Colonel Courage (1993)

Where do Joes get their code names? Is it a meticulous process presided over by members of command, looking at a soldier’s personality back ground and accomplishments, and sometimes throwing in a pun here and there, or is it done on a peer basis, with the other Joes informally coming up with a nickname that just seems to stick?

Sometimes Joes have code names that are purely descriptive, while others are more conceptual. Still others put the character’s rank in the name, as is the case with Colonel Courage. I figured that he’d have one of those pun names, where his last name was actually Courage, but that was not the case. His name also doesn’t refer to a theme of his character, like Capt. Grid-Iron. A more appropriate code name would be Colonel Cipher, as this guy has been a no show in Joe media. That’s what you get though when you fly a desk.

Two things about the figure disappoint me. First, the lack of a removable helmet. Since the beginning of the line, a removable helmet has been standard. Not including one as part of the design is always frustrating. Second, is the strange, milky plastic that makes up the torso and arms. It makes for an odd appearance that for me just ruins the look of an otherwise solid figure.

One final aspect of the figure that cracks me up is his tie (which is a bit lost amongst that awful plastic of his shirt). His character is supposed to be all about discipline and spit-and-polish, but how many Joes wear ties? It’s even called out as part of his equipment on the file card. The character’s concept just seems out of place amongst the Joes, who don’t place a whole lot of emphasis on rank, much less a dress code.


  • I could see this guy working out better if he’d had at least some comic book exposure. Turning up in the Battle Corps series of figures kinda made him get lost in the shuffle. A removable helmet would have done wonders for him. The tie gimmick is a cute idea, but Colonel Courage here might have worked better as an actual authority figure like General Hollingsworth used to be around that time. Heck, I’d have preferred a figure of Hollingsworth instead since he was a cool character.

  • This figure was so close to hitting the mark of coolness, but missed in major ways. First, as has been mentioned, is the non-removable helmet. The tie also has to go. And the neon green highlights should have been a brown or dark tan.
    Regardless of his shortcomings My Col. Courage is an essential part of my team as the officer overseeing the Joe teams armor division.

  • I see his codename as ironic, since he’s a desk officer/strategist who rarely sees field action.

    “The character’s concept just seems out of place amongst the Joes…”

    There’s no character concept out of place amongst 80’s GI JOE.
    It makes Courage more ironic, a stickler for dress code that’s part of an extremely casually-attired unit. Courage must get really frustrated.

  • I like Col. Courage, but I don’t know why. By the ’90s, there were quite a few officers for the size of the Joe team, and while guys like Flint & Beach Head are easy choices, what becomes of the other high-rank characters? For a dude wearing a tie, Courage really needed a removable helmet; he always looks odd in a briefing “ready for battle”.

  • Love the character, hate the figure.

  • Pingback: Joe A Day » Dr. Mindbender (1993)

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  • Dreadnok: Spirit

    I was never a fan of the name, but this is one of my favorite underrated figures.

  • You gotta feel bad for a Colonel whose personal mission is to enforce a proper dress-code on the Joe team.

    “Gung-Ho, put on a damned shirt! Grid-Iron, get rid of that football helmet and get yourself a proper military helmet from the quartermaster! Snake Eyes, stop bringing that damned wolf to morning inspection! Big Lob–a basketball jersey, really? Put on a damned shirt! Cross-Country…”

    *eye twitches*

    “…my office, NOW!”

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