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A Joe in the Sights: Heavy Duty

Heavy Duty is the human equivalent of a fully capitalized sentence.

Sweet Jesus, just look at what Heavy Duty rolls in to combat with. That is weaponized overcompensation. That is a serving tray filled with death. That is an entire stack of overdue library books and Heavy Duty doesn’t give a tin shit about the late fees.

If Heavy Duty was a guitarist, he’d be Michael Angelo Batio. If Heavy Duty was an Octopus he’d have nine arms, and all the other aquatic life would say that it was illegal, and then the nine-armed octopus would blow them to kingdom come, because that ninth arm was made of Sam Kinison with a megaphone.

Heavy duty got his GI Joe code name when he was less than a year old, when his mom was changing his diapers. “Damn,” His mom said, “That’s some heavy doodie.”

They say he blew out the candles of his first birthday cake with a live grenade.

I never had Heavy Duty. He was a 1991 figure, and in the year I bought only a single new Joe: V4 Snake Eyes. That would be my last Joe figure of the vintage line. At this time, GI Joe shelf space was diminishing in favor of other brands, and despite the fact that I definitely would have bought an action figure of a man impregnating a small tank from behind, it was not to be.

I do explicitly remember how much of an impact the card art for Heavy Duty made on me. How the absolute hell was this guy supporting this much weapon? Did he have a girder for a spine? We had already been building up to weaponry of this size. People like Fast Draw, Backblast and Salvo were quickly becoming more missile than man. But Heavy Duty took it to another level. This had missiles AND machine guns AND a gatling gun. And it was all just strapped to the front of him like the guy that sells peanuts and popcorn at the stadium.

Essentially, Heavy Duty was the Keytar player of the Joe team. Some people are content to play guitar, some are content to be behind the keyboards. But no, keytar guy wants to have something that’s not quite either but somehow both at the same time. Never mind that his knees are going to be shot before the war is over. Heavy Duty is the wheelchair-bound 80 year old telling his grandkids the story of how his spine collapsed in on itself in the middle of a firefight because he lugged around the world’s deadliest hurdy gurdy.

Heavy Duty became aroused watching Kylo ren’s army firing on Luke Skywalker. MOREMOREMORE he screamed in the middle of the theater. Which was highly embarrassing since he was still carrying around his *checks notes* Man-Portable Heavy Weapons System like an engorged ammo depot.

Heavy duty showed up in the DiC era of the Joe cartoon. And he made a handful of appearances in the comic. Mainly shooting things.

Also, he was Roadblock’s cousin.

So yeah, I regret never getting his figure.

Because damn.  

That’s a lot of gun.

5 thoughts on “A Joe in the Sights: Heavy Duty

  1. I won’t lie– this may be the greatest G.I. Joe commentary ever written. I laughed the entire time I read it– while nodding in agreement.

    Kudos for the hurdy gurdy reference. All he’s missing is a pet monkey with a uzi and a tiny flak vest.

  2. I had Heavy Duty as a kid! Sadly his rubber band snapped, which is fitting for this guy given the filing cabinet of death he was lugging around.

  3. Never had him originally – hell, never even heard of him back in the day – but I did pick up the 50th anniversary version a couple of years. The words ‘absolute’ and ‘unit’ spring to mind.

  4. +1 for the Michael Angelo reference.

    I love that his weapon is basically a file desk with a bunch of sh*t strapped on it.

  5. I’ve more or less decided that the Cobra Island Roadblock will be my stand in for Heavy Duty on the shelf. Not that it looks like him that much but the figure is really great I hate to banish it to the toy bin just because they finally released a v3 Roadblock of my dreams.

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