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A character sheet for Hasbro's G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. Needs more characters.

G.I. Joes

Duke

The field commander of G.I. Joe and the poster boy of the franchise. Real name: Conrad S. Hauser

Hawk

The leader of the Joes. Real name: Clayton M. Abernathy

Scarlett

The G.I. Joe team's intelligence expert. Real name: Shana M. O'Hara

  • Action Girl. One of the best examples since Modesty Blaise as she has no superpowers, is still vulnerable to injury and it's her tenacity, skills and extensive training keep her going.
    • Was in danger of becoming a Faux Action Girl during the DDP-era. After she successfully freed herself from Destro's clutches in America's Elite #7, she either remained at base, was easily knocked unconscious or kept secure thanks to the Standard Female Grab Area for 19 issues! Luckily she made a triumphant comeback in America's Elite #26 in which she kicked some serious ninja-ass for good and restored her status.
  • The Archer
  • Friendly Sniper
  • Ms. Fanservice: Played straight/Averted/Subverted. Even being the only female character for a while and almost always the main female Joe, she was never large breasted nor was her uniform Stripperific, except for a brief period during the end of the Marvel run, when the publishing company tried all sorts of tricks to improve sales and changed her classic uniform into a far more decolté-generous one. Still, only Snake-Eyes was a more prominent character during the early Marvel-years and she did receive her fair share of Clothing Damage every now and then. Her beauty was rather rarely commented upon, especially contrasted to Cover Girl.
  • Redheaded Hero
  • Official Couple: With either Snakes Eyes (comics) or Duke (cartoon)
  • Scarlet Fever
  • Shout-Out: "Scarlett" O'Hara. She's even from Atlanta.
  • The Squadette

Snake Eyes

A soldier who, after the Vietnam War, was invited by his platoon fellow Tommy "Storm Shadow" Arashikage to study martial arts under the Arashikage ninja clan, and they soon became Sword Brothers. Now Snake-Eyes is a member of G.i. Joe while his former friend joined Cobra. A tragic helicopter mission took away his voice and scarred his face, so he's mute and never removes his mask around others.

  • Badass
  • Cain and Abel: He's Abel to Storm Shadow's Cain.
  • Canine Companion: Timber (a wolf), who in the cartoon helps Snake-Eyes in the battlefield, while in comics guards Snake-Eyes' cabin in the High Sierras.
  • Combat Pragmatist: As shown in issue 21, in a scene that Larry Hama has admitted pays tribute to Raiders of the Lost Ark, Snake-Eyes throws a grenade on a Red Ninja.
  • Dead Little Sister: In the same car accident as his father and mother.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Oh, Scarlett you love this trope, don't you?
  • The Faceless
  • The Rival: Storm Shadow
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Storm Shadow again.
  • The Speechless
  • The Voiceless
  • Knife Nut: Stalker's always happy to tell you about Snake-Eyes' collection of spike-knuckled trench knives; Snake-Eyes' third costume/action figure has a very large pair of knives right on his chest.
  • McNinja
  • Mighty Whitey: He's an American soldier trained by the Japanese Arashikage ninjas, and is demonstrably better than Storm Shadow, who has been a ninja his whole life.
    • According to Word of God, he and Storm Shadow are roughly equal in prowess, but each exceeds the other in one particular area; Snake Eyes is slightly better than Storm Shadow with swords, and Storm Shadow is a much better archer than Snake Eyes (the stated reason being that he's more ruthless).
    • That said, Storm Shadow is japanese-american, so it's not a case of national/racial superiority either way.
  • No Name Given: Most of the Joes' real names appear in their file cards, but Snake-Eyes' name just says "Classified".
    • At least one continuity revealed his name as Francis Witwicky, which is the same name as the family that are friends of the Autobots on the Transformers, Suggesting that Snake-Eyes might be related to them in some way.
  • Official Couple: With Scarlett in the comics.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: In the comics it seemed that everything was revolved around him in some way.
  • Sword and Gun

Barrel Roll

Real Name: Dwight E. Stall

Beachhead

Real name: Wayne R. Sneeden

Breaker

An expert in communications and computer technology. Real name: Alvin R. Kibbey

Clutch

Driver of the VAMP jeep. He gets a far bigger role in the comic than he ever did in the cartoon, and gets one of the biggest roles out of the original squad of "green fatigues" guys. Real name: Lance J. Steinberg

Cover Girl

A former professional model who decided she'd rather drive tanks for a living. Real name: Courtney A. Krieger

  • Adaptation Dye Job: She was made a blonde in the first cartoon miniseries. She was changed back to a redhead in the proper series to accurately reflect her action figure design.
  • Wrench Wench

Doc

The first G.I.Joe medic. Real name: Carl W. Greer

Flint

Warrant Officer. Duke's second in command. Real name: Dashiell R. Faireborn.

G.I. Joe

Leader of the Adventure Team, the G.I. Joe Team's predecessors. He sometimes appears to help the team named after him. Real name: Joseph Colton.

Gung-Ho

Real Name: Ettienne R. LaFitte

  • Badass: Gets a lot of moments like this. In his comic debut he wiped out three Cobra guys with guns by using the butt of his rifle after charging into open-fire. In the cartoon, he once shot a missile out of mid-air and then booted a flaming Mini-Jet off the deck of a ship (while holding Duke).
  • Bald of Awesome
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Explicitly called the "crazy uncle" of the team in the Animated Series' bio. His Filecard in the toys calls him the "Craziest jarhead ever to crawl out of Parris Island".
  • Gratuitous French: During his first few appearances. Justified since Gung-Ho was originally from New Orleans, Louisiana and is from a Cajun family.
  • Ragin Cajun

Heavy Duty

Real Name: Lamont A. Morris/Herschel Dalton

Jinx

Member of the Arashikage clan and Storm Shadow's cousin. Real name: Kimi Arashikage.

Kamakura

The son of a Crimson Guard and Snake-Eyes' disciple. Real name: Sean M. Broca.

Lady Jaye

A gifted linguist and covert operations expert, she has led many undercover missions to the G.I. Joe team. Real name: Allison R. Hart-Burnett

  • Action Girl
  • Boobs of Steel
  • Killed Off for Real: In the Devil's Due comics continuity.
  • Master of Disguise
  • Ms. Fanservice: The cartoon took nearly every effort possible to have her either flirt with her sexy voice or take off some clothing. One episode featured her actively competing with The Baroness for a man's affections (for a mission) while wearing a dress with plunging cleavage, she dressed down to a slip once, and she wore a bare-legged SCUBA outfit in another episode (while all the men wore full-leg suits). She was also one in the comics, where her shirt curiously seemed unable to be buttoned up and she was better endowed than the earlier Joe females, Scarlett and Cover Girl. This was toned down when she became more of a desk-driving intelligence officer.
  • Official Couple: With Flint. Word of God even states that Marissa Faireborn from the third season of The Transformers is her and Flint's daughter.

Lifeline

A staunch pacifist who serves as the Joes' medic. Real name: Edwin C. Steen

  • Actual Pacifist
  • Brilliant but Lazy: In "The Most Dangerous Thing in the World," Hawk describes Lifeline as having the ability to be a leader, but not the desire. Lifeline agrees, saying he'd rather be a doctor.
  • Expy: To the Protectobot First Aid. Both have the role of medic in their respective teams and are staunch pacifists.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Doc. Both are pacifist doctors. Less so in the animated series, where Doc was more of a scientist than a medic.
  • The Medic

Quick Kick

A martial arts stunt double who joined the G.I. Joe team. A movie buff, he frequently quotes films in bad impressions, annoying his teammates. Real name: Macarthur S. Ito. He was used a lot in the cartoon -- much more so than Snake-Eyes, who couldn't talk and was thus not focused on much. He had almost as many solo shots as Shipwreck. By contrast, the comics saw him as an also-ran who was easily defeated by Storm Shadow (using improvised weapons versus Quick Kick's Nunchaku, embarrassingly enough).

Shipwreck

Real name: Hector X. Delgado. He was a major character in the cartoon, featuring as a major player in more episodes than anyone short of the main cast of Duke, Flint, Lady Jaye, Destro and Cobra Commander.

  • Composite Character / Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Sort of, in the cartoon. He seemed to have absorbed many of Clutch's personality traits (the ones he didn't already exhibit), and seemed to be to the cartoon what Clutch was to the comic.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: In the cartoon, he's generally the comic relief Butt Monkey and rather lazy. Doesn't mean he can't handle Cobra goons.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Lovable Sex Maniac: Not so much as Clutch, but in the original series Shipwreck does get to occasionally have some fun with this as he got slapped by Scarlett or Cover Girl when he tried to hit on them (he eventually got a formal relationship with Cover Girl in the comics)
  • Pirate Parrot: Polly
  • Plucky Comic Relief
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: He and his parrot never seem to get along and can never have a conversation where they don't insult each other yet there have been repeated instances where Shipwreck wouldn't be alive if not for the bird's direct actions.

Roadblock

The G.I. Joe team's heavy machine gunner. His dream is to become a gourmet chef, and joined the army after knowing they could train him as such. Real name: Marvin F. Hinton

Rock 'n Roll

Real Name: Craig S. McConnel

Spirit Iron-Knife

Real name: Charlie Iron-Knife

Stalker

A former street gang leader prior to his enlistment. During the Vietnam War, he served at the same Long Range Recon Patrol as Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow. He also helped Hawk to assemble the G.I. Joe team and recommended Snake-Eyes to him. Larry Hama based him off of a real person, and he was the most commonly-seen field leader in the comics. Because of this, he also had the longest list of failed missions, though it never got held against him. Similarly, he always got stuck with many "unpopular decisions", such as leaving dead Joes' bodies behind or abandoning the missions. Real name: Lonzo R. Wilkinson.

  • A Father to His Men: He hid it well, especially from newbies.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority
  • Black Best Friend: To Snake-Eyes
  • Demoted to Extra: He's one of the most important characters in the comic book, but becomes a background character in the TV series.
  • Mr. Exposition: Since Snake-Eyes cannot talk, it was Stalker who had to tell about their common past in Vietnam when needed. He also served to give running descriptions on how to lay out a military mission.
  • Positive Discrimination: Before Duke's arrival, Stalker was Hawk's second-in-command and led most missions.
  • Reformed Criminal: Stalker was the leader of a street gang during his youth. Before he decided to turn a page and enlist to be all he could be.

Tripwire

The explosive disposal expert of the G.I. Joe team. Real name: Tormod S. Skoog

Tunnel Rat

Real name: Nicky Lee

Cobra

Cobra Commander

The Big Bad of the franchise. Sometimes he is the scion from some bizarre ancient civilization, a used car salesman who lost everything and became insane, a European scientist, or the Baroness' younger brother. Whatever the case, Cobra Commander lusts for world domination above all else. He is hatred and terror personified (well... except in the 80s cartoon) and really hates G.I. Joe.

  • Big Bad
  • The Blank: When wearing his featureless reflective mask.
  • Catch Phrase: "Cobra, retreat!"
  • Card-Carrying Villain: At least one version of the action figure file card comes very close, with the statement that most people like him are bound by pretensions of some noble cause, and that he doesn't bother; he's in this for the money and power it brings him, and if you're free to grab an assault rifle and get in line behind him if you really want.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: In Resolute, he has clearly been watching all his old episodes and taking notes (he even lampshades this on several occasions). Fortunately, he still manages to be incredibly entertaining since, despite being significantly more murderous, he's still completely bonkers.
  • Demoted to Dragon: TV series only, after Serpentor appeared.
  • Dirty Coward: Maybe not dirty, but he definitely had the coward part down in the cartoon.
  • Evil Genius/Mad Scientist: In many incarnations (including the 80's cartoon) it's obliquely shown that he has a scientific background, and it seems he designs at least some of his whacky toys himself, although like Fu Manchu he spends all his screen time kidnapping other scientists or relying on Dr. Mindbender instead of doing his own work. He's much more explicitly a Mad Scientis in the live action film.
  • Evil Laugh
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He's may be the leader of a terrorist organization but don't expect any drug trades from him... his outlaws the practice.
  • The Faceless: He usually wears either a faceplate and helmet or a blue hood with eye cutouts.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: He used to be a used cars salesman.
  • General Failure: In the 80s cartoon
  • Heel Face Door Slam: In the comics, he realizes how much of a monster he has become and attempts to leave COBRA behind. Then he gets shot.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Three times he has shared a voice actor with Starscream. Most famously Chris Latta, who voiced the characters in exactly the same way. Charlie Adler (who also voiced Starscream in the live action Transformers movies) seems to have become the new "definitive" voice of the Commander, having voiced him in Resolute, Renegades, and the second live-action movie (Named Retaliation, amusingly establishing something of an "R" theme there).
  • Hypocrite: Spent a good chunk of the '80s cartoon chiding Serpentor for being so impatient and in such a hurry.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Once again, 80s cartoon.
  • Karma Houdini: In the third season of The Transformers, Cobra is a distant memory and Cobra Commander, while not exactly living it up in class and elegance, is walking free.
  • Large Ham: COBRAAAAAAAAA!!!!
    • In Resolute: "LAUNCH THE DEFENSE SWARM, YOU MOROOOOOOOOONS!!!!!"
  • Multiple Choice Past: As noted above. The masked Cobra Commander is notable for playing a similar role across incarnations of the G.I. Joe franchise, but apparently having a very different origin every time.
  • Not So Harmless: Resolute suggests that his quirks in the 80s cartoon were all a ruse to get his men to think outside the box. When this doesn't go as he planned (inciting his men to either not take him seriously or try to usurp him), he decides to drop the act and become a serious threat.
  • Powered Armor: the battle armor he wore during the Di C series and a bit of the comics before being taken by the Crimson Guard Fred VII to impersonate him
  • Precision F-Strike: Does one in Resolute: "There will be none of your CRAP! NONE OF IT!!!"
  • Revenge Before Reason: In the comic. On the day Snake-Eyes came home from 'Nam his parents and sister were killed by a drunk driver. Said drunk driver turned out to be Cobra Commander's brother. And even though the accident was, in no way their fault Cobra Commander blamed the family for his brother's death and sought revenge on the only remaining member of that family left alive; Snake-Eyes.
  • Same Character but Different: One aspect of the character seems to be his characterization is constantly changing between shows, even if they're nominally supposed to be in the same continuity. In Valor vs. Venom he's his old whacky 80's cartoon self, in Sigma 6 (which was nominally a semi-direct sequel to Valor vs. Venom) he's reinvented as a dead-serious warrior king, and in Resolute he's an insane murderous sociopath. This even happens in the live action-films: in the second live-action film, Cobra Commander is reportedly still Rex Lewis, but will apparently be "a completely different character" than in the first film.
  • The Starscream: What he became after Serpentor took over in the cartoon. How ironic...
  • Took a Level In Badass: In Resolute.
  • Wicked Cultured: He quotes Shakespeare in Sigma 6.

Destro

The latest in a long line of weapon dealers, his main client is Cobra. He wears a metal mask as a family tradition. Real name: James McCullen Destro XXIV.

Baroness

Daughter of wealthy European aristocrats who acts as Cobra Intelligence Officer. Real name: Anastasia DeCobray

Storm Shadow

Member of the ninja clan Arashikage, trained under his uncles, the Hard Master and the Soft Master. During his training, he was Snake-Eyes' Sword Brother. After a Cobra agent killed the Hard Master and framed Storm Shadow, he joined Cobra as Cobra Commander's bodyguard under the Commander's promise of telling him someday the identity of the real murderer. Real name: Tommy S. Arashikage

Zartan

A master of disguises who can even change his skin color to blend with his environment. He leads a biker gang called the Dreadnoks. He's the Hard Master's real killer.

  • Becoming the Mask: In the DDP version, we see that all his infiltrations have taken their toll on his sanity. He also mentally "becomes" the person he's impersonating. After having assumed so many different names and faces, "Zartan" is the only name he can cling to. He no longer remembers his own birth name.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: In "Glamour Girls," he takes part in the plot that endangers would-be models, until his sister Zarana winds up as a potential victim. After Mindbender refuses to set her free, Zartan frees several captured Joes to get the job done.
  • In the Blood: Both his sister and his brother are masters of disguise like him.
  • Master Actor
  • Master of Disguise AND Voluntary Shapeshifting, making him into the perfect infiltrator.
  • Morality Pet: Billy, Cobra Commander's son.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: None of his comrades in Cobra like him very much, especially Destro.
  • The Straight and Arrow Path
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Doesn't care much for sunlight, though specifics can vary per continuity.

Other Dreadnoks feature the following tropes:

Firefly

One of the top experts in explosives around the world, sometimes Cobra contracts him for sabotage missions.

Tomax and Xamot

Former diamond smugglers, these twins are in charge of Cobra's finances. Real names: Tomax Rogue and Xamot Rogue.

Doctor Mindbender

A former dentist who tried to find a way to stop dental pain via brainwave manipulation. When he tested his idea on himself, the alteration caused to his mind made him become a madman. He soon became Cobra's main scientist after the death of his predecessor Dr Venom, being his main knowledges brainwashing and genetics.

Copperhead

Driver of the Water Moccasin boat. He would later become the De Facto leader of the Python Patrol.

Wild Weasel

Pilot of the Rattler aircraft.

Major Bludd

Real name: Sebastian Bludd

Serpentor

The Cobra emperor, created by Dr Mindbender combining the DNA of history's greatest generals. In the TV series, he was created explicitly to overthrow Cobra Commander, while the comic version's creation was mandated by Cobra Commander himself as a general, but Serpentor arranged the deaths of Cobra Commander and Destro (they got better) to take command.

Big Boa

Cobra combat trainer. He wears boxing gloves and has a punchingbag with the word "Joe" written on it.

Croc Master

Former alligator wrestler who uses his trained pets to guard Cobra Island.

Croc Master II

Metal-Head

The Iron Grenadiers' anti-tank expert.

Slice

A renegade member of the Arashikage clan who copies the attack patterns of scorpions for his sword technique.

  • The Blank: Nothing of Slice's face can be seen due to his esgrima mask.
  • Breakup Breakout: He was partners in crime with a bo-wielding ninja named Dice. Dice never got further releases in the toyline, while there were at least five later Slice reissues.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Slice can kill one of his own in order to prevent the Joes to get a tactical advantage, but got really mad at Firefly saving himself from the freighter while leaving his partners to die (despite he not knowing anyone of the dead Cobras).
  • Master Swordsman
  • Ninja
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: He invokes this trope during his first fight against Snake-Eyes.

Vypra

Driver of the Rattler 4-WD jeep. Real name: Ann A. Conda

Overkill

A cyborg and former SAW-Viper who leads Cobra's B.A.T. (Battle Android Trooper) armies. Real name: Robert Skelton.

Interrogator

Blackout

A former Joe recruit who defected to Cobra, and Barrel Roll's brother. Real name: Thomas C. Stall

Red Shadows

Wilder Vaughn

Leader of the Red Shadows. His purpose is to finish the established government he sees as corrupt.

  • Expy: Loosely based on Golobulus from the movie.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist
  • Wild Mass Guessing: There's the theory that he could be the Black Major from the nazi-inspired Red Shadows who appeared in Battle Action Force (an UK G.I. Joe comic)

Dela Eden

A ruthless female member of the Red Shadows. Lady Jaye's murderer.

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