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A Joe in the Sights: Ice Cream Soldier

Two scoops of deeeeeath!

My last GI Joe figure was V4 Snake Eyes in 1991. With the line suddenly splintering into a variety of sub-factions, and with a deluge of re-releases of familiar characters in brighter colors, it felt like the time to move on had arrived. Toybiz’s 5-inch Marvel figures were grabbing my attention, and I was fine with that decision. It would be some time before I became aware of anything that happened with the line post-‘91.

Years later, Ice Cream Soldier popped up on some list of the worst-named Joes, alongside the admittedly unfortunately named Skidmark. Being completely unaware of this Joes existence, the name struck me as odd, because I have always been a fan of the adventures of Sgt. Rock and his ragtag band of soldiers named Easy Company. One member of Easy Company that I remembered distinctly from my Sgt. Rock reading days was named Ice Cream Soldier.

Because of this, it never struck me as a “bad name” as the list stated, but an homage. The original Easy Company Ice Cream Soldier was so named because of his ability to stay cool in a firefight, so I assumed the Joe’s name was meant to evoke a similar sentiment.

Well, maybe, but the reality is he seemed to be named Ice Cream Soldier ironically, because what he actually did was burn Cobra to death with his flamethrower.

The Joe line wasn’t a stranger to Flaming Joes of Death. Blowtorch was the earliest proponent of crispy Cobras. Charbroil followed suit. But none of them were named Ice Cream Soldier. The other guys had obvious flame-inspired names. You expect a guy named Ice Cream Soldier to fling Neapolitan at you. Or maybe he’s got a freeze gun. Or…you know…really digs cold weather, like Snow Job or Iceberg.

Nope. Ice Cream Soldier had a flamethrower and a missile launcher. The dude’s name was a lie! It was like naming Snake Eyes “Blabbermouth” or something. He probably doesn’t even hum Turkey in the Straw when he goes into battle.

Despite my original ignorance of Ice Cream Soldier’s existence, he would definitely have been a figure I’d have been keen to pick up had I been collecting Joes in ’94. I dig the kinetic frenzy of the colors of his outfit rubbing up against each other. I really like the haunting creepiness of his mask. He doesn’t quite look like he’d fit into the Star Wars universe, but he looks like he’d fit into a Star Wars knockoff from the early 80s.

And yes, I even like his name, both as an homage and as an oddity in the line.

Ice Cream Soldier made no cartoon appearances, and as best as I can tell made no appearance in the initial Hama-penned GI Joe run. His existence was confined to a single figure in 1994. He swooped into the world shrouded in mystery and flames, and left behind an enduring legacy of head-scratching and…flames.