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A Joe in the Sights: Wet-Suit

I mentioned back in my Snow Job article the strange impact that James Bond movies had on my playtime. Long story short for those for you who don’t want to do research into some idiot’s GI Joe reminiscing is that sometimes the specialists of the Joe world lined up with random James Bond adventures.

James Bond shooting people on skis made me realize how cool it was to…ski and shoot people, therefore that made me want Snow Job even more than I might have already wanted him. And James Bond’s few underwater adventures made me want the moist Joes in the same fashion. And while I somehow missed out on getting 1983’s Torpedo, I didn’t hesitate when Wet-Suit came around.

Being an individual who was never around large bodies of water as a kid, I have never learned to swim. Almost drowning the one time I did go into a largish body of water has put me in the mindset of: nah, I’m fine, dry is fine, big bodies of water can go straight to hell and not pass go. I have no need to swim.

Which means those Joes that choose big bodies of water as their main battlefield always seem like their the crazier nutbags of the GI Joe world. Torpedo, Deep Six and Wet-Suit lead the pack of crazies. These people can’t wait to stick a tube in their mouth and dunk their heads.

That’s nuts. Here I am trying to keep my lungs as dry as possible by staying out of anything more than my regular two showers a day and these guys practically live in water. And this dude can’t even talk to fish. That’s double nuts. If comic books taught me anything—and I have a PhD in reading comic books—it’s that the underwater guys can always talk to the fish. Not that fish are great conversationalists. Have you ever tried to talk to a fish? It’s enough to give you a haddock.

To top it off, Wet-Suit just looked cool. That expressionless mask, the colorful suit, the flippers…it all made a great looking figure. And he came with a little underwater flashlight. Do you know how often the Joes wandered around wishing they had a flashlight? At least three times. Maybe four. And then there was that underwater propulsion system. Torpedo didn’t have that. Torpedo just had flippers. Wet-Suit had this miniature thingie that’s called a…scooter? Underwater scooter? Scooter buddies! That can’t be right. Or maybe it can. What do I know, it’s not like I’ll ever need it, unless the glaciers all melt and we all end up under water. Which will absolutely suck. For me. And I guess all of you, but especially me.

Anyway, Wet-Suit had a few good comic appearances, even making the cover when he first appeared. He was sent out on a mission to save Snake Eyes, who was attempting to kill every Cobra ever while escaping from Cobra island along with Storm Shadow, who at this point was no longer your standard bad guy. It’s complicated. Appropriately, he was teamed up with Torpedo in the very first issue of GI Joe: Special Missions. These moist Joes have to stick together.

Wet-Suit showed up quite a bit in the cartoon, quickly establishing a friendly rivalry with Leatherneck, referring to him as “Leatherwreck” because rhyming insults are ten times worse than regular insults according to the Geneva Convention.

Having fun with toys that you would think would require water might seem like it would be difficult, but I would like to counter that with a little thing called “Make-believe.” Somehow you made it work. Air is water. The living room floor is the ocean. Up is down, down is up, I wasn’t going to fill up the bathtub just to play with my toys. Wet-Suit went on a lot of dry missions also. I still made him wear his flippers, though. That’s the kind of unreasonable toy god I am. Dance for me, you little plastic bitch. And wear your flippers!

Wet-Suit was a passenger on the Devilfish’s package art, but much like Snow Job always drove the Battle Bear, He always commandeered the Devilfish when I got that vehicle. And again, he skimmed along the living room floor and its…brown water when he did so.

Better him than me.