G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero was a half-hour American animated television series based on the toyline from Hasbro and the comic book series from Marvel Comics. The series was produced by DIC Entertainment and ran from 1989 to 1992 (44 episodes). It continued on from the original G.I. Joe animated series produced by Sunbow Productions and Marvel Productions that ran in syndication from 1985 to 1986.
The reason the series switched from Sunbow to DiC was down to money according to story editor Buzz Dixon: “Hasbro had been funding G.I. Joe out of their own pocket; they got a ridiculous deal from DiC to take over the series and they pretty much let them.”
Although the DiC series continues from Sunbow it focuses on new characters. Hawk is retained as G.I. Joe commander, and at times shared his duties with Sgt. Slaughter as head of the G.I. Joe team. Captain Grid-Iron was given field commander duties in Season 1, with Duke regaining his old position and appearing more often in Season 2. Storm Shadow was also now a member of G.I. Joe, as he had been sold as a Joe rather than a Cobra since 1988, keeping in line with the story of the comics, where he had abandoned Cobra in 1986-87.
The series debuted in 1989, with a five-part mini-series titled Operation: Dragonfire.