AGENT HELIX v1 (2009)
Regular readers of this site may know that I will occasionally have a guest help me double team an action figure for review. My brother Doug and buddy Andrew have joined me thus far. Well regular reader and friend of the site Sidus Ang reached out to me the other day and asked if I’d be interested in doing a joint-review with him. I said of course and told him to pick a figure for us to talk about. He presented a couple of G.I. Joe possibilities but ultimately decided on Agent Helix. An excellent choice.
Past guest reviewers have been those near and dear to me. Sidus is a mysterious stranger who I know little about so I’m afraid I can’t give you much of an introduction. I asked him to send me a picture of himself for me to post with this review and he sent me the card art of the never produced Rocky Balboa G.I. Joe figure. This figure almost made its way into the G.I. Joe line back in the 80s. It seems kind of odd to imagine Sly on the Joe team but if real life athletes Sgt. Slaughter and William “The Refrigerator” Perry were able to make the cut I don’t see why Rocky would have been any different. It’s a shame that red tape kept this from ever happening. All that aside, it’s an excellent avatar choice for the mysterious Sidus.
Those of you who aren’t hardcore Joe fans may not know who Agent Helix is, which is understandable considering she’s relatively new to the brand. She’s one of the few good concepts that sprung from the 2009 live action movie, The Rise of Cobra. Now before you rack your brain trying to remember which scenes of the movie she was in let me stop you right there. She did not appear in the actual film.
Like most big modern action films, Rise of Cobra was accompanied by a ton of cross promotional items such as birthday hats and bed sheets. One of those tie-in items was a video game produced by Double Helix Games. Now I am not a big gamer by any means but I had to scoop up this game on the day it came out. It had been years since I was that excited to get a video game. The game takes place in the Joe movie world. The characters all have the actor’s likenesses, everyone is wearing black and there are accelerator suit power-ups available for brief periods of time. The game isn’t simply a rehashing of the movie plot though, it expands the Joe movie world and introduces fan favorite characters like Gung-Ho and Shipwreck. For some characters the designers stayed pretty true to the classic looks, while others like Flash, the Joes laser trooper, were given radical redesigns. Double Helix Games was given the go ahead by Hasbro to create their own unique character to add to the Joe teams roster for the game. They designed a badass new female character whom they named after their studio, hence Agent Helix. So why did you pick this figure Sidus? Did you discover her via the game?
I mainly chose her because she is a brand new character. I was first introduced to her in a video review done by another Mike.
Another toy reviewing Mike? Scandalous. Well this action figure was released as part of the movie line around the same time that the game came out. But before we get into that I have just one final word on the video game. I really enjoyed playing it. I liked the simple controls and the basic storyline and the updated character designs, especially the S.NA.K.E. armor. I thought it was fun to play all the way through. However most people would not agree with me. Check out any review online and they’ll tell you it totally sucked. So if you haven’t played it yet it’s probably best you steer clear. Unless that you’re a casual gamer who loves Joe like me then just maybe you’ll enjoy yourself the way I did.
Not long after the movie came out IDW published a stand-alone Agent Helix comic book. A single issue which fleshed out the character and explained how her high functioning autism allows her to have a computer like mind, making her an excellent fighter…or something like that. It was a good read and I hoped that it wouldn’t be the last I’d see of the character. To my delight Helix later became a mainstay in the main G.I. Joe books published by IDW and she is now a firmly established character in the current continuity. Did you read her comic appearances Sidus?
Well you should definitely check out some of the other books. Now onto the figure. The female characters have always been some of my favorites and Agent Helix is an excellent addition to the feminine side of Joe. She has a unique look and she feels very modern. I love classic Scarlett and Zarana but their looks are rather dated. With her black leather movie aesthetic and streaked hair, Agent Helix feels like a contemporary Joe and not some relic from the 80s. As much as I have complained about the drab look of the movie, I think the mostly black and gray outfit really works here. The mustard yellow top adds the flair needed to keep it from being boring. Her head sculpt is great, one of the better female ones I’ve seen, but it still fails in the “looks” department. I can appreciate how hard it is to make a 3 inch piece of plastic look “hot” but it has been done and I think a few more paint aps really would have helped this figure. What are your thoughts Sidus?
Well I like the look of the character and the sculpting. The hands on mine are not very good so her guns are wedged into her hands. Mine also has problems holding the machete and the laser weapon. And her hair color compared to the comic appearance is a bit to light.
That doesn’t sound like a glowing endorsement. How would you score the figure?
A decent score. I don’t know if I’ll ever hold Agent Helix in as high a regard as Joe gals like Lady Jaye and the Baroness simply because I didn’t grow up watching her in cartoons or playing out battles with her in my sandbox but that’s not to say that she isn’t great. When I first saw Jinx leaping about in the trailer for G.I. Joe: Retaliation ( out in 17 days!!!!) I was pumped to see her included in the film but a part of me was disappointed that it wasn’t Helix making her live action debut. Considering how much I like Jinx I think that tells you that Double Helix Games managed to create a pretty cool character. This is a figure that even Joe fans who hated the movie and the game should still add to their collection. I give her a 9 out of 10.
You’re a man of few words Sidus but thanks for suggesting this character and pitching in.
I realized I had some space left at the end of the review so I stole this pic of Helix fully armed from yojoe.com. As you can see she came with all kinds of weapons that I didn’t include in my photos.