BOAT PILOT  
  Code Name: COPPERHEAD  
 

This chap is one of the oddities of G.I. Joe, because he really shouldn't be as well-remembered as he is. Packed with the Water Moccasin craft, Copperhead didn't appear in the Marvel comic at all, and only had about a minute in a single episode of the cartoon - less than Tollbooth and Thunder for starters (which at least came in the superb "War Without End" two-parter). Outside America, he made a cameo appearance in each incarnation of the Action Force comic, and that was it really. And yet he managed to get something of a cult following, being revisited by Devil's Due for starters.

Maybe it's just the cachet of being an early named Cobra when they were still few and far between (and before they got too silly), or maybe an awful lot of kids got the Water Moccasin Still, the guy is pretty cool, so it's difficult to begrudge him getting a 25th Anniversary figure over some more famous faces.

One odd thing is that the knees have the standard "Generation 1" articulation rather than the double-joint on most other 25th Anniversary figures. This is odd - at first I thought it was an attempt to make him compatible with the original Water Moccasin (Copperhead was reissued in a comic pack, rather than with a vehicle), but he doesn't fit any better than any other 25th figure with the narrower crotch. For the record, he just about wedges in the thing, but the shoulders are too broad to fit between the bars on the top of the boat's cockpit to make it a particularly good fit (though as my Moccasin is just a battered, recoloured Tiger Fish, I might cut these out altogether). A later Rise of Cobra tie-in version of Copperhead was issued with the Moccasin, so presumably this was fixed.

Despite this oddness, though, Copperhead is a decent figure, though he's getting hard to come by. The colour scheme really works despite being brighter than most of the 'classic' Cobra cast. The cast itself is great, nice and muscle-bound - Copperhead really looks like he's spent years wrestling alligators in swamps, while the head cast is neat too. And I love the snakeskin-style pattern, complete with muddy detailing, down the inside of his legs. This is no dress trooper, this is a guy who does some dirty work.

G.I. Joe Copperhead
G.I. Joe Copperhead
G.I. Joe Copperhead
G.I. Joe Copperhead