It’s been a rocky couple years for GI Joe, but Hasbro has been promising some big things for the future of the brand, and we’re seeing the first new concept come to life this week, as Hasbro Pulse has launched their Fan Poll to select a new character to join the Real American Hero mythology.
The lineup was first revealed at Hasbro’s pre- New York Comic Con party back in October, but you’ll find a primer of all four new characters below. These four characters were actually all fan creations, which is where Kindle Worlds factors into the equation. Each creator has published GI Joe stories via Kindle Worlds, and were subsequently offered the opportunity to design a new character for this poll. That is an awesome way to bridge the worlds of fan fiction and canon, and I’d love to see Hasbro and other companies get this creative with their future fan-sourced campaigns in the future.
So who should you vote for? It’s a tough call, because all these characters seem pretty cool… but I’m for sure siding with one of the new female characters, STILETTO or WHISPER. GI Joe has always been one of the more gender inclusive action figure lines out there, but any chance to increase the representation of women in a toy line is aces, in my book.
Here’s a look at all four new GI Joe and Cobra candidates:
1) ADVENTURE TEAM MARCUS (Created by Jim Beard)
Code Name: Adventure Team Marcus™
Adventure Team® Member
File Name: Marcus (Last Name Classified)
Primary Military Specialty: Communications
Secondary Military Specialty: Medic
Birthplace: Hammonton, New Jersey
A graduate of West Point, ADVENTURE TEAM MARCUS was a communications specialist and battlefield medic before forming the ADVENTURE TEAM. Members of this elite group are cross-trained in medicine, geology, zoology, and engineering among other disciplines, and they apply their training on missions of exploration and rescue. An accomplished marksman, ADVENTURE TEAM MARCUS can handle any weapon from pistols to rifles, and is proficient in several martial arts including karate, kung fu, and even the gentler tai chi.
2) COBRA BLACKJACK (Created by Troy Osgood)
Bodyguard to Baroness®
File Name: Osten, Nikolai
Primary Military Specialty: Infantry
Secondary Military Specialty: Close Protection
Birthplace: Odessa, Ukraine
COBRA BLACKJACK had a distinguished military career in Eastern Europe before striking out on his own as a mercenary. When the BARONESS was young, he accepted the job of keeping her safe, and has continued to do so, faithfully, for years. Cold and calculating yet deeply honorable and loyal, he also became her trainer, seeing it as the best way to protect her from danger. Quiet, proficient, and deadly, he safeguards her through all her plots and schemes.
3) STILETTO: (Created by Bill Nedrow)
File Name: Kwaigno, Paithoon
Primary Military Specialty: Covert Operations
Secondary Military Specialty: Infantry
Birthplace: Hua Hin, Thailand
With her facial scar, dead eyes, and streak of white hair — as well as her mysterious past and knife-edged battle skills — STILETTO makes even the G.I. JOE® team a little nervous. She joined the team alongside Cobra® defector Felix “Mercer” Stratton™, acting as his bodyguard, and has since become a strong asset to the team. With skills that hint at Special Forces training, she is proficient in most small arms weapons and an expert in the use of bladed weapons.
4) COBRA WHISPER: (Created by Justin Bell)
File Name: Unknown
Primary Military Specialty: Assassination, Silent Weapons
Secondary Military Specialty: Covert Operations
Birthplace: Unidentified Island Fishing Village
COBRA WHISPER was orphaned as a child by Cobra® forces, but has been led to believe that G.I. JOE® forces were responsible. Cobra Commander® used this misinformation to build her into his personal assassin, fostering her sense of isolation and thirst for revenge. She is an accomplished martial artist and an expert in sound-suppressed weapons ranging from knives and swords to pistols and submachine guns. The Commander also uses her as a military operative skilled in sabotage and armed combat.
The Fan Poll is only open until Monday November 9th… CLICK HERE to place your vote!