Crystal Ball, GI Joe

Little Known Sci-Fi Fact: Stephen King created a G.I. Joe character

Contributed by
Aug 7, 2017, 8:20 PM EDT

For many children of the ‘80s, there weren’t two bigger pop culture names than Stephen King and G.I. Joe. But nowhere in our heart of hearts did we ever feel those two universes could collide. One was the master of the macabre, who basically wrote every scary story in that otherwise shiny, zinc-sheened decade. The other was the world’s most elite team of military commandos, including a silent, Uzi-toting ninja and a badass redhead with a crossbow. How could these two seemingly disparate universes ever possibly collide?!

With King showing up everywhere yet again, we get a chance to find out. Indeed King is seemingly as ubiquitous as he was back in the day, with The Dark Tower, It, Mr. Mercedes, and many, many more projects currently blooming, including the novel (being developed for a TV show) Sleeping Beauties, co-written by his son, Owen. But for Joe fans, one of the King of Horror’s most important creations has been all but overlooked: a legit G.I. Joe A Real American Hero Hasbro toy whose character and origin story weren’t conceived by the great Larry Hama, but by Stephen King himself (perhaps with some credit going to Owen too).

crystal ball, gi joe, stephen king

According to Bloody Disgusting: “As it’s told, Crystal Ball was pitched to Hasbro by Stephen because his young son Owen was such a huge fan of the line. He apparently pitched the character’s origin and even wrote his filecard. It’s later been disputed that his son Owen was the one who came up with the character and suggested it to his dad to pitch. Either way, the name King will always be responsible for this character.”

sneak peek, gi joe, owen king

Regardless of how much credit Owen truly merits, as you can see just above, the kid from Bangor got himself his very own G.I. Joe namesake and likeness, reportedly as payment for his loving papa’s Crystal Ball creation services. And now I’m more jealous of Owen than I was of every kid who had the USS Flagg aircraft carrier and didn’t invite me over to play.

crystal ball, gi joe, stephen king

(via Bloody Disgusting)