mother Russia: Often played for laughs, especially with the KGB Swallows from Nth Man and the Oktober Guard from G.I. Joe.
- Hidden Depths: Along with his music career, Hama has also been on Broadway and was in the original cast of Pacific Overtures. He's also said in interview that he considers himself stuck in the "military comics ghetto" and his lifetime ambition has been to write Uncle Scrooge. He says he only took the G.I. Joe gig because he didn't want some "armchair jingoist" writing it instead.
- Punny Name:
- Often done with the Joes' civilian names, such as an Arctic trooper named Farley Seward or a Hovercraft pilot named Skip A. Stone.
- This started in issue 2 with Kwinn the Eskimo. There are also GI Joe countries named "Benzheen" (an oil-producing Qurac) and Frusenland (an Arctic country).
- Considering the sheer number of Joes he created, it's surprising that few lapse straight on into Steven Ulysses Perhero. The only really overt one is Alpine (real name Albert Pine).
- The main character of his lesser-known series Mort the Dead Teenager has the name of Mort Graves. Funnily enough, the rest of his family doesn't share a naming theme.
- Noble Savage
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Often done by both heroes and villains.
- Shown Their Work: Most evident whenever Hama's stories feature military hardware, tactics, and strategy, as he does not hesitate to use accurate jargon and details that
maywill fly over the readers' heads. Many issues include a glossary to help readers understand the terms used.
- Supernatural Martial Arts
- War Is Hell
- Warrior Poet
- Worthy Opponent