Russ Heath – Steeler model sheet

Steeler model sheet detail Russ Heath

I never much got to know the ’82 characters. Not until later. Since my brother and I started buying the toys in ’84, we weren’t properly exposed to that first wave of action figures. Oh, we did buy a few, still hanging on pegs, and we saw them in the ’83 miniseries to be certain, but to my young eyes, all those green guys looked the same. My brother and I used that term, in fact: “Green guys.” As in “the green guys,” the 1982 G.I. Joe team that with the exception of the redhead, the black guy, and the guy in black, all looked the same. The 1982 cast was never “my” G.I. Joe. Now the flamethrower guy and the sailor with the parrot and the ninja redux with the wolf — absolutely.

So it’s with pleasure that I have gotten to know the green guys in the intervening years. And in the animated series, there are more changes and details to differentiate them, like Steeler’s two-color outfit. What stands out most, from a character standpoint, is Steeler’s pain in “Worlds Without End.” (Which I haven’t watched in fifteen years — yes, I know, that doesn’t make sense.) Actor Chris Latta’s amazing performance as him. Which started with artist Russ Heath’s wonderful model sheet. I love the thickness, the bluntness that his pencil line has accumulated over the Xerox generations here:

Steeler model sheet Russ HeathHelp me get to know Steeler. What’d he do in your games? What’s he mean to you?

4 Comments

Filed under Animation, G.I. Joe Behind the Scenes

4 responses to “Russ Heath – Steeler model sheet

  1. Rich

    I had the Mobat tank when it first came out (straight arm and everything – wish I still had it!). I was also into the comic from #1 so Steeler was in my 1st string from the beginning.

    All I can say is I cannot wait for this book to come out (the artwork alone is going to be worth it).

  2. The Steeler figure, the original O-Ring figures, are GI Joe’s version of Mr. Glass. The 1982 straight arm version has thumbs that just seem to fall off, even the should joint breaks off inside his torso.
    1983 version has exploding crotch syndrome. I use thinner O-Rings when I have to replace them on this version.
    At least he is a MOBAT driver – so if his crotch is broken, you could just least him in the driver’s seat and no one would be the wiser.

  3. Dan

    I’m very partial to the original 13 and Steeler is one of my faves from that group. I liked his cartoon look a lot because it distinguished him from other characters a bit better than his comic outfit.

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