Spirit (G.I. Joe)

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G.I. Joe character
Illustration of Spirit and his pet bald eagle Freedom from G.I. Joe: Order of Battle. Art by Herb Trimpe.
First appearance1984
Voiced byGregg Berger (Sunbow)
Maurice LaMarche (DiC)
Darren Dunstan (Sigma 6)
AffiliationG.I. Joe
File nameIron-Knife, Charlie
Birth placeTaos, NM
RankE-4 (Specialist)
E-7 (Sergeant First Class) (Devil's Due comics)
Primary MOSInfantry
Secondary MOSSocial Services
SubgroupsSlaughter's Marauders

Spirit (sometimes called Spirit Iron-Knife), 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 original tracker and debuted in 1984.


His real name is Charlie Iron-Knife, and he was born to a poor Native American family in the Taos Pueblo Reservation in Taos, New Mexico.

His primary military specialty is infantry and his secondary military specialty is social services. He was a hunting guide through high school and then served in Southeast Asia after joining the military. Spirit returned to civilian life to complete his education and then inexplicably returned to the service. His primary specialty is as a tracker, and he is a qualified expert with the M-16, M1911A1 Auto Pistol, and the Remington sniper rifle.[1]

Spirit's costume and specialty highlight his identity as a Native American medicine man and shaman. He sports long braided hair, a headband, a knife being a prominent weapon, and pants with designs typical of some Native American tribes. A new version of his costume designed by the Devil's Due comic book company ditched most of the obvious aspects of his heritage, and emphasized a more military aspect.


Spirit was introduced as an action figure in 1984.[2] In the Slaughter's Marauders toy line released in 1989, his birthplace is written as Grand Canyon, Arizona.[3] It is corrected back to Taos, New Mexico in the new toy released in 2005. He has a companion pet bald eagle named Freedom.

A new version of Spirit was released as part of the Air Commandos line in 1992.[4][5]



Marvel Comics[edit]

Spirit's first comic book appearance is in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #31 (January 1985) from Marvel Comics.[6] His first mission was guarding Snake Eyes, who is staying at his cabin at the time. That issue showed some of his capabilities as a hunter and tracker. He was the only one who spotted a Cobra tracking device inside the C-130 plane they were flying on. He and Airborne, a fellow Joe (and coincidentally a fellow Southwest Native American) during that mission kept moving around and trying to deceive Snake Eyes from their presence.[7] After injuries from that mission, he was seen in a shopping mall in G.I. Joe #33 looking for medicinal herbs. In the same issue, he is recognized by a Crimson Guardsman, which results in several others Joes battling Cobra forces.[8] Spirit later participates in the invasion of Springfield,[9] and Cobra Island.[10]

In issue #100, Spirit has accompanied Mutt to Millville. While there, the two visit Mutt's Uncle Jeff. Mutt's dog Junkyard naturally comes with. During their stay, Cobra invades and takes over the town. Most of the citizenry are brainwashed one by one. Spirit and Mutt form a resistance movement. Assisted by Junkyard, they ambush a Cobra patrol, taking out two soldiers and a HISS Tank. They stop to check on Jeff, who seemingly betrays them. The two are joined by a local veterinarian and a small group of teenagers. The whole thing falls apart when it is discovered there was ever the presence of Cobra, although the town returns to its brainwashed condition when the authorities leave. Mutt and Spirit are arrested on the orders of Hawk.[11]

This incident casts an aspersion on G.I. Joe, but the two are cleared of all wrongdoing after a court trial.[12]

In his last few appearances, he can be seen guarding the entrance to the Joe's headquarters, a new version of the Pit. Spirit refuses to let anyone enter until they give the proper codewords. Spirit's pet eagle, Freedom, does not appear until #130.

Devil's Due[edit]

In the first issue of Devil's Due G.I. Joe series, Spirit is one of the many soldiers called back into active duty.[13]

Spirit is featured in the one-shot G.I. Joe: The Hunt for Cobra Commander, set in the year between the Devil's Due A Real American Hero series and G.I. Joe: America's Elite series. The story is largely told via e-mails Spirit sends Hawk, while conducting a solo investigation of Cobra Commander's whereabouts.[14] Spirit is later found by the Joes imprisoned at an old Cobra base, and rejoins the team.[15]

Animated series[edit]


In the G.I. Joe animated series, Spirit first appeared in the mini-series The Revenge of Cobra voiced by Gregg Berger while Freedom's vocal effects are provided by Frank Welker.[16] In that mini-series, he was used as a foil to Storm Shadow, fighting one another to a stalemate. Afterwards, in the regular series, he was usually a background character or foil to Storm Shadow. In the episode 'Excalibur', Spirit heals Quick-Kick's broken leg in moments.[17]

Spirit can be seen several times during the Battle of the Statue of Liberty in the opening of G.I.Joe the Movie


Spirit appeared in DiC's G.I. Joe cartoon, voiced by Maurice LaMarche.[18]

Sigma 6[edit]

In the G.I. Joe: Sigma 6 series, Spirit, or Spirit Iron-Knife, is the team's resident tracker. He has a hi-tech suit. His pet is a falcon named "Billy".


Spirit is briefly seen in G.I. Joe: Resolute and along the joes present when looking at footage of Moscow's destruction by Cobra's Particle Cannon.

Video games[edit]

Spirit is one of the featured characters in the 1985 G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero computer game.[19] He is a non-playable supporting character in the 1992 game G.I. Joe: The Atlantis Factor.[20]


Spirit is a supporting character in the Find Your Fate novel, "Operation: Star Raider".[21]


  1. ^ Hama, Larry (1987). Howard Mackie (ed.). G.I. Joe Order Of Battle. Marvel Entertainment Group. p. 100. ISBN 0-87135-288-5.
  2. ^ Santelmo, Vincent (1994). The Official 30th Anniversary Salute To G.I. Joe 1964-1994. Krause Publications. p. 100. ISBN 0-87341-301-6.
  3. ^ Santelmo, Vincent (1994). The Official 30th Anniversary Salute To G.I. Joe 1964-1994. Krause Publications. p. 125. ISBN 0-87341-301-6.
  4. ^ G.I. JOE Brand Introduces New Look for the Next Generation Of Kids; G.I. JOE International Collector's Convention Will Be the First Place Fans Can See New 8-Inch G.I. JOE SIGMA SIX Line, Business Wire, June 23, 2005
  5. ^ Santelmo, Vincent (1994). The Official 30th Anniversary Salute To G.I. Joe 1964-1994. Krause Publications. p. 135. ISBN 0-87341-301-6.
  6. ^ Jamar Miller. "Spirit". JMM's G.I. Joe Comics Home Page. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  7. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #31 (January 1985)
  8. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero" #33
  9. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #50
  10. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #75
  11. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #100
  12. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #145
  13. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero vol. 2 #1 (2001)
  14. ^ G.I. Joe: The Hunt for Cobra Commander (May 2006)
  15. ^ G.I. Joe: America's Elite #13 (July 2006)
  16. ^ "1984 Characters". Half the Battle. Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  17. ^ "Excalibur". G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.
  18. ^ "The Voices of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (1989, Animated Series) - Voice Cast Listing at Voice Chasers". Voicechasers.com. 1989-09-02. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
  19. ^ Roberts, Matt. "G.I. Joe for Personal Computers". YoJoe.com. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  20. ^ Roberts, Matt. "G.I. Joe: The Atlantis Factor for the NES". YoJoe.com. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  21. ^ G.I. Joe - Operation : Star Raider (Find Your Fate #1). "'Operation: Star Raider'". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-09-18.

External links[edit]

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