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Duke is a fictional character from the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toyline, comic books, and cartoon series. He is the G.I. Joe Team's First Sergeant, and debuted in 1983. The character is also featured in both the G.I. Joe: Sigma 6 animated series and comic books. Channing Tatum portrays Duke in the 2007 live-action film G.I. Joe, the 2009 sequel, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and the 2013 sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation.

Profile Edit

Duke is the code name of First Sergeant Conrad S. Hauser, and was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He is a skilled polyglot, being fluent in English, French and German, as well as several Southeast Asian languages. He was at the top of his class at Fort Benning, attended U.S. Army Special Language school, has undergone Special Forces training, and worked with South Vietnamese tribesmen. He was also an instructor in four different Special Forces schools. Despite his accomplishments, he has repeatedly turned down any officer commissions offered to him. He believes a commander's place is with his troops, not behind the battle lines.[1]

Duke is field commander and second-in-command of the G.I. Joe team after Hawk.[2] In this role, he has served as a rugged leader by example, a precise giver of orders, a source of history and knowledge, and a fair settler of disputes. As the team has fluctuated in size and structure over the years, Duke has supervised the training of the non-commissioned officers in G.I. Joe, as well as leading special units such as Tiger Force and Star Brigade.[3]

After the G.I. Joe Team disbanded, Duke disappeared. It was later learned that he'd been performing Black Ops for a secret government agency, his missions of which are still highly classified. One such mission was to locate and detain the mercenary Major Bludd, which led to evidence that Cobra Commander had returned, and hastened the reinstatement of G.I. Joe.[3] Duke returned to active duty in G.I. Joe when the team was reinstated, though his maverick and dangerous behavior took some of his longtime colleagues by surprise, and caused him to relinquish his position as field commander for a more behind-the-scenes advisory role.[4]

Toys Edit

Vintage/ModernEdit

Duke was one of the first mail-away figures created in 1983 for the G.I. Joe 3 3/4" action figure line of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.[5][6] He was later released as a carded figure in 1984, as part of the third series.[7][8] The figure was recolored and released as the leader of the "Tiger Force" line in 1988.[9][10]

A new version of Duke was released in 1992.[11][12] Another version was released as part of the Battle Corps line in 1993.[13] New versions of Duke were also released in 1993 and 1994, as commander of the Star Brigade line.[14][15]

A version of Duke with no accessories came with the Built to Rule Armadillo Assault, which followed the G.I. Joe: Spy Troops story line. The forearms and the calves of the figure sported places where blocks could be attached.[16] The same figure was recolored and released in 2005 with the Built to Rule Freedom Defense Outpost.[17]

Hall of FameEdit

In response to the high demand from nostalgic collectors of the vintage era G.I. Joe action figures, Hasbro introduced the G.I. Joe: Hall of Fame era of 12" action figures in 1991. Duke was the first 12" (30 cm) action figure produced in the Hasbro G.I. Joe line since 1978.[18]

The first 12" Duke was a Target Stores exclusive. The popularity of the figure convinced Hasbro to unleash a new series of 12" G.I. Joe action figures, known as the Hall of Fame series. These new 12" figures were based on the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero series of 3.75" action figure characters. The 12" Duke had a headsculpt that was never used again for any other G.I. Joe figure, and was dressed for Desert Storm combat, with a backpack, commemorative stand, a light-up weapon with sound effects, grenades, and a Beretta handgun and holster.[19]

25th anniversaryEdit

Duke was released in a box packed with Snake Eyes, Scarlett, Roadblock, and Gung-Ho, created from an entirely new mold that was based heavily on the original design. He was also released in several single packs (with one including his Jet Pack featured in the opening credits of G.I. Joe: The Movie), comic packs, movie packs (packaged with the greatest battles DVD), and multi-packs. Duke was one of the only G.I. Joe figures to be released in a special package for the G.I. Joe: Resolute animated series.

The Rise of CobraEdit

To coincide with the launch of the movie G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Hasbro released at least two figures in 2009 based on the Duke movie character. For both releases, he is listed as Conrad "Duke" Hauser. The first, classified as "Desert Ambush", features Duke in a desert camouflage uniform. The second, classified as "Reactive Impact Armor", features him in the movie style black uniform. Two versions of Duke were also released as part of "The Pursuit of Cobra" line in 2010, with non-actor based heads.

30th AnniversaryEdit

The G.I. Joe: Renegades version of Duke was released as an action figure in 2011, as part of the 30th Anniversary line. Three versions of Duke were released in 2012, the last one listed again as Conrad "Duke" Hauser to tie in with the movie G.I. Joe: Retaliation.

ComicsEdit

Marvel ComicsEdit

In the Marvel Comics G.I. Joe series, Duke first appears in issue #22. He and Roadblock act as security for the funeral of General Flagg, shooting down an attacking Rattler plane.[20] Duke is added to the G.I. Joe team line-up, to help straighten the team out and become the new field commander. His first mission is surveillance of the Baroness and Major Bludd at the Bern Institute of Reconstructive Surgery in Switzerland. A major battle results in the capture of Cobra Commander.[21] Duke leads an effort to keep Cobra Commander prisoner in a mountain base. However, the Cobra ninja Storm Shadow rescues the Commander.[22]

Duke then traveled down to Florida, where he and Roadblock met up with Cutter and Deep Six, taking the W.H.A.L.E. hovercraft and attacking Zartan's swamp shack hideout in the Florida Everglades.[23] After Destro and Firefly steal the W.H.A.L.E., Duke and Wild Bill take the Dragonfly copter to go after Destro and recover the vehicle.[24] His next field mission is to investigate a suspected Cobra undercover agent on Staten Island. The agent escapes, but leaves behind clues to a secret Cobra operation in the Gulf of Mexico.[25] Duke leads an assault team on the newly formed Cobra Island, but is forced to withdraw when the island is officially recognized as a sovereign state.[26]

Duke takes part in the invasion of the Cobra-controlled town of Springfield, as the leader of the Security Team.[27] He also plays second-in-command to Hawk during the Cobra Civil War.[28] After that mission, Duke spends some time training new members of the Joe team. His next mission involves leading a team to push Cobra out of Trucial Abysmia, but intelligence vastly underestimates Cobra's presence there. Duke's squad is captured, and a misinterpreted order leads to several men being shot dead by a S.A.W. Viper. Doc, Heavy Metal, Thunder, and Crankcase are slain immediately. The Viper is wounded, and the survivors escape in a Cobra Rage tank. It is destroyed, killing Crazylegs, Breaker, and Quick Kick. Duke and the other two survivors, Cross-Country and Lt. Falcon, make it back to friendly lines safely.[29]

Duke would recover from that experience and lead the defense of the Joe headquarters, The Pit, against Cobra.[30] He also led a covert mission to Cobra Island, to oust control of it by Firefly and the Red Ninjas.[31] As leader of Star Brigade, Duke teamed up with the Oktober Guard to destroy an asteroid threatening Earth.[32] He would continue working with G.I. Joe until its disbandment.

In an interview in ToyFare magazine, G.I. Joe comic book writer Larry Hama admitted he could never get a handle on Duke. According to Hama, military comic book conventions maintain that the commanding officer is the "good cop" and the first sergeant is the "bad cop," and Duke, as first sergeant, never really fit the "bad cop" mold.[33]

Devil's DueEdit

After the disbandment, Duke went to take on black ops assignments for a secret government agency for a few years. It was during one of his missions that he discovers Cobra's attempt to make a comeback. He uses this information to help rally the effort to have G.I. Joe reinstated.[34] By this time, Duke had a different edge to him, taking more risks and sometimes putting teammates in danger.

Duke returns as the team's field commander, leading a team to defend Washington D.C. when Cobra threatens the world with nanomites.[35] Later, when Flint and the Baroness are both kidnapped by the same organization in Czechoslovakia. Destro and Duke arrange for G.I. Joe, Cobra and the Oktober Guard to team up, in order to rescue them.[36] When Hawk is incapacitated in a Cobra assassination attempt, Duke takes up his injured mentor's causes, fighting the corrupt Jugglers while holding the team together in the wake of the loss of their leader.[37]

America's EliteEdit

The team is reorganized in the G.I. Joe: America's Elite series. Duke disappears, going off on his own mission to locate Cobra Commander. During his search, he is captured by a group of B.A.T.s under the control of a Crimson Guardsman, who also had a grudge against Cobra Commander and wished to locate him. Duke frees himself, and after much torture, kills the Guardsman and saves Washington D.C. from being nuked. Civilians then treat his wounds and help him return home.[38] Duke also assists his colleagues in defending their Yellowstone base from enemy infiltration.[39]

Following the invasion of The Rock, General Rey goes on a sabbatical to fill in some of the holes in his memory, and Duke accompanies him because he does not trust his intentions. They discover that Zandar was involved, and travel to the Florida Everglades, where they learn that one of Zandar's aliases was hired to broker a deal between The Coil and the Jugglers. This leads them to General Rey's psychiatrist Dr. Scott Stevens, who reveals that General Rey is a clone of Serpentor. Dr. Stevens is then revealed to be Cobra hypnotist Crystal Ball, who has brainwashed General Rey, and commands him to kill Duke. General Rey breaks free from Crystal Ball's control with Duke's help.[40]

Later, Duke deals with his father, a protester who dislikes the military. During a talk in his father's home, Cobra agent Interrogator captures Duke and tries to obtain information on G.I. Joe's Middle East operations.[41] After being rescued by Roadblock, Duke leads battles against The Plague in both the Middle East and in New York during "World War III"[42]

Hasbro later announced that all stories published by Devil's Due Publishing are no longer considered canonical, and are now considered an alternate continuity.[43]

Alternate universe seriesEdit

G.I. Joe ReloadedEdit

In this series, Duke is a double agent working for Cobra, due to his distress over the U.S. government's willingness to create destructive weaponry. In the final issue, he confronts Scarlett in a sewer system. She gains the upper hand and kills him with a knife to the back.[44]

Fun PublicationsEdit

In the mirror universe created by Fun Publications, Duke's counterpart is Secretary of Defense Conrad Hauser, serving in the administration of U.S. President Joe Colton. In the story "Eye in the Sky", Hauser had to report to the president on the loss of an orbital defense satellite to the evil alien robots called the Autobots, and its eventual destruction thanks to the efforts of the heroic Decepticons.[45]

Live-action movies Edit

Channing Tatum portrays Duke in the 2007 film G.I. Joe. He is the primary protagonist and is part of General Hawk's team. Contrary to his original back-story, he is a newcomer to the G.I. Joe team; all Joe rookies are already established, well-trained soldiers.

Duke returned in the 2009 sequel G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Tatum returns as Duke in the sequel, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, where the character has been awarded his own team of Joes. After saving Flint, Duke is killed off early in the film via an airstrike ordered by Zartan (who was masquerading as the President of the United States). Zartan is killed and exposed by Storm Shadow, Cobra Commander escapes, and G.I. Joe is reinstated. Roadblock vows to go after Cobra Commander and avenge Duke.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Template:Cite book
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  14. Template:Cite book
  15. Template:Cite book
  16. Armadillo Assault w/ Duke at YOJOE.com Retrieved 2012-04-23
  17. Freedom Defense Outpost w/ Duke at YOJOE.com Retrieved 2012-04-23
  18. Template:Cite news
  19. Template:Cite book
  20. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #22 (April 1984)
  21. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #23 (May 1984)
  22. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #24 (June 1984)
  23. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #28 (October 1984)
  24. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #29 (November 1984)
  25. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #38 (August 1985)
  26. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #41 (November 1985)
  27. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #49-50
  28. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #74-76
  29. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #108-111
  30. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #130-131
  31. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #132-134
  32. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #145-148
  33. Template:Cite news
  34. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero vol. 2 #5 (April 2002)
  35. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero vol. 2 #4 (March 2002)
  36. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero vol. 2 #17-19 (2003)
  37. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero vol. 2 #37 (December 2004)
  38. G.I. Joe: America's Elite #7-10 (2006)
  39. G.I. Joe: America's Elite #16-18 (2006)
  40. G.I. Joe: America's Elite #19-20 (2007)
  41. G.I. Joe: America's Elite #27 (September 2007)
  42. G.I. Joe: America's Elite #30-33 (2007-2008)
  43. Template:Cite web
  44. G.I. Joe Reloaded #14 (April 2005)
  45. Template:Cite book

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