Medi-Viper (2005 DTC)

The Medi-Vipers, in the Marvel comics, were the kind of troops that made for great ancillary detail among the well-known Joes and Cobras. I had wanted a figure version since I first saw them. Though the design was obvious and the old style doctor’s reflector on the head was a bit out of date, the concept was brilliantly simple. I’m surprised it took so long to get medics into the Cobra forces. Unfortunately the figure we finally got wasn’t very true to the comic.

Part of the DTC line released late in the new sculpt era, the Medi-Viper doesn’t draw much inspiration from the comic design, aside from the head. The body is a straight repaint of Scalpel, the Cobra surgeon from earlier in the era. Scalpel wasn’t a bad figure, but his uniform doesn’t quite fit the combat medic role of the comic Medi-Vipers, who were outfitted in simple green fatigues, with distinctive shoulder pads decorated with red medic crosses. The figure makes some attempt to replicate the look, since Scalpel also wore shoulder pads, but they don’t totally work.

This mold is ultimately just too identifiable with Scalpel, and the cooler comic version remains a wish list figure. I suppose that’s the problem when basing a troop figure on a named character mold.


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