Lifeline (G.I. Joe)

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G.I. Joe character
Lifeline as seen in the Sunbow/Marvel G.I. Joe animated series.
First appearance1986
Voiced byStan Wojno
AffiliationG.I. Joe
SpecialtyRescue Trooper
File nameSteen, Edwin C.
Birth placeSeattle, Washington
SNRA 128-03-2496
RankE-5 (Sergeant)
O-3 (Captain) (Devil's Due comics)
Primary MOSMedic
Secondary MOSX-Ray Technician
Rescue Operations
SubgroupsTiger Force
Battle Corps
Anti-Venom Task Force

Lifeline is a fictional character from the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toyline, comic books and animated series. He is the G.I. Joe Team's rescue trooper and debuted in 1986.


His real name is Edwin C. Steen, and his rank is that of sergeant E-5. Lifeline was born in Seattle, Washington.

Lifeline's primary military specialty is medic. Lifeline worked as a paramedic with the Seattle Fire Department for five years, before discovering that EMS personnel were not eligible for pensions if they became disabled while giving aid off-duty. Since he figured rescue personnel were never off-duty, he decided to make his status permanent by enlisting in the army as a medic.[1] Lifeline is also an avowed pacifist; he's a black belt in 'aikido', the art of directing violent energy away from oneself.[2]

The filecard for the 2002 Real American Hero Collection version of Lifeline inexplicably altered his backstory, changing his real name to Greg Scott (a name derived from Hasbro's design manager at the time) and his hometown to Spring Valley, New York. This incarnation of Lifeline is depicted separately alongside the original Lifeline on the cover of G.I. Joe: American Elite #25 (which depicts almost every character who was part of the G.I. Joe Team up to that point), but never had a significant role in the comics or any other media outside the toyline.


Lifeline was first released as an action figure in 1986.[3] Kellogg's cereal offered this figure as a mail-in premium in 1991.[4]

The figure was repainted and released as part of the Tiger Force line in 1988.[5]

A new version of Lifeline was released in 1994 as part of the Battle Corps line. This was re-released in 2002 as part of The Real American Hero Collection, but with different arms and a new head sculpt. A second repaint was released in 2010 as a G.I. Joe Convention exclusive, with this version retaining all the original parts.

As part of the 30th Anniversary toy line, a new version of Lifeline has been released in 2011


Marvel Comics[edit]

In the Marvel Comics G.I. Joe series, he first appeared in G.I. Joe: Special Missions #4. His fellow Joes become angry at him due to his unwillingness to fire a gun or assault an enemy. Lifeline saves the day by utilizing aikido against the Oktober Guard member 'Horrowshow'.[2] He supervises the calm evacuation of wounded after the first Cobra Island civil war.[6]

Devil's Due[edit]

Lifeline answers the call when gathered intelligence proves Cobra is a threat yet again and as such, the Joe team needs to be revived. is one of the many veterans to encounter the new class of 'Joes', who are also called 'Greenshirts'.[7]

Lifeline and Mainframe lead neutralization efforts when many Joe soldiers and Greenshirts are poisoned by Cobra-created nanites. They succeed, saving many lives.[8]

In the Devil's Due Joe series, Frontline, Lifeline joins Duke, Frostbite and other Joe members in investigating a long abandoned arctic science facility. During the course of the story, Lifeline uses a pistol for the first time against mutated humanoids. He also comes to believe he is infected but tests indicate he has avoided any mutation.[9]

Later, Lifeline is captured by 'Coil', the army Serpentor has created and imprisoned on Cobra Island. Joining him are the Joes Roadblock, Spirit, Rock'N'Roll, Snake Eyes, Cover-Girl and Firewall. They are freed when the new prisoner, Cobra Commander neutralizes the guards. Lifeline focuses on Cover-Girl and then Snake Eyes, who both become injured. All imprisoned make their way through the second Cobra civil war and to the Joe lines.[10]

Lifeline is seen helping the wounded transfer after Cobra soldiers attack the Joe base known as 'The Rock'.[11]


Lifeline is one of the background characters in the 2003 Transformers/G.I. Joe crossover that is set in World War II.


Lifeline is sent on medical support for a mission involving the rescue of peace activist Adele Burkhart. He's seen sympathizing with Adele's peaceful ways, in contrast to Rock'N'Roll, who points out Adele disagrees with the Joe's mission.[12]

Animated series[edit]


Lifeline appeared in the original G.I. Joe animated series.[13] He first appeared in the animated series in the second-season episode "Arise, Serpentor, Arise!: Part I".[14] He is voiced by Stan Wojno Jr.[15]

Lifeline plays a major role in the episode "Million Dollar Medic", where he befriends Brittany "Bree" Van Mark after saving her and her father Owen Van Mark when their yacht gets caught in a crossfire between G.I. Joe and Cobra. After befriending Bree, Lifeline develops a relationship with her and also protects her when Cobra threatens Owen to relinquish his factory to them. He and Doc are both seen in the Movie, with Lifeline helping Roadblock regain his sight.

G.I. Joe: The Movie[edit]

Lifeline also appeared briefly in the 1987 animated film G.I. Joe: The Movie.[16]


Lifeline appears as a supporting character in the G.I. Joe novel The Sultan's Secret by Peter Lerangis.[17]

Other works[edit]

Lifeline's figure is briefly featured in the fiction novel 6 Sick Hipsters. In the story, the character Paul Achting spent four years collecting G.I. Joe figures to set up a battle scene between the Joes and Cobra. As he imagined the characters in his head, he described three of the Joes hanging back from the front lines: Lifeline, Mainframe, and Iceberg. High above Iceberg and Mainframe "on the chair at the desk was Lifeline, his steely gaze trained upon the battlefield and rescue medic kit at his side. He was ready. His time with the Seattle Fire Department had prepared him for anything. He'd seen more in his five years with the S.F.D. than most men see in an entire lifetime."[18]


  1. ^ Hama, Larry (1987). Howard Mackie (ed.). G.I. Joe Order Of Battle. Marvel Entertainment Group. p. 66. ISBN 0-87135-288-5.
  2. ^ a b G.I. Joe: Special Missions #4 (April 1987)
  3. ^ Santelmo, Vincent (1994). The Official 30th Anniversary Salute To G.I. Joe 1964-1994. Krause Publications. p. 107. ISBN 0-87341-301-6.
  4. ^ Santelmo, Vincent (1994). The Official 30th Anniversary Salute To G.I. Joe 1964-1994. Krause Publications. p. 133. ISBN 0-87341-301-6.
  5. ^ Santelmo, Vincent (1994). The Official 30th Anniversary Salute To G.I. Joe 1964-1994. Krause Publications. p. 116. ISBN 0-87341-301-6.
  6. ^ "G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero" #76
  7. ^ "G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero" Vol 2. #1-2 (2002)
  8. ^ "G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero" #3-4 (2002)
  9. ^ "G.I. Joe Frontline" #5-8 (2002)
  10. ^ "G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero" #23-25 (2003)
  11. ^ "G.I. Joe America's Elite" #18 (2006)
  12. ^ G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero #205-206 (July- Sept. 2014)
  13. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television cartoon shows: an illustrated encyclopedia, 1949 through 2003, Volume 1. McFarland & Co. p. 376. ISBN 978-0-7864-2099-5.
  14. ^ "Arise, Serpentor, Arise!: Part I". G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.
  15. ^ "Roll Call". G.I. Joe Roll Call. Joe Headquarters. Retrieved 2008-06-13.
  16. ^ G.I. Joe: The Movie (Motion picture). De Laurentiis Entertainment Group. April 20, 1987.
  17. ^ SULTAN'S SECRET #6 (G. I. Joe). "The Sultan's Secret". Retrieved 2012-09-17.
  18. ^ Casablanca, Rayo (2008). 6 Sick Hipsters. Kensington Publishing Corp. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-7582-2283-1.

External links[edit]

  • Lifeline at JMM's G.I. Joe Comics Home Page