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Cobra Trooper

GI Joe Resolute
by yo go re

For more than 25 years, Cobra Troopers have had the same plain looks: blue shirt, facemask, helmet. Simple, dull, reliable. They got their first-ever upgrade for GI Joe: Resolute.

Cobra Troopers make up the bulk of the Cobra organization's fighting forces. They may be the "grunts" of this vast army, but they are, nevertheless, highly trained in combat techniques, martial arts and sabotage. Failure is not an option in the Cobra army, so Cobra Troopers must either win every battle they fight or die trying. Aggressive and overconfident, they will face any enemy, even the ninja commando Snake-Eyes. How could one lone ninja hope to defeat a squad of ruthless troopers who are armed to the teeth? Simple: he can't.

Suuuuuure he can't. Anyone who's seen Resolute webisode 2 knows how that particular matchup worked out. Anyone who hasn't seen it can probably guess. Generic cannon fodder vs. the franchise's most popular character? No contest.

The Resolute characters were designed by comic artist Dave Johnson, and he gave the Cobra Troopers a nice tactical look. Rather than blue pants and a button-down shirt, the Trooper really looks like he's wearing BDUs now. There are armored pads on his knees, elbows and shoulders, and he's got a thick vest with four big pockets for carrying ammo clips. The uniform even has blue canvas leggings, to keep debris out of the boots. Even the familiar blue helmet has been slightly redesigned, to offer more protection - no longer is his neck an exposed target.

The helmet is removable, revealing a surprise beneath: this Trooper has hair! Yes, Scar-Face and a few other Cobra Troopers got painted hair under their helmets, but the Resolute version's is actually sculpted. It's just a little buzz cut or something, but it's sculpted, painted... the whole deal. The black facemask remains a permanent feature, but still, this is a step up.

You can remove the vest to real a new torso beneath, sculpted with surprising detail for something that may never be seen. The Resolute Trooper is wearing a ribbed shirt with some padding across the shoulders and a silver Cobra badge on the left. Other than the vest and helmet, the figure includes an oversized black rifle with a grenade launcher attachment and an ultra-modern silver submachine gun of some sort. I'll leave it up to our military readers to determine what specific model it is. Definitely not the old laser guns (even if Resolute did use muzzle flare to duplicate the old colors). He's also got a small backpack, which honestly doesn't look like it'd be able to hold a whole lot of anything.

It's no secret that a good piece of fiction can drive sales of toys - that's why anybody's buying Playmates' new Star Trek toys, after all. I'd passed on the Resolute trooper a few times before the webisodes premiered, then immediately set about trying to find this guy as soon as I'd watched the first one. My own fault, really. I didn't want the new Trooper because he was "too different," but after seeing him in action, I realized my foolishness.

-- 05/22/09

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