|The name or term "G.I. Joe" refers to more than one character or idea. For a list of other meanings, see G.I. Joe (disambiguation).|
|This article is about the real Joe Colton. For the Dire Wraith who impersonated him circa the Revolution event, see Joe Colton (Dire Wraith).|
General Joseph B. "Joe" Colton is known better by his codename: G.I. Joe. A highly decorated officer in the United States Army with a strong grip, Colton has had his fair share of fantastic adventures during his time as leader of the Adventure Team. Colton became so famous that the Adventure Team's replacement, the Joint Services Special Counterterrorist Group, was given another name: G.I. Joe, after Colton's old nickname. Since their existence was revealed to the public by Cobra, Colton has led G.I. Joe in their continuing fight for freedom.
However, after an encounter with the Dire Wraiths, Colton realized that G.I. Joe was not enough. Needing to remain in hiding, he adopted the persona of Baron Ironblood, a sinister, masked villain. Creating the "Iron Ring", Colton has allied himself with some of the most world's most dangerous villains in pursuit of the artifact codenamed the Talisman to achieve his ultimate goal: saving the Earth by destroying all Transformers.
America's Fighting Man
Born in Central Falls, Rhode Island, Joe Colton long dreamed of serving his country, inspired by the legendary World War II hero Sgt. Savage, whose story he learned through documentaries and his mother's recollections of him. Through hard work and dedication, Colton graduated with highest honors from the United States Military Academy at West Point. His distinguished record later earned Colton a position with the Green Berets.
With experience in covert operations and natural leadership, Colton was selected to lead the Adventure Team, going by the codename "G.I. Joe". This is where Joe would meet his longtime friend Miles Manheim, whom he affectionately nicknamed "Miles Mayhem". Throughout his adventures, Joe made friends with heroes like Action Man and fought off villainous "intruders". Thanks to the highly-publicized nature of several of the team's missions, the Adventure Team was well known to the general public and was popular enough to get its own line of toys. Colton did his own lines for a toy of himself that was able to talk, an experience that made him rather nervous.
One of the Adventure Team's missions brought them to Dashur, Egypt to rescue Garrison Kreiger from the Tomb of Amtoltec. While the rest of the team were busy fighting evil robot mummies outside, Joe ventured into the pyramid to try and locate Kreiger. Colton recognized the mummies as the IRON Troopers that Sgt. Savage and his Screaming Eagles had encountered back in WWII. Searching the tomb, he came across a cassette player belonging to Dr. Elliot Marsh. Surrounded by more IRON Troopers, Joe dropped the tape deck down a crevice... out of which Soundwave appeared, destroying the Troopers. Believing the Decepticon to be a piloted mech, Joe asked if Action Man or Hideaki was piloting it, but he was quickly proven wrong when Soundwave attacked him. After a quick save from Mayhem, the two followed the "Alternator" to a secret chamber where they found Kreiger trying to control an artifact called the Talisman. Joe attacked the giant robot as the rest of the Adventure Team arrived to help get Kreiger out. Deciding that the Talisman wasn't worth his time, Soundwave retreated, nearly crushing Joe and Stalker beneath debris. Fortunately, the two were saved by the newly Talisman-enhanced Atomic Man.
Another mission took them to rescue the Dr. Emil Burkhart and his daughter Adele, where they were pinned down by IRON Troopers. While the team was successful in rescuing Adele, they still had to rescue Emil, who was strapped to a rocket about to explode. Despite Joe's warnings, Atomic Man tried to save the doctor. Unfortunately, Joe was right; Atomic Man failed to reach Dr. Burkhart in time and the Adventure Team could only watch as the rocket exploded. This failure weighed heavily on Atomic Man and he left the team soon after.
By 1994, the Adventure Team was re-christened "Adventure Force". They were assigned to shut down Garrison Kreiger's operations and infiltrated his Project: Ice Man facility in Brasnya, also looking for Mike Power. But by the time they arrived, it was too late; Mike Power had no pulse, and was apparently dead. This infuriated Joe and he punched out Kreiger. However, Adventure Force now had another problem – Joe's childhood hero, Sgt. Savage, had been teleported from 1944 to the present. Not long after Mike Power's "death", the Adventure Team was shut down.
At one point, Joe took a vacation to Los Angeles, California, where he encountered a young Craig McConnel, who was doing nothing with his life; Colton advised him to join up with the military, which McConnel, inspired by Joe's confidence in him, did. Colton, accompanied by other members of the Adventure Team, gave a speech for a graduating class of a United States Army Special Forces qualification course that included Conrad Hauser. The Adventure Team was eventually replaced with a new team headed by General Hawk while Colton was promoted to a desk job, much to his irritation. While he had to shave his glorious beard, he did serve in an administrative capacity on this new team, which was nicknamed G.I. Joe in his honor. Colton personally recruited a number of the earliest members of the G.I. Joe team; in addition to his old comrade Stalker, a young soldier by the name of Shana O'Hara caught his eye, noticing that despite her considerable talents her superiors never seemed to acknowledge her. Rather than letting her continue to languish, Colton met with her personally to extend an invitation to the G.I. Joe team with the codename "Scarlett". Colton also sought out Craig McConnell, now a Sergeant First Class, and invited him to push himself further as a member of the team, codenamed "Rock 'n Roll".
Colton also had some involvement with Skywatch, alongside Garrison Kreiger and Joshua Red, studying the effects of the Talisman and Ore-13 on Cybertronians at their Project: Hot House facility in Mount St. Helens. Their studies of the Talisman led them to believe that Sgt. Savage's Talisman-fueled trip through time meant that his body was saturated with the device's energy, meaning that they could potentially use him to reactive it. After releasing the captive Cybertronian Bugly and leading Hawk's team to his coordinates, Colton sent out a distress signal in hopes of attracting Savage to Mount St. Helens. After Savage arrived, Kreiger's Cybertronian ally Centurion quickly made his presence known and took out Bugly. As Centurion led the Joes and Savage back to the Project: Hot House facility, Colton greeted them and quickly ushered Savage off into the next room, ignoring Hawk, Stalker, and Scarlett's attempts to get him to explain just what was going on. While Savage grew concerned with how Skywatch was treating Bugly, recognizing that the robot was clearly very frightened and confused, Colton insisted that Kreiger get on with the experiment. As Centurion threw Savage at the Talisman and the resulting pulse of energy both disappeared Savage yet again and annihilated Bugly, Colton reacted in awe at what the Talisman had wrought.
Following the Decepticon invasion of Earth, Colton and the G.I. Joe team participated in clean-up operations in New York City, with Colton lamenting his failure to adequately warn the government of the potential dangers of the Cybertronians.
After G.I. Joe was revealed to the world by Cobra following the battle between them resulting in the destruction of Nanzhao, G.I. Joe was reinstated as a public organization in the model of the Adventure Team with General Colton at its official head. Governors Island was rededicated as the team's headquarters, with Colton heading up a press conference on the island to announce their new way of operating; afterwards, he conferred with the team's field leader Duke on their mission to Warrenton, Ohio, justifying to him their new "celebrity soldier" organisation and notifying him of the embedded journalist being placed on their team.
While the Joes raided Warrenton, General Colton and the rest of G.I. Joe central command watched over a video feed as they apparently pulled off a successful raid of a chemical weapons plant. Unknown to Colton, though, the video was a fake created by Cobra — the team had actually been shot down over the town and Duke had been captured. Dragonflies to the town, though they were unable to prevent its destruction.However, when "Duke" sent in the Joes' counter-sign — "Topaz" — Colton recognised it as not being their "all clear", but a code from the dialogue of the Adventure Team toys, meaning "ambush". Colton ordered a flight of
When Roadblock came to Colton with concerns about a possible leak within G.I. Joe, the general told him about a stratagem used by the Screaming Eagles, the "notional mole", to illustrate the potential danger of tearing off on a witch hunt over a potentially nonexistent threat. After Hashtag was refused permission to pursue a lead on Cobra by Duke, Cover Girl went over his head to General Colton, having already been suspicious that Duke might be their mole.
Five years later, Colton remained in command of G.I. Joe, which was now perilously close to being shut down, with Scarlett now serving as second in command after Duke left the team. As Scarlett prepared for her appearance at one of the Senate hearings that would decide G.I. Joe's fate, Colton scoffed at how Cobra had rebranded itself as a legitimate, non-violent organization. As their car arrived at the hearing, Colton advised Scarlett to just tell things as they were. As evidence began to mount that the Joe team had once again sprung a leak, Colton met with a contact to try and see where the leak could be coming from but didn't get far, only learning that the CIA had learned the same intel the Joe team in Galibi had. Meeting with Scarlett in his office, Colton learned that Duke and fellow ex-Joe Big Ben were both on the ground in Schleteva working as mercenaries looking for Isaac Craft, the son of the Cobra lead the Joes had tried pursuing years ago. With that in mind, Scarlett asked for authorization to go to London and attempt to interrogate Siren about what her son was up to in Schleteva. Though Colton was unsure about letting her run off like that when she was in charge of commanding all of G.I. Joe's field teams, he ultimately gave her authorization. In the wake of Isaac Craft uploading a video implicating Cobra in the murder of Grigor Rashidov's wife as well as the attempted murder of both Grigor and himself, Colton met with a U.S. senator in hopes of convincing him G.I. Joe still had a purpose given that Cobra clearly wasn't as non-violent as it seemed. While there was a brief glimmer of hope that the team may survive, at the end of the day America no longer trusted G.I. Joe and the team was shut down.
Blood for the Baron
After Autobot leader Optimus Prime annexed Earth into the Cybertronian Council of Worlds, Colton was assigned to lead the Earth Defense Command in place of his predecessor Marissa Faireborn. Colton had former members of G.I. Joe escort the captive Garrison Blackrock and attack the Autobots and Decepticons beneath the Indian Ocean. Though Blackrock was taken from them by Sentinel Prime, the team taking on the Cybertronians were more successful, managing to capture Decepticon Blitzwing. Deciding to make use of the Talisman to wipe out the Transformers once and for all, Colton attempted to get clearance to do so through official channels, but was stymied by the fact that the government had been infiltrated by the body snatching aliens known as Dire Wraiths. After being lured into a Tomahawk by someone he respected, Colton was attacked by the Wraiths who attempted to kill and replace him. Fighting back, Colton's survival came at the cost of one of his hands, which he cut off with his own knife before jumping out of the vehicle and into the woods below. Living off the land for a week, the first contact Colton had with civilization after the incident with the Wraiths was a quartet of punks; though they were quick to antagonize him, Colton defeated them easily and took the phone they were using to call up Garrison Kreiger, admitting to him that he was right about the threat aliens posed to Earth all along and asking for his help.
At Kreiger's lab in Paris, Colton had the lingering traces of Dire Wraith DNA removed from his wound Wraith imposter took over Joe's duties as head of the Earth Defense Command, before being executed by Rom the Space Knight, leaving the world believing that Colton was dead.and his hand replaced with a Talisman-tech prosthetic. Wrongly believing the Dire Wraiths were in league with the Cybertronians, Colton made plans to destroy Cybertron itself and wipe out the Cybertronian race as revenge for the myriad of incursions its people had performed on Earth. Thanks to Centurion , the Project: Hot House experiments, and more recent "research" carried out by, Kreiger had enough knowledge of Cybertronian biology that Colton could begin his genocidal campaign as the Talisman itself was corrosive to Cybertronians. Meanwhile, believing Colton hadn't survived the fall from the helicopter, the Dire Wraiths who had attacked him got enough genetic material from his hand to assume his form. This
Unwilling to involve the Joes in the knowledge that they would object to his plans, Colton took on the moniker of the villainous "Baron Ironblood" in order to deal with and recruit supervillains into his new "Iron Ring". Ironblood's early recruits included Storm Shadow and her ally Doctor X, who were convinced to join when Colton promised Storm Shadow Talisman-derived enhancements for her Red Shadow ninja, as well as the Iron Klaw, who allowed the alliance use of his Iron Castle as a base — though Colton cautioned him on the dangers of trying to bind the Predacons to his will.
Doctor X licensed use of the M.A.S.S. Device, a global teleportation machine, from former Cobra member Destro; however, Colton wished to bring the arms dealer into the alliance proper, and travelled to Castle Destro to persuade him, leaving behind his disguise. Though Destro initially set his B.A.T. guards on Colton, he was convinced when he revealed his plan to use the M.A.S.S. Device and Autobot City's spacebridge to take them to Cybertron, where Destro could plunder the aliens' most advanced technology. Colton also recruited his old ally Miles Mayhem for his ability to spread chaos and hatred of the Transformers, though even he was put off by Mayhem's torture of the Decepticon Blitzwing.
Baron Ironblood and Doctor X set up shop in the derelict Cobra moonbase Section Sabine, using the Red Shadows to scavenge materials to repair it. After Garrison Blackrock accidentally activated the Talisman in its I.R.O.N./S.I.S. bunker in Schleteva, transforming the population of Verenya into Dire Wraith hybrids, the villains hired Major Bludd and the Oktober Guard to retrieve the Talisman. When an interfering Action Man was brought to the moonbase accidentally by Major Bludd's teleportation, the Baron — having no desire to see any unnecessary death — expressed worry about Doctor X chaining him up in a spacesuit outside the base, and was subsequently introduced to him when Action Man managed to make his way inside. Despite this, when Action Man escaped further into the moonbase, the Baron grumbled that they should have just killed him instead, a suggestion rebuked by Doctor X.
When Kup, Mayday, Blackrock and the Micronauts invaded the base to save Action Man, Ironblood ordered the Red Shadows to stop them, furiously exclaiming that they had put years of preparation into their work and were "trying to save you, too". When Larissa inadvertently destabilised the Ore-13 by Enerchanging with the Talisman, Ironblood ordered Doctor X and the Red Shadows to evacuate using the M.A.S.S. device; he determined that Action Man would be rescued by his friends, and that even if they had their hands on the Talisman, they wouldn't unlock its secrets.
When Baron Karza attempted to conquer Earth, he contacted Ironblood, along with many of his allies, to offer them a place serving under him. Following Karza's defeat, Ironblood and Mayhem recruited Lady Shazraella to the Iron Ring, promising to let her have Cybertron itself once they were done with it.
Ironblood and Doctor X later met up with Cobra leader Tomax Paoli. Ironblood encouraged Tomax to take up the mantle of Cobra Commander, saying that "the mask makes the man." Knowing that Action Man and the rest would trace the Talisman to Tomax, the pair offered him a partnership, which he declined... until he met their other partner: Centurion. Agreeing to join them, Tomax ventured to San Francisco with Centurion.
Reconvening in Kalistan to speak with Iron Klaw and Kreiger, Ironblood expressed his doubt at Tomax's abilities, and seemed to be proven correct when Tomax requested extraction via MASS Device. However, Tomax returned with a gift: a captive Garrison Blackrock. As the villains hooked Blackrock up to a control module for testing, Ironblood noticed Snake Eyes hiding in the rafters of the Iron Castle. Kreiger summoned a squad of Iron Grenadiers, who took the ninja commando down with little effort. Ironblood inspected the body, noticing wiring in the bullet holes and realizing he was a drone. "Tomax" was, in fact, the real Snake Eyes in disguise (with Kup providing his voice). Snake Eyes shot and wounded Ironblood before freeing Blackrock and escaping using the M.A.S.S. device. Seeing how they were infiltrated, Ironblood decided that the Iron Ring had to cut ties with Tomax and Centurion. While Tomax contended with the "Revolutionaries" in San Francisco, Ironblood reluctantly allowed Kreiger to be teleported to the Project: Ice Man base to deal with their enemies alongside Mike Power, who had survived for over two decades hooked into the systems of the base.
After Kreiger was captured by the Revolutionaries and brought back to the Onyx building in Buenos Aires, the Iron Ring made their move to retrieve both their ally and the Talisman before the G.I. Joe team could arrive to take them away. With Doctor X and Storm Shadow infiltrating the building, Baron Ironblood teleported down to its roof with the Oktober Guard and a group of Red Shadows, projecting a force field around the building that trapped the Revolutionaries, the Joes and their allies within. However, Sgt. Savage — who had been brought into the present day by another surge of Talisman energy — saw through his disguise and attacked him, pulling off his helmet and revealing his true identity as Joe Colton for all to see. As chaos and fighting broke out, Colton and Savage fought one-on-one, with Savage getting the upper hand and decrying Colton for not seeing the Cybertronians as people. Their battle was interrupted when the giant Cybertronian Metrotitan broke through the forcefield, allowing Optimus Prime himself to join the fight, with Skywarp pointing the Autobot leader towards Colton; the villain fled to the building's stairwell, but was immediately set upon by the mutated Dire Wraith hybrids, released from their containment pods by Action Man.
Though Savage's words about the need to end the fighting caused Colton to have doubts, the massive display of power from Metrotitan when the Titan broadcast energy to return the mutated humans to normal saw him double down on his beliefs that the Cybertronians' power was too dangerous. At Kreiger's urging, Colton and his fellow villains teleported away once more, with Doctor X and Storm Shadow managing to secure the Talisman. Gathering in the Iron Castle for the last time, Colton decided that it was time to take the fight to the Cybertronians by striking first and preventing them from retaliating.
Insurgency on Cybertron
Gathering his forces, including the other villains of the Iron Ring, Dr. Mindbender, and the Dreadnoks, Colton — preparing for his attack — quizzed Kreiger over his obsession with the Talisman, leading his ally to reveal that he saw the device as a calling to galactic conquest. Knowing his old team would eventually find him out and try to stop him, he baited a trap for Scarlett to offer her an explanation for his actions comparing the humans to ants under Cybertron's boot, believing Cybertron would soon start another war that would wind up destroying Earth and wiping out the human race. To prevent that from ever coming to pass, Colton had decided to take the first step and wipe Cybertron off the map.
With Iron Klaw and Doctor X remaining on Earth, the remainder of the villainous alliance made their way to Cybertron during the ceremony commemorating Earth joining the Council of Worlds within false, hollow Cybertronians, built with Miles Mayhem's Project Spectrum technology, utilized as Trojan horses. While their army of Red Shadows, Iron Grenadiers and Dreadnoks attacked the ceremony and sowed panic in Iacon, Colton and his allies descended into the tunnels below the city; Dr. Mindbender stayed on the surface to oversee the attack, disguised as Ironblood as a decoy. While Scarlett's G.I. Joes and the Cybertronian security forces engaged the false Ironblood, Colton's alliance continued to move towards the planet's core while leaving sound dampeners to block Soundwave's advanced hearing — though infighting occurred between the villains thanks to their failure to treat Shazraella with the proper respect and Mayhem's casual sexism irritating Storm Shadow.
Knowing that Scarlett would inevitably be pursuing them, Colton set up a series of booby traps to slow her team down, reactivating the fake Cybertronians on the surface to fight them; when Mayhem questioned what would happen if it wasn't enough to stop Scarlett, Colton said he would "trip [Mayhem] and run". However, the delay required to set up the obstacles allowed Metroplex, the Cybertronian Titan that formed Iacon, to detect their presence before they could leave the city, leading the city-bot to shift his walls and floors in order to eliminate them. Thanks to Shazraella and Storm Shadow, the villains made it safely to the exit hatch leading to Cybertron below, but before they could leave, Cybertronian security officer Sunstreaker — heavily injured from a fight with an army of Red Shadows — confronted them, ordering them to surrender. Though Colton promised not to shoot if he stood down, Sunstreaker was aware of Colton's genocidal intentions, leading the villain to blast him into stasis lock and escape into the planet itself.
To cover up their path, Colton had Mayhem project a realistic hologram of a river of acid, capable of fooling all of Soundwave's senses to make their pursuers believe that they had lost the trail; however, Scarlett saw through his trick, and her team continued towards the planet's center. As the villains neared the core, they were set upon by a horde of Insecticons sent from within Cybertron to kill them; though they managed to bypass the swarm, they found that Scarlett, Optimus Prime and their allies had reached the core before them and were lying in wait, intent on stopping them from using the Talisman. In the ensuing fight, Colton and Scarlett engaged each other; quickly destroying each others' main weapons, they switched to fighting with knives while Scarlett chewed her old mentor out for choosing fear and attempted genocide over everything the Joes had strove for under him. As they fought, Colton revealed that he didn't plan for any of his team to survive their plan; but the situation was complicated when Cybertron's leader Starscream, Elita One, and her follower Obsidian, who intended to arrest both Scarlett's team and Colton's.
While Scarlett and Joe scrambled out of the way of Obsidian's missiles, Colton saw Kreiger running for the Talisman, despite the team not having yet reached the core. When Colton tried to run after Kreiger, Scarlett stopped him, leading to him inadvertently stabbing her in the stomach; not wanting to kill her, Colton implored her to give up, but Scarlett instead struggled through her injury, pinning his prosthetic hand to the floor with his own knife. It was too late for Colton to call his allies off, however, as had reached and activated the Talisman; as its magical energy coursed through all of Cybertron and its inhabitants, Colton's ally cast off his form and revealed that he was not human at all, but an alien wizard named Merklynn from the lost world of Prysmos. Using the power of the planet's magically-altered Energon and the Talisman together, Merklynn transformed the area around him into a replica of his homeworld; as he gloated to Colton, he had known from the start that he was just a pawn to the former "G.I. Joe", and was himself using Colton to recreate his lost world, wanting to use it as a staging post to invade other worlds and bring about a "new age of magic" throughout the galaxy. Merklynn teleported all the combatants to Cybertron's surface, where Joe — thoroughly broken by the revelation that he had potentially helped bring about Earth's destruction, rather than saving it — willingly surrendered into Cybertronian custody along with his allies.
Even though he willingly gave himself up to Cybertronian custody, there remained a contingent of humanity who believed Colton's extreme anti-Cybertronian actions were justified and demanded he be released.
- G.I. Joe being from Rhode Island is a reference to Hasbro, which was founded and continues to operate in the state.
- Baron Ironblood hails from the Action Force franchise, an Action Man spin-off line of smaller-scale figures, later used as a vehicle to import the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero line into the UK. Notably, the Action Force comic handled this transition by establishing Cobra Commander as a new identity for Ironblood.
- When exactly Colton was replaced by a Wraith and became Baron Ironblood is a bit muddled. Revolutionaries #8 depicts Colton's encounter with the Wraiths as taking place prior to Optimus Prime annexing Earth in The Transformers #49, while First Strike #0 and #2 indicate the real Colton had taken command of the EDC and didn't get replaced until after The Transformers #57. Meanwhile, in Action Man #4, which takes place a month before the events of Revolution, Mercy Gale mentions Baron Ironblood as one of the many villains faced by members of the Action Man Programme. When asked if Colton took on the identity from a preexisting Ironblood (or if Colton was letting off steam by terrorizing England even before Revolution), writer John Barber declined to answer, preferring to leave it open-ended.
- Colton's outfit in First Strike features a mask resembling that of Cobra mercenary Wraith.
- Presumably. He's only seen at the class in a dream experienced by Duke, in which several details of the memories were altered by Doctor Mindbender, but there's no particular reason to think that that element would have been changed.
- John Barber on Action and Adventure: The Hasbro Universe Podcast