Wild Bill (G.I. Joe)

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Wild Bill
G.I. Joe character
Wild Bill as seen in the Sunbow/Marvel G.I. Joe cartoon.
First appearance1983
Voiced byFrank Welker (Sunbow/Marvel)
Don S. Davis (Spy Troops/Valor vs. Venom)
Steven Blum (Resolute)
Charlie Schlatter (Renegades)
AffiliationG.I. Joe
SpecialtyHelicopter Pilot
File nameHardy, William S.
Birth placeBrady, TX
RankCW-4 (Chief Warrant Officer 4)
Primary MOSHelicopter Pilot
Secondary MOSFixed Wing Pilot, Aircraft Armorer

Wild Bill 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 helicopter pilot and debuted in 1983.


His real name is William S. Hardy, and his rank is that of army chief warrant officer CW-4. Wild Bill was born in Brady, Texas. His primary military specialty is helicopter pilot and his secondary military specialties are fixed wing pilot and aircraft armorer.

Wild Bill served as a combat infantryman and participated in LRRP operations during the Vietnam War. He reenlisted for Flight Warrant Officer School and has remained in service since, but his specialized training records are classified. Wild Bill joined the G.I. Joe Team as the pilot of the "Dragonfly" helicopter. He is a qualified expert in the M1911A auto pistol and the XM-16 attack rifle, but prefers single action .45 long colt revolvers.[1]

Wild Bill is the original helicopter pilot for the G.I. Joe team, and is also an expert tracker and can function on the ground as well as any trained infantry scout. He is able to adapt the hunting skills he learned as a boy whenever he's tracking the enemy, saying that sneaking up on a Cobra is easier than sneaking up on most 'critters'.[2]

Wild Bill has a hobby as a country-western singer. While personally honest, he enjoys telling tall tales for the amusement of his friends.

Toy history[edit]

The character first appeared as part of the 1983 line of the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toy line. His action figure was bundled with the Dragonfly helicopter toy. A second edition action figure was released in 1992,[3] and his function is re-designated as an Air Cavalry Scout. The figure was repainted and released as part of the Battle Corps line in 1993.

In 2002, a new figure was made utilizing the newer technology in articulation and detail. It was released as part of the G.I. Joe vs. Cobra series.


Marvel Comics[edit]

In the Marvel Comics G.I. Joe series, Wild Bill first appeared in issue #11 (May 1983). He had a prominent role in the storylines despite serving mainly as a supporting character, and made the most appearances (eleven) in the Special Missions spinoff series. He often flies the Joes to their missions, either in the Dragonfly, the Tomahawk helicopter or the C-130 plane.

Wild Bill accompanies Snake Eyes to give Kwinn a burial at sea.[4]

Wild Bill flies support for a multi-Joe mission investigating Cobra activity in the Florida Everglades. His helicopter is shot down by Destro's wrist rockets. He is injured in the crash and has to be medically evacuated. However, in the middle of this, in issue 27, he travels to New York City to help Scarlett hunt down Storm-Shadow.[5]

In the fourth issue of Special Missions, he and his team crash-land in a Southeast Asian jungle and had to battle the Oktober Guard and river pirates. His team consists of Leatherneck, Roadblock and Lifeline. Wild Bill is shot by the Guard but survives. Tensions arise because Leatherneck blames Lifeline, who is a pacifist. The Joes and the Guard are captured by river pirates. There, Wild Bill recovers enough to see Lifeline's forced battle with a Guard member and comment upon it. The Guard and the Joes are allowed to leave, sans the item they came for, because Lifeline's unwillingness to hurt the Guard member more than he had to impresses the pirates.[6]

In one of Wild Bill's many helicopter missions, he almost kills the Cobra agents Tomax and Xamot. They escape with a turn down a sewer pipe.[7]

Another instance was in G.I. Joe issues #68-71. Crazylegs, Wild Bill and Maverick were forced into evacuating several Dreadnoks out of Rio Vista, the capital of war-torn Sierra Gordo. The Dreadnoks, Zarana, Thrasher and Monkeywrench, had taken several nearby refugees hostage. Eventually, the Joes, Dreadnoks and refugees all work together to get to safety.[8]

Wild Bill is the pilot for the mission where several Joes help Destro neutralize the bounty that Cobra Commander has put on his head.[9] He is the pilot for a mission to the Bering Strait.[10]

Wild Bill is featured in G.I. Joe Special Missions #16. He teams up with Maverick and other Joe pilots, such as Ace and the stealth fighter pilot in a recon mission over Cobra Island. He also shows a talent for Ping Pong.[11]

Action Force[edit]

Wild Bill appears in many issues of the Marvel UK version of G.I. Joe, which is called 'Action Force'. In issue 26 he has a detailed memory of a previous military incident which he had repressed. His rescue mission had been forced to leave a man behind; this caused Wild Bill many sleepless nights.[12]

Devil's Due[edit]

Wild Bill is featured in the first story arc of G.I. Joe: Frontlines, which presents the last adventure of the G.I. Joe Team. He flies air support in an attack on Destro's castle, which is filled with many Cobra officers. He has to end up dealing with a Cobra Mamba all by himself, with a battered and leaking helicopter. Much of this incident is off-panel.[13]

When the team reforms, Wild Bill is one of the few Joes to be introduced to the "new generation", a large group of soldiers referred to as Greenshirts.[14]

Wild Bill is one of the few Joes available, at the time, to assist Jinx. The mission is to infiltrate the organization of Japanese businessman Hayatu Toba, who is thought to be assembling a personal army of his own.[volume & issue needed] He rejoins the main team alongside Cover Girl and Gung-Ho, during the World War III storyline. He helps in capturing Cobra Mortal.[volume & issue needed] He assists in battling The Plague, a group of elite Cobra soldiers, in the Middle East.[volume & issue needed]

In New York City, he again confronts The Plague, leading a group of volunteer citizens in laying down covering fire so Duke and a valued ally can escape. Several of The Plague are wounded.[15] Wild Bill takes part in the final battle against Cobra in the Appalachian Mountains.[volume & issue needed] Wild Bill is badly injured by Plague member Vector in a South American jungle, saving Stalker from Vector's unique weaponry by voluntarily taking the shots himself.[16]

Animated series[edit]


Wild Bill first appeared in the animated series in the A Real American Hero mini-series. The character's uniform had a different color scheme than in the comics and toy line. He was voiced by Frank Welker.[17]

G.I. Joe: The Movie[edit]

Wild Bill also appeared briefly in the 1987 animated film G.I. Joe: The Movie.[18] Because he was a CWO-4, he served on the tribunal for Lt. Falcon's court-martial and he piloted the helicopter to take Lt. Falcon to Sgt. Slaughter's training grounds, "The Slaughterhouse".

Spy Troops and Valor vs. Venom[edit]

Wild Bill appeared in the direct-to-video CGI animated movies G.I. Joe: Spy Troops and G.I. Joe: Valor vs. Venom, voiced by Don S. Davis


Wild Bill appeared in G.I. Joe: Resolute.

G.I. Joe: Renegades[edit]

Wild Bill made an appearance in the G.I. Joe: Renegades episode "Knockoffs." Flint called for a helicopter to look for Joes, Zartan, and stolen Cobra truck with camo suit along with Baroness and Lady Jaye.

Live-action film[edit]

Wild Bill will be appearing in G.I. Joe: Ever Vigilant.[19]

Video games[edit]

Wild Bill is one of the featured characters in the 1985 G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero computer game.[20] He appears as a non-playable supporting character in the 2009 video game G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.


  1. ^ Hama, Larry (1987). Howard Mackie (ed.). G.I. Joe Order Of Battle. Marvel Entertainment Group. p. 121. ISBN 0-87135-288-5.
  2. ^ "Wild Bill filecard". Yojoe.com. Retrieved 2012-09-18.
  3. ^ Santelmo, Vincent (1994). The Official 30th Anniversary Salute To G.I. Joe 1964-1994. Krause Publications. p. 139. ISBN 0-87341-301-6.
  4. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #22 (1984)
  5. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #25-30 (1984)
  6. ^ G.I. Joe Secret Missions #4
  7. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #37 (July 1985)
  8. ^ G.I. Joe A Real American Hero #68-71
  9. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #118 (Nov. 1991)
  10. ^ G.I. Joe Special Missions #20 (April 1989)
  11. ^ G.I. Joe Special Missions #16
  12. ^ "Action Force" #26 (August 29, 1987)
  13. ^ G.I. Joe: Frontline #1-4
  14. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero vol. 2 #2 (2001)
  15. ^ G.I. Joe America's Elite #33 (March 2008)
  16. ^ G.I. Joe America's Elite #35 (2007)
  17. ^ "Roll Call". G.I. Joe Roll Call. Joe Headquarters. Retrieved 2008-06-13.
  18. ^ G.I. Joe: The Movie (Motion picture). De Laurentiis Entertainment Group. April 20, 1987.
  19. ^ Murphy, Charles (May 3, 2018). "EXCLUSIVE: Character Details About The G.I. Joe: Ever Vigilant". That Hastag Show.
  20. ^ Roberts, Matt. "G.I. Joe for Personal Computers". YoJoe.com. Retrieved 2010-03-20.

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