G.I. Joe: Cobra C.L.A.W.’s are Coming to Town
In traditional American fashion G.I. Joe gives a Christmas episode. Yet in the tradition of the show, this Christmas episode is rife with combat; Cobra’s up to their absurd world domination antics, even during the holidays. The episode begins with the G.I. Joe crew collecting presents for a patriotic holiday drive. Unfortunately, a wooden horse isn’t actually what it seems to be, creating yuletide woe for the generally flamboyant Joe’s.
Of course there’s an underdog tale within this mediocre holiday tale. Mutt, the mustached G.I. Joe is a lonely guy: “I just want to be alone for a while,” he says when Roadblock brings out the taxpayer funded G.I. Joe turkey. Duke claims he has “holiday blues.” Supposedly his folks didn’t pay attention to him at Christmastime, too preoccupied with the holidays. Every year he gets that “left out feeling,” which doesn’t make any sense because his parents weren’t too busy smoking crack or screwing; they were busy preparing for the holidays. What exactly were they doing? Mutt claims they were filled with the holiday spirit – putting up stockings (which he wasn’t allowed to do), trimming the tree, making dinner, wrapping gifts – but for some reason he was left out. Was he a Christmas Grinch, walking around with a negative attitude? Was he blasphemous, criticizing the impetus for Christmas? I’d understand if he said his parents died near Christmas but his family’s alive and well, just too caught up in the festivities to pay attention to Mutt and his pornographic mustache.
However, this lonely Joe finds Cobra’s “Trojan rocket horse,” filled with miniature Cobra agents and vehicles. Cobra’s holiday scheme involves shrinking down, hiding inside a toy horse, and invading the G.I. Joe headquarters. After returning to normal size they use chemical warfare, knock out the Joe’s and take them hostage. Destro’s shrinking/enlarging gun took “a decade of research” and now Cobra’s appropriating G.I. Joe vehicles, framing them for an attack on Keystone City, which looks remarkably British. Locking the Joe’s inside a meat freezer (why does the G.I. Joe base have a meat locker?), the homoerotic Shipwreck’s brilliant antics with a hunk of beef and Cobra Commander’s stereotypically insipid villainous antics – intentionally leaving the keys in the freezer during a gloating monologue – free the Joe’s; unfortunately it’s too late: Cobra’s taken the Joe’s vehicles and approaching Keystone City.
After defeating Destro and taking his gun (also enlarging Shipwreck’s parrot Polly about ten times his actual size), the Joe’s appropriate Cobra’s vehicles, fighting back against Cobra. Polly breaks free from G.I. Joe’s base and enters the battle just in time, defeating Cobra Commander and saving Duke and Cover Girl. The giant Polly is Shipwreck’s, “worst nightmare come true,” and after defeating Cobra the Joe’s wish each other a Merry Christmas – even the gigantic Polly who screeches out “Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas!” before the episode fades to black.
The episode ends with no mention of the damage inflicted on Keystone City or G.I. Joe’s tarnished reputation. Although Cobra’s plan doesn’t fully materialize they do inflict some damage on the city; I’m sure their reputation isn’t pristine after this event. At least Mutt gets into the Christmas spirit after the battle, exclaiming that he feels better and isn’t such a sad sack anymore. In a great example of cheap ‘80s Korean animation, the heartfelt embrace Mutt gives his dog Junkyard reeks of bestiality, complete with a nervous look on Junkyard’s face.
Another example of G.I. Joe’s homoeroticism is the Cobra agent attacking the Joe’s at the episode’s beginning: Wild Weasel. So there’s Shipwreck, the Village People looking sailor, Gung-Ho, who looks like a butch gay porn star, Mutt with his gay porno mustache, the extremely feminine Cobra Commander, and now Wild Weasel, whose name sounds like a rambunctious penis. Whether the G.I. Joe creators injected the show with overt homoerotic characters or not isn’t certain, but the show definitely contains gay characteristics nonetheless.
Unfortunately most of the Joe’s are on leave for Christmas this episode so many of the hyper-homosexual characters are missing (Snake Eyes has a family?). However, Cobra obviously doesn’t allow vacation days during the holidays – I guess terrorism doesn’t take a holiday and Cobra’s a secular organization; G.I. Joe isn’t. Their base is complete with exterior decorations and a giant Christmas tree. It’s nice knowing our tax dollars pay for highly homoerotic Special Forces who celebrate Christian holidays. Merry Christmas everybody =)