Last week I had the pleasure of meeting this guy at The Zone Comic Shop. If the names Duke, Snake Eyes, Baroness, Destro, Storm Shadow, Quick Kick, Roadblock, or Lady Jaye (just to name a few) mean anything to you, that would be because of Larry Hama, the brain behind the characters and comics of the 80s-90s GI Joe. Larry worked at Marvel in those days, and Hasbro tasked them with creating the stories they would use to relaunch GI Joe as a toyline. He would get boxes of these little figures, and it was his job to determine what their names were and what their stories would be, and write them into the comic book. The cartoon came from that later, he's never watched an episode of it.
His comic was rooted more in the real world. Half the characters were Vietnam veterans, and so is he. In spite of the somewhat science fiction aspects of the mythology, the good guys were hard luck heroes, each an expert in a special field that actually exists, many of them based on people he really knew. It might sound silly, but for most of the 80's generation, the first ideas of what it means to be a serviceman and defend the freedom of one's country came from G.I. Joe. Without Larry Hama, it would be a very different story.