Fighter Pilot (Code Name:Ace)

You could say that GI Joe is a descendant of the little green army men from days of yore. One of my favorite memories of playing with the little green guys were the paratroopers. A simple plastic parachute and string turned the regular troopers into death defying airborne attackers.

At the time of its release, the Skystriker was the Cadillac of boys’ toys. The fighter was the most impressive thing in my toy arsenal since the Star Wars AT-AT; the ejector seat with parachute being my favorite feature. I spent hours in the vacant lot next door to my house hurling the ejector seat with Ace attached up into the air and watching him descend safely to the ground, just like his tiny green ancestors. Sometimes the chute failed and Ace made a hard landing, but he always survived. I’m amazed I never lost the helmet. I was easily entertained as a child.

Ace, being part of the first series of non-green Joes, made an impression on me purely based on his look. He was one of the most crazily detailed of all the Joes. While other driver figures simply occupied their vehicles, Ace was an integral part of the Skystriker. Although the cartoon often had every main character flying it, I rarely put anyone but Ace at the controls.

Ace is a most unique Joe figure for his time thanks to his science fiction styled outfit. The Michelin Man look may seem staid now, but at the time was quite futuristic. Even the helmet recalled something more akin to a fighter pilot from a galaxy far, far away.

My earliest comic memory of Ace was his early feature along with the Skystriker in the pages of Marvel issue 17. I’ve talked before about this issue, as it also gave Grand Slam the spotlight with his brutal beating of Major Bludd. Ace and his jet not only buzz Destro and Cobra Commander’s fleeing HISS tank, but also take out several FANGs and Cobra jets. The issue was enough to immediately sell me on the Skystriker.

His use in a collection may be limited to sitting in the cockpit of the Skystriker, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

6 comments

  • Ace got a fair amount of use in comic and cartoon (well, until the second season). Odd the toon ignored his fishbowl helmet.

    • Probably the smartest thing they did is ignore the fisbowl helmet lol Not as cool looking as a modern fighter pilot helmet. And then you would have to explain why the other joes dont wear the fishbowl helmet too. Then again…why does he get to wear the fancy suit and the rest of the joes just wear their uniforms?

  • ”Ace with his XP-14F Skystriker shot down many a Cobra Rattler.Ace always gave Wild Weasel and his Rattler Squadrons fits.”–”But I always really liked the 1986 Cobra Night Raven S3P Black Jet Spy Plane vehicle myself.My #1 favorite vehicle of all time.”

  • Probably the smartest thing they did is ignore the fisbowl helmet lol Not as cool looking as a modern fighter pilot helmet. And then you would have to explain why the other joes dont wear the fishbowl helmet too. Then again…why does he get to wear the fancy suit and the rest of the joes just wear their uniforms?

  • Ace is an incredibly nice figure to look at when held in hand. I think if the bottom half of his helmet was also removable, he’d be one of the most popular Joes of all time.

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