Russ Heath Crimson Guard Immortal

Russ Heath Crimson Guard Immortal model sheet

Russ Heath, comics artist and animation character designer extraordinaire, makes a return appearance here at A Real American Book! Here’s his model for Cobra’s Crimson Guard Immortal, from DIC’s first season.

Russ Heath Crimson Guard Immortal model sheetThe line is impeccable as always, and Heath packs in more detail than any animation studio would want to reproduce. (But that’s why he was hired.) Interesting to note the word at the bottom, “Android.” I thought that meant this sheet was for the episode “A is for Android,” but CGs don’t appear in that episode. So I guess someone along the way thought that one or all of the Crimson Guard were not people in costumes, but robots. (Like me and Stormtroopers when I was 5.)

Also, I’ve never been sure what “Immortal” means here. Is that a military term? Like “corps”? Did Hasbro make it up? Is it like “Batman Forever,” it just sounds good?

As a kid growing up with G.I. Joe, I was always thrilled by the Crimson Guard, how their uniform elevated them above rank and file Cobra Troopers — that fancy brocade, their black gloves, the knee-high boots. And was disappointed that this update lost all that fanciness. Don’t get me wrong, this is a good looking Cobra, but it feels more like a shock trooper or urban warfare specialist than the guys who’d get to guard Serpentor in the Terrordrome. Even if that’s not what they’re supposed to do.

Either way, what do you think of the Crimson Guard Immortal?


Filed under G.I. Joe Behind the Scenes, Toys and Toy Art

5 responses to “Russ Heath Crimson Guard Immortal

  1. I wish the DIC cartoon featured detail like this drawing! The CGIs are pretty cool; I think of them more as battle-ready Siegies, which could be a special division of the Guard (“Immortals”). It’s not crimson, but the 2003 slate blue repaint is one of my favs.

  2. “Immortal” like the immortals of the Xercie’s armies. Meaning there is a specific number of them and that number “never” changes. I never understood their purpose, but I’ve always liked the CG’s.

  3. JMM

    I was never really a fan of this design either, but I can see it as a heavy combat uniform compared to the Guards’ more dressy uniform we’re more used to.

  4. Jason

    Alright, I finally understand this. I’m watching the dic episode “general confusion” from season 1. In this episode, cobra tricks G.I. Joe into sending one of each vehicle and crew into a false simulation to do battle, with “android troopers” (not BATs, but rather desert scorpions and crimson guards dressed up with robot panels to fool them.) The ultimate scheme is to capture the G.I. Joe general. The crimson guard shown above was the character model for the android disguise on a crimson guard.

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