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The Iron Grenadiers are a faction from the military-themed line of action figures and toys known as G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. They are a private army owned and maintained by the arms dealer Destro. The Grenadiers are composed of Destro's castle guards, personal bodyguards and mercenaries. Unlike Cobra’s troops, the Grenadiers tend to be well motivated financially since each have a share in Destro’s weapons sales.

The group first appeared as part of the Battle Force 2000 sub-line in the 1988 series of the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toy-line and also made appearances in the animated series and comics.

Contents

Toys

The Iron Grenadier was first released as an action figure in 1988.

Organization

The Iron Grenadiers are led by Destro. Following the storyline in the comic book series at the time, the file cards indicate that Destro had, at some time, left Cobra and formed his own army. He, too, begins having dreams of world domination as did Cobra Commander.

To lead his army, Destro enlisted first Voltar, then later General Mayhem to act as field commander (possibly due to Voltar's death in comic continuity). Just like Cobra, the Grenadiers are organized according to their specialties.

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Troopers

  • Iron Grenadiers – the basic infantryman sent into hot spots to cause conflict and sell weapons. They have been described as "used car salesmen with machine guns"
  • Ferrets – operators of the D.E.M.O.N. tanks.
  • Nullifiers – pilots of the A.G.P. (Anti-Gravity Pod) flight vehicle. Nullifiers are trained and conditioned to be big and bulky.
  • Annihilators – elite troopers. These troops use special helicopter backpacks and serve as Destro's personal guard.
  • T.A.R.G.A.T.s – (Trans-atmospheric rapid global assault troopers). Soldiers in this unit are sent into near sub-orbit and then deployed, shooting to battlefields.
  • Wild Boars – operator of the Razorback assault vehicle.
  • Undertows – underwater combat specialists, trained and equipped to function in polluted waters near industrial and military sites.
  • Iron Anvils - Paratroops who wear heavy armor and are dropped from low flying planes.

Officers

  • Darklon – Destro's cousin and ruler of Darklonia. Serves as Evader driver.
  • Metal-Head – anti-tank specialist.
  • Voltar - A former mercenary general capable of turning defeat into victory. Destro recruited him after rescuing him from prison.
  • General Mayhem - A former Spetsnaz general who went AWOL. Returned as General Mayhem and Destro's new general. His plans may seem chaotic and unorganized, but they usually come together to ensure victory.

Comics

Marvel Comics

An Iron Grenadier appeared in G.I. Joe #69 of the comics series published by Marvel Comics. During that time, Destro had broken his ties with Cobra. After months out of the spotlight, Destro resurfaced in Sierra Gordo where he supplied weapons to both the local government and the rebels. To mark a new beginning in his life, he adopted a new uniform and fashioned his own aide-de-camp sergeant major into the first of the Grenadiers. [1]

The Grenadiers appeared as an army in issue #73-76 where they participated in the Cobra Civil War as a wild card. Destro's personal ride, a D.E.M.O.N. tank, battled a group of Dreadnoks riding the Thunder Machine. The result was a stalemate of sorts. Their objective in the civil war was to retrieve the Baroness and they managed to achieve it without any losses. Some of the storyline featured Grenadiers in their downtime.[2]

Later on, when Destro’s schemes started to affect Cobra, the then Cobra Commander (Fred VII in disguise) decided to retaliate by assaulting Castle Destro. (issue #87) The attack backfired. Although outnumbered, the Grenadiers were able to prove their mettle. A clever plan by Destro allowed him to hold hostage Fred VII and Dr. Mindbender and essentially take over Cobra. [3]

Grenadiers, out of uniform, are the adversaries of several Joes in issue 23 of the Special Missions spin-off series. [4] Three issues later, the group kills three members of the Oktober Guard. [5]

A division of Cobra troops once pretended to be Grenadiers as a way to publicly frame them for the crimes the troops were committing. The Grenadiers also come into conflict with other Cobra forces, the Dreadnoks again, partly because they found the bikers laughable.

The ties between Cobra and Destro were severed once more when the original Cobra Commander returns. [6] Rather than confront the Commander, Destro kept his distance. Once again, the Grenadiers defend Destro's castle from Cobra Commander's forces. [7] The Iron Grenadiers seem to have all perished and disappeared after that event and never seen again for the remainder of the Marvel series.

Devil's Due

The Grenadiers resurfaced in the G.I. Joe series published by Devil's Due Publishing where they continued to be in service of Destro. The Grenadiers have gained a new second in command, Mistress Armada. This is partly due to that the Destro (at that time) they know is actually an impersonator and needs a talented person to run the troops.

Iron Grenadiers assist the Dreadnoks when their Florida Everglades fortress is overrun. They take Snake-Eyes and Scarlett, who kill many Grenadiers when they escape soon after. [8]

Grenadier forces later assist Destro in rescuing the kidnapped Baroness, who had been taken by a consoritum of criminal interests who oppose Cobra Commander. One of the Grenadiers had betrayed the group. Destro tortures the man for all relevant information, then kills him with two bullets. The other Grenadiers work with the Joes as Flint had been taken prisoner also. Most of the rescue team is also captured, including two Iron Grenadier officers in civilian clothes. All prisoners are soon safely rescued. [9]

Iron Grenadier forces are featured as Destro attempts to establish a Cobra stronghold on an island in the English Channel. [10]

During the World War 3 storyline, Iron Grenadier forces again fall under the control of Destro's son, Alexander and as such, under Cobra Commander. Destro himself works with American allies to sabotage Grenadier forces. [11]

Animated series

In other media, the Iron Grenadiers first appeared in the mini-series Operation: Dragonfire and then in ongoing series by DiC Entertainment. Unlike the comics and the toyline, the Grenadiers were not treated as a separate faction from Cobra but as part of Cobra’s organization. The name Iron Grenadiers is not even used. The one character from the Grenadiers to achieve some level of popularity and attention was Metal-Head who acted as comic relief in the series.

References

  1. ^ "G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero" #69
  2. ^ "G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero" #73-76
  3. ^ "G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero" #87
  4. ^ "G.I. Joe Special Missions" #23 (Nov. 1989)
  5. ^ "G.I. Joe Special Missions" #26
  6. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #98
  7. ^ "G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero" #116
  8. ^ "G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero" #2-4 (2001)
  9. ^ "G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero" #17-19 (2003)
  10. ^ "G.I.Joe: Frontline" #16 (October 2003)
  11. ^ "G.I.Joe: America's Elite" #30-36

External links


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