It’s a new year, and what better way to start it off than with a new direction. I’ve been working on this blog for a year and a half, and though things are going wonderfully in terms of traffic and engagement by the readers, improvements can always be made. With the aging of the Real American Hero generation, the demographic for this GI Joe fan site is skewing more heavily toward the dreaded over age 35 category. That’s why I’ve decided to take Joe A Day in a bold new direction, one that reflects the hip, edgy style that’s so popular with today’s youth market. Witness the birth of Joe A Day Extreme. I will be consuming mass quantities of Surge, wearing giant shoulder pads and toting an oversized laser rifle when writing each post. I’ll also be shouting, “Not on my watch!”, “That’s the way we like it!” and of course, punctuating phrases with “Extreeeeme!” whenever possible. You know, like the kids do.
If all that sounds familiar, it’s just what Hasbro did after axing the Real American Hero in 1994 and then giving Sgt. Savage the heave-ho. Soon after the RAH era’s end, Joe had been Kenner-ized. GI Joe Extreme was the second flop follow-up to our beloved Joes, offered up in a style meant to appeal to–well, I rightly don’t know who. Maybe the fans of Rob Liefeld. First up in the GI Joe Extreme pantheon, we’ve got Harpoon, the sea operations specialist for the newly redesigned GI Joe team. He’s no Action Sailor, Torpedo, or Wet Suit. Harpoon makes his debut in the animated series when he’s found calmly fishing off the side of an offshore military installation that he apparently single handedly saved from an enemy attack. Now that’s extreme. It’s also quite extreme for a naval specialist’s action figure to include no underwater apparatus whatsoever. Maybe it’s all stored in that big honkin’ gun.
If you can recall Kenner’s DC Comics Total Justice line from the 90’s, this figure’s body type will look very familiar. Harpoon is posed in a perpetual half-squat, with an exaggeratedly cut physique of a type that was a hallmark of that particular 90’s comic line. This figure stands out among the other Extreme Joes with his whisper-thin build. While Harpoon isn’t as bulky as many of his teammates, he is wearing a heavily accessorized vest, one of the de rigeur Extreme fashions. In the 90’s, everybody this side of Marvel’s Cable was wearing them. Harpoon’s head sculpt looks either upset or constipated, and he is also sporting the extreme hairstyle of long-on-the-top and shaved-on-the-sides.
Harpoon is equipped with a weapon called a Hydro Surge Water Cannon. This weapon could be loaded up with the liquid of your choice (preferably water rather than actual Surge, to avoid residual stickiness) and fired at the enemy, unleashing a tidal wave of raw power. That is, I must say, quite extreme.
Harpoon and Black Dragon, two of the more interesting looking figures in the GI Joe Extreme line, made their debut a bit later than the other figures, and as such are somewhat harder to find. Of course, this is all relative considering there are probably all of three people in the world who would bother to seek them out. Extreeeme disinterest!