So awhile back I wrote about how the military was taking inspiration from dinosaurs and psychotropic drugs (probably) when designing the next generation of military vehicles. I managed to sneak in a good joke about Voltron before the whole thing degenerated into the sort of shoddy list-based nonsense that passes for comedy around here. Seriously, some days we're just running around playing grab-ass here.
Shortly after the article went live it occurred to me that I had omitted to mention the absolute pinnacle of military vehicle insanity: The GI Joe universe. And so, as we wrap up the 7th and most boring year yet of the War on Terror, I'd like to take you back to a world where wars were cooler, and way stupider...
You're going to see this a lot in the next couple minutes: a whole bunch of guys hanging off the back of nearly every god damned vehicle. I don't know why nowhere in the Joe canon does it specify why they've taken their design cues from a Central American public transit system.
Famously no-one ever actually gets shot in the GI Joe universe, which is why they have such curious ideas about how to armor vehicles. We're approaching Pope-Mobile territory with all this glass.
A multi-cultural group of friends are out for an adventure and learn what matters more: the size of your tank, or the size of your heart.
The Buzz Boar is easily the most devastating weapon in the COBRA arsenal, if viewed from the perspective of a weary parks groundskeeper.
The D.E.M.O.N. can raise itself vertically on extendable legs, and is thought to be the only tank in the world capable of launching the deadly Teabag ordinance.
Here the "dudes hanging off the side" motif has gone a smidge too far. If that boat is symmetrical, I have no idea what that poor scuba diver is standing on. A seal? It's a mystery.
The Fang is possibly the most fragile air vehicle in history, and during the COBRA Wars of the 1980s, American forces shot down 14,982 of them, injuring close to a dozen pilots.
Equal parts dangerous and hilarious; I particularly like the alternate spelling of "trouble."
This one hits pretty much all the GI Joe vehicle high spots: Huge glass cockpits, a scarily exposed turret, and the ability to launch smaller, more comical vehicles. The only thing missing from this is about 12 dudes hanging off of it, but for all I know, they could be on the other side.
A classic of COBRA military design, the elevated treads serve no purpose other than to make it look cooler, but they certainly succeed at that.
I have no idea what that one guy at the bottom is shooting at, although knowing COBRA, we can be pretty sure he ain't hitting it.
Imagine showing up for war one day, and they tell you to get in this thing. The helmet this guy is wearing is going to serve about the same purpose as aluminum foil on a baked potato.
Unless those rotors are mobius strips, I think this helicopter has a bit of a design problem. Who designed this thing? M.C. Escher? Also note this vehicle appears to fire manned missiles from each pontoon. I'm guessing you have to get caught porking the Cobra Mayor's daughter to get assigned that job.
In the GI Joe universe, where every vehicle has about 30 guns each, with most of them pretty sinister looking, pride of place still goes to this, a 10 foot long penis gun that spits fire.
I've been thinking. You know what the big problem is with these detachable units is? Fuel. How long is that little guy going to be able to fly around, shooting at Joes and missing? And how on earth is it going to get back to base, or do they expect it to reattach to the mothership after the inevitable rout? Would that look like two planes humping? Would it be hot?#5.
Oh for crying out loud. This is going to get someone killed.
In the real world, the A-10 Warthog is one badass looking plane. Here Cobras attempted to make it better by adding what I'm going to go ahead and describe as "a gay little turret." When you consider that every other gun in the GI Joe universe is the size of a golf bag, whatever they have mounted in that turret looks like what you'd give to an elderly woman recovering from surgery, if things had gotten desperate and you really needed her out on the front lines.
Another strong contender in our more dangerous to the pilot category. This makes me wonder if anyone at Hasbro understands any properties of rocket exhaust other than orange.
The only plane in the world with "junk in the trunk," this plane was evidently designed by a panel of popular rap artists.
In the 1980's the Triple 'T' was our foremost Sergeant Slaughter delivery vehicle, who if you don't recall, used to be America's foremost suplex delivery vehicle.