|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, who's 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: Iceman facility in Brasnya, also looking for Mike Power. But by the time they arrived, it was too late. Mike Power was 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 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, 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.
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 being lured into a Tomahawk by someone he respected , Colton was attacked by the body snatching aliens known as Dire Wraiths who then 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 who were watching footage of Optimus Prime's announcement that he was annexing Earth into the Cybertronian Council of Worlds. Though the punks 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. Wrongfully 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 Miles Mayhem, 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'd attacked him got enough genetic material from his hand to assume his form. This Wraith imposter was assigned by the President of the United States to become head of the Earth Defense Command.
Unwilling to involve the Joes, Colton took on the moniker of "Baron Ironblood" and began recruiting supervillains into his new "Iron Ring", such as Storm Shadow, Doctor X, Destro, Miles Mayhem, Shazraella of Microspace, Iron Klaw, and Doctor Mindbender .
Ironblood and Doctor X, setting up shop in the Section Sabine moonbase employed the Oktober Guard to obtain the Talisman for them. When Ian Noble 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.
Ironblood and 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, a strange steampunk Transformer.
Reconvening in Kalistan to speak with Iron Klaw and fangirl over the Predacons, the villains were ambushed by Snake Eyes while they had hooked up Blackrock to a copy of the Talisman. Snake Eyes was soon felled and Ironblood realized he was but a drone. "Tomax" was in fact Snake Eyes in disguise who made fools out of everyone present before he freed Blackrock, smashed their computers and the heroes hightailed it away. Ironblood decided to then cut ties with Tomax and Centurion.
Sometime after that, Ironblood's cabal made their way to Cybertron during the ceremony commemorating Earth joining the Council of Worlds within false hollow Cybertronians utilized as Trojan horses. Now joined by Destro and the Dreadnoks, Ironblood oversaw the attack to sow panic into Iacon.
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.
- 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.
- 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.