G.I. Gary Reviews – Shooter: The 14th Original G.I. Joe
June 1982: General Flagg takes roster of the G.I. Joe team for their first mission against Cobra, a ruthless terrorist organization that had kidnapped Dr. Adele Burkhart, a nuclear physicist turned government watchdog and peace advocate. In this mission, 13 Joes, consisting of 12 men and Scarlett, storm an island to rescue the imprisoned doctor. Conspicuously absent is the 14th Joe, codenamed Shooter, whose headshot is conveniently obscured by the computer operator’s hand.
June 2006: Declassified documents made available to Devils Due Publishing are also made available to the public via G.I. Joe Declassified. The three issue mini-series reveals the backstory for most of the original 13 Joes (save Snake Eyes and Scarlett) and serves as a lead-in and tie-in for G.I. Joe #1, Operation Lady Doomsday. Most notably, for the first time, the 14th Joe, is revealed and her story told.
Finally in 2016, during the final year for retail figures, Hasbro produces her figure, in a 3 pack with Night Force Falcon and Outback.
The backstory with Shooter is that it started as an in-joke for that first issue, an homage to Jim Shooter, who helped arrange G.I. Joe to come to Marvel Comics. However, fans and writers are never content to leave anything alone. So with the opportunity presented to Larry Hama, he found a way to add something new with his Declassified series.
Shooter, real name Sgt. Jodie Craig, comes with all you see here. Her weapons include a sniper rifle that disassembles into a case, a pistol with a silencer, and knife that conveniently stores in her webbing. She’s dressed in a very dark navy blue which goes with her two pack mates. Her molded on webbing features some silver paint applications for buckles. On her right shoulder is a star, and on her left is a wolf logo. Her construction is typical of the modern, non o-ring, G.I. Joes. With double jointed knees, articulating wrists and ankles she poses very well. Her hands are flexible enough to get her diminutive trigger finger into her weapons and not break.
Her sidearm and its silencer store separately on her right thigh holster. The pistol can be drawn separately from the silencer for rushed maneuvers but the silencer stores neatly which can be attached in a fluid fashion for stealth. Her knife is placed hilt down on her left shoulder with her webbing. both placements indicate that she is right handed.
One of the few drawbacks to her figure, and other G.I. Joes is the inability to really pose them in the prone position, especially when using a long rifle. her hair doesn’t help as it sits lower than a typical male sculpt. I understand it’s just a limitation of the head ball joint, but it means when Shooter is using her sniper rifle she should be standing and have the bipod resting on something, like a wall or window sill.
One other thing that bugs me is that for a sniper she’s really woefully equipped. As part of a three pack, it usually means that some characters got skimped with the accessories unlike their 2 pack brethren, or single carded from years before. She could really use a sighting scope and a ghillie suit. They could have been re-used from earlier figures like Low Light and Ambush.
Speaking of the sniper rifle, it comes in a beautifully sculpted case. The cool gimmick is that it can be assembled. The downside is that the pieces are very small and they can be a bit tedious to put on (and have them stay). On my figure the scope is constantly popping off. I had to reshape some plastic with a razor knife for better fitment. The plastic is soft and the tolerances are tight so I can see this being a common issue.
Overall, she’s a great character inside the G.I. Joe comic story. It was definitely a pleasant surprise that Hasbro decided to make this figure, in the bittersweet final retail year. Is she a must own? Not really. She goes well with the other modern Night Force figures, and is definitely an Easter egg for people who collect the “original 13.” Also, a must own for people that want characters that appear in the comics. As such, she’s a character that should appeal the majority of collectors, but certainly not all.
Until next time!