This is who I need right now, Doc-the G.I. Joe team’s first Medic. I stayed home sick today courtesy of a rotten cold that has me sniffling, coughing and wheezing. Normally missing a day at work wouldn’t be so bad but the union was putting on a free barbeque for lunch today that I had been looking forward to all year. (It’s a government office, there isn’t a ton of stuff to look forward to) To top it off, its actually really nice outside, the perfect day for a barbeque. The weather has been total shit here for a month and a half hence the cold. So I’ve spent my day laying around on the couch slowly building a fortress of snotty Kleenexes instead of enjoying the free burger that I’ve been paying for all year long via union fees. Meh. On the bright side I did finally watch “The Tourist” with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie which I had purchased a while ago on the cheap but hadn’t gotten to. It was much better than I had anticipated. If nothing else the scenery was amazing having been shot entirely in Venice. Also I was home to receive my latest parcel from MattyCollector as opposed to coming home to a tag in the mailbox meaning I’d have to walk down to the post office to fetch it myself. Today I acquired 3 new He-Man figures, which perhaps I’ll begin reviewing tomorrow. For now though let’s get back to the subject of this post, Doc.
Doc was released in 1983 as part of the second series of G.I. Joe figures. The second series had improved in leaps and bounds beyond the initial wave of figures. The second wave began presenting Joes with a wide array of specialties and
distinctive looks. Where almost all of the Joes of wave 1 were wearing plain green uniforms, the Joes of wave 2 all looked wildly different and came in a mix of colors. There was Torpedo, the diver, Gung-Ho the marine, Snowjob the arctic trooper and of course Doc the medic. Doc was wearing a detailed tan outfit with red and white highlights and his helmet had flares molded onto the sides making in stand out from the previous Joe’s smooth helmets. He came with a flare gun and what was probably the coolest Joe accessory at the time, a stretcher. When the Joe: Real American Hero brand was first being released Hasbro took a unique approach to advertising this new line of figures.
They asked Marvel comics to publish a monthly Joe book and then Hasbro made animated commercials to advertise the comic books. I still remember seeing the commercial advertising G.I. Joe issue 11 in which Doc and Snowjob are cruising through the snow on the new Joe Snowmobiledodging missle fire from Cobra. Hasbro’s method worked as I needed that comic and I needed those toys. One day to reward Doug and I for raking the leaves Dad surprised us each with a G.I. Joe figure. I got Doc and Doug got Airborne if memory serves. Doc didn’t have a huge impact in my Joe-verse back in the day, he was just a medic after all and injuries were few and far between, the way we played you were either alive or dead. Doc was kind of a background guy and sadly probably and early casualty himself in many battles. Doc was one of just a handful of Joes who actually got killed in the comic books as well. He was gunned down by a Cobra SAW Viper in issue 109.
To look back at my collection now, Doc is one of my favorite figures. I kinda love everything about this guy. He has a great design, a great head with those sculpted on shades, great accessories and great colors. Overall he’s just great. He’s also one of my earliest Joes that I got when we still lived in Borden Ontario so he makes me nostalgic for my early childhood. If I could go back in time I would’ve treated Doc better, maybe let him save the day at least once instead of letting Shockwave and Snake-Eyes hog all the glory. 9 out of 10. Back to the couch. Ugh.