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September 9, 2013 10:59 AM   Subscribe

Nostalgia isn't always pretty: The 24 Worst-Dressed Members of G.I. Joe and Cobra along with The 10 Most Useless Members of G.I. Joe and finally, The 20 Stupidest GI Joe Vehicles Ever.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (56 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'd say this is like shooting fish in a barrel, but then, no one on the old G.I. Joe cartoon ever hits anything living when they shoot, do they?
posted by kewb at 11:03 AM on September 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


Too bad your ass got sacked.
posted by four panels at 11:06 AM on September 9, 2013 [15 favorites]


...and knowing is half the battle.
posted by Fizz at 11:09 AM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm convinced that Rob Bricken literally writes these things in his sleep.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:10 AM on September 9, 2013


Dissing the HISS or Fang? Not knowing who Ice Cream Soldier refers to? These people are dead to me.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:10 AM on September 9, 2013 [6 favorites]


The Ice Cream Soldier wields a flamethrower, so I guess he really likes Baked Alaska.
posted by exogenous at 11:12 AM on September 9, 2013


Also, Dr. Mindbender would look better in leather.
posted by exogenous at 11:13 AM on September 9, 2013


You know who else on G.I. Joe was good at firing lasers? EVERYBODY. EVERYBODY WAS GOOD AT FIRING LASERS BECAUSE THEY ALL FIRED LASERS ALL THE TIME. LASERS WERE ALL ANYBODY HAD TO FIRE, ON BOTH SIDES.

No. If you had bothered to read his index card, he fired a cutting laser, used for slicing open armored bunkers. He was so steady and focused, birds would perch on his helmet while he peeled open Cobra's secret hideout like a sardine tin.

Hand in your nerd card, and feel the shame.

Hasbro's HAS BROS, amirite? My parents actually got me SciFi for my berfday. I returned him unopened for Snake Eyes AS DID EVERYONE ELSE.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:14 AM on September 9, 2013 [8 favorites]


I'm not sure at what point Larry Hama stopped writing the filecards, but to me a lot of the complaints on the "10 Most Useless" list actually sound like examples of Hama just totally fucking with people.
posted by COBRA! at 11:18 AM on September 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


So many feels.

The Cobra tax accountant was after my time, but I did always love the fact that Tomax and Xamot were Cobra's "corporate lawyers."

I can pinpoint the exact moment when I stopped being a kid as happening one afternoon when I had gone to the awesome Forbidden Planet outpost on East 59th St. in NYC, and bought, I'm 90% sure, Dr. Mindbender. He was not a figure I was particularly excited about, and I'm not sure why I bought him other than a completist's obsession.

I then met my mother to see the Mosquito Coast which was playing around the corner. When the movie ended, I remember feeling like "What the fuck am I doing with this toy?" and I immediately walked back to Forbidden Planet, returned Mindbender, and never bought another action figure again.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 11:24 AM on September 9, 2013 [9 favorites]


After reading this, I now want a cartoon that centers on each of these people trying out for G.I. Joe or Cobra. Also, when I look at Raptor, all I can think of is the Apache Tracker from Night Vale and, thus, imagine the rest of Cobra saying "what an asshole" whenever he walks by.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 11:24 AM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I had so many of these. What none of these lists recognize is that taking the lamest Joe's and re-purposing them to be awesome is part of the challenge.

Let's take, Eel, for instance. Yes - he looked mighty derpy. But he was also one of the few figures whose articulation allowed his arms to stick straight up in the air, meaning he could do back handsprings and look like an actual human with full faculty over their body.

Then you have Ice Cream Soldier whose flamethrower I coveted for months. I mean look at that bad boy. I saved my money for him, pined for him and went to buy him and his glorious flamethrower but no - he was sold out. Weeks passed before I could find one in stock and when I finally got him, well.

Ice Cream Soldier was the first to fall to Duke and his brand new flamethrower.
posted by Tevin at 11:29 AM on September 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


"Colonel Courage" is the prototype for the greatest of the Cheat Commandos, Reynold. And for that, I salute him.

ROCK, ROCK ON!
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 11:34 AM on September 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


Those Joes aren't useless. When you're up against an adversary as unpredictable as Cobra, you need a Joe for every situation. You may laugh at having a DJ on the team, but he was instrumental in winning the rap battle.
posted by ckape at 11:34 AM on September 9, 2013 [10 favorites]


I have always liked how Dr. Mindbender dressed. It looks like the people at io9 are just not as fashion-forward as some of us.
posted by metaboy at 11:44 AM on September 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, #6 on the "stupidest vehicles" list actually existed.
posted by COBRA! at 11:45 AM on September 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


I had no idea that there was a Joe character called Ice Cream Soldier - it's weird that DC Comics didn't seem to take issue with that (at least I can't find anything on that), seeing as that's the name of one of the characters in Easy Company, who's been around since Our Army at War #85 in 1959.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:50 AM on September 9, 2013


Storm Shadow v2 is clearly dazzle camo.
posted by mkb at 11:57 AM on September 9, 2013


B-b-but I bought Zartan because his vest changed colors in different temperatures (for approximately 2 days)!
posted by kuanes at 12:11 PM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I disagree. With all of it.
posted by Young Kullervo at 12:30 PM on September 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


Once, I floated the big GI Joe hovercraft in hurricane floodwaters and the kids on my block had an epic naval battle with various floating Cobra and GI Joe vehicles. It was so great.

What were we talking about?
posted by planetesimal at 12:33 PM on September 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


The fact that there are 20 stupidest vehicles is kind of ridiculous. How many cars does a badass need?
posted by jennaratrix at 12:38 PM on September 9, 2013


I just clicked to make sure COBRA! was commenting. All is right with the world.
posted by mochapickle at 12:45 PM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


You know, I was thinking about the "stupidest vehicles" and then I realized I live in a country with a military budget that is exponentially higher than the next 20 combined. I have no doubt my tax dollars have funded worse.
posted by nevercalm at 12:46 PM on September 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


How many cars does a badass need?

All of the cool ones. For missions.

Those missions may or may not involve a pair of 6' fence pickets filched from the lumber pile and set up on the stairs like your mom told you not to do. That's on a "need to know" only.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:48 PM on September 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


Another article: ComicsAlliance Critiques the Fashions of ‘G.I. Joe’

Behold Shipwreck, who dresses in a 1950's sailor suit yet carries a flintlock pistol and a parrot into battle.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:49 PM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


If nothing else, we have Shipwreck to thank for Shore Leave
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:56 PM on September 9, 2013 [10 favorites]


Body massage?
posted by notsnot at 1:17 PM on September 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


ChurchHatesTucker: "If nothing else, we have Shipwreck to thank for Shore Leave"

Tank top! Nooooooooooo!
posted by boo_radley at 1:19 PM on September 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


also I'm sure Seanbaby's pretty pissed off about this triptych right now.
posted by boo_radley at 1:20 PM on September 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Behold Shipwreck, who dresses in a 1950's sailor suit yet carries a flintlock pistol and a parrot into battle.

In fairness, that parrot is almost certainly smarter than Shipwreck. At the very least, Cobra never tried to get the parrot promoted into a leadership position just to ruin GI Joe morale.
posted by Copronymus at 1:22 PM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Those "v2" and "v3" figures make me angry. It's like they had a meeting and all the suits present agreed that kids like bright colors, so we need to change the outfits to something bright. Part of the point, at least for the Joes, was that the outfits and equipment were realistic-ish. Those garish costumes just seem like a desperate attempt to sell more figures.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:33 PM on September 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also, if you're a sailor and your nickname is "shipwreck" I am not getting on your boat bro
posted by Hoopo at 1:38 PM on September 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


I was very excited to get the space suit and Mercury capsule for my G.I. Joe one Christmas. Never really got the one-third-sized versions.
posted by a person of few words at 1:49 PM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I had the Snowcat, and I loved that thing dammit. My only other vehicles were two Cobra Flight Pods, which really are stupid. I can't disagree with their inclusion on the list.
posted by Kabanos at 1:51 PM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


M.A.S.K. vehicles were cooler...
posted by stenseng at 1:54 PM on September 9, 2013 [8 favorites]


While some of those vehicles were stupider than others -- panning any of them is merely a sad attempt to unacknowledge what it was like to be eight. Those vehicles were awesome, and even the stupid figures had their uses. (usually, they got taken captive by the other side)

FWIW, the GI Joe universe was a lot more fun when it was Joe & Cobra (as a mercenary team) vs. the Star Wars stuff; invaders from space....
posted by Xyanthilous P. Harrierstick at 2:12 PM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Those "v2" and "v3" figures make me angry...Those garish costumes just seem like a desperate attempt to sell more figures.

I don't entirely disagree, especially once everyone started wearing neon orange and magenta. On the other hand, the only thing cooler than Destro in a silver mask is Destro in a gold mask.
posted by MrBadExample at 2:29 PM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Silence will fall
posted by stet at 2:37 PM on September 9, 2013


Oh god, I remember getting Raptor for free in a lucky dip at some church fete, he was a fucking terrible figure. Outback was badass though.

I lost interest in G.I. Joes a couple years before they all became strobing neon, so thankfully I missed that particular debacle.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:29 PM on September 9, 2013


There were real military counterparts to Scoop. They were called combat cameramen.

My son has gotten into GI Joe because we had so many around the house already. He enjoyed watching the cartoons on Netflix, but one of things that really surprised me about them is how much they seemed to borrow from old film serials. The other thing with the cartoon is they rarely ever seem to actually involve characters in situations that involve their specialty (aside from Barbecue putting out a fire).

Those garish costumes just seem like a desperate attempt to sell more figures.


Those really over-the-top designs were to try to win back kids from the big 90s toylines like TMNT. They even had some vehicles that tried to cash in on the Jurassic Park thing.
posted by drezdn at 5:50 PM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


And instead of making jokes about two football-themed GI Joes, they could have tossed in Hardball, the former baseball player one. (Though aside from the uniform, his accessories weren't that baseball-inspired)
posted by drezdn at 5:54 PM on September 9, 2013


Raptor gets a bad rap. Cobra would need an accountant. I mean, it's yearly outlay has to be in the billions for equipment, maintenance, super-weapons, personnel, advertising, depreciation, research, Joe-related asset write offs and write downs, just to name a few.

Someone needs to keep the books straight, or at least tolerably crooked. Someone has to make sure the cheques don't start bouncing the next time cobra commander gets a wild hare up his ass about building a raygun that will turn all the world's tungsten into kale or something and lets face it you're not just going to get a CGA from Deloitte down to Cobra Island to prepare the monthly balance sheets. Nope, you're going to go with the crazy shirtless ripped motherfucker with the bird because COOOOOOO-BRAAAA!!!! and because no competent accountant in their right mind is going to work for a snake themed terrorist organization currently at war with every government on earth.
posted by Grimgrin at 7:02 PM on September 9, 2013 [9 favorites]


Dude. Televiper. Look at that shit. How can I not want a quilted purple vest that only fastens at the neck now? I'm trying not to even think about the matching shoes.
posted by Trinity-Gehenna at 7:45 PM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


You need to let your fursuit... err... feathersuit freak flag fly at the office. We need someone who can cook the books and not laugh at The Baroness' accent while talking deprecation schedules and deliverables with Destro. Lets do business.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:49 PM on September 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I recently pulled out all my old gi joes for young nieces and cousins' children at a family reunion and they loved all that ridiculous stuff just as much as I did when I was a kid. Zartan and his siblings changing color blew their little minds. Larry Hama was a fucking genius.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 8:24 PM on September 9, 2013


A great many of my childhood favorites made the worst-dressed list, but I did always shun G.I. Joe's emphasis on military realism in favor of its other excesses. Fuck Snake Eyes, my favorite figure was Darklon.
posted by Rustmouth Snakedrill at 8:35 PM on September 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Fuck Snake Eyes, my favorite figure was Darklon.

From that page: "From his cast-iron castle in the Alps, he dispatched his private armies to do battle for the highest bidder until Destro called upon him to lead his legions in his bid to take over Cobra."

Okay, 1) a cast-iron castle in the Alps is easily one of the top ten supervillain bases. 2) GI Joe story time not spent on a Destro plot is GI Joe story time that could be better utilized on a Destro plot. Bonus points if it includes Dr. Mindbender.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:14 PM on September 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


For those of you mocking the Cobra accountant, read this article from AP on how infamous terrorist Moktar Belmoktar got in hot water with Al Qaida middle management for among other things not turning in expense reports.
posted by Harald74 at 4:40 AM on September 10, 2013


> "... a cast-iron castle in the Alps is easily one of the top ten supervillain bases."

Eh, it sounds kind of hipsterish to me. "Yeah, I build all my castles out of cast-iron, it's so much better than your stainless steel castles. You have to season it properly, though, so every time one of my minions dies here, I let the blood soak in for a while, you know? Otherwise, you might as well just give up on everything and get a nonstick castle straight off the rack."
posted by kyrademon at 5:03 AM on September 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Eh, it sounds kind of hipsterish to me. "Yeah, I build all my castles out of cast-iron, it's so much better than your stainless steel castles. You have to season it properly, though, so every time one of my minions dies here, I let the blood soak in for a while, you know? Otherwise, you might as well just give up on everything and get a nonstick castle straight off the rack."

But it's entirely made of spooky clangs and echoing screams! It's also a lightning magnet for anyone who wants to go full Frankenstein, or just strike a cool backlit pose while rage-plotting on the balcony on a stormy night.

Plus, y'know, a properly maintained cast iron castle can be passed down for generations. I still use my great grandmother's. And you just can't get that Maillard reaction on those who dared betray you with a stone torture chamber.
posted by jason_steakums at 7:28 AM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, #6 on the "stupidest vehicles" list actually existed.

So does #4.

Really, though. How does only one Battleforce 2000 vehicle make this list?
posted by snottydick at 10:37 AM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


stenseng: "M.A.S.K. vehicles were cooler..."

Trakker's gonna lead the mission, and Spectrum's got such super vision... M-m-m-m-M.A.S.K.!
posted by Chrysostom at 11:42 AM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Really, though. How does only one Battleforce 2000 vehicle make this list?

Sympathy for the deceased.
posted by drezdn at 6:06 PM on September 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


"M.A.S.K. vehicles were cooler..."

Trakker's gonna lead the mission, and Spectrum's got such super vision... M-m-m-m-M.A.S.K.!


Well now M.A.S.K. is officially part of the G.I. Joe canon, so we can all be happy.

(Also, GoBots are now part of the Transformers Franchise.)

But getting back to the content of one of the linked articles, sure you might laugh at Gridiron and Refrigerator Perry being on the Joe team, but Cobra fielded quite a few football players at DragonCon 2013 a few weeks ago; you gotta be able to counter that threat.

(Cosplayers? That's what Cobra wants you to think. It's the perfect cover.)
posted by radwolf76 at 1:59 AM on September 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Like snazzy, anonymizing costumes? Want to belong to a group? Do you like fancy new technology? Do you dream of doing big things? Always wanted a secret identity? How about dental benefits and free ADD therapy from renowned genius Dr. Mindbender? Do you dislike jocks and country music? Are you ready for the next step after the Fighting 501st?

JOIN NOW! Cobra Commander needs YOU!

(Recruitment desk is in Gallery C, next to the "Sons of Sailor Moon" booth.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:26 AM on September 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


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