GI Joe is an action and science-fiction animated media franchise owned by the Hassenfield Brothers (Hasbro). The franchise began with the release of GI Joe: A Real American Hero in 1983, which a sequel followed in 1986. Hasbro pushed another sequel’s creation after the acquisition of the Kenner company to revitalize the company. After the acquisition, GI Joe Extreme debuted in 1995 and lasted till 1997. The last sequel was GI Joe: Sigma 6, which came out in 2003.
Like most animated series created after a toy line, GI Joe employs several characters used in marketing its toys. Even though the shows primarily promoted the toy line, its theme of ‘Good’ versus ‘Evil’ portrayed in the constant war between the Joes and the Cobras created an emotional attachment in the audience to several superheroes and villains of the animated show. Although the heroes and villains consistently changed, depending on the seasons, the level of entertainment provided by the uniqueness of each character did not depreciate.
Presenting: the top ten characters from the GI Joe media franchise:
10. Tomax and Xamot
The Crimson Twins, Tomax and Xamot, were fictional characters in the original series, GI Joe: A Real American Hero. These two characters were the commanders of the Crimson Guard, Cobra’s main rival, in the cartoon. Supported by popular rebels such as Destro and Baroness, the twins made several attempts to capture power from the Cobra Commander and present themselves as the new Commanders.
The psychic link shared by the twins provided a little sense of humor in the show. The link meant that the Joes do not need to fight off the two characters as they can feel each other’s pain.
The twins were also involved in the eventual rebellion of creating Serpentor, a mission established by Dr. Mindbender, who Destro well supported. Despite the physical strength of the twins, their psychic link limited them and gradually became a major weakness.
9. Lady Jaye
Lady Jaye is a fictional character in the original series. She is a smart and intelligent character for the Joe team, making her go on several undercover missions for the heroes. So, she appears in several costumes during her undercover missions. She goes further by mimicking the voice of several characters when she goes undercover.
Lady Jaye’s relationship with Flint was also a significant role in the animated show following her initial mixed opinion about Flint. However, Flint’s courage overwhelmed her when he held off approaching Cobra soldiers and provided her enough time to send the message across to other Joe soldiers. She was finally convinced about Flint and eventually got involved in a romantic relationship with him.
Regardless of the relationship, Lady Jaye continued her role as one of the most important characters of the Joes and took on several responsibilities, including impersonating Baroness.
Baroness is one of the villains of the original series of GI Joe: A Real American Hero. Aside from appearing in the animated series, Baroness has also appeared in the GI Joe comic books and movies.
Baroness has an unmatched beauty; her attractive long black hair and her black leather outfit, which she often appears in. However, her outlook is in sharp contrast with her characterization. Baroness is an extremely brutal villain who was involved in a romantic relationship with one of Cobra’s most brutal leaders – Destro.
Baroness enjoys her position as a joint leader of the Cobra due to her relationship with Destro. Her interest in power was high enough to build a hall of resentment towards other leaders of the villains such as Tomax and Xamot. Baroness’s relationship with Destro was not without its frailties. Destro often takes out his frustrations on her. So, she destroyed Destro’s ancestral home in reaction to his aggression towards her.
Baroness was unique because of her outlook, intelligence, and how she perfectly acted in her roles in the animated series.
7. Sergeant Slaughter
Sergeant Slaughter is a fictional character that appeared in the G.I Joe: A Real American Hero. Sunbow modeled his physique and characterization after Robert Rudolph, an American professional wrestler. Hasbro then released four versions of his action figure, which confirms his status as one of the most admired characters of the original series of the GI Joe animated series.
Sargent Slaughter possesses a unique physical outlook, making fans regard him as the toughest character among the Joes. Slaughter possesses an unmatched level of strength which makes him execute cumbersome activities with ease.
He is also the trainer of the Joes in physical exercises. General Hawk once required Sergeant Slaughter’s service to help the Joes maintain their concentration. Having executed the task as required, Slaughter left in awe by the praises of General Hawk.
Despite his strength, Slaughter was a humble character as there was never a moment of rebellion from the extremely strong character.
Destro is a fictional character from the original series of the animated series. This man is a very cruel villain that is obsessed with so much brutality. He also owns a weapon manufacturing company and specializes in supplying Cobra with different weapons and technological devices.
Destro was a rebellious character who never was fully loyal to Cobra. He was often engaged in several brawls and disagreements with the Cobra Commander, who was reluctant to impose any punishment or respond to his aggression due to his access to highly developed weapons.
Destro, alongside Dr. Mindbender, Tomax, and Xamot, were involved in the rebellion against Cobra Commander. Thus, Destro played a key role in the appointment of Serpentor as the new leader of the Cobras.
In Sigma 6, Destro maintained his status as the character responsible for supplying Cobras with weapons. However, Destro was not the rebellious character that he was in the original series. Instead, he maintained his role as a tough villain.
Flint is one of the fictional characters of the original animated TV shows. He was the second in command of the Joes in the first season of the GI Joe: A Real American Hero, and he was the third in the chain of command in the second season when General Hawk became a leader of the Joes.
Flint’s romantic relationship with Lady Jaye was a major point of attraction. Again, his strategic military tactics and flawless execution made him a stand-out character in the original cartoon. He often led the way to several victories of the Joes, especially those that require real planning.
Tomax and Xamot experienced Flint’s toughness after almost killing the two Cobras, but they eventually found a way to escape. On another occasion, Flint held off many Cobra soldiers, creating time for Lady Jaye to inform the Joes of the approaching Cobra soldiers. Flint was indeed a heavily liked character in the animated show.
Duke is a fictional character from the GI Joe original series. He is the field commander and the first sergeant of the Joes. Duke played a crucial role in the Joes Vs. Cobras which was the central theme of the cartoon. Duke’s leadership role was his most captivating feature. He was highly respected and obeyed by fellow high-ranked military officers.
In A Real American Hero, Duke was a very strong and intelligent character. He led the Joe team on many successful missions on the Cobras. He was also a victim of the energy wave of the M.A.S.S. device, which aided his capture by the Cobras. During his captivity, his captors forced him to face a giant in a highly one-sided duel. However, Duke finally escaped the captivity of the Cobras after one of the frequent disagreements between the Cobra Commander and Destro.
Although the memories of such period faded, Duke remembers the aid he received from Selina, a slave girl. Duke later became the second in command after the introduction of General Hawk in the second season.
Serpentor is a fictional character that appeared in the second season of the original series. He was a creation of Dr. Mindbender, who Destro heavily supported. Dr. Mindbender and Destro had been obsessed with the search for a perfect soldier who will eventually lead the Cobras. The search led the scientist to the tombs of some of history’s greatest warriors to get the DNA necessary for the creation of the perfect soldier.
Serpentor is the closest thing to a flawless character. Strength, courage, and intelligence were some of the unmatched attributes of the warrior who Cobra raised to be the new Cobra Commander. Serpentor anticipated a lot of moves of the Joes and became a worthy opponent of the Joes.
Serpentor’s major flaw was his huge ambition to conquer the world and his reckless decisions among the Cobras, particularly the decision to replace Baroness as head of operations in New York. The move led to his fall, as Baroness carefully orchestrated his downfall that eventually led to the Cobra civil war.
Fans of the GI Joe franchise like Serpentor for his prowess in fighting.
2. Dr. Mindbender
Dr. Mindbender is a fictional character from GI Joe: A Real American Hero. Dr. Mindbender is a paragon of intelligence and mind control tactics. He was also a scientist who specializes in genetics and cybernetics. Mindbender is a character that carefully draws his plans and executes them with great care and intelligence. He is highly manipulative, a skill that preserved him and made him switch loyalty with different leaders. But who wouldn’t be interested in having such genius at his side?
Mindbender is a supervillain who was once a gentle kid until his experiments backfired and the experience changed his perspective. His obsession with power made him embark on creating the perfect soldier he created by drawing the DNA of some of history’s greatest warriors. In the end, Serpentor was his creation, and he served him with due diligence before Serpentor’s poor decisions led to the Cobra civil war, which led to his death. After Serpentor’s death, Dr. Mindbender switched loyalty to FredVII and took custody of Serpentor’s body. The original Cobra Commander later threw Dr. Mindbender into a freighter which he also buried after his return.
Hawk was a fictional character that appeared in the original series of the animated show. He was a trained soldier with great leadership skills. Then, Hawk rose to the rank of the commander of the Joes in the second season. He led the team to many victories over the Cobras and remained an effective leader till the end of the season.
The ‘Good’ versus ‘Evil’ theme of GI Joe made several fans’ favorites. However, the ten mentioned possess special attributes that attract the attention of a larger audience than the others.
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About the author
Author: Chris Ingledue
Bio: I am the founder and owner of Wheeljack’s Lab pop Culture and Toy Shop. My vision has always been to reunite customers with their favorite childhood toys and pop culture, triggering fond memories, and reigniting their imaginations. Every day, I work in the “lab” where it’s Christmas 365 days a year. I scour the internet, like when we had the Sears Catalog of yesteryear, for the next great treasure. Then, I await the arrival of the postman as if he were Santa Claus himself and helping collectors worldwide with their own versions of Christmas. Every day as a vintage toy buyer is an absolute joy!