Hadleyville,PA or the Bayou?

We’re not going to talk about some Japanese car manufacturer taking over an American car factory, but about the Joe’s first real Marine, Ettienne R. LaFitte, better known as Gung-Ho.

Shown here in his dress blues, is actually also how I first got to know the figure. I hadn’t read any of the comics or seen the cartoons when I started collecting (okay, back in the day it was called playing) with Joes. So I had no idea how Gung-Ho looked like in his more regular Joe outfit. I have to say, he scrubs up nice ­čÖé With the pornstache, bald head, bare chest, … I can’t help but think of The Village People. Y-M-C-A, it’s fun to — ok, let’s not go there.

In the comics, Gung-Ho is part of the backup team in Alaska when Cobra’s new specialist (Destro) first appears. He is later assigned to the guard detail on Cobra Commander, eventually getting injured at the hands of Storm Shadow, leading to the discovery of Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow sharing the same tattoo.

Between 1983 and 2015, 21 figures of Gung-Ho (or Gung Ho) have been released. Surprisingly, most of these show him wearing a shirt. The first figure of Gung-Ho I had, was the dress blue version of 1987. In my younger self’s headcanon, he was some sort of Army Brass, a high ranking officer coming down to inspect the Joes. I have a few of the later iterations now and I have to say, he’s not my favorite Joe, but I suppose it’s admirable that he runs around bare-chested┬áa lot, dropping that huge USMC tattoo on his chest in your face.

In the cartoons, Gung-Ho is always there, fighting for freedom over land and air. But mostly, showing off… see below. Or talking to his gun as if its a child.

That’s all for now. Next time, we’ll aim for the moon and end up somewhere in space.

Until then, Happy Collecting and YoJoe!

Time for some Jambalaya.

If you read the previous post, you’ll have figured out that this week’s Impel Trading Card is Etienne LaFitte, G.I. Joe’s resident Cajun U.S. Marine better known as Gung-Ho.

In total there have been 21 figures of Gung-Ho released.┬áOnly five of these depict him with his bare chest and U.S. Marine tattoo (in various sizes and colours). There is one shirt wearing Gung-Ho figure that shows the tattoo is a rather deep man-cleavage shirt. Off course, most people will remember him as the bare-chested┬áMarine, but my favourite figure is the 1987 version in full Dress Suit. More on him in about 31 Impel Trading Cards (the exact double of this card┬┤s #… coincidence, I think not!).

In the comics, Gung-Ho´s first appearance coincides with the introduction of Cobra´s new specialist, everybody´s favourite arms dealer Destro. The Joes are sent to the Alaskan tundra to investigate the presence of Cobra forces. And naturally, in this cold and harsh environment, Gung-Ho is there shirtless. During the whole story, Gung-Ho´s model sister is mentioned when Snow Job tells Rock ´n Roll that he can set up a date for him with her. Neglecting to tell Rock ´n Roll that Gung-Ho´s sister is  a child model.

In the original cartoons, Gung-Ho is also depicted in his 1983 look, blueish camo trousers and the open blue vest. He is seen in the intro of the cartoon alongside Duke when they start charging after Stalker landed next to them. In the double episode Captives of Cobra, Cobra tries to get to the Joes by kidnapping their families and holding them hostage. The Baroness is sent into the Bayou to capture Gung-Ho┬┤s family, but they can handle themselves rather well and overpower the Cobra troops.

Next time we will take it to the top of the pyramid before we┬┤ll retreat gracefully.

Happy Collecting and YoJoe!