Gung Ho (2004)
Much was made of Night Force this year, with the convention exclusive set focusing on the popular GI Joe sub-team. Believe it or not, Night Force got a little bit of love during the second o-ring era. First there was a two-pack during the Spy Troops series, then a second set within Valor vs. Venom.
Gung Ho is an interesting choice to put on the team. He’s a well recognized name within the Joe team, and brings a unique element to the Night Force, being its first Marine representative. The colors aren’t too reminiscent of the classic Night Force, but the pants bear a certain color resemblance to the same year’s Night Force six pack, albeit in a more traditional camo pattern.
Both Gung Ho and his pack mate, Grunt, were decorated with face camo, a feature unique to the Night Force of the 2000s. Where the six pack figures produced in the same year were painted with simple face stripes, Gung Ho and Grunt had more elaborate two-color paint sprays. Gung Ho’s pattern is interesting, as it almost looks like he’s been wearing goggles.
He’s more than a bit on the diminutive side, which is unfortunate, considering that he’s always been portrayed as one of the Joe team’s more hulking members. It’s too bad they didn’t wait a year, when a more appropriately sized mold was available. With this figure’s short stature, wide shoulders, bald head and beard, I’m reminded of Puck from Marvel’s Canadian super hero team, Alpha Flight. Not the best comparison to draw for the Joes’ most high-profile Marine.