For me, if there’s a posterboy for goofball Joes, it’s this version of Muskrat. Yeah, I know there’s the cult of Crystal Ball, and even the Esoteric Order of Big Brawler, but those guys are also fringe weirdos for other reasons. Musky here is an everyman’s fool. The poor guy just looks damn goofy, and it’s not purely due to the color scheme either.
My only assumption is that Hasbro was in the midst of designing a Joe-scale futuristic sports line, and they reused the sculpt for this guy. No? Okay, maybe there was a mix-up in the factory in Hong Kong and arm and leg A got placed with torso and head B, and it was the start of a three day weekend, so nobody bothered to fix it. Still no good? Okay, I got it: they brought in a monumentally stupid bunch of children as a test group, and they loved the concept of a figure with a missile launcher attached to a helmet. The marketing department liked the idea so much, they were debating between two names for the gimmick as a sub-line: either the CIF (Cervical Injury Force) or the Whiplash Warriors.
The true story of course is that the man who was once a swamp fighter became a heavy fire specialist (who knows why?) and was also slated to be a part of the second series of DEF figures. Even considering that, the look still doesn’t make a lick of sense to me. All of the Battle Corps figures that were intended for the DEF remind me of the designs from Hasbro’s COPS line, with its futuristic takes on law enforcement themes. In this way, I can see Muskrat as a next-generation heavy ordnance operative who’s brought in along with the armored SWAT vehicle.
What about the helmet thing, you ask? What is its significance to the figure and to the overall Joe mythos? Well, as Freud said; sometimes a helmet mounted missile launcher is just a helmet mounted missile launcher.