Mercer (1991)

Mercer is an interesting character who’s been sadly underused in the GI Joe comics and cartoons. The idea of a Cobra defector could make for a lot of intriguing story possibilities. He showed up in a few issues of the Devil’s Due comic, the animated movie, and two episodes of the DIC cartoon, and that’s pretty much been it.

This Mercer also hails from 1991, a year notable for main line redesigns of no less than seven Joe team members and three Cobras. This version strays from the 1987 original’s Viper-esque style and goes for a more individualized look, complete with a chainmail adorned right arm. He also seemed to be operating under an alias at this time, as the 1991 version’s file card lists a different name. He also had some kind of promotion along the way, as he went from an E-5 to a Sergeant Major. Impressive. Considering all this, are we sure this is really the same guy, and not some super secret double agent kind of thing?

While I enjoy the new look for the figure, the backpack is a unique and fun accessory. A lot of collectors (myself included) complain about the missile firing weapons of the era and their bulkiness. I find this particular weapon very cool because it’s mounted on the backpack and swivels around for the figure to hold. It also clips back onto the backpack for storage. It’s a really nice and original concept that was used again to great effect for Star Brigade Duke. The launcher is bulky, but not as bad as some of the others of the time.

Overall, Mercer is a nifty concept as a character and the look is a cool redesign. He definitely deserved more exposure.

9 comments

  • I really like this version of Mercer, probably due the the improved sculpting over the original.
    So who was the real Mercer? A secret held for decades by GI Joe top brass!

  • Another great figure from 1991. I prefer this version of Mercer as well for the reasons cited above: The beard, chainmail, and backpack launcher give the figure a meanness which is lacking in the ’87 version. I also like the idea of him being a mercenary instead of a Slaughter operative. If the guy used to be a Cobra Viper and some of the Joes don’t trust him, then he ought to be portrayed as the loner type. ’91 Mercer is a cool figure and character who really deserves a proper origin story.

  • He also appeared in G.I. Joe: The Movie, don’t forget that. I think this may be the year that I get the Renegades and add them to my collection. The first will be Taurus (since he’s at a store near me). By the by, they did resolve the name situation with the Convention figure of 2006. The filecard stated that Mercer did indeed use the 1991 name as an alias.

  • I see this version as a more mature version of Mercer. The ’87 is the young badass while this guy is the seasoned warrior.

    I want to like this figure. But, I’ve found that I like the idea of new Mercer more than I like the actual mold. The poor accessories don’t help. But, for my money, I’ll still take the original over this update.

  • The best version of Mercer i.m.o.!
    He is the leader of the Renegades in my Joeverse.

  • I’m half expecting Mercer to make an appearance in the IDW Cobra series. That would be a dream come true if they nailed the character. That wasn’t supposed to sound sexy!

  • Jonah Hardenbrook

    I always liked this figure. the mold is cool, and the missile firing backpack is not as bad as many of the others from that year and those after.
    The one thing I did not like about this character was the oversized sub-machine gun. It looked to be a version of the Calico, but was way to big for him to handle.

  • Dreadnok: Spirit

    I really like this figure, but the chain mail-covered arm sounds like something a wannabe Dreadnok would wear.

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