The 50 Greatest G.I. Joe Characters of All Time

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by Howie Decker @HowardTheDeck

in G.I. Joe, Lists

30. Sci-Fi

A guy named Seymour Fine from Montana seems more likely to pop up in a 50 Greatest Public Accountants of All Time list. Sci-Fi was one of the first Joes to sport a uniform color more suited to a highlighter, and many Joe fans ate it up.

 

29. Falcon

In 1987 the Joes added to their leadership hierarchy by revealing a new Lieutenant. A special ops Green Beret, Sunbow introduced Falcon as Duke’s younger half-brother with authority issues. Voiced by Don Johnson in G.I. Joe: The Movie, Falcon spends more time hitting on Jinx than training to whip Cobra ass.

 

28. Hit & Run 

Like so many other figures, Larry Hama had the talent to breathe a world of life into this character with only a couple short paragraphs. One of those overlooked late 80s figures, Hit & Run has a terrific military look, awesome accessories, and loads of personality- though one has to wonder how masochistic you must be to name yourself Hit & Run when your parents were killed by a drunk driver. -Justin

I can’t remember Hit & Run, and everytime I try to Google him I just get images of Lindsay Lohan. -HD

 

27. Flash

Laser Rifle Trooper (Codename: Flash) was a standout that a lot of kids clamored for when he was released as part of the original 12. On pegs filled with mostly monotone green and black figures, his bright orange padding stood out as something that looked protective but futuristic. His rifle featured a cord that attached to his back pack. While kids were familiar with “blasters” at this point in time, this rifle fits the ‘5 minutes into the future’ look that G.I. Joe always strived for. -John

 

26. Rip Cord

Wallace Weems is G.I. Joe’s HALO Jumper, and dispenses free vision diagnoses to light-hitting little league baseball players. That’s it. That’s where the book closes on Rip Cord. Let’s move on.

 

25. Quick Kick

Quick Kick was introduced in 1985 as the Joe team martial arts expert, and owner of one of the coolest real names ever: MacArthur S. Ito. G.I. Joe recruited him after seeing his work as a Hollywood stuntman, presumably after Lee Majors failed to return their faxes.

 

24. Rock ‘n Roll

One of the original 3 3/4″ figures, Rock n’ Roll was the Joe team’s first machine gunner. Hailing from Malibu, CA, he spends his off duty time surfing, playing guitar, lifting weights, and yep, we’re all thinking it- slayin’ ladies.

 

23. Torpedo

Arriving on the scene in 1983, Torpedo was the original G.I. Joe SEAL. A scuba instructor from Hawaii, he was proficient in demolitions, and his action figure was proficient in losing his flippers.

 

22. Airborne

If you’re a 2000s era mother, Airborne is a fizzy tablet you put in a glass of water and drink in hopes of warding off sickness. If you’re a male child of the 80s, Airborne is a helicopter assault trooper named Franklin Talltree.

 

21. Low-Light

Low-Light is the main character of one of the most memorable Sunbow episodes, where Cobra takes over the Joes’ dreams. Inducing nightmares that lead to the entire teams’ collective loss of sleep, it is revealed that Low-Light is afraid of the dark. And rats. And his dad was a dick.

 

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Lamar the Revenger December 11, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Great list!! Glad the Lady Jaye/Flint punch out picture made it! And as Gung-Ho would say: “Oh, look at you and your different colored hats!”

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Howie Decker December 11, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Thanks Lamar! It’s funny, I had such a hard time not making every individual write up somehow reference the Fensler Film PSAs. I had to get a couple in there (Mutt, Roadblock), but I easily could have done it for so many others. Thanks for commenting!

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Will December 11, 2012 at 5:04 pm

I demand to know the judges behind this! Make their identities known!!!

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Howie Decker December 11, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Finally fixed link!

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Engineernerd December 12, 2012 at 6:53 am

I will fess up.

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James December 12, 2012 at 10:16 am

I’m just gonna go ahead and leave a comment on this page before I leave it and go on to #40-1. BRAVO. Brilliantly executed, planned, and great list of panelists!

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Bravo December 12, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Pretty sure Sgt. Slaughter/Robert Remus’s contract with Hasbro had ended by the Gulf War.

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Howie Decker December 12, 2012 at 3:38 pm

The Gulf War started in August of 1990 and this figure was still on the market: http://www.yojoe.com/action/89/sgtslaughter4.shtml

They made another Sgt. Slaughter figure in 06 and 2 more in 2010. If his contract was up, that didn’t stop Hasbro from cranking out figures once the heel angle was done with WWF/WWE.

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Justin December 13, 2012 at 4:53 pm

I see what you did there.

Awesome job putting the list together! I approve. 🙂

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Howie Decker December 13, 2012 at 8:30 pm

Couldn’t have done it without you- thanks again! It was fun! Cobra should be out early next week.

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J May 10, 2013 at 1:29 am

#1 Spot should be: William “Refrigerator” Perry, “breakin’ the Cobra line!”

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Maurice Mitchell August 26, 2013 at 10:14 pm

I’m surprised Sgt. Slaughter didn’t make it higher, but Lamar is right Lady Jaye/Flint are inspired choices.

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Howard Decker August 27, 2013 at 4:48 pm

I think Sarge wore out his welcome quickly with the older fans and with non-WWF fans. He was comically unbeatable. Yeah LJ is definitely top 10 for me.

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Howard Decker August 27, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Who would your top 5 be?

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Maurice Mitchell August 27, 2013 at 7:43 pm

Definitely Fridge for his goofy football hammer. Lady J and Destro in that order.

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Joel August 27, 2013 at 10:40 pm

1- William “Refrigerator” Perry
2- Sgt. Slaughter
3- Roddy Piper (appeared as figure only)
4- Clutch
5- The baseball uniform guy

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Howard Decker August 28, 2013 at 1:00 am

Hardball!

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Walls April 15, 2014 at 12:17 am

Shipwreck is a top 10 worldwide. In other languages with other voices. So its a great character not just for Neil Ross (Sorry my english)

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Tbonejones July 3, 2014 at 5:43 pm

They need to take more guys and update them like they did with ripcored like more depth to them.

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Jackie Jormpjomp August 5, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Snake Eyes. All that matters is Snake Eyes is number one. In the comics he was one of the most interesting characters brought to life. Mute, scarred, dressed in black, tragic origin story, he could have easily been a villain, but those (at the time) groundbreaking pieces of his character actually made him more complex and mysterious while remaining noble. He was a secondary character in the cartoons (and all but forgotten in the animated 80s film) but in print he remains a very cool badass.

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Rick Dominguez June 8, 2015 at 8:06 pm

Love this list. I was hoping to see my all time favorite JOE. His name was Salvo.
Don’t know anything about his background, all I know is he was one bad ass motha.

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Loose Cannon August 12, 2015 at 2:54 pm

List is a little suspect, Snow Job #2? More like 30. I’m glad it opened up to all forms of GIJoe, but most of those outside the original COmic and Cartoons shouldn’t place in the top 50 IMO.

Here is a link to HISSTANK members voting on the same thing.

http://www.hisstank.com/forum/g-i-joe-general-discussion/407881-who-261st-greatest-g-i-joe-character-all-time.html

It should be (Give or take a few spots):
1. Snake-Eyes
2. Flint
3. Duke
4. Scarlett
5. Roadblock
6. Lady-Jaye
7. Shipwreck
8. Stalker
9. Beachhead
10. Gung-Ho
11. Hawk
12. Sgt. Slaughter
13. Rock’n’Roll
14. Lt. Falcon
15. Tunnel-Rat
16. Spirit
17. Wild-Bill
18. Outback
19. Dusty
20. Lowlight
21. Chuckles
22. Cover-Girl

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Tait June 30, 2016 at 6:38 pm

I wholeheartedly agree with Snake Eyes being number 1. If a series, animated movie, or live action movie messes up Snake Eyes they are surely doomed. I’ve seen Snake Eyes steal the show on shows fans don’t like and I don’t hear them complaining about Snake Eyes or Storm Shadow.

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HERNAN November 17, 2016 at 12:03 pm

This list looks like the 50 worst G.I. Joe of History!

Of course I am a Cobra fan! 🙂

I will not order them by number, I’ll just keep these. The others are crap.

Blowtorch
Shockwave
Recondo
Flash
Rock ‘n Roll
Torpedo
Alpine
Jinx
Spirit
Stalker
Scarlett
Flint
Snake Eyes

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