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

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by Howie Decker @HowardTheDeck

40. Chameleon/Ronin

While limited in her appearances, she’s a major part of the G.I. Joe IDW universe. Originally introduced after [SPOILER ALERT] Chuckles was forced to murder Jinx during the happenings at the start of the Cobra series, she was sent in to extract Chuckles and return him to the Joes.

My major love of this character comes from her take-no-shit attitude – she’s the one who laid into Hawk about him being a bastard and not giving Chuckles a commendation after making the ultimate sacrifice. While her time was short lived, Ronin/Chameleon more than showed that she was an amazing addition to the Joe lineup.


39. Lifeline

Doc got some help in the G.I. Joe infirmary in 1986, when Lifeline debuted as a new rescue trooper. Although he’s against guns, he’s a black belt in ‘aikido’, which is ‘the art of directing violent energy away from oneself’. He apparently was not a black belt at directing crazy rich chicks away from oneself, as seen in the Sunbow episode “Million Dollar Medic” (which also happens to be a FOX reality series in development).


38. Wild Bill

Quick with a witty retort or a last-minute save, the pilot of the Dragonfly always gave the Joe team a little giddy-up. If you look up Wild Bill on Wikipedia, it just shows a carton of Marlboro Reds, a fifth of Jim Beam and a lacy garter belt hung on the rear-view mirror of a 1983 Jeep Wrangler. Or at least it should.


37. Ace

Debuting in 1983, Brad Armbruster was G.I. Joe’s original fighter pilot, and apparently a hell of a poker player. His dogfights with Cobra’s Rattler pilot Wild Weasel are the Joe universe equivalent of Steffi Graf vs Gabriela Sabatini, provided we’re making the inevitable comparison between comic book fighter pilots and women’s tennis players.


36. Wet Suit

I didn’t like Wet Suit when he first debuted in 1986. I thought his code name was the equivalent of a cook being named “Apron” or a pro wrestling fan being called “Sweatpants”. (I can say that, because I am one.) His rivalry with Leatherneck became the focal point of a few Sunbow episodes, where his character eventually won me over. #TeamWetSuit


35. Breaker

One of the original sixteen ‘straight-arm’ figures of 1982, Breaker was the G.I. Joe communications officer. Breaker won me over when he and Clutch tried to sell Scarlett and Cover Girl on the idea of becoming a mud wrestling team, an idea that we can only assume was hatched after watching a Saturday morning G.L.O.W. marathon.


34. Recondo

One time Recondo and Wild Bill had a rad-ass mustache contest. It is said that every spectator at the event simultaneously orgasmed and then went blind.


33. Clutch

A 1982 original, Clutch was born Lance Steinberg in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Prior to enlisting, he was into racing street machines. They weren’t exactly ‘street legal’ though, so let’s keep that on the down low.


32. Law & Order

As G.I. Joe’s Military Policeman, Law was “tasked with developing and maintaining G.I. Joe security protocols, and is known for his no-nonsense procedure and attention to detail”. Yeah, yeah- but where’s the f’ing DOG? Goddamnit he ate the freakin’ bird again. Someone run to PetSmart and get another “Polly” before Shipwreck wakes up!


31. Doc

From 1983 to 1986 Carl Greer was the busiest sonofabitch in every kid’s backyard. Until Lifeline debuted, Doc was the only Joe equipped to handle the inevitably injured G.I. Joe team members. Since he doesn’t use a weapon, in issue #11 of the Marvel comic he foils Destro’s plan with a snowball. So there’s that.


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