Zombie Viper (2011)
Zombies are all the rage, and as such have become over-exposed. It seems you can’t swing a dead cat without seeing a shambling undead monster in some form of media. I fully expect to see an all-zombie storyline on Days of Our Lives within the next year.
This actually isn’t the first time the GI Joe line has presented us with a zombie. 1992’s Toxo-Zombie was the end result of Cobra’s less-than-stellar use of hazmat suits within its Toxo-Viper corps. This time out, it’s a zombie created from Compound Z, a mysterious substance that turns Cobra troops into mindless drones. Compund Z’s properties were hinted at in the file card for the recent Hazard-Viper, a modern equivalent of the old Toxo-Vipers.
The figure is appropriately nasty looking, with decayed skin, exposed muscle tissue and various veins and pustules protruding all over its body. In fact, the substance that created him seems to be flowing throughout. Which makes sense, considering his handy-dandy zombie juice distribution system. Just fit the helmet on his head, plug the Compound Z canister in his back and he’s good to go. The web gear, with its multiple straps, almost looks as though the subject was strapped to a table and escaped. As Andrew AKA Twitziller pointed out, somebody attached pipe bombs and detonators to him. Here’s a conundrum: can the undead correctly be referred to as suicide bombers?
The figure also incorporates the type of modular bits that have been a hallmark of the modern line. We get two extra Resident Evil style tentacle arms to replace his normal forearms, and there are even two tiny pieces of ripped sleeve that attach to them. Little touches like this remind me of the Japanese figure hobby and its propensity for including extra hands, heads, arms etc. I really have to applaud an American toy company for going this almost hobbyist route with a mainstream toyline. On a side note: Hasbro, can you get the Joe design team working on your Marvel Universe line?