Mainframe (G.I. Joe)

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G.I. Joe character
Mainframe as seen in the Sunbow G.I. Joe animated series.
First appearance1986
Voiced byPatrick Pinney
AffiliationG.I. Joe
SpecialtyCommunications Expert
File nameBlaine L. Parker
Birth placePhoenix, Arizona
SNSN: RA 818-50-1673 then SN: 818-50-BL73
RankE-5 (Sergeant)
E-6 (Staff Sergeant) (Devil's Due comics)
Primary MOSComputer technology
Secondary MOSInfantry

Mainframe 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 communications expert and debuted in 1986.


Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Mainframe's real name is Blaine L. Parker, and his rank is sergeant E-5.

Mainframe was both an athlete and a scholar as a child, though as a self-confessed nerd, he would much rather learn about computers than do anything else. He graduated high school at the age of seventeen, and immediately enlisted in the Army airborne. He soon headed into battle overseas, receiving his Combat Infantryman Badge, and later left the army to get his degree from MIT on the G.I. Bill. Mainframe then did a stint developing computer software in Silicon Valley, making big bucks and fighting boredom with a stick. Luckily, the Marines were looking for a few good men with just his qualifications, and Mainframe was soon back in uniform. He even served at the Pentagon for a time, before joining the G.I. Joe Team as a computer specialist.[1]

The world's ever-increasing reliance upon technology makes him a valued member of the G.I. Joe Team, and his ability to design computer viruses makes him a nuisance to Cobra Command.


A Real American Hero[edit]

Mainframe was first released as an action figure in 1986. He was also available in 1987, and was discontinued in 1988.[2]

A re-colored version of Mainframe was also released in 1986, as an exclusive in a special set from Toys R Us named "Special Mission: Brazil". The boxed set also included Claymore, and re-colored versions of Dial Tone, Leatherneck, and Wet Suit.[3] The set included a cassette tape that detailed the secret mission.[4]

25th Anniversary[edit]

In 2008, a new version of Mainframe was released, but renamed "Dataframe".[5] A Comic Pack with Beach Head & Dataframe also has been released.


Marvel Comics[edit]

In the Marvel Comics G.I. Joe series, he first appeared in issue #58. In that issue, Mainframe and Dusty are sent on a mission into a Middle Eastern nation torn apart by the war between the Royalist rebels and the forces of dictator Colonel Sharif. Mainframe and Dusty are sent in to locate a Cobra Terror Drome launch base hidden in the country after spy satellites detect the base's infrared signature. In exchange for helping them ambush one of Sharif's weapons convoys, the Royalists give the Joes a guide to lead them through the desert, a local teen named Rashid. Much of the story deals with Rashid's disrespect for Mainframe for not being a 'real' soldier. However, after watching Mainframe reprogram a Firebat to strafe enemy troops and hearing about his past as a frontline soldier from Dusty, Rashid changes his mind about Mainframe and even becomes an expert in computer in order to honor him.[6] Later, after detecting a shuttle launched from Cobra Island, Mainframe is part of a team that heads into space on board the space shuttle Defiant to defend U.S. satellites against a Cobra attack.[7] Some time later, Mainframe works on the USS Flagg as part of Hawk's operations team during the Joes' involvement in the Cobra civil war.[8] Mainframe serves in a similar capacity on the Flagg later during the Battle of Benzheen.[9] He later aids the G.I. Joe Ninja Force in their efforts to help Destro remove a bounty on his head.[10]

Action Force[edit]

Mainframe also appears in the British Action Force continuity. In one incident he's part of a Joe team taken prisoner. They have access to vital technology that would allow Cobra to more easily attack European interests. Mainframe's team and a secondary Joe squad cause enough chaos Cobra's plans are stopped.[11]


In the original out of continuity G.I. Joe/Transformers crossover, Mainframe is essential in rebuilding the severely damaged Bumblebee.[12]

Devil's Due[edit]

Mainframe appears many times when Devil's Due takes over the Joe license. He is one of the first ones recruited back into active duty when gathered intelligence indicates Cobra is a threat yet again.[13] He works closely with Lifeline to neutralize the threat of microscopic nanites which are causing various forms of deadly havoc. A couple of ideas work out and the nanites are defeated.[14] At a later point, Mainframe's long-term efforts to uncover white-collar Cobra crime results in Roadblock fighting Dreadnoks on live television; this just increases Roadblock's financial well-being. Mainframe's work at the computer causes him to admit he needs to get out more.[15]

G.I. Joe comes into conflict with Serpentor and his new independent army, 'Coil', which has taken over Cobra Island. Mainframe teams with Flash for a sabotage mission against EMP generators. Coil troops trap the two with a bomb and they perish when it explodes. The generators are also destroyed.[16] Mainframe's name is part of memorial in Arlington dedicated to all Joes who have lost their lives in the line of duty.[17] Mainframe's protégé, Firewall later aids his teammates in finishing an old mission involving the drug dealer Headman. Rashid also assists in this mission.[18]

Mainframe is part of the alternate reality crossover G.I. Joe Vs. Transformers 2. In the climactic battle he assists Doctor Mindbender and Wheeljack in saving the Earth from complete destruction. However, it doesn't go quite as planned, with the after-effects of the life saving computer hacks accidentally incinerating his Joe teammate Mercer.[19]


Mainframe is the Joe soldier who discovers that Cobra exists as an organization in the first place; his theories that they are a group willing to profit in the long term pans out. In order to chase the proof, he goes off base, with Snake Eyes the only Joe who thinks he is not a traitor. As he is Joe-trained, the other Joes chasing him use lethal force.[20]

He later returns to the team, a trusted field commander. At one point, he leads operations in Europe defending the life of an injured diplomat, shot in an Cobra attack. Said diplomat is trusted by both sides in a bitter conflict.[21] Mainframe is later called in to assist in tracking down possible Destro involvement in a fatal conflict in Rio de Janeiro.[22]

Animated series[edit]


Beach Head and Mainframe as seen in the G.I. Joe episode "Arise Serpentor, Arise!".

Mainframe appeared in the original G.I. Joe animated series, voiced by Patrick Pinney.[23] In the 5-part mini series "Arise Serpentor, Arise!", Mainframe and his teammate Beach Head escape from Cobra troops by hiding in the actual coffin of Vlad Tepes. In the same series, Mainframe mentions a posting he had monitoring base security in Vietnam.[24] Mainframe was also apparently married with children at one point. While driving through Transylvania, he remarks that the countryside reminds him of when he would take his kids trick or treating.

In the Sunbow Season 2 episode, "Computer Complications", he mentions having an ex-wife. In that same episode, Zarana goes undercover at a Joe base as "Carol Weidler". During that time, Mainframe and Zarana develop romantic feelings for each other. At the end of the episode, the Dreadnoks joke to her: "Hey, Zarana, I’ve been thinking! Maybe you oughta quit the Dreadnoks, go marry that wimp, get a house in the suburbs, have kids." to which she responds by shooting in their direction. The episode ends showing both Mainframe and Zarana, miles away looking at the moon, perhaps pondering the same question.[25] In "Grey Hairs & Growing Pains", Zarana helps Mainframe again; he had undergone de-aging.[26]

G.I. Joe: The Movie[edit]

Mainframe also appeared briefly in the 1987 animated film G.I. Joe: The Movie.[27]


Mainframe is a supporting character in the novel Divide and Conquer. Without permission, he risks damage to Joe Headquarters to gain information from Cobra computers.[28]

Mainframe is featured in the younger-children storybook "Operation Starfight" drawn by Earl Norem. He is wounded in the arm during the story.[29]

Video games[edit]

Mainframe appears as a non-playable supporting character named "Data Frame" in the video game G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, voiced by Wally Wingert.

Other works[edit]

Mainframe'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. Beside Iceberg, "Mainframe, clad in his distinctive gray short-sleeved uniform, manned the battlefield computer. They did not speak to each other. Only waited and watched."[30]


  1. ^ Wherle, Scott (2002). G.I. Joe: Battle Files #1. Devil's Due Publishing. p. 17.
  2. ^ Santelmo, Vincent (1994). The Official 30th Anniversary Salute To G.I. Joe 1964-1994. Krause Publications. p. 107. ISBN 0-87341-301-6.
  3. ^ Bellomo, Mark (2005). The Ultimate Guide to G.I. Joe 1982-1994. Krause Publications. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-89689-922-3.
  4. ^ Santelmo, Vincent (1994). The Official 30th Anniversary Salute To G.I. Joe 1964-1994. Krause Publications. p. 108. ISBN 0-87341-301-6.
  5. ^ "DATAFRAME (v1), YOJOE.COM | Dedicated to the G.I.Joe of the 80's, 90's and beyond!". Retrieved 2012-09-18.
  6. ^ G.I. Joe #58 (April 1, 1987)
  7. ^ G.I. Joe #65 (November 1987)
  8. ^ G.I. Joe #72-76
  9. ^ G.I. Joe #115 (August 1991)
  10. ^ G.I. Joe #137 (June 1993)
  11. ^ "Action Force Monthly" #14 (July 1989)
  12. ^ "G.I. Joe And The Transformers" #4 (April 1987)
  13. ^ "G.I. Joe: A Great American Hero" Vol 2 #1 (2001)
  14. ^ "G.I. Joe: A Great American Hero" Vol 2 #2-4 (2002)
  15. ^ "G.I. Joe: Frontlines" #18 (December 2003)
  16. ^ G.I. Joe (Vol. 2) #23-25
  17. ^ G.I. Joe #26
  18. ^ G.I. Joe Special Missions: Brazil
  19. ^ "G.I. Joe Vs. Transformers" #3-6 (2007)
  20. ^ G.I.Joe: Origins #7 (Sept. 2009)
  21. ^ G.I.Joe Special Missions #8 (2013)
  22. ^ G.I.Joe Special Missions #10 (2013)
  23. ^ "Roll Call". G.I. Joe Roll Call. Joe Headquarters. Archived from the original on 2008-06-20. Retrieved 2008-06-13.
  24. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television cartoon shows: an illustrated encyclopedia, 1949 through 2003, Volume 1. McFarland & Co. p. 376. ISBN 978-0-7864-2099-5.
  25. ^ "Computer Complications". G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.
  26. ^ "Grey Hairs & Growing Pains". G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.
  27. ^ G.I. Joe: The Movie (Motion picture). De Laurentiis Entertainment Group. April 20, 1987.
  28. ^ DIVIDE AND CONQUER-#2 (G. I. Joe). "Divide and Conquer". Retrieved 2012-09-18.
  29. ^ Operation: Star Fight (G.I. Joe Storybook). "Operation Starfight storybook". Retrieved 2012-09-18.
  30. ^ Casablanca, Rayo (2008). 6 Sick Hipsters. Kensington Publishing Corp. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-7582-2283-1.

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