General Flagg

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General Flagg is the code name as well as the rank and surname of two fictional characters from the toyline, cartoon and comic series, G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.

The two characters are Brigadier General Lawrence J. Flagg (the USS Flagg aircraft carrier was named after him) and Brigadier General James L. Flagg III, his son. Five generations of Flaggs before them made careers in the military. Both became commanding officers in the G.I. Joe Team.

Original General Flagg[edit]

General Flagg
G.I. Joe character
GeneralFlagg.jpg
First appearance 1982
Voiced by John Stephenson (Sunbow/Marvel)
Affiliation G.I. Joe
Specialty G.I. Joe Commander
File name Flagg, Lawrence J.
Birth place Philadelphia, PA
SN RA 818-50-1673
Rank O-7
Primary MOS Infantry Commander
Secondary MOS Field Artillery

Lawrence J. Flagg was a Brigadier General in the US Army. Hailing from a long family line of soldiers, General Flagg served the better part of his life in the Armed Forces. In the 1970s, he was responsible for creating Special Counter-Terrorist Group Delta, in response to rising terrorist threats, especially the evil Cobra Organization. Flagg dubbed the team G.I. Joe, in honor of the team that had been headed by Lt. Joseph Colton some years before. General Flagg led the team in more of an advisory capacity, choosing Colonel Clayton "Hawk" Abernathy as field leader, and allowing Hawk to make most of the membership and operations decisions.[1]

Marvel Comics[edit]

The general is featured early on in the Marvel Comics run. He was the first commander of the G.I. Joe Team and appeared in the first issue. He sends the team in to a Cobra fortress to rescue Dr. Adele Burkhardt, a nuclear physicist and pacifist.[2] In the second issue, he sends a four-man Joe team to the Arctic Circle, to investigate the deaths of military men stationed there. In both situations, he works closely with General Austin, who would be an ally of the Joe team for years to come.[3] He has a cameo directing the disposition of Cobra prisoners and related supplies.[4]

In issue #5, Flagg becomes involved in the action, when Cobra's role in a military parade is uncovered by several men under his command. Flagg goes after Cobra Commander personally. The Cobra Commander fires one shot, creasing Flagg's temple, and then fades into the crowd. When questioned by one of his men why he did not fire back, as he is known for his pistol skills, General Flagg simply looks at several nearby children. He had not fired, because they had been too close to the action.[5]

In issue #19, Cobra forces attack the Joe Headquarters, The Pit. General Flagg is in the brig, which contains two prisoners, Major Bludd and a prominent Cobra Officer named Scar-Face. Bludd escapes, killing Flagg in the process.[6] General Flagg is buried in Arlington Cemetery, with most of the Joes attending. Cobra tries to attack the funeral with a Rattler plane. Before anyone is actually hurt, two new Joes, Duke and Roadblock shoot the plane down. It crashes and explodes in an open field.[7]

In issue #42, the ill General Austin is misidentified as General Flagg.[8]

Devil's Due[edit]

General Flagg is shown in the full G.I. Joe character roster, on the cover of the first issue of "World War III", along with his son.[9] The America's Elite series also had General Flagg in a flashback to the early days of G.I. Joe. An undercover operative is using a public payphone to report to General Flagg; the man tries to convince his superior that many Cobra soldiers are not "bad", just confused.[10]

In an alternate continuity, General Flagg starts the G.I. Joe Team in response to an alien robot attack on a Presidential press conference.[11]

Sunbow/Marvel cartoon[edit]

General Flagg appeared in the Sunbow/Marvel G.I. Joe cartoon. He is shown in the first G.I. Joe animated mini-series "The MASS Device", but for the course of the series' run, he never appeared again. The character also carries excess weight, and his physical traits are more akin to the G.I. Joe character General "Iron Butt" Austin.[12]

Toys[edit]

The original General Flagg did not receive his own action figure until 2004, when his figure was included in a "Comic Pack" release. Packaged with him was G.I. Joe member Steeler, and a generic Cobra officer. This three-pack came with a reprint of the comic book G.I. Joe issue #5, where all three characters play prominent roles. Flagg's dossier on the package actually used the same text as the earlier "General Flagg" figures, which represented his son.[citation needed]

Son of General Flagg[edit]

General Flagg
G.I. Joe character
Son of General Flagg.jpg
First appearance 1992
Affiliation G.I. Joe
Specialty G.I. Joe General
File name Flagg III, James Longstreet
Birth place Alexandria, VA
SN 212-9820-GU95
Rank O-7
Primary MOS Chief Strategic Commander
Secondary MOS General Commander

General Flagg was released as part of the "A Real American Hero" toyline in 1992.[13][14] James Longstreet Flagg III, born in Alexandria, Virginia, is the son of General Lawrence Flagg. He is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, and in a short time, he is able to rise up to the rank of Brigadier General.[15] The figure was repainted and released as part of the "Battle Corps" line in 1993,[16] and both figures came with an armored catapult that actually could shoot small projectiles.[17]

According to his filecard, he always liked to be "in the thick of it" instead of shouting orders from a comfortable position. When leading his troops into a fight, he needs "devastating personal weapons", which is why he prefers the G.I. Joe "Brawler" vehicle. His strategies on battlefield have twice earned him the medal of valor and countless decorations, as he carries on his family's proud military tradition. His personal motto is: "I didn't reach the rank of general by standing in the shadows. I got out and earned it on the front lines".[18]

He currently holds an honorary position with the G.I. Joe Team, though his primary role tends to be behind the scenes, warding off any machinations of administrators who would interfere with G.I. Joe operations. In the few instances that have called for it though, General Flagg has demonstrated the tenacity and character of his father, risking his neck alongside the men and women he's leading.[19]

Devil's Due comics[edit]

His only appearance in comics continuity was in the World War III event, from the G.I. Joe: America's Elite comic book series. He is shown in the full G.I. Joe character roster on the cover of issue #25, along with his father.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wherle, Scott (2002). G.I. Joe: Battle Files #1. Devil's Due Publishing. p. 37. 
  2. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #1 (1982)
  3. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #2 (1982)
  4. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #3 (1982)
  5. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #5 (1982)
  6. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #19
  7. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #22 (April 1984)
  8. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #42
  9. ^ a b G.I. Joe: America's Elite #25 (July 2007)
  10. ^ G.I. Joe America's Elite #35 (2007)
  11. ^ G.I. Joe vs. The Transformers #1 vol. 1 (June 2003)
  12. ^ Encyclopedia of Television Series, Pilots and Specials: 1974-1984 By Vincent Terrace, p.159
  13. ^ Santelmo, Vincent (1994). The Official 30th Anniversary Salute To G.I. Joe 1964-1994. Krause Publications. p. 139. ISBN 0-87341-301-6. 
  14. ^ Schroeder's collectible toys antique to modern price guide Bob Huxford, Sharon Huxford (1995), p.242
  15. ^ Bellomo, Mark (2005). The Ultimate Guide to G.I. Joe 1982-1994. Krause Publications. p. 194. ISBN 978-0-89689-922-3. 
  16. ^ Bellomo, Mark (2005). The Ultimate Guide to G.I. Joe 1982-1994. Krause Publications. p. 213. ISBN 978-0-89689-922-3. 
  17. ^ Santelmo, Vincent (1994). The Official 30th Anniversary Salute To G.I. Joe 1964-1994. Krause Publications. p. 140. ISBN 0-87341-301-6. 
  18. ^ Hama, Larry. Hasbro toyline's filecard (1992)
  19. ^ Hidalgo, Pablo (2009). G.I. Joe vs. Cobra: The Essential Guide 1982-2008. Random House. p. 46. ISBN 978-0-345-51642-8. 

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