Sky Creeper (Project: Downfall)
Growing up, I never really knew all that much about Sky Creeper. Having only heard the name and never seeing the figure it was associated with, I thought Night Vulture was Sky Creeper because Night Vulture looked kind of like a Night Creeper and I thought the SkyCreeper was a Night Creeper on a glider. As nearly as I can tell, the only time Sky Creeper ever did anything in the comics was during the end of the DDP America’s Elite series where we learn he was tapped to be part of The Plague but was one of the two Cobras chosen (I believe the other one was Rip-It…it’s been a while since I’ve read the DDP years) that wasn’t a scummy enough human being to kidnap a baby without feeling a little bit bad about it. Then Cobra Commander had them both killed. That’s it. As far as I know, that is literally Sky Creeper’s only contribution to the Joe comic world. Thankfully, that did leave me with a relatively blank canvas to work with, and I like when I get characters that I get to discover for the first time when I get their figure. Sky Creeper was a great choice for inclusion in the Project: Downfall con set and I think it was a wise move to make the only individual Cobra Sky Commando the leader of the Cobra A.D.D.E.R.S. to give the group a little hierarchy.
Sky Creeper’s construction is a bit odd, but everything works together quite well and gives us a solid update of the Cobra glider pilot. The legs come from Pursuit of Cobra Jungle Assault Snake Eyes. While I passed on that figure because it had that somewhat ridiculous “Tornado Kick” action feature, I do seem to have a lot of figures that use these legs now. While I’m getting a little tired of seeing these legs, the design does an excellent job of replicating the leg armor the vintage figure had. The torso is shared with one of the Retaliation Snake Eyes figures, though you won’t see it because he’s got some webgear over it. I believe this piece first saw use with the Snake Eyes that came in the SDCC Transformers crossover set. The heavy straps look good for a glider pilot because that makes them part of the system that holds Sky Creeper in the glider, and the webgear also has a lot of large pouches built into it. While he’s a little overly pouch-y, I like the pouches because it fits with the character. Sky Creeper’s filecard established him as a thief who likes to use gliders to break into and escape from his target locations. All those pouches on his chest means he’s got a lot of places to carry things like stolen jewelry on his body without needing to carry something extra around to hold it. However, there is one problem with the webgear. It doesn’t really clasp closed all that well. You can make it look closed by making sure his left arm is down but I shouldn’t have to rely on the figure’s body position to make it look like the webgear is clasped shut. The arms come from Retaliation Ultimate Cobra Commander. Truthfully, I don’t like seeing these used on anyone other than Cobra Commander. The vintage Sky Creeper figure did have high gloves like Ultimate Cobra Commander, but the hands still have the same problem they’ve always had: only the right one can securely grip an accessory. That was fine for Cobra Commander since he only had one gun so you could use the other slightly-open hand to have him do the angry gripping gesture, but for anyone else, it leaves the figure with an awkward grip on one weapon. I’m hard-pressed to come up with any other pieces of tooling with high gloves like that, but I think that’s a detail that could have been sacrificed to make a better figure. Topping off the figure, Sky Creeper gets an all new head. I hoped Sky Creeper would be one of the figures to get a new head sculpt, but I also thought that it might not happen because there’s not a lot of reuse potential to be had. Even though this is probably a one-off piece, the GIJCC and Boss Fight Studios really knocked Sky Creeper’s head out of the park. What little you can see of Sky Creeper’s face looks good and he looks like kind of a scummy guy. I like that his filecard noted that he learned about Cobra while serving time in prison with some of the Dreadnoks. Sky Creeper’s face definitely looks like a bad guy who’s been in and out of prison a lot of his life. However, you don’t see a lot about Sky Creeper’s face because so much of his face is covered. The head has a substantial, aerodynamic helmet with some built in goggles. The sculpt is excellent and it really helps bring the figure together. Honestly, I’d wondered if the GIJCC would repurpose Scrap Iron’s head since it could stand in for Sky Creeper’s unique head, but I’m very glad they went this route. It really helps make him stand out a bit more as a figure.
Like the vintage figure, the modern Sky Creeper has a pretty bright color scheme. However, as someone who loves the 90s Joes, I don’t mind and truthfully, I like the bright colors on Sky Creeper, even if it would be kind of hard for him to creep with all the yellow. Sky Creeper’s legs are black and the armor over the pants is yellow. That, unfortunately, does mean that some of the yellow is applied a bit too thickly to make sure it covers the black. There’s also quite a bit of black bleed through on the thigh armor. The colors are vintage-inspired, but painting yellow over black is a rather dicey proposition and unfortunately, the yellow on Sky Creeper’s legs is a little less than successful. The yellow and silver for his belt, though, works quite well and covers the black nicely. Up top, Sky Creeper has a teal shirt with yellow gloves and yellow webgear. The yellow webgear looks nice, though it could have used a light wash to make it look a little less plastic-y. The yellow for his gloves and hands is cleanly applied and it meshes well with the molded yellow webgear. Sky Creeper also gets the winged Cobra air force logo on his left bicep. It’s a nice touch and I like seeing the leader of the A.D.D.E.R.S. team wearing the unit’s insignia as well. Up top, Sky Creeper’s helmet is mostly yellow, though he does get black goggles and black side fins. The black pops nicely against the yellow and it adds a little depth to the color scheme on his head. His skin color is applied neatly and there’s no slop on the figure in general. Sky Creeper is a crisply painted figure, though the bleed through on the legs is a little problematic. However, that’s a problem caused by the way colors work, not anything the GIJCC did wrong.
Sky Creeper’s gear is solid and it fits well with the character. Like most of the Cobras in the Project Downfall set, Sky Creeper gets the Resolute Snake Eyes wingsuit in lieu of a glider. I think the wingsuit is a great substitute for the glider, though there is a part of me what wishes Sky Creeper, as the A.D.D.E.R.S. leader had gotten something unique to him. I wasn’t a terribly big fan of the modern C.L.A.W., but that would have been an interesting option for him and I doubt would have added too much to the figure’s overall cost. However, the wingsuit is passable. It’s blue and black, so it works quite well with Sky Creeper’s color scheme. The cloth of the wingsuit has the winged Cobra logo and I like seeing it here. I’ve mentioned in other reviews of Cobras from this set that I love that logo, and that’s still the case. For weapons, Sky Creeper gets a pair of guns. They’re both submachine guns, but one is a bit more basic while the other is tricked out with a silencer and a scope. I like these guns because they fit with the character. As a glider pilot, every ounce of weight matters in terms of how much altitude and distance you can get. I see Sky Creeper carrying these because he wants something that can lay down some fire but doesn’t weigh him down too much. It’s not a terribly big gear load, but Sky Creeper’s accessories all fit with the character and I’ll take quality over quantity any day of the week.
Sky Creeper is kind of an also-ran in the Joe universe. I’ve never noticed that he has much of a fan following and his most memorable (and potentially only) comic appearance is his death. However, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have the potential to be a great figure and an interesting character. The vintage filecard established that he’s just a crook that likes to use gliders to attack his targets and the modern one fleshed out how he got hooked up with Cobra. I like seeing another guy like Copperhead in the Cobra ranks. They’re both bad people who met up with Cobra in prison and now ply their criminal trades with Cobra instead of on their own. The figure works well for a glider expert and the equipment ties into the look as well. This is a solid figure and a great modern take on a lesser-known named Cobra. Figures like Sky Creeper are what I love about the GIJCC, especially their con sets. I’m always intrigued to see what slightly unknown character the GIJCC focuses on each year in the con set. They always seem to do a bang up job with that character and Sky Creeper is no different. This is an excellent addition to my Joe collection and it gives me an appreciation of a character that didn’t really make much of an impression on the Joe universe.