Dog Handler (Code Name: Mutt)
During my recent refocus on chronological coverage of the Joe team, I uncovered a few surprising subjects missing from my years of past posts. One of the biggest exclusions was Mutt, a figure I could have sworn I covered early in the blog’s life. Not so, unless his entry was somehow went down the wrong tube during a site migration.
Mutt was my favorite Joe in 1984. Yes, even more than the ubiquitous Storm Shadow. ’84 was a year in which the Joe line went in exciting new directions with accessories. Mutt was impressive for not only having an animal sidekick, but also a cool MAC 10, nightstick, muzzle (for himself!) and new helmet. He had a cool military police vibe that I really liked. I also picked up GI Joe comic issue #25 around the same time, which was Mutt’s first appearance, and enjoyed his portrayal as much as his look.
I don’t think the animal sidekicks get as much love as they should. Freedom, Junkyard, Order, Max, Lamont et al were a unique and memorable element of the Joe line that set it apart from other action figure series. I suppose the Transformers had a similar thing going with Soundwave and his cassettes, but they’re not quite the same as a good old dog, bird or wild boar.
Mutt’s card art is one of my favorites, as it’s and incredibly action-packed and scene-setting example of the form. Talk about an in-your-face shot–Mutt and Junk are comin’ at ya!
I recall Mutt began design wise as a Cobra dog handler. Maybe that’s why the mask…it just stuck through the design process.
Well, maybe that explains to me why those shoulder pad things they always looked to me like the ones that the 86 Cobra Vipers have on their vests. And also, the rolled up sleeves, and the arm brace. Thank you very much for that information.
I like how Mutt is so mean, he has the muzzle rather than Junkyard!