Spirit (G.I. Joe)
Real Name: Charlie Iron-Knife
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A Native American born into poverty, Spirit Iron-Knife was raised to respect nature and had an innate connection to it, in the tradition of his ancestors. He also became a Shaman, learning the art of what those outside his culture would call holistic healing. While in high school, Spirit worked as a hunting guide to earn extra money for his family, putting his skills as a tracker to good use. After graduation, he enlisted in the Army and was soon sent to Southeast Asia, where he served in a Long Range Recon Patrol unit. In the Army, Spirit also became a qualified sniper. After returning home he completed his education and then reenlisted, eventually being recruited for the G.I. Joe team.
In his first mission for the Joe team, Spirit joined Airborne on a mission to keep an eye on Snake-Eyes' cabin in the High Sierras, where the commando was on leave. Hawk had assigned them the mission without telling Snake-Eyes about it, though he spotted the Joes from miles away in the wilderness. Hawk's instincts were proved correct when the cabin was attacked by Destro, Firefly and Crimson Guardsman Fred Broca (Fred I). Spirit and Airborne came to the rescue and engaged in a fierce firefight with the Cobra agents. In the fight, Spirit fatally shot Fred, and both he and Airborne were wounded. While recuperating from his injuries, Spirit ignored orders for bedrest and asked Ripcord and Gung-Ho to take him to the Staten Island mall, where he hoped to by various plants and herbs to help in the healing process. At the mall, Spirit was shocked to see a man who looked just like Fred shopping with his family. The Joes later learned it was Fred II -- the original Fred's surgically-altered, identical replacement -- after a freeway chase and firefight.
Spirit continued to serve on many more missions for the Joe team. His teammates learned that their first impression of Spirit as a stoic, imposing mystic was not completely accurate. Those who got to know him discovered he was a loyal friend, and had a dry sense of humor that made it difficult to know whether he was joking or not. Spirit joined Flint, Quick Kick and Alpine on a mission to Cobra Island to rescue Ripcord. In reality, it was a disguised Zartan that they helped get off the island, and Spirit noticed something was amiss -- the hole in Ripcord's uniform (being work by Zartan) did not match up with the wound underneath. Shortly after, the Joes invaded the Cobra-controlled town of Springfield. Spirit, known to be one of the most stealthy of the Joes, was part of the small team that landed first to cut off power and communications. In the battle's aftermath, the Joes were placed on suspension. Spirit was the first Joe to spot Cobra troops planning an assault on the Pit, shortly before the Joe headquarters was destroyed to stop Cobra from gaining control of it. Once the Joes set up a new secret underground base in Utah, Spirit was a fixture at the base. Visitors who arrived at the simple quonset hut that sat atop the base would often find a solitary Native American sitting crosslegged on a small rug and meditating. Beneath Spirit was the trap door leading to the Pit III below.
Spirit was part of a small team of Joes sent on a recon mission into Cobra Island. The mission soon changed when the Joes invaded the island during Cobra's civil war, and Spirit and the other Joes were ordered to take over Cobra's airfield control tower. Spirit sensed that the team was being followed and captured fishing boat Captain Minh, who helped the team reach their objective. When Destro's forces arrived, the team was forced into the sluice tunnels below the airfield. The Joes eventually came out on the losing side of the war thanks to a last minute deal. The corrupt generals who had planned the mission blamed the embarrassment on Hawk and arrested he and many of the Joes, including Spirit. The Joes were eventually cleared and Spirit returned to duty. Years after the end of the civil war, Spirit and his friend Mutt (and Junkyard) took some time off and visited Mutt's uncle in Millville, a rundown town that was coincidentally about to be invaded by Cobra. Mutt and Spirit escaped capture and helped start an underground movement to fight Cobra. They found themselves fighting the townspeople, who had been brainwashed by Cobra. When the Joes made their final attack, they realized that Cobra had quickly "un-brainwashed" the people and got out of sight. Hawk and Law arrived with no choice but to arrest Spirit and Mutt for the attacks they organized in the seemingly normal town. The two Joes were able to stay out of jail while the matter was being investigated, but still faced serious charges. Both Spirit and Mutt were allowed back on duty when the Joes finally discovered that Cobra was controlling Millville, and a major battle took place in the town. By battle's end, Millville was liberated by the Joe team and Spirit and Mutt were cleared of all charges. Not long after, in 1994, the Joe team was shut down and the Pit was closed.
When the G.I. Joe team was reinstated in 2001, Spirit was one of the first members to return and became an important part of the team, fighting Cobra's invasion of Washington DC, and stopping the advanced Battle Android Trooper causing havok in downtown Chicago. He was also one of the Joes that tracked down the mysterious children who turned out to be clones of Serpentor. When Serpentor returned, Spirit and many other Joes were captured and brought to Cobra Island. The Joes soon led an assault on the island to stop Serpentor's forces and to rescue their teammates. Spirit and the others managed to escape their jail cell and joined in the battle that eventually led to Serpentor's second death and a victory for the Joe team. Some time later, members of the Joe team fought Cobra forces that were drawn into an attack on a train guarded by the Joes, believing that Destro was being held prisoner onboard. At the battle's end, Hawk was shot in the back by Cobra Commander and paralyzed. In Hawk's absence, the Jugglers began to take control of the team to reign it in, if not disband it altogether. Eventually, the team's roster was cut down to only a dozen Joes including Spirit. That small team defended the new Pit against Cobra's attack, but Spirit and most of those Joes were soon reassigned to other units. After the remaining Joes stopped a plot by Cobra to unleash the weapon known as the Tempest, and defeated a new threat, the Red Shadows, the military again disbanded the team.
Cobra Commander's fate was unknown following his confrontation with the Red Shadows. Hawk, hospitalized and obsessed with finding the Commander, sent Spirit on a secret mission to track him down. Spirit spent months following clues and rumors to South America, where he heard locals speaking about "The Blue Ghost," who was associated with the disappearance of local criminals, whom Spirit presumed were recruited by the Commander. Spirit eventually reached a cabin in Southern Peru and was surprised to find a laptop computer displaying photographs of many members of Spirit's own family. He was then confronted by Cobra Commander, who was expecting his arrival, and holding the Joe at gunpoint. Spirit was captured and thrown into a cell, where he stayed for some time as the Commander set his latest plan in motion. Spirit was eventually found by the Joes and brought back to the new headquarters, The Rock, where he returned to active status. He was there during the attack by the Phoenix Guard, a commando unit secretly made up of Cobra agents in disguise, and led by General Rey. Initially, Rey did not know the identities of his soldiers, but he eventually learned the truth and confronted a disguised Scrap-Iron. He may have killed Rey if not for a timely rescue by Spirit and Snake-Eyes. Spirit then helped defeat the invaders, but not before they had injured some Joes and killed many members of the base support staff. Following the incident, team commander Joe Colton ordered the Joes to go on leave to recover from their ordeal. Due to Cobra Commander's threat against them, many members of Spirit's family have since been placed into protective custody and moved to an undisclosed location. For their safety, not even Spirit has been told their exact location. Following the Phoenix Guard incident, Hawk apologized for getting Spirit involved and endangering his family. Though Spirit is saddened by the situation, he does not blame Hawk, and it has hardened his resolve to bring an end to Cobra once and for all.
Birthplace: Taos, New Mexico
Rank: Sergeant First Class
Primary Military Specialty: Infantry
Secondary Military Specialty: Social Services
First Appearance: G.I. JOE #31 (January 1985)
First Appearance: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (1982) #31
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
Action Force (1987)
G.I. Joe (2001)
TPB vol. 05 G.I. Joe (2005)
- 'The Return of Serpentor'#1
- 'Reinstated! 1 of 4'#2
- 'Reinstated! 2 of 4'#3
- 'Reinstated! 3 of 4'#4
- 'Reinstated! 4 of 4'#11
- 'Malfunction! 2 of 4'#12
- 'Malfunction! 3 of 4'#13
- 'Malfunction! 4 of 4'#14
- 'Homecoming 1 of 2'#15
- 'Homecoming 2 of 2'#16
- 'The Family'#23
- 'The Last Stand Part 2'#24
- 'The Last Stand Part 3'#25
- 'The Last Stand Part 4'#26
- 'Scott Sturgis is a Reasonable Man...'#33
- 'The Road Less Traveled'#37
- 'Union of the Snake: Part Two'#39
- 'Union of the Snake: Part Four'#40
- 'Union of the Snake: Part Five'#41
- 'Union of the Snake: Part Six'
#13 G.I. Joe Yearbook (1985)
- 'Dark Horizon Line'#14
- 'The Rising'#15
- 'What Lies Beneath'#16
- 'Take Down'#17
- 'What the Tables Do'#18
- 'After The Fall'#19
- 'All The King's Horses...'#20
- 'All the King's Men'#21
- 'Sins Of The Mother Part 1'#22
- 'Sins of the Mother Part 2'#23
- 'Sins of the Mother Part 3'#24
- 'Sins of the Mother Part 4'#25
- 'World War III Part 1: Havoc'#29
- 'World War III Part V: Overthrow'#30
- 'Part VI: Cleansing Fire'#31
- 'World War III Part VII: Tribulation'#32
- 'World War III Part VIII: War Without End'#33
- 'World War III Part IX: The Metamorphosis'#34
- 'World War III Part X: Enemies In Need'#35
- 'World War III Part XI, Scorched Earth'#36
- 'World War III Part XII, Hell'
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (1982)
G.I. Joe: Battle Files (2002)
TPB G.I. Joe: Special Missions Brazil (2007)
- 'The Joes'
G.I. Joe: Special Missions Tokyo (2006)
#1 G.I. Joe: The Hunt for Cobra Commander (2006)
- 'Special Missions: Tokyo'
#1 Michael Golden's G.I. Joe Yearbook: Artist's Edition Portfolio (2013)
- 'The Hunt for Cobra Commander'
The G.I. Joe Order of Battle (1986)
- 'The Official G.I. Joe Handbook, 2 of 4'
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