Know your Joes in time for "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" – Flint a.k.a the best Joe not named Snake-Eyes

GI Joe cartoon FlintFlint is by far my favorite G.I. Joe. He’s one of a handful of Joe characters that’s always been handled well no matter the medium from comic book to cartoon to action figure.

My first exposure to the character was in the “G.I. Joe – The Revenge of Cobra” cartoon mini-series. To a loyal comic book reader I was wondering who the heck this guy is and why he presumed to be the second in command of the team while Duke was gone, especially since Hawk (the Joe leader in the comics and in the toy universe) was still noticeably absent. It was bad enough that Duke stole Hawk’s thunder in the first G.I. Joe cartoon mini-series, but for this newcomer who didn’t have a figure or shown up in the comic book, I was greatly annoyed. But it didn’t take long for me to warm up to him largely¬† because he was featured so heavily in the cartoon and was in charge during many of my favorite episodes.

Here’s my favorite Flint scene from “Arise Serpentor Arise” where he’s telling off that mouthy Beach Head who’s got the nerve to challenge his authority.

GI Joe comic issue 37 Flint vs Crimson TwinsHe was also a favorite of G.I. Joe comic book writer Larry Hama, who after introducing him in issue #37, which also marked the first appearance of the Crimson Twins – Tomax and Xamot, made him a regular fixture despite the challenge of working in numerous new characters to keep up with the Hasbro toy line.

Comic book Flint was portrayed more as the G.I. Joe version of Han Solo, an overly confident, semi-arrogant pretty boy with an edge, who didn’t shy away from a fight yet always had time to flirt and romance Lady Jaye.GI Joe comic issue 57 Flint, Destro and Lady Jaye

Devil’s Due picked up the Joe comic license and made “G.I. Joe America’s Elite,” which consisted of a more streamlined team including a ruthless and reckless Flint, distraught and near-suicidal after Lady Jaye’s death.GI Joe America's Elite Flint It was an interesting portrayal and death-wish Flint was pretty cool, but I like Lady Jaye so I don’t consider this regular Joe comic continuity and Hama thankfully returned to resume his Joe comic universe where Lady Jaye is alive and well and frequently teamed up with Flint.

The action figure Flint had one of the more unique outfits of any of the original line as he deviated from the traditional Joe look of wearing a green shirt with chest straps with a gun and a grenade (just imagine how messy those fights would have been if Cobra Commander had any decent shooters in his ranks) and sported a black collar shirt — with sleeves rolled up to show he meant business — with SHOTGUN SHELLS strapped over his chest.

Flint and Lady Jaye figuresClearly Flint had a death wish, but to an impressionable 10-year-old it was the coolest outfit of any Joe only rivaled by the sweet Snake-Eyes ninja outfit.

Here’s the figure file card courtesy of the amazingly comprehensive Joe forum GI Joe Flint file cardEven when I was young I thought Flint had the best “real name” of all the Joes – Dashiell Fairborn. It sounds like a secret agent.DJ Cotrona as Flint in GI Joe Retaliation

In “G.I. Joe Retaliation,” Flint is being played by D.J. Cotrona (“Dear John”) and at least in all the images we’ve seen so far, Flint looks like generic army guy. That’s especially disappointing since Flint wears every movie director’s favorite color – black! The lack of a beret – Flint’s distinguishing accessory is also pretty lame too, but the new action figure comes with one so maybe movie Flint will find one along the way?