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Agent Helix

GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra
by yo go re

Remember when Aurra Sing was first introduced, and treated like she was the next big thing? She then promptly dropped off the face of the galaxy and never lived up to that hinted-at potential, becoming a favorite for the Expanded Universe, but otherwise was never mentioned again. Here we go again!

Agent Helix is a covert operations officer with advanced martial arts training and expert marksmanship. An Olympic-class gymnast, her distinctive "whirlwind attack" is an overpowering combination of kicks and firepower.

Helix (seriously: the "Agent" part of her name is no more an official designation than when Shana was Agent Scarlett back in the early part of the decade) was created for the Rise of Cobra videogame, and is named after developer Double Helix. You can pretty much guarantee that's the last time anyone will want to mention that connection, because the Rise of Cobra game is apparently the worst movie tie-in game ever made - and considering that's a genre that includes E.T., you're in rare company.

Though she may have been intended as a movie character, and is sold in the movie toyline, Helix has just been introduced to the comics - as part of the Real American Hero continuity. At least, IDW's version of it. There was a reboot. It's not important right now. In that story, Helix isn't even military personnel: so feel free to ignore that rank of Corporal on her filecard. Gotta note, though, the card art of her is surprisingly smoking.

Agent Helix (if you insist on using her full name) is a new sculpt. The legs were intended to be Resolute Scarlett's, but that figure hasn't been released. Helix is definitely one of those characters who push the boundaries of the Joe Team's lax dress codes, since her mission gear seems to include an armored corset over a yellow and grey wetsuit, plus a thick harness wrapped around her shoulders. Considering that the only exposed skin below the neck is on her wrists, this is a surprisingly sexy look. The paint is wonderful, with fine silver apps on her rivets and buckles. One oddity, though, is that the grey onher forearms only lines up with the upper arms when the elbows are turned to the inside. Is that a paint error, or a design choice?

Our new girl Helix is also rocking a fairly hip hairdo. It's short, choppy, and flared out to the sides, but that's not the strangest bit. The hair is white (or perhaps just platinum blonde), with black streaks underneath. Will a dyejob like this look comically dated in 10 or 15 years? Yeah, probably, but it gives her an excellent "Suicide Girls" vibe today. You just know she has some fun tattoos and piercings. The face is a bit mannish, but she looks better if you tilt the head down slightly and have her looking up. The hair is a separate piece, so it hangs over her eyes alluringly. The comic art, incidentally, reverses the hair colors: it's shown as black, with blonde streaks in the front. Whoops!

One little sculptural oddity? She's got a bandaid on her right wrist. Impressive! There must be something to it, because she not only wears it in the comic and in the game, when she's assigned to draw a battlefield map, she represents herself by a pair of crossed bandaids. Looking around online, apparently a lot of people think this is a watch, and that it missed a paint app: no, remember, bandaids are either clear or fleshtone (ie, "pink," since only white people matter); it would be an error if the bandaid wasn't the same color as her skin. You really have to wonder what the story with that little item is.

Helix has a nice assortment of accessories, even if one of them is the Stupid Giant Gun. Hers seems to be a satellite dish on a missile. Yeah, that makes sense. Thanks, Hasbro! Beyond that idiot thing, she's armed with her customized dual 10mm autopistols and a boxy rifle. She holds the pistols perfectly, which is good, since she doesn't have any holsters. The rifle is actually an HK-G11, an obscure '80s gun that fired caseless ammunition. But since it looks like a sci-fi creation, it's perfect for a GI Joe character. Finally, there's a wicked-looking machete, ready to behead any Cobras who get in her way.

It used to be that there was one GI Joe female per year, but that's kind of fallen by the wayside. Agent Helix is the first new character of 2009, and even with only a single appearance under her pouchy, studded belt, she's off to a good start. Pick up the figure, for sure - and also pick up GI Joe Special - Helix, to find out what exactly her "total organic battlefield awareness" is all about.

-- 08/21/09

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