Swamp Rat (2004)
How many GI Joe figures can you think of that have a tail? Okay, outside of animal sidekicks, I mean. And the aliens or mutant monsters of the 90’s. I honestly had forgotten that Swamp Rat had a tail until I pulled him out of his slumber at the bottom of a plastic storage tote. I’ve got to get a handle on the storage thing for my 2000’s stuff, before it all breaks down and melds together into a lump of goo.
Swamp Rats are, appropriate to their animal namesake, infiltrators. They’ve undergone Dr. Mindbender’s “venomization” process and have abilities inherent in their rodent brethren, like being able to sneak and slither into small spaces.
The figure design represents the vermin side of the character, with the ears and large eyes of the helmet and the aforementioned tail. The tattered cloak gives the feeling of a group that spends a lot of their time dwelling in the dank, underground places most people try to avoid. Under the helmet lurks a pasty skinned, bald head, its face covered by a partial mask. I shudder to think what might be lurking under it. Even if you’re not a fan of the venomization angle of Valor vs. Venom, this is a very well done and creepy Cobra trooper.