Larry Hama was born on June 7, 1949 in Manhattan, New York. He was raised in Queens and is a third generation American, his family being of Japanese descent. As a child, he studied many Japanese martial arts forms such as Kodokan Judo, Kyudo (Japanese archery), and Laido (Japanese martial art swordsmanship). He wanted to be a painter so attended Manhattan's High School of Art and Design.
He sold his first comic work at the age of 16 to the magazine Castle of Frankenstein. After high school, Larry drew shoes for catalogues before enlisting in the United States Army of Engineers. He served in the Vietnam War from 1969-1971, an experience that would fuel his writing and creating for future comic book projects.
Larry Hama is married and has a daughter.
After his discharge from the army, Larry Hama's high school classmate Ralph Reese helped him get a job at Wally Wood's Manhattan studio as an assistant. He would help Wood's on the comic strips Sally Forth and Cannon, which were published in Military News and Overseas Weekly. He also had illustrations published in Rolling Stone and Esquire magazines.
During his time at Wood's studio, he would collaborate with Reese on the underground comix-style humor magazine Drool #1 in 1972. With the contacts he made at Wood's studio, he, along with Reese, Frank Brunner and Bernie Wrightson began working at Neal Adams' Continuity Associates Studio. He became a part of the comic book inking gang known as the "Crusty Bunkers". His first known works for the studio was in DC's Weird Worlds #2 on the story "Slaves of the Mahars" with Alan Weiss.
It was here that he also created the character Bucky O'Hare, a green, anthropomorphic rabbit that fought along side other mammal sidekicks in a intergalactic war against space amphibians. The character would eventually go on to spawn a comic, animated series, toy line, and video game.
Hama wouldn't begin pencilling himself until a year and half later, making his debut on the feature "Iron Fist" in Marvel Premeire issues number 16-19 in 1974. This was only the superhereo's second appearance and Hama would replace Gil Kane on the story. From there he would freelance for then new publisher Atlas/Seaboard (Wulf the Barbarian, Planet of Vampires) before beginning a long run at DC as editor of such titles as Wonder Woman, Mister Miracle, Super Friends, and The Warlord. He also worked on the TV-series licensed property Welcome Back, Cotter from 1977-1978. While at DC, he would also write for Batman.
In 1980, Hama became an editor for Marvel. His editing credits include Conan, The 'Nam (1986-1993), which was a gritty comic about the Vietnam War and the Savage Tales reboot. He also wrote many comics for Marvel as well such as Wolverine, Before Fantastic Four: Ben Grimm and Logan, Generation X, and Nth Man: The Ultimate Ninja.
Hama's most notable work was that as writer for Marvel's G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero and G.I. Joe: Special Missions series. He would write all 155 issues of the series from 1982-1994. Before working on G.I. Joe, he had pitched an idea for Nick Fury spin-off series Fury Force. His pitch was about a daring special mission force that included military terms and strategies, Eastern philosophy, martial arts, and historical references from his own background.
The idea was rejected, but then editor-in-chief Jim Shooter gave him the opportunity to work on G.I. Joe, and the back story he had pitched for Fury Force would be used for this series instead. When writing for G.I. Joe, the characters names and likenesses were taken from his family, friends, men he served with in the Vietnam War, and historical figures. One of the characters, Tunnel Rat, was even designed to look exactly like Larry. The comic was well received and surprisingly gained a large female following because of Hama's writing of strong female characters (Scarlett, Lady Jaye, Cover Girl, Jinx) that fought equally with the team.
The series was also praised for it's positive representations of minorities in a children's book at the time. Hama's work on G.I. Joe was not just limited to the comic book series. He also wrote the majority of the file cards for Hasbro's action figures; a company in which he would also write file cards for their sci-fi police toy line C.O.P.S. 'n' Crooks.
2006 proved to be a big year for Larry Hama as Osprey Publishing announced that he would write a series of comic books about historical battles called Osprey Graphic History. That same year, Hama would also return to writing G.I. Joe for Devil's Due Publishing in a mini-series titled G.I. Joe: Declassified. The publisher would give Hama and other series for G.I. Joe in 2007 titled Storm Shadow.
In 2008, he would again get an opportunity to write G.I. Joe in IDW's G.I. Joe: Origins series, which is a retelling of the formation of the G.I. Joe team. Initally the series was only to be a five issue mini-series written solely by Hama, but it took on a longer run where Hama would come back and write a few issues. Currently, Hama is writing G.I. Joe stories for IDW on the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero series, which is a continuation of his Marvel series of the same name. He also served as a consultant for the Paramount Pictures live-action movie G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
Devil's Due Publishing
- 1974 Crazy Magazine #2-3 (artist)
- 1974 Marvel Premiere (feat. Iron Fist) #16-19 (penciller)
- 1975 Ka-Zar #13 (penciller)
- 1980-1981 Blockbuster #1-3 (penciller)
- 1980-1987 Conan the Barbarian #117, 149-150, 152, 164-165, 172-175, 177-180, 182-183, 186-199 (editor)
- 1981 Star Trek #13 (inker, cover)
- 1981 Star Wars #45, 48 (penciller)
- 1981 Power Man and Iron Fist #76 (penciller)
- 1981, 1985 Marvel Comics Super Special #19, 37-38
- 1981-1983 Bizarre Adventures #28, 31-32, 34
- 1982-1985 The Savage Sword of Conan #83-86, 90-91, 95-100, 107, 109-110, 113 (editor)
- 1982-1994 G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #1-155
- 1983-1984 Falcon #1-4 (editor)
- 1983-1996 Daredevil #193, 196-197, 355 (artist/penciller)
- 1983-1986 Conan the Barbarian Annual #8-11 (editor)
- 1984-1985 Machine Man #1-4 (editor)
- 1985 Conan the King #29-30 (editor)
- 1985 Moon Knight: Fist of Khonshu #4 (penciller)
- 1985 Red Sonja #1-2 (editor)
- 1985 2010 #1-2 (penciller)
- 1985-1988 G.I. Joe Yearbook #1-4
- 1986 G.I. Joe: The Order of Battle #1-3
- 1986-1987 Dakota North #1-5 (editor)
- 1986-1989 G.I. Joe: Special Missions #1-28
- 1986-1990 The 'Nam #1-10, 13, 27-33, 40 (editor)
- 1987 Action Force #19-25
- 1987 Conan Saga #1-4 (editor)
- 1987 Mark Hazzard: Merc #6-11 (editor)
- 1987-1988 Marvel Graphic Novel #28, 31 (editor, writer)
- 1988-1989 The 'Nam Magazine #1-5, 7 (editor)
- 1989-1990 Nth Man the Ultimate Ninja #1-16
- 1990-1991 The Avengers #326-333
- 1990-1997 Wolverine #-1, 31-57,60-109,111-118
- 1988-1990 The Transformers #163, 191-192, 194-199, 201-203, 205-212, 220-231, 233-236, 238, 243, 254, 261
- 1993 Ghost Rider/Blaze: Spirits of Vengeance #11
- 1993 Sabretooth #1-4
- 1993-1994 Punisher: War Zone #20-25
- 1994-1995 Blaze #1-12
- 1995 Double Edge #1
- 1995 Weapon X #1-4
- 1995 G.I. Joe: Special
- 1995 X-Men Unlimited #9
- 1995-1996 Conan #1-7, 10-11
- 1996 Team X/Team 7
- 1996 Venom: Along Came a Spider #1
- 1996 Venom: The Hunted #1-3
- 1996 X-Men '96
- 1996 X-Men: The Road to Onslaught #1
- 1996-1997 Venom: Tooth and Claw #1, 3
- 1996-1999 Wolverine Unleashed #1-4, 6-7, 9-37
- 1997 Ballistic/Wolverine #1
- 1997 Howard the Duck Holiday Special #1
- 1997 Onslaught: Epilogue
- 1997 Venom: License to Kill #1-3
- 1997-1998 Venom: The Finale #1-3
- 1997-1999 Generation X #33-47
- 1998 Elektra #14-19
- 1999-2000 Los Hombres X #5,27
- 1999-2000 Wild Thing #1-5
- 2000 Before the Fantastic Four: Ben Grimm and Logan #1-3
- 2008 Immortal Iron Fist: The Origin of Danny Rand #1 (penciller, cover)
- 2008 Wolverine: Saudade #1
- 2008-2010 Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #1, 5, 12 (penciller)