A veteran of the Royal Air Force turned top player in the English Football League, Farooq "Spitfire" Shah subverts the stereotype of the ego-driven celebrity athlete. Kind, humble, and always friendly to his fans, Spitfire Shah is always ready to jump into trouble in a time of crisis; and those heroic instincts, coupled with his RAF training and talent in aerial combat, make him a shoe-in for membership in the international G.I. Joe team.
After leaving the Royal Air Force, Farooq Shah became a star football player, earning the nickname "Spitfire". Some time after G.I. Joe re-formed as an international organisation, Shah and his teammates travelled to a friendly game in the Hague, though Farooq insisted on stopping to take a selfie with a eager fan at Heathrow Airport, to his hungover teammate Taylor's dismay. Shortly after the team arrived in the Hague, a group of Cobranarchists attacked a military convoy transporting Crystal Ball and the Baroness, causing panic and chaos; over Taylor's protests, Farooq rushed into action and kicked an improvised explosive device into the air, where it exploded harmlessly, earning him raucous applause. When the Dreadnoks attacked Duke, Farooq intervened to save the ex-Joe's life, and when the progenitors of the "Fatal Fluffies" attacked, he commandeered Zanzibar's hoverboard to help Quick Kick take down one of the monsters. Thanks to Shah's actions, Scarlett invited him to join G.I. Joe, where he took the role of an aerial combat specialist, codenamed "Spitfire". When acting G.I. Joe commander Shipwreck assembled a fast response team to deal with Cobra's attacks on international museums, Spitfire was selected for aerial support. When the newly Cobra-aligned V.E.N.O.M. attacked the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, Spitfire used a jetpack built by Grand Slam to engage the Manta in the skies. However, when the V.E.N.O.M. vehicles combined into King Cobra, Spitfire was unable to get close enough to the massive snake-shaped mech, until Shipwreck formulated a battle plan; Spitfire distracted the robot so that Skywarp could hold it in place, allowing Salvo and Gung-Ho to take it down. Though the V.E.N.O.M. agents were arrested, the Joes failed in their primary mission, with the Cobra agents escaping with the antediluvian artifact they were seeking.
With higher-ups in the U.S. military wanting to vet Spitfire and his family, Duke contacted his man within Lemuria, Roadblock, for details on the new team member; Roadblock, however, was furious at the profiling of the Pakistani-British Joe, and broke off his connection with Duke. Subsequently, Roadblock selected Spitfire as air support for his mission to the North Pole, having faith in his talents despite his being new to the team. At the North Pole, the Joes discovered a verdant rainforest created by the melting of the polar ice caps; on the ground, Spitfire teased Salvo over the excessive size of her weaponry... shortly before the team were set upon by hostile dinosaurs.
- As a British member of G.I. Joe from the RAF, Spitfire is named after the iconic British WWII fighter plane, the Supermarine Spitfire. The name has been used before in the G.I. Joe franchise, but only for a missile platform playset rather than a character.
- Spitfire was originally intended to be named Farooq Bin Nasir, aka "Big Bin", and would have been a new version of and successor to classic Joe Big Ben (in keeping with writer Aubrey Sitterson's belief that G.I. Joe's expansive cast made creating new characters unnecessary). However, the creators were asked to change him to be a new character after the pages had been drawn, with Simon Spurrier suggesting the new codename. He was named after Sitterson's friend Farooq Nomani.
- "In this week's Behind-the-Scenes post, I share the first draft script for G.I. Joe #7 & explain the original plans for our new Pakistani-British Joe. Farooq "Spitfire" Shah was meant to be Farooq Bin Nasir, aka BIG BEN…up until we were told to change it…" — @aubreysitterson on Twitter
- "Hahahah. If you can believe it, the first name comes not from Mr. Simmons, but from my dude @FarooqNomani, who helped me make sure I gave the character a culturally appropriate name!" — @aubreysitterson on Twitter