G.I. Joe Firefly Friday #FireFlyFriday

By Karl Stern (@dragonkingkarl, @wiwcool, karl@dragonkingkarl.com)

The last of this week's theme week subjects is the G.I. Joe enemy and cobra saboteur Firefly.  Firefly debuted in the Marvel Comic's G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero issue 24 in 1984 and was released as an action figure in the Hasbro 1984 G.I. Joe toy line.  Firefly was also one of the main characters in the G.I. Joe: Retaliation movie played by Ray Stevenson.

Firefly meets zartan in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero issue 25

Firefly meets zartan in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero issue 25

Originally, Firefly was a very interesting and mysterious explosives expert and saboteur.  His action figure file card read: "No one knows what Firefly's real name is or what he looks like. He is known by his work. Expert in all NATO and Warsaw Pact explosives and detonators. Always places his charges in the one place that affords maximum damage. There is no question about his infiltration skills since no one has ever reported seeing him enter or leave any target area.  Even COBRA Commander doesn't know much about Firefly. His fees are paid into a numbered Swiss bank account and are always payable in advance. He makes no guarantees and gives no refunds."  

An early firefly appearance with cobra commander.

An early firefly appearance with cobra commander.

Sadly, the Firefly mythos took a turn for the worse in later issues of G.I. Joe, turning him into a faceless ninja involved in the assassination of the Hard Master Arishikage ninja leader.  His movie appearance also deviated significantly from his original file card and comic book appearances.  Firefly appeared in the Sunbow G.I. Joe cartoon, voiced by Gregg Berger. 

firefly was always portrayed as an outsider and even stirred up trouble among cobra allies.

firefly was always portrayed as an outsider and even stirred up trouble among cobra allies.

Storm shadow explains who firefly is right before his regretable costume change.

Storm shadow explains who firefly is right before his regretable costume change.

yes, in later years of the original run of Marvel Comics G.I. Joe: A Real American hero, they took one of the best costumes they had and changed it to this green and grey monstrosity.  but it gets even worse...  they unmask firefly to reveale... 

yes, in later years of the original run of Marvel Comics G.I. Joe: A Real American hero, they took one of the best costumes they had and changed it to this green and grey monstrosity.  but it gets even worse...  they unmask firefly to reveale... 

yes... the faceless master.  a faceless ninja.  this was a terrible idea.

yes... the faceless master.  a faceless ninja.  this was a terrible idea.

the g.i. joe retaliation firefly had a pretty good look, very reminicent of the original action figure.

the g.i. joe retaliation firefly had a pretty good look, very reminicent of the original action figure.

The original 1984 firefly action figure came with a cool backpack that opened up to reveal a tool kit.

The original 1984 firefly action figure came with a cool backpack that opened up to reveal a tool kit.

firefly got a nice modern update around the time of G.I. Joe: retaliation which is a very solid interpretation of the original action figure.

firefly got a nice modern update around the time of G.I. Joe: retaliation which is a very solid interpretation of the original action figure.

the new version even came with this nifty removeable explosives pack.

the new version even came with this nifty removeable explosives pack.

Despite what happened to the character design later... these are good looking action figures.

Despite what happened to the character design later... these are good looking action figures.

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