In an ever-changing, and ever-more dangerous, world, it only makes sense to keep the fighting forces charged with protecting America up-to-date. But adding a social media expert to GI Joe? Turns out, that's just one of the changes that new writer Fred Van Lente is bringing to the franchise as he heads up IDW's relaunch next year.

Van Lente will team with artist Steve Kurth on a relaunched GI Joe monthly, the flagship book of a revamped line that will also include Chuck Dixon and Paul Gulacy on GI Joe: Special Missions (Launching in March) and Mike Costa and Antonio Fuso's GI Joe: Cobra Files (Beginning in April). The new status quo will launch out of the final issues of the current Joe titles in January, and sees the Joes' existence made public - necessitating a whole new approach to the way they do business.

That new approach? In addition to the new social media expert -- Codenamed Hashtag, somewhat wonderfully -- it also involves a new headquarters in Manhattan and PR-friendly new uniforms. As you might expect, that doesn't necessarily sit well with the Joes themselves. "[The team] are very like, 'I don't know if this is a good idea... ' One of the fates of all soldiers in every era has been to put up with and somehow make the best of dubious decisions made by your commanding officers," Van Lente told USA Today, going on to say that although his series will feature "fantastical elements," he plans to portray a more down-to-earth take on war in the modern era. Part of that will include stories that touch on real-world events; the first storyline will be based around a town left behind in the current economic climate, leaving it open to a Cobra takeover. "You're taking these classic archetypes of G.I. Joe and Cobra, and you're grafting it onto something a largely American readership can immediately identify with," Van Lente told the newspaper, adding that "The tension becomes G.I. Joe becoming the U.S. military's face of its best and brightest and really what America's supposed to be up against Cobra, which to me is the darker side and the more radical, dissatisfied part of America."

The new GI Joe begins in February 2013.

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