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G.I. Joe is back with a vengeance this summer, and really what could be cooler than a group of constitutionally questionable quasi-mercenaries with killer nicknames and laser rifles fighting a snake-themed international terrorist organization? Nothing, that's what.

Most of the characters had reasonably developed backstories as well, provided by the ubiquitous file cards on the back of each blister-packed action figure. But for every great Joe, there was some sad bastard with a glaringly crippling deficiency that rendered them almost useless in battle. Such as...

7
Captain Grid Iron

At first glance Captain Terrence Lydon's resume seems pretty solid. Top 10 at West Point? Check. Passed over appointment at U.S. Army War College to get in on the real action? Check. Took the code name Grid Iron and wears battle gear specifically designed to remind everyone that he was the quarterback of the West Point football team like a decade ago? Check fucking plus.

That's right, Grid Iron's entire gimmick is letting people know how awesome he used to be at football. This somehow translates into success on the battlefield.


...Yeah, this can't miss.

It's like if Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite had the lives of actual soldiers resting under his whim.

Most Telling Quote From File Card:

"If he would only stop trying so hard to be likable . . . they might let him play quarterback at the annual G.I. Joe Fish Fry Football Game!" That's right -- the Joes don't even let him play football.

Pathetic Weapon of Choice:

Football-shaped grenades. Outfitted as he is, it's only a matter of time before Grid Iron relapses into his glory days, drops back in the pocket and fires one deep to an unwitting Duke or Scarlett, giving the surviving Joes yet another reason to hate his guts.

Crowning Moment (of Ignominy):


Umm...

After leading the Joes to victory in a Cobra/G.I. Joe football game against the comically inept Range-Viper, Grid Iron rescues Sergeant Slaughter, flirts with Lady Jaye and destroys half the Cobra armada. As a reward for a hard day's work, Lady Jaye invites him to the uber-exclusive Studio 55, where he shows up in the same ridiculous football-themed outfit he wore all day. Let it go man, let it go.

6
Raptor

An "ex-yuppie tax consultant," Raptor started falconry as a hobby, then discovered the lucrative nature of the sport and began breeding bigger falcons outfitted with steel claws to take down bigger game, presumably dinosaurs.

Unfortunately, Raptor must have encountered some dire financial straits, because he was caught by Destro trying to poach Cobra's, uh, mink farms.


Mink is fabulousssss!

Rather than killing him, Destro recruited Raptor with the intention of using the man's unhealthy obsession to breed a bird big enough to attack the Joes. We agree that at first glance this plan sounds fucking awesome, but Destro shouldn't have had realistic hopes for its successful implementation seeing as how every member of the elite G.I. Joe team is armed with a flame-throwing laser bazooka. Raptor didn't seem to mind though, as long as he can dress up like a bird and practice animal husbandry. See, he's really into birds.

Most Telling Quote from File Card:

"The bottom line for Raptor is his non-taxable profit margin." That's the bottom line for most of us, actually.

Pathetic Weapon of Choice:

Raptor doesn't carry any weapons, though his costume allows him to fly so long as everyone turns around and doesn't look when he does it. Also, he comes with a falcon. See, he's really into birds.

Crowning Moment (of Ignominy):

Raptor witnessed the turncoat Crimson Guardsman, "Fred VII," shoot Cobra Commander in the back and helped bury the body, but then exposed Fred VII to Dr. Mindbender and took the doctor to the gravesite. As it turns out, Cobra Commander was neither dead nor impressed, and rewarded Raptor for his loyalty by burying him in a sealed freighter beneath a volcano.

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5
Cesspool

Cesspool, a.k.a. Vincent D'Alleva, was a powerful CEO who gave a tour of his toxic waste-to-fertilizer plant to the Joes' elite team of Eco Warriors. Hilarious face-scarring hijinks ensued when a disguised Cobra Commander bombed the factory, causing a chain of events that wound up tossing D'Alleva into a vat of toxic sludge.

D'Alleva was reborn as Cesspool, and teamed up with Cobra Commander in his quest to make the earth as ugly and scarred as he is. We're not sure we can follow his logic of joining forces with the person responsible for his disfigurement to wreak havoc on a nebulous target that had absolutely no involvement in his tragedy, but we're pretty sure that was also Two-Face's motivation in The Dark Knight so we'll let it slide.


And here he is in his grainy MySpace photo.

Most Telling Quote from File Card:

"Armed with an acid assisting chainsaw, he's taken his knowledge of high level dirty dealings and corporate subterfuge straight to the organization that will make the best use of him!" Because nothing says "espionage" like the mechanized roar of an acid-spitting chainblade.

Pathetic Weapon of Choice:

Really, it's the chainsaw. We understand the imagery of a weapon designed to both deforest an acre and scorch the earth beneath it, but seriously, Cesspool is behaving like the Earth was some velvet-clad pimp that slashed his face with a razor after a slow night of trickin' rather than accepting the fact that he was blown up by freaking terrorists. Maybe instead of a weapon, he should carry a mirror. Look at it, Cesspool--that's the real enemy here.

Crowning Moment (of Ignominy):

Depending on the version of the continuity ascribed to, Cesspool either dies alone of cancer in his suburban home after all his assets are seized by the government, or he gets shot in the face by Crimson Guard Commander Tomax during a breakout from a maximum security prison. Both storylines seem to agree that he dies like an asshole, though.

4
Darklon

Darklon is actually a distant cousin of Destro, though through no fault of his own amounts to little more than the K-Mart version of his famous relative. For example, while Destro is descended from a long line of mercenaries and weapons suppliers based in Scotland, Darklon hails from a long line of mercenaries and weapons suppliers based in the kingdom of Darklonia, a nebulous Eastern Bloc nation sharing its borders with Borovia and Madeupbullshitistan.

Also, Darklon wears a green fishnet shirt, which presumably is a hand-me-down from Destro that stokes the fires of his resentment.

Most Telling Quote from File Card:

"His telephone solicitors have been known to drum up business for his mercenary army by offering 'reasonable hourly rates' and cash rebates!" So he's Destro armed with an autodialer? Is that seriously what we're trying to convey with this?

Pathetic Weapon of Choice:

We're inclined to go with the autodialer, but Darklon has another primary weapon in his vehicle, the Evader. Basically a souped-up motorcycle, the Evader features a "ballistic deflection shaped canopy" with "minimal ballistic entry canopy vision ports." Also, it doesn't have any doors, and we're pretty sure the machine gun attachments require him to take both hands off the wheel if he feels like firing.

Doubtless the Evader serves as a constant, lumbering reminder of Darklon's inferior mercenary lineage.

Crowning Moment (of Ignominy)

After his years of loyal service to Destro and Cobra, Darklon returned to his family's ancestral castle to putter around and supply local insurgencies with weapons of mass destruction. Cobra Commander suggested to Destro that Darklon could be a threat, so Destro responded by casually blowing up Castle Darklonia, incinerating Darklon along with any chances of a reconciliatory family picnic.

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3
Metal-Head

Metal-Head is the heavy metal virtuoso/anti-tank specialist/autistic member of Destro's Iron Grenadier squad with a sophisticated weapon guidance system integrated directly into his childlike brain.

Firing is voice-activated, which seems pretty cool until you realize that it means Metal-Head walks around the battlefield yelling "Bang!" like a fucking lunatic. Metal-Head also claimed to be the head of security forces for Cobra, although it was just a lie to impress his grandmother.

Most Telling Quote from File Card:

"He tests his visual acquisition sensors by locking onto the mashed potatoes as they are passed from one end to the other. He calculates wind deflection by observing how the steam rises off the meat loaf!"

Or:

"Metal-Head also enjoys skiing with the jet-set on the slopes of New Hampshire, where he is known for cutting off other skiers, shooting at chair lifts and being just plain mean!"

Either way, he's like a five-year-old evil genius with a robotic murder suit.

Pathetic Weapon of Choice:

Metal-Head is a walking weapon, which sounds pretty cool until you see from his picture up there that the moment he launches those rockets off his back his uncovered head will turn into skull-shaped charcoal briquette.

Crowning Moment (of Ignominy):

Metal-Head existed mostly to provide comic relief as his weapons adorably misfired like Data in The Goonies, but he had a few moments to shine, including shilling Cobra's "No-Zone" sunscreen on TV as part of an elaborate plot wherein Cobra would destroy the ozone layer and create a massive worldwide demand for their product (he was likely a prominent figure in the planning of this brilliant scheme as well).

Also, Metal-Head invented "rap-metal" years before bands like Korn, and can be seen here destroying some random building in New York City with the sheer power of rock.

Sadly, his "metal" sounds more like a cross between Jem and Captain Caveman than anything else.

2
Deep-Six

Malcolm Willoughby, a.k.a. Deep-Six, is the Joes' deep sea diver and pilot of the S.H.A.R.C., a one-man flying submarine. Deep-Six is also in charge of other sea-type vehicles like the Joes' hovercraft and freighter, and in general prefers to be alone in cold, dark places with his Game Boy Advance. He doesn't really like the other Joes and can barely even remember their names, but he is a tough fighter and can totally hold his breath for like, six minutes or something before bursting a blood vessel.

Most Telling Quote from File Card:

"He has recently given up bottle cap collecting and crossword puzzles to devote his off-duty hours to recording and studying whale songs." Also, he plays Magic: The Gathering. By himself.

Pathetic Weapon of Choice:

A dolphin. Deep-Six usually hangs out in the ocean alone, but he managed to make a friend in the form of a highly trained dolphin named Finback, who according to G.I. Joe lore helps him "penetrate Cobra's deep sea obstacles." We're not sure exactly what that means, but we'd like to imagine Deep-Six riding atop FinBack, dodging orange road cones and jumping through flaming hoops along the ocean floor.

Crowning Moment (of Ignominy):

Deep-Six attempted to destroy an underwater Cobra bunker in the Gulf of Mexico, but found that his torpedoes were too weak and called in a full-scale bombing run. Unbeknownst to the Joes, this was actually part of a plan by the nefarious Cobra scientist Dr. Appel to aggravate a fault line and create Cobra Island. Cobra then used the island as a base of operations for renewed terrorist activity. Shamed, Deep-Six returned to his underwater fortress of solitude to blast Slipknot records and compose a melodramatic blog entry.

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1
S.A.W.-Viper/Overkill

S.A.W.-Viper carries a giant belt fed machine gun and has the distinction amongst Cobra troops as the soldier with the most Joe kills ever (four), after executing the captive Doc, Thunder, Crankcase and Heavy Metal. It should be noted that S.A.W.-Viper, despite being armed with a weapon that can fire 1,000 rounds per minute, somehow only managed to kill four people before he was overpowered (presumably he asked those four if they would please stand very close together before he opened fire).

Most Telling Quote from File Card:

"You won't even know I've shot at you until you hear the sonic boom from the bullet whipping past your ear!" Yep. You won't know he's shooting at you until he fucking misses.

Pathetic Weapon of Choice:

S.A.W.-Viper's weapon makes sense in his role as the Cobra's heavy machine gunner, and it carries some cool modifications like "cryogenic cooling," a sound suppressor and a flash inhibitor. This would allow him to pick off a flea at 800 yards with one shot, if it weren't for the fact that S.A.W.-Viper couldn't hit a battleship with an elementary school. Basically he has a light machine gun that stealthily misses every one of its targets.

Crowning Moment (of Ignominy):

After killing the four Joes, S.A.W.-Viper was on the verge of capture when he convinced Duke that he couldn't be arrested because he was "out of their jurisdiction." Somehow this ruse worked (evidently Duke's brain has a "cryogenic cooling" modification) and S.A.W.-Viper returned to a warm reception at Cobra-occupied Benzheen.


Quick! We need a name for a country! What are you looking at right now?

The Joes' Ninja Force quite literally crashed the party to avenge their fallen comrades, critically injuring S.A.W.-Viper which led to his eventual rebirth as the cyborg, Overkill. Shortly thereafter, Overkill was shot in the face alongside Cesspool (see Cesspool, above) by Tomax during a prison break. At least he got to have a party first.

For more Joe goodness, check out The 20 Stupidest GI Joe Vehicles Ever and the G.I. Joe Topic Page.

And visit Cracked.com's Top Picks to get to know the Internet, because knowing is half the battle (the other half is dick jokes and boobs).

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