Over the course of the first two G.I Joe films – G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra and G.I. Joe: Retaliation – 29 of the classic comic book characters have been brought to life (and death) in the form of either leading roles, un-credited background appearances or fleeting cameos. However, there are well over 100 characters in the G.I. Joe universe for writers of the next installment to choose from.
Some characters have very little back story to draw from, so they wouldn’t work well on film – but others are ripe for adaptation.
WHO: The Battle Android Troopers (or B.A.T.) were originally devised and built by Dr. Mindbender to serve Cobra Commander without question. They are very tough to destroy completely and can be modified to fire an array of weapons – flamethrower, laser cannon, or gripper claw.
WHY: Dr. Mindbender was briefly in the first G.I. Joe filmed played by Kevin J. O’Connor. Since he passed his nanotechnology information to Rex, who then became Cobra Commander, it could be conceivable to see B.A.T.s causing havoc in the next film. Plus, they’re a foe that the Joe’s could truly whup on without fear of the MPAA.
WHO: Tomax and his mirror image twin brother Xamot are former African mercenaries-turned-corporate financiers. Along with commanding COBRA’s Crimson Guard, the Corsican brothers also help finance COBRA’s military operations through legal-means, as CEO’s of Extensive Enterprises.
WHY: Now that Destro is “out of the band” and with Zartan’s Presidential cover blown, COBRA will need a couple of legitimate businessmen to be the respectable “face” of their operations. Tomax and Xamot could easily be those guys.
WHO: Major Sebastian Bludd is an Australian mercenary who works with COBRA command frequently, but has no real loyalty to the terrorist organization. He’ll work for whomever pays him the most money – which at the moment, just happens to be COBRA.
WHY: Bludd is sort of a wild hair and has been known to disobey Cobra Commander just because he felt like it. That kind of internal strife, matched with Bludd’s ruthlessness, could be an interesting side-story to watch.
WHO: Dr. Mindbender, along with Destro, wanted to create the perfect evil leader, so they raided the tombs of Napoleon, Julius Caesar Hannibal and Attila the Hun to make a super-clone called Serpentor. He’s ruthless, charismatic and bent on world domination – so much so, that he eventually wrenched power away from Cobra Commander to become the leader of COBRA. The origin story for Serpentor is changes slightly between the cartoon series, the original comic and the Real American Hero comic line.
WHY: The raiding and cloning process for Serpentor alone could make up the entire story for the third film. To include him properly (read: stick to his origin), the writers will need to focus heavily on just that subject and not muddle it up with other characters and stories. However, if they chose to follow the Real American Hero storyline, then Cobra Commander screwing over Dr. Mindbender and Destro in the first two films would fit nicely – as both characters collaborate in an attempt to overthrow Cobra Commander.
WHO: Pythona is the emissary of the secret terrorist organization Cobra-La. She is beautiful (to the right person), has animalistic tendencies and is quite deadly – having poison tipped claws on the end of each hand.
WHY: Like Serpentor, introducing Cobra-La in the cinematic world of G.I. Joe would take up an entire two-hour film, but it would allow for the massive convergence of story lines and interesting new characters. It would also help easily transition to the rumored G.I. Joe/Transformers crossover down the road.
WHO: Golobulus is the ruler of Cobra-La and is hundreds, perhaps many thousands, of years old – due in large part to the bio-technology his people have perfected. The only original parts of his body that remain intact are his brain and central nervous system. He’s ruthless and deadly and will stop at nothing to see all mankind wiped from the face of the planet.
WHY: While he doesn’t have ties to the original G.I. Joe comic series, Golobulus does have an extensive background in the Real American Hero series – including defeating the Transformers planet Unicron thousands of years ago. Weaving that story into a possible crossover film could make for quite an exciting adventure.
WHO: Ronald W. Tadur, a.k.a. Dusty, is a highly skilled Army solider who is proficient in many types of rifles and grenade launchers. He also specializes in desert operations. He speaks several desert-centric languages fluently and knows just about any desert in the world like the back of his hand.
WHY: Dusty has been with the Joes almost since the beginning, and was once falsely accused of treason. In the right hands, that could make an interesting subplot for a G.I. Joe film.
WHO: Wayne R. Sneeden, a.k.a. Beach Head, is an overachieving Army Ranger who would rather die than not complete his mission. He’s the first person to enter into a gun fight and the last to leave – all in an effort to protect his teammates.
WHY: While he is as loyal to the Joes as anyone, Beach Head is a bit too headstrong for his own good and often performs military operations without the knowledge or consent of his commanders. Putting an overly ambitious character like this in the story would help keep the other characters on their toes.
WHO: Minnesota native David L. Katzenbogen, a.k.a. Bazooka, may be a little “slow” in the way he talks (possible due to the gum he’s always chewing?) but he won’t hesitate to lay down his life to protect a fellow Joe. He is an expert with the recoil-less rifle but specializes with the Dragon Anti-Tank shoulder-mounted missile.
WHY: Bazooka is a funny and goofy character, something the G.I. Joe films need to lighten the mood. Bazooka doesn’t have to be a central character in the third film, but his presence would be a great distraction from all the death that occurred in the second film.
WHO: Albert M. Pine, a.k.a. Alpine, is a wise-cracking Army Ranger who is not only a highly-skilled mountain trooper, but is also an expert in bookkeeping. He and Bazooka are very good friends and can usually be seen hanging out together.
WHY: There are two reasons why Alpine should be included in the next G.I. Joe film – 1. The comedic back and forth banter between he and Bazooka would help break up all the tense moments of the film and 2. If Tomax and Xamot are included, then tag-team fighting opportunities would be pretty substantial.
WHO: Ettienne R. LaFitte, a.k.a. Gung-Ho, is a tough-as-nails Marine who excels at bare-knuckle fighting and is nearly unmatched in his knife-fighting skills. His thick Cajun accent can sometimes make him difficult to understand, but the enemy doesn’t need a translator to understand his fists.
WHY: Gung-Ho is a badass, plain and simple. Watching him throw down with some COBRA bad guys in a street-style fight would be immensely enjoyable.
WHO: The Joes are all expert military personnel, so it takes a special type of Marine to lead them as a drill instructor – enter Sgt. Slaughter. Sgt. Slaughter’s real name may be a classified, but his reputation is not. He’s strong. He’s fierce. He’s loud. And he fights for America, freedom and justice, every single day.
WHY: Sgt. Slaughter works closely with Beach Head to train all the new Joe recruits – so if one of them is included in the next film, it wouldn’t be unsurprising to have the other character nearby. Sgt. Slaughter is actually based on a real-life pro-wrestler who was highly popular during the ’80s, and was the most successful G.I. Joe toy character ever. Seeing the once-popular character onscreen again would be a treat.
WHO: Hector X. Delgado, a.k.a. Shipwreck, joined the US Navy when he was 16 (he lied about his age) and quickly became an expert at a wide-range of weapons usually found on battleships – including the awesome Browning .50 cal., and devastating 20mm Oerlikon Anti-Aircraft gun. He has a pet parrot, Polly, and is known to almost always be a loud and boisterous smart-ass.
WHY: Throughout both G.I. Joe films there have been few, if any, representatives of the US Navy, and Shipwreck would be a great first choice for the third film. He has history with Alpine and Snake Eyes, so writing him properly into the story shouldn’t be too much of a challenge.
Can you see any of these characters making a successful leap into live-action? If not, why? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
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