is a fictional character from the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero is a military-themed line of action figures and toys in Hasbro's G.I. Joe franchise. The toyline lasted from 1982 to 1994, producing well over 500 figures and 250 vehicles and playsets. The line reappeared in 1997 and has continued in one form or another to the...
toyline, comic books and cartoon series of the 1980s. He is Cobra's Water Moccasin pilot and debuted in 1984.
Copperhead's military specialty is air-driver swamp vehicle operator. He is presumably a native of the Florida Everglades
The Everglades are subtropical wetlands in the southern portion of the U.S. state of Florida, comprising the southern half of a large watershed. The system begins near Orlando with the Kissimmee River, which discharges into the vast but shallow Lake Okeechobee...
, due to his immeasurable knowledge of the area, and is believed to have raced speedboats in high stakes races in Monaco and Japan. His major weakness is gambling, on which he apparently got started by placing bets on his own races. He compounded his problems, by selling his services to Cobra to pay off his debts.
Copperhead is extremely comfortable and capable in swamp environments, and is intimately familiar with seaborne demolitions and high-speed naval assault vehicles. He is also a gifted mechanic, spending much of his time elbow-deep in the transmissions of various Cobra watercraft, customizing and tuning them for maximum performance in jungle and swamp operations. Once Copperhead's combat and piloting skills were established, it is assumed that Cobra either paid off - or otherwise eliminated - his bookies.
During the time that Cobra was out of commission, Copperhead returned to his old tricks, and racked up more substantial debt. According to intelligence reports, he'd been placing wagers under false identities, then sabotaging his opponents, assuring himself of a guaranteed payday. Angry bookies came looking for retribution after his schemes were uncovered, and so Copperhead was relieved when he received the call back to Cobra, this time as the head of Cobra's Naval forces.
Copperhead was first released as an action figure in 1984, packaged with the "Water Moccasin" swamp cruiser. In 1989, Copperhead was available mail-order from Hasbro Direct as part of a six figure vehicle drivers set that included H.I.S.S. Driver, Stinger Driver, Crankcase
Crankcase 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 A.W.E. Striker driver and debuted in 1985.-Profile:...
Frostbite 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 Snow Cat driver and debuted in 1985.-Profile:His real name is Farley S. Seward, and his rank is that of corporal E-4...
, and Thunder
Thunder is a character from the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toyline, comic books and cartoon series of the 1980s. He is the G.I. Joe team's self-propelled gun artilleryman and debuted in 1984.-Profile:...
. The figure was also repainted and released as part of the Python Patrol
The Python Patrol is an elite unit within the fictional Cobra Organization. They have special uniforms that masks their presence to electronic detection systems...
line in 1989.
Copperhead has appeared in many issues of Marvel Comics
Marvel Worldwide, Inc., commonly referred to as Marvel Comics and formerly Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, is an American company that publishes comic books and related media...
. The Water Moccasin, sans Copperhead, was used in a running battle with G.I. Joe forces. It was crewed by the Cobra agents Wild Weasel
Wild Weasel is a fictional character appearing in the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero series and comic-books. He is a member of Cobra and pilot of the Cobra Rattler...
Firefly is a fictional character in the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero universe. He is a mercenary who works for the Cobra Organization as a saboteur.-Profile:...
Copperhead is also part of the "Action Force
Action Force was a 1980s range of European action figures initially based on Action Man, and later used to introduce G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toys to European markets...
" continuity. With a Crimson Guard
The Crimson Guard is an elite organization within the fictional G.I. Joe universe. They are members of Cobra Command, the nemesis of the G.I. Joe team. They are often referred to by a phonetic spelling of their organization's initials, "Siegies". Tomax and Xamot are the commanders of the Crimson...
sman in the gunner position and a police officer hostage strapped in, he pursues Shipwreck down the Thames River. The two Cobra soldiers escape, but the hostage is safely rescued.
Devil's Due comics
Copperhead appears in the Devil's Due comic book series, providing nautical security for Cobra Island
Cobra Island is a fictional country located in the Gulf of Mexico. It is the main base of operations for the fictional Cobra Organization featured in the G.I. Joe toyline from the 1980s. It is featured in the G.I. Joe cartoon and the comic book series created by Marvel Comics and Devil's Due...
. The Joe rookie Barrel Roll is successfully inserted and extracted despite his best efforts. During the escape, Copperhead is almost killed when the Joe forces drop their escape craft on his vehicle.
In the America's Elite
series, Copperhead is one of the Cobra operatives who pose as a new elite unit called Phoenix Guard. Copperhead is given the new codename "High Tide". Cobra Commander disguises himself as White House staff member Garret Freedlowe, and tricks General Rey into leading High Tide and his fellow Phoenix Guard against the Joes. Once the deception is revealed, Copperhead is captured by the Joes and imprisoned in the Coffin prison facility in Greenland. He's freed alongside several others during an assault led by Tomax. Copperhead later teams with Ghost Bear, and battles Torpedo and Wet-Suit in the waters along the East African coast
In the Sunbow G.I. Joe
cartoon, he first appeared in the first season episode "Jungle Trap", voiced by Frank Welker
Franklin Wendell "Frank" Welker is an American actor who specializes in voice acting and has contributed character voices and other vocal effects to American television and motion pictures.-Acting career:...
. His last appearance is at the beginning of the episode "Worlds Without End pt.1".
Copperhead also appeared in DiC's G.I. Joe
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero is a half-hour American animated television series based on the successful toyline from Hasbro and the comic book series from Marvel Comics. The series was produced by DIC Entertainment and ran from 1989 to 1991....
cartoon, voiced by Maurice LaMarche
Maurice LaMarche is an Emmy Award winning Canadian-American voice actor and former stand up comedian. He is best known for his voicework in Futurama as Kif Kroker, as Egon Spengler in The Real Ghostbusters, Verminous Skumm and Duke Nukem in Captain Planet and the Planeteers, Big Bob Pataki in Hey...
. In the "Operation Dragonfire" mini-series, Copperhead sides with Cobra Commander, and becomes a commander for the Python Patrol.