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!