Code Name: Scarlett
Real Name: Shana M. O'Hara
Rank: Sergeant (E-5; Army)
Primary Specialty: Intelligence
Secondary Specialty: Classified
Place of Birth: Atlanta, GA
Raised: Atlanta, GA
Surviving Relatives: Patrick O'Hara (father), Brian O'Hara (brother), Sean O'Hara (brother), Frank O'Hara (brother)
Essential Episodes: "The Cobra Strikes", "Slave of the Cobra Master", "The Worms of Death", "Duel in the Devil's Cauldron", "A Stake in the Serpent's Heart", "In the Cobra's Pit", "The Vines of Evil", "The Palace of Doom", "The Further Adventures of G.I. Joe", "The Gamesmaster", "Cobra Stops the World", "Cobra's Creatures", "The Synthoid Conspiracy" Parts I and II, "The Viper is Coming", "The Phantom Brigade", "Jungle Trap", "Cobra's Candidate", "Spell of the Siren", "Battle for the Train of Gold", "Cobra Soundwaves", "Primordial Plot", "The Wrong Stuff", "The Pit of Vipers", "Cold Slither", "There's No Place Like Springfield" Part I, "The Great Alaskan Land Rush", "Captives of Cobra" Parts I and II, "Once Upon A Joe", "The Million Dollar Medic", "Second Hand Emotions", G.I. Joe: The Movie
Voiced By: B.J. Ward
While not as recognizable to the general public as some of the other Joes, Scarlett is one of the original members of the G.I. Joe team, and has consistently proven herself to be a vital member on numerous occasions.
Born and Raised in Atlanta, Georgia by her father and with her brothers after the death of her mother, Scarlett began her martial arts training at the age of 9, earning her black belt six years later. Joining the army after high school, she quickly proved her worth, passing through Advanced Infantry Training and becoming an Airborne Ranger-the latter an exclusive honor typically available only to men. After that success, Scarlett went through Special Ops School, Marine Sniper School, Special Air Service (SAS) School, and the Marine Tae Kwan Do Symposium, while also becoming proficient in a number of weapons, the least of which being her trademark XK-1 Power Crossbow.
Eventually, Scarlett's skills caught the eye of Colonel Clayton Abernathy, who, under orders from General Flagg, was forming what would become the G.I. Joe Mobile Strike Force. Not only would Scarlett be the team's only woman, she would be its second in command, behind Colonel Hawk. Scarlett again proved herself wonderfully, lending an able hand in battle while making friends with the team with her friendly attitude, sense of humor, and good looks. Scarlett's closest bond would be formed with Snake Eyes, the silent, secretive commando. Despite Snake Eyes' disfigurement (which he kept hidden behind his facemask), the two became fast friends, emerging as the emotional center of the young team as it battled the mysterious threat of the Cobra Command.
Despite the growing threat of Cobra, Hawk was later promoted to General and sent to Washington, fated for a desk job. However, instead of promoting Scarlett, a new leader was selected: Sgt. Conrad Hauser, codename Duke. Despite the potential for unpleasantness between the two, the exact opposite happened: they began to fall in love.
Soon after Duke was named as leader, the Joe team began to expand, both with new members and new equipment. Scarlett was given the great honor of helping to test the new Skystriker jets, which were modified versions of the Navy's F-14 fighter jets. Once initial testing was completed, Scarlett played a joke on Duke, Stalker, and Snake Eyes (mostly Duke, though) by nearly turning the three into pavement pizza while landing her Skystriker. Upon finding out that it was Scarlett playing a prank on him, Duke's temper noticeably eased, although he was interrupted by a Cobra sneak attack led by Major Bludd to destroy the Skystriker fleet. After the attack, Duke had Scarlett, Stalker, and Snake Eyes infiltrate a military installation in order to test its defenses for General Flagg, who had been designated to oversee the launch of the Relay Star, an immense tracking satellite. Cobra managed to infiltrate the base anyways, as the Baroness (disguised as Major Juanita Hooper from the Pentagon Office of Budget and Accounting) planted a homing device on the Relay Star, allowing Cobra to transport a strike force led by Major Bludd and then transport the force, the Relay Star, the Baroness, and Duke back to Cobra's Headquarters.
With Duke now a captive of Cobra, Scarlett assumed command of the Joe team, looking on in horror with the rest of the force as Cobra used their new weapon on the Eiffel Tower, making it disappear just like Duke and the Relay Star had previously. Using computer data obtained by Breaker, Scarlett led the team to New England, where the developer of the MASS technology, Dr. Laslo Vandermeer, lived. They were met by a Cobra ambush (after speaking with Major Bludd, disguised as the doctor), which they defeated with relative ease, freeing the real Dr. Vandermeer after the battle.
Vandermeer explained that the only way to counter a MASS Device was to build another one, and to collect the three catalytic elements necessary to operate the device. Upon being told that the first element, a rare type of radioactive crystals, was located in an expanse known as the Sea of Ice, Scarlett led the mission to recover the crystals, taking Snow Job, Flash, Tripwire, and Snake Eyes along with herself. The mine was booby trapped with lasers and SNAKE robots, and sealed once the traps were activated. Snake Eyes went to recover the crystals while Scarlett and the others struggled to fight off the robots, but Major Bludd activated a fail safe device as Scarlett's group freed themselves, releasing a cloud of deadly radiation. Snake Eyes then sacrificed himself to save the others, breaking Scarlett's heart as she left her friend to die of radiation poisoning.
Defeated and demoralized, Scarlett's unit returned to headquarters, where they watched as Cobra kidnapped the world's leaders, just as Doc and Cover Girl brought in Duke, who was on a stretcher, and suffering from memory loss. Once Duke was again fit for duty, Scarlett joined him on the successful mission to recover the second element, heavy water from a deep sea trench.
After returning to headquarters and witnessing a failed attempt to destroy the Relay Star, Scarlett was happily surprised to see Cover Girl pull up in her Wolverine-along with Snake Eyes and a timber wolf. Her joy was cut short as the canister Snake Eyes had with him was booby trapped to explode once the crystals were removed. Cover Girl and Snake Eyes' wolf saved everyone's lives, and, after fooling Cobra Commander into believing that the Joe team was preparing to surrender, Scarlett and the others embarked on Operation: Big Lift to recover the third, metallic element.
The mission was ultimately a success, but Scarlett was overtaken by Destro, and used as his ticket to ride. Once Destro was away, Scarlett fired her crossbow with her legs, directly intro the control panel of Destro's ship, causing the craft to spiral out of control. Scarlett helped Destro to regain control, and upon arriving at the Cobra Temple, she attempted an escape, but was quickly subdued and thrown into a poorly lit cell. After a brief skirmish with the slave girl, Selena, the two joined forces, leading a revolt of Cobra's slaves before being chained up by an angry Destro. They were freed by Duke and Stalker during the Joe team's final assault on Cobra Temple, and after Cobra was defeated (with only Destro escaping), Cobra's captives were freed and returned to their homelands (especially Selena, who was quickly proving far too clingy to Duke for Scarlett's taste) while the Eiffel Tower was transported back to Paris (but only after a gaffe by Breaker that landed it in the middle of London).
After the MASS crisis ended and 1983 turned into 1984, G.I. Joe again saw a major upgrade in resources and manpower, in part because of Cobra's new status as a "public" threat. Among the additions was Dashiell Faireborn, code name Flint, who stepped in as the team's Warrant Officer and second in command, supplanting Scarlett. However, Scarlett became friends with Flint, and there was little to no tension between the two. Also joining the team was Lady Jaye, with whom Scarlett would develop a close friendship.
After the expansion to the Joe team, Scarlett would be involved with the transporting of the new laser cannon to Joe Headquarters. As the Joes feared, Cobra attacked the convoy in a bid to acquire (read: steal) the cannon's Laser Core for reasons unknown. Duke and Snake Eyes were captured with the Laser Core, which they had been trying to defend, while Cobra Commander was himself captured by Gung-Ho. Scarlett joined Flint's rescue mission, which ended in disaster as Flint, Roadblock, and Mutt's Skystrikers were caught in a mysterious storm while following the Cobra Air Carrier that held Duke and Snake Eyes. With no choice left but to follow Flint's orders to leave and save themselves, Scarlett again faced the challenge of leading the Joe team without some of her closest friends.
After watching a newly freed Cobra Commander unveil Destro's new invention, the Weather Dominator, and learn from Duke and Snake Eyes that Cobra intended to target Washington, D.C., Scarlett struggled to think of a defense, until Doc presented an invention of his own: the Energy Mirrors. The devices, which were designed to absorb, reflect, and redirect energy, were deployed, and after great difficulty, used as Destro launched a lightening storm on the city. However, upon redirecting the lightening, the resulting energy beam damaged the Weather Dominator, and caused the Laser Core and Cobra's other key components to the device, the Hydromaster and the Ion Correlator, to launch into space, landing in three remote locations. As if that wasn't enough, Cobra's meddling and the damage to the Weather Dominator began causing natural weather disasters across the globe, making it imperative for the Joes to reassemble the Weather Dominator and fix things as soon as possible.
Scarlett supervised the planning of the attempts to recover two of the fragments: the Ion Correlator that has landed somewhere on the Island of No Return, and the Hydromaster, which was now somewhere in an exotic (and dangerous) temple called the Palace of Doom. Before sending off the second group to the Palace of Doom, Flint, Mutt, and Junkyard returned, with a new ally in tow: the sailor, Shipwreck. With Flint back in the fold, Scarlett shifted into a support role, staying at the base up until the final assault, where she would subdue the Baroness as she called for retreat as the tides of battle turned in G.I. Joe's favor.
Sometime after the Weather Dominator crisis had ended, Duke tapped Scarlett to be his second in command at the Joe team's new installation, Space Station Delta. After an attack by Cobra, a shuttle headed for the space station had gained some unauthorized cargo. One of those cargo pods, unbeknownst to the Joes, held the Dreadnoks, Buzzer, Ripper, and Torch. The other held the seemingly cute Fatal Fluffies, a "gift" from Cobra Commander that Scarlett openly embraced, even as Junkyard nervously barked at the creatures. The ruse lasted briefly, though, as Zartan (disguised as Sgt. Popper) revealed himself and activated the deadly, laser-toting, whip-wielding alter egos of the Fatal Fluffies, and took over the space station.
While Scarlett would play only a cursory part in freeing Space Station Delta, she would lead the assault on Cobra's Patagonian base after they stole a number of oil tankers headed for the US (but not before beating the crap out of the residents of a Cobra safe house while trying to find out where the tankers were). She almost shot down a Rattler piloted by Ace and Duke, but Duke was certainly forgiving (and Scarlett herself relieved) as he took her out for dinner and a movie (although finding a parking space for their Skystriker proved to be a challenge).
Next, Scarlett joined Duke, Rock 'N Roll, Recondo, and Snake Eyes on a mission to escort Dr. Shakoor, the inventor of the Vulcan Machine, a device that can harness energy from molten lava, to safety. The mission quickly shifted into a rescue mission when Dr. Shakoor was kidnapped and forced to build his invention for Cobra. After rescuing the doctor and destroying the Vulcan Machine (while negotiating through Cobra's booby traps and the natural dangers of the jungle), Scarlett impersonated the criminal scientist Dr. Attila in an attempt to throw Dr. Lucifer (who was quite smitten with the real Dr. Attila) for a loop, thereby allowing her to sabotage his High Freq device, which Cobra was using to put the various "lower creatures" of the world into their service. The bid failed, however, as Scarlett pretended to be smitten with Dr. Lucifer, which was far from the case with the true Dr. Attila. For her troubles, Scarlett was thrown into a cell and restrained alongside Ripcord, who had been captured earlier by Cobra, and left to be the victims of a good thousand spiders (all of whom Scarlett was less than enamored with). Thankfully, however, the two were freed by Spirit and Snake Eyes before any permanent damage was done, and quickly proceeded to destroy Dr. Lucifer's High Freq and send him to jail for a very long time indeed.
Following those successes, Scarlett took part in the mission to free a group of scientists that Cobra was ransoming for sixty billion dollars before taking part in war games that were interrupted by reporter Hector Ramirez. After a brief respite, Scarlett's next mission would be as a part of a force showing off the Joe team's abilities in war games, an exercise that would be interrupted by a Cobra attack. The attack was a ruse, however, as Cobra used it as an opportunity to capture Colonel Sharpe, Admiral Ledger, General Franks, and General Howe with synthetic duplicates called Synthoids, which were placed to slash the Joes' budget, and to create disharmony and chaos from within. Eventually, Duke was also captured and replaced by a Synthoid duplicate, and the Synthoid General Franks disbanded the team after a Cobra attack, much to Scarlett's protests. Defeated and demoralized (to say nothing of being forced to serve as the false General Franks' secretary), Scarlett organized as many members of the Joe team as she could, determined to defeat Cobra and restore G.I. Joe's good name at all costs. Using information obtained from Breaker, the team organized to "acquire" (read: steal) some Skystrikers and investigate the source of a clandestine transmission made from the Pentagon.
At this point, Scarlett and the renegade Joes were approached in their stripped headquarters by a vengeful Destro, who began to reveal everything about Cobra Commander's Synthoids, as part of his revenge towards Zartan for creating a Synthoid double of himself. Despite the protests from the Synthoid Duke, they were forced to accept Destro's aid as the Synthoid General Franks arrived to arrest all of them. Meeting later on Destro's ship, the Valkyrie, Destro revealed to Scarlett the location of Cobra's launch base. He also intimated that one of them was also a Synthoid, to which the Synthoid Duke angrily announced was a ploy to create dissent in the Joe ranks. This outburst caused Destro to banish the Joes from his vessel, and soon afterwards the attack began. During the battle, Scarlett told the Synthoid Duke to eject from their Skystriker (which she was piloting) because the controls were jammed. However, a suspicious Scarlett (in part remembering Duke's thoughts about her flying) had in fact crashed the plane on purpose, and followed him into Cobra's base. She was overpowered by the Synthoid Duke, and nearly killed by it until the real Duke showed up, and began fighting his sinister doppelganger. Using Junkyard (who hated the Synthoids, and loves the real Duke), Scarlett identified the Synthoid Duke, who retreated and was destroyed by Cobra Commander (who, in doing so, erroneously destroyed all of the Synthoids). With the crisis now past, the Joe team was reinstated, with all members receiving full honors.
Cobra's penchant for the arcane next showed itself next when, in a bid to destroy a munitions plant in the Carpathian Mountains, Cobra Commander raised three spirits from the grave: a Roman Centurion, a Mongolian Warrioress, and an American World War I pilot. After the spirits (which, with the exception of the Centurion, were bound to this world by objects connecting them to their greatest loves) were released, Scarlett next led a mission to protect mayoral candidate Robert Harper from a street gang who espoused support for Whittier Greenway, Harper's opponent. Scarlett and Lady Jaye quickly discovered that the teens were pawns of Cobra in a bid to get Harper, a Cobra man, elected. The true challenge was convincing the gang's leader, a young woman named Pelar, of this, and it almost took the death of her younger brother, Tito, to do so. Once Harper was outed as a Cobra agent, he lost the election-by a count of 2,104,938 to 2. Unknown to the Joes, the two votes belonged to none other than Tomax and Xamot, who had engineered the entire scam.
After a period of inactivity, Scarlett was involved in the attempt to foil Cobra's ingenious scheme to steal all of the gold from Fort Knox, and smuggle it away using a train, the Cobra Bullet. After stealing a tape with the plans for Fort Knox, Cobra was able to smuggle away the gold, and captured Duke, Scarlett, and Snake Eyes in the process. The three Joes managed to break free from their restraints, but as Scarlett was fighting Buzzer, the Dreadnok's chain saw pierced the train's pressure valve, destroying the train and almost killing everyone inside it.Scarlett would next travel to the Middle East, where Cobra was developing a weapon that could literally shake apart enemy vehicles with concentrated soundwaves. After Gung-Ho, Ace, and Roadblock went missing during a battle with a squadron of Cobra Rattlers, Scarlett went searching for them (against Flint's orders, and with Wild Bill's help). While she would find them, the cost would be high: Cobra would attack the oil field the Joes were defending and capture Prince Ali, the Joe team's host. Scarlett would eventually rescue the prince, and the Joes and Ali would enjoy a dinner prepared by Roadblock and Wild Bill following the battle. Afterwards, Scarlett would participate in the assault to prevent Cobra from using the microwaves generated from a satellite to destroy anything on Earth that it wished, before playing a great part in stopping the Gamesmaster, a childish (and quite insane) man who captured Flint, Lady Jaye, Cobra Commander, and the Baroness for his own amusement.
Scarlett would next play a part in the mission to stop Cobra Commander from using the Joe team's new guidance system to put his face on the moon, a scheme which would implicate Quick Kick's new girlfriend, Amber, as a Cobra spy (which turned out to be the Baroness disguised as Lady Jaye). After that mission, Scarlett would take part in the mission to destroy a giant germ created from a stolen chemical called Bacteria X that was mixed with a growth serum and a worm by accident to create a huge, living monstrosity that thoughtlessly ate everything in its path. Even more bizarre was Scarlett's next day off, which began peacefully enough at a housewarming party for a firehouse Barbecue had just finished restoring. Things quickly turned chaotic when a mysterious caller announced that "The Viper is coming; five seventy-five." Using the computer at Joe Headquarters, Scarlett and the other partiers guessed that it was a hint about a location. Heading to Antarctica, the Joes found a Cobra recreation center, which they shut down (although not without being derided by the recreation director as "spoil sports"). A second call led them to West Point, where they foiled an attempt by Major Bludd to capture the dignitaries present for graduation ceremonies. Scarlett herself took third call from the mysterious man, who unrepentantly announced that he was The Viper.
Using The Viper's third hint, the Joes stormed the Extensive Enterprises Tower, the tallest building in town. After a major battle with Cobra (who themselves were fighting viciously to discover the mole in their ranks) turned up nothing, Barbecue received yet another call, telling him to expect The Viper at noon. Noon came, and The Viper finally appeared......in the guise of an old man who had come to wipe the firehouse's windows!
Next would be the Baroness' ploy to enslave men across the globe with the legendary Conch of the Sirens, which leaves all men who hear its song without free will. After the Baroness used it on the Joe team, Scarlett and Lady Jaye quickly assumed command of the team, eventually fighting with Xamot to free the Joe males and Tomax. After doing so (and returning Cobra Commander's free will in the process), Scarlett and Lady Jaye destroyed the Conch, earning the gratitude of men everywhere.
Scarlett served as part of the Joe team's defense force for a world conference in Japan, and then she would take another leave, returning home to Atlanta to visit her father and brothers. However, she was recalled to duty soon after returning home, and began helping transport some dangerously unstable crystals to a safe location to be destroyed. At this point, Cobra pulled one of its most dastardly stunts ever: they kidnapped Scarlett's family, as well as those of Thunder, Spirit, Quick Kick, Barbecue, and Shipwreck, to retrieve the crystals (or, if needed, to destroy them). The civilians, who had been brainwashed at the Baroness' behest, were eventually set free, and soon the crystals were destroyed, and the threat over, but not before the Baroness made a foolhardy attempt to kidnap Gung-Ho's very large, and very rugged, family.
The rest of 1984 would see no major action for Scarlett, who, like much of the team, was able to return home for the holidays. After the new year, Scarlett would team up with Flint and Gung-Ho to stop Cobra from doing the impossible: cloning dinosaurs, and growing them to adult size in mere hours. After being shot down by Cobra while approaching the island where Cobra was forcing Dr. Massey, a noted paleontologist, to clone the dinosaurs, Scarlett and Gung-Ho were momentarily convinced that Flint hadn't survived his crash. However, this was not the case, and the three slogged through the jungle with no radio and little food (much to the consternation of a very hungry Gung-Ho) where they eventually encountered Cobra's brainwashed dinos, who, thankfully, find people to taste terrible. Unfortunately, the same couldn't be said for their food packs, which the three had to give up to get away from the not-quite-extinct reptiles. Next, Scarlett and Gung-Ho attempted to rescue Dr. Massey from Cobra while Flint destroyed the mountain that Cobra's base was located on. In the melee that ensued, the disc that was being used to control the dinosaurs was lost, and Cobra Commander, Tomax, Xamot, and Destro escaped. Despite Dr. Massey's request to take the reptiles back to civilization, they stayed behind, and Gung-Ho finally got to eat-but not without having to contend with the equally hungry dinosaurs.
After a brief period of relative inactivity (part of which possibly due to her reaction to the coma Duke found himself in during his scheme with Dusty to bilk Cobra of the money needed to treat Dusty's mother's asthma when they became aware of the Joe team's new-but unstable-armor treatment), Scarlett would find herself (along with the rest of the team) taking orders from Watchdog-an experimental tactical computer. However, after seeing the team spread thin on a number of wild goose chases, Scarlett and Breaker were left alone on base as Cobra unleashed the Pit Viper on Joe Headquarters. After watching it level much of the base (and receiving a sickeningly mocking call from Cobra Commander), the two overtook the Pit Viper and used it destroy Watchdog, which was in truth a Cobra device sold to the government by Zartan, who disguised himself as a long-dead scientist. Next, Scarlett would be one of a select group of Joes to pass astronaut training for another mission in space-this one to destroy a Cobra satellite and restore television to its humble (but non-Cobra controlled) self.
That was nothing, however, compared to Cobra's next plot. After a raid on a Cobra vault left the organization penniless, Cobra Commander took out a loan and created a rock band called Cold Slither using Zartan and the Dreadnoks as the band's members. Thanks to subliminal messaging, they shot to the top of the charts and filled a stadium with "fans", whom Cobra quickly held for ransom. Scarlett, along with Lady Jaye and Cover Girl, infiltrated the stadium, posing as groupies. After happily knocking out Buzzer, Ripper, and Torch, the three proceeded to make a mockery of Cobra Commander, the Baroness, and Destro before destroying the subliminal device at the stadium. Later, after Polly managed to get the entire crown clamoring for music, Scarlett served as a backup singer for The Average Joe Band, again along with Lady Jaye and Cover Girl.
Scarlett's last mission of 1985 involved transporting a good billion dollars worth of documents to the new national archives with Duke, as they began growing even closer than ever. Cobra attacked the convoy, and, instead of going for some of the more prized documents present in the Joes' possession (such as the Constitution), they went for the ninth truck in the convoy, which lacked any truly valuable documents. However, the purpose for the plan soon became all too clear, as Cobra used information from the Seward treaty (which handed control of Alaska from Russia to the United States in 1867) to install "Honest" Gerky Potemkin, a New Jersey used car dealer, as the rightful ruler of Alaska.
However, the proof of his ownership, a long-lost seal which was meant to finalize the deal, was a fake. As a result, G.I. Joe and Cobra raced to find the real seal, and were joined in the search by a third party: the USSR's answer to G.I. Joe, the Oktober Guard. After fighting between the two armies, both were captured by the ancestors of the ship's crew that had been ordered to hand the seal over to the US government. Their ship ended up getting caught in an ice floe, and the crew instead settled in the icy tundra. After much infighting, the Joes and the Oktober Guard teamed up to fight Cobra and protect the village, and, in the end returned control of Alaska back to the United States.
While not a part of the mission to rescue Dr. Mullaney from Cobra, her presence was decidedly felt: in the Cobra-manufactured town of Springfield, the Synthoid representation of Scarlett's post-war self was married-to Duke. After that mission, the Joe team again expanded, and this time the command ranks were no exception. Hawk returned and assumed command of the team, and Beach Head was named a subordinate to Flint, all but removing Scarlett from the Joe team's command ranks. In addition, military protocol was now being enforced with more vigor, which meant that Duke and Scarlett's slowly growing romance would become buried. She would even be further marginalized when Sgt. Slaughter became a part-time member of the team, ranking just above Beach Head. Still, Scarlett continued to serve to her best assisting in the attempt to stop the creation of the Cobra Emperor, Serpentor. Her next major mission would be to investigate the reasons why Cobra would terrorize Owen Van Mark business and his daughter, Bree, who quickly became smitten with Lifeline. After one of Bree's increasingly ridiculous attempts to gain Lifeline's favor (a fleet of ambulances at this point) was booby trapped with Battle Android Troopers, the Joes suspected that the Van Marks were in league with Cobra. However, after Scarlett tore into Owen, he admitted that Cobra was after his hi-tech weapons firm, at which point it became obvious that Bree (and Lifeline, who had somewhat unwillingly left Joe Headquarters with her) was in serious danger. Bree and Lifeline were saved afterwards, however, and the threat to her life passed.
After an extended period of inactivity, Scarlett joined Hawk and Sci-Fi in Pittsburgh to test new armor as Roadblock, Iceberg, Lift-Ticket and Shipwreck went with Lifeline to his sister's wedding. While this seemed to be reasonably mundane, the situation quickly changed as all six of the Joes were injected with metallic devices of Dr. Mindbender's creation. The devices were linked to an organ that, when played, could alter the emotions of anyone linked to it. After forcing Lifeline's party (minus Roadblock, whom Cobra had captured) to overtake a trolley and very nearly kill Scarlett, Hawk, and Sci-Fi, Zartan and the Dreadnoks attacked the Joes, picking them apart with ease as Dr. Mindbender and Serpentor played the organ to their heart's content. As Lifeline brought the beaten and demoralized Joes to his sister's house, they tried to deal with the emotional stress from the battle, and planned an attack. They managed to conquer their organ-induced fears, and were in turn freed from the control of the devices when Serpentor smashed the organ in a fit of anger.
Scarlett would next take part in the rescue mission of the pilots of an AR-90/A Ghost, which turned out to be a ruse on Twenty Questions to prove that Cobra had downed the stealth bomber prototype. Scarlett would again remain inactive until 1987, when Cobra attempted to destroy the Statue of Liberty on the Fourth of July. After defeating Cobra and destroying yet another one of their air carriers, Scarlett joined Duke and a number of other Joes in the Himalayas, where they tested the Broadcast Energy Transmitter, a billion dollar device capable of harnessing energy with the potential to power just about any device known to man. After the initial test proved successful, a massive Cobra force led by Serpentor himself tried to steal the BET. Instead, Serpentor was captured and the rest of Cobra's humiliated forces chased after by a unit led by Roadblock. Scarlett would take part in the unsuccessful attempt to prevent Serpentor's escape, and play a part in the battle to protect the BET as Cobra, now aided by the mysterious forces of Cobra-La, attempted (and succeeded) to steal the device in order to activate the Spores, which could degenerate the human population to that of simple beasts. The battle ended tragically, however, when Duke was stabbed by Serpentor with one of the Cobra Emperor's poisonous snakes. Despite her grief over Duke having fallen into a coma, Scarlett joined the rest of the team on its assault on Cobra-La, and was trapped in the Carnal Trees like the others. She was freed with the other Joes as well when Big Lob crashed a Swampfire into the deadly trees, and fought the myriad creatures of Cobra-La, including a brawl with the Baroness. Scarlett escaped the ice dome as it exploded, and celebrated the Joe team's stunning success, and the recovery of Duke.
It remains unknown exactly what happened after the battle with Cobra-La, but Scarlett, like Duke, has many questions about herself, and her life, that need answering. Can she continue her romance with Duke? Will she ever be able to live "happily ever after" with one of her superior officers, while still participating in a war? Can she bear to see Duke put himself in constant danger after being nearly killed? Is Duke even the "right guy" for her? After participating the G.I. Joe-Cobra War dutifully since its beginning, Scarlett now stands at a crossroads: her career, while successful, may very well be in decline, as she has been passed over by over half a dozen men on G.I. Joe's chain of command since joining the team, and she has yet to be promoted past a first-level Sergeant, despite numerous acts of valor on the battlefield. In her personal life, Scarlett has seen the man she loves almost die, as their relationship continues to stagnate (especially compared to that of Flint and Lady Jaye, who are quite serious at this point). Furthermore, while Scarlett has never been one to follow the traditional female roles of wife and homemaker, she must certainly feel some pressure from her father to get married, to say nothing of having some desire to start a family. Before Scarlett can move on with her life, she needs to deal with the larger issues that she has been ignoring for some time now.
Garrett's Opinion: If Duke is the "star" of G.I. Joe, then Scarlett is most definitely the series' leading lady. Of course, being a heroine of the '80s, Scarlett is so much more than a damsel in distress. Like Teela on G.I. Joe's primary competition, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Scarlett is fully capable of kicking ass on her own terms.
The counterpoint to Scarlett's toughness is, of course, her relationship with Duke (to say nothing of the bond she shares with Snake Eyes). There's no question from the beginning of the series that she loves Duke, and that he loves her, but it's always a mystery just how far their relationship has progressed at any point in time (unlike Flint and Lady Jaye, who are friends just beginning to fall in love when we meet them, and quite serious, perhaps even on the verge of marriage, by the end of Season 2). While it's quite maddening for the Duke/Scarlett 'shippers (especially when faced with the rather anti-D/S sentiments that compose the views of Joe comic fans), it's quite realistic since it's not right for a military commander to be dating his subordinate....even though everyone on the Joe team knows about this romance, and even Cobra is aware that Duke and Scarlett are in love.
As empowering as Scarlett is for girls, a disturbing trend throughout the series is to marginalize Scarlett's rank in G.I. Joe as the series drags on and her figure became more and more obsolete (and, due to Hasbro's bias against female characters, she remained without a new figure to allow her character to continue on as a prominent part of the show). In the initial A Real American Hero miniseries, Scarlett is firmly entrenched as the Joe team's second in command (regardless of the issues of military rank that generally arise only with nitpickers and anal comic fans). In the next year's miniseries, The Revenge of Cobra, Scarlett is third in command, with Flint the new second in command (a system that would remain firmly in place through the end of Season 1). For the second season, Scarlett was pushed out of the inner circle of command as Hawk returned to prominence (or rose to prominence if one considers the original Hawk figure's status as a vehicle driver) and Beach Head and Sgt. Slaughter were introduced. It's not Sunbow's fault, to be sure-Buzz Dixon has fully remarked in interviews that the writing staff pushed for, and received, permission to continue using discontinued characters (the strong presence of Cobra Commander, Destro, the Baroness, and Zartan in Season 2 is proof of this). However, the idea of second versions of Joe figures was relatively unheard of at this point-Grunt and Grand Slam received relatively obscure (and very valuable) second repainted versions packaged with the Falcon Glider and the JUMP Jet in 1983 (the latter being a repackaged accessory from the 1982 line), and Clutch was also repainted in 1984 and included with the VAMP Mark II. The hooded version of Cobra Commander, while first issued in 1984 and available throughout the next decade, was only available through the mail. 1986 was the first "real" year for character re-releases, with all-new molds of Hawk (a dubious choice given Duke's popularity with cartoon fans) and Roadblock mixed in with the rather large influx of new characters, something that would continue in 1987 before 1988 saw a record 12 repaints and/or new molds for existing characters (not including the Toys 'R' Us exclusive Night Force set). The problem is, female characters are looked down upon at Hasbro, and in the boys' toy industry as a whole. The problem is, while the plight of female action figures has not improved much since the legendary failure of the G.I. Jane action figure, women in cartoons (and even in live action) have grown from the sexist stereotypes of the '60s to full-blown heroes in their own right. Writing in animation, spurned on by the increased participation of comic book writers, improved greatly at the end of the '70s, and by the '80s it was reaching new heights in syndication (and, to a lesser extent, on the major networks). Strong female characters, paired with an increased desire for romantic entanglements (to say nothing about the new crop of highly talented voice actresses in Hollywood), resulted in a revolution of sorts, even for shows marketed for boys. Now the girls had someone to look up to with characters like Princess Ariel on Thundarr the Barbarian and Firestar on Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends to balance out bimbo-ish stereotypes like Scooby-Doo's Daphne Blake (or, even worse, the "she must be gay" stereotype represented by Velma Dinkley), and the increased viewership affected the success of the new wave of action cartoons, which in turn spawned action-oriented girls' shows such as She-Ra, and may be partly responsible for the successful runs of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Xena: Warrior Princess.
Ultimately, Hasbro's inability to accurately market the female Joe characters (witnessed by having Cover Girl lose to an army of HISS tanks in the commercial dedicated to her and her Wolverine tank, the only commercial to directly feature a female Joe) was unable to disrupt the legacy of the Joe women, especially Scarlett, but there's no doubt that legacy was hindered greatly. Whereas women in toylines are simply a class of rare figure (right up there with enemy figures), in animation they are stars, able to carry a series by themselves, with the male lead as the damsel in distress. And if that's Scarlett's legacy, she's done OK.
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