New concepts for an American Hero

Combat Keel-Haul

Here’s a new version of Admiral Keel-Haul, this time wearing something closer to an actual uniform you may find Navy officers wearing on a ship. I kind of imagine here the admiral has to quickly arm himself when Cobra boards his aircraft carrier.

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This “repaint” figure is another member of Slaughter’s Marauders. Despite having a few vehicles as part of the team, the Marauders had no official driver, so Crankcase has been given the job. Here he is alongside his original figure design.

 

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Cobra Tank Commander

Before the HISS tanks appeared, Cobra did have regular style tanks in the comic books. So, why not a Tank Commander based on the Cobra Stinger Driver mixed with a traditional army tank driver uniform?

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New Python Officer

This repaint is actually an update to an older Python Patrol figure. This Python Officer is updated to match the colors of second version of the sub team released in 2003. One confusing aspect of this figure was it was actually based on the 1983 Cobra trooper and not the Officer, so the second image is of the original trooper.

 

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Python Patrol Buzzer

Moving on with more figure “repaints”, here’s a follow-up to Python Patrol Zarana, another Dreadnok, Buzzer. As usual, he’s here alongside the original Buzzer.

 

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G.I. Joe Tribute Video

While this site is meant for G.I. Joe character designs, I figure some other creative things can be posted here, too. Just uploaded to Youtube, here is a newly created tribute video, using the framework of the opening of G.I. Joe: The Movie with clips from various Joe eras added:

Tiger Force Airborne

We’re back to another of the “repainted” action figures, this time Tiger Force Airborne. Like most of the others, his original design is here, too.

 

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The second post featuring early Herb Trimpe concept art for the original G.I. Joe. Here we have Snake-Eyes, looking mysterious but with his face visible. Colors here have to be improvised, so I gave him an appropriately dark outfit, but didn’t go all black like the final version of the character.

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Months back, the G.I. Joe Museum Facebook page posted concept art of some of the original G.I. Joe characters as designed by Marvel’s first G.I. Joe artist, Herb Trimpe. CobraIsland.com also posted the images here on their site. It is interesting to see that some of these are very similar to what eventually appeared, but some are not. Many do not even resemble Hasbro’s eventual action figure designs. In my mind, these could be seen as young versions of the Joes at the very start of the team. Here we have Scarlett and Zap based off Trimpe’s concepts.

 

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Tiger Force Gung-Ho

One more Tiger Force repaint, this time G.I. Joe‘s original Marine, Gung-Ho, alongside his original figure design.

 

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Tiger Force Sparks

An often-forgotten member of G.I. Joe is Sparks, who showed up in a few episodes of the original cartoon as another communications soldier, got no action figure, and didn’t appear again until a Devil’s Due comic in the 2000s, then made more comic appearances after that. He got a figure finally in 2007, but was built from other figures’ parts. This version is based on the cartoon, and his new Tiger Force design is inspired by the brightly-colored Action Force version of that team.

 

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Another repaint sub-team is about as obscure as they come. The Steel Brigade Command set came with the expected generic soldiers, but also included Gung-Ho and Dragonsky. Here is Scarlett in a similar design to those figures, based on her original 1982 figure.

 

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Python Patrol Scrap-Iron

As the G.I. Joe convention rolls on this weekend, featuring some new Python Patrol sets, let’s continue the classic Python Patrol repaints with Scrap-Iron.

 

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Polar Force Zap

This repaint design is cheating a little, since Polar Force was invented just for this web site. Here we have Zap as a member of that team, beside the original 1982 version.

 

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Python Patrol Zarana

Another action figure repaint that never was, Python Patrol Zarana, alongside her original 1986 figure design.

 

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Here we go with another “repaint” figure, this time it’s 1982 Hawk as a member of the Anti-Venom Task Force, a six-figure set from 2004. See it here on YoJoe.com. It’s a fairly obscure team, but with some interesting colors. As before, the original version of Hawk is here, too.

 

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Night Force Short-Fuze

Two days in a row? Here is another of the G.I. Joe repaints, turning original figure designs into one of the many Joe sub-teams. Today it’s Night Force Short-Fuze, alongside the original version.

 

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As I did earlier with Grunt and Breaker joining Tiger Force, this time around we have the original Flash “repainted” as a member of Slaughter’s Marauders, the very strangely colored sub-team from 1989. This time, I’ve included the original version of Flash, too.

 

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Tiger Force Breaker

Some more fun using the original action figure designs, and making some “repaints.” This time we’ve got Tiger Force Breaker.

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The new sub-team, Polar Force, continues with Hardball the grenadier. This time a lot more bundled up compared to his original “baseball uniform” look.

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Tiger Force Grunt

I was trying to faithfully recreate some of the original G.I. Joe action figure designs, but figured seeing the unchanged designs on this site would be somewhat boring content. So, here is Tiger Force Grunt, as if he were a repainted version of the original 1982 figure.

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Sub-teams in G.I. Joe are one way to be inspired to create some alternate designs for characters. This site may invent more as a common theme for characters. Here we have Polar Force, another excuse for the often popular “arctic” theme, along with their own polar bear patch. To start, here’s Snake-Eyes and Cover Girl.

 

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And finally, the last member of the Oktober Guard. Horror Show the Georgian is probably the most memorable of the team besides Daina, and was one of the most prominent in the original G.I. Joe cartoon series. He was designed here with an attempt to make him look bigger than the usual characters seen here.

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Today we’ve got the most obscure member of the Guard, Ruslan. He was a young member of the team that appeared in only a few scenes in the G.I. Joe: America’s Elite “World War III” storyline, and didn’t even have any dialogue.

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The next member of the Oktober Guard is Big Bear, the last new member added to the original toy line era. Here, we’re playing more into his anti-armor specialty then his original figure, which made him look more like an arctic trooper.

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Getting back to the Oktober Guard, here is original team leader, Colonel Brekhov. As before, these designs ignore the stories so this is a modern Brekhov despite the character dying in the comics years ago. The Colonel was born in Ukraine so these days he wouldn’t technically be Russian. His design includes a Ukraine flag and a symbol of its armed forces.

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The Oktober Guard will return later, but now it’s another character design timeline, this time Jinx. The choice of Jinx was made sort of randomly, after just looking for a character with some interesting design differences and that didn’t have TOO many versions. There are more versions of Jinx than you may realize. (There may be a Snake-Eyes timeline in the future, but that would be a LOT of variations to tackle.)

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Oktober Guard, Pt 4

Continuing with the updated Oktober Guard, we have Dragonsky the flamethrower/mechanic who first showed up in the Guard’s second comic appearances. Then it’s Sgt. Misha, who was one of the new replacements years later. Both are Russians.

 

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Next up for the updated Oktober Guard is maybe the best known member, Daina, who survived the deaths of most of the original Guard, and even joined the G.I. Joe team as “Vorona” in the Devil’s Due series. She’s got her sniper rifle here, and an attempt at Czech Army insignia on her uniform.

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Oktober Guard, Pt 2

The updated Oktober Guard continues, this time with some lesser-known members. First, one of the replacement members from the Marvel days, Lt. Gorky of the Russian Naval Infantry’s Black Sea Fleet. Even more obscure is Wong, the only Chinese member, appearing in a single episode of the ’80s G.I. Joe cartoon. He was mostly used as comic relief. This version sticks with the “cowboy” design but with a more military tone.

 

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Oktober Guard, Part 1

After creating mostly Joes and a few Cobras, let’s change things up with new designs for the Soviet Union’s equivalent of G.I. Joe, the Oktober Guard. We have seen them since the fall of the USSR, though it doesn’t really make sense for them to still exist. Though most of the original Guard was killed in Larry Hama’s comic we’re still using the originals here, and giving them updated uniforms including the flags and some uniform details of their modern home countries.

To start we have Stormavik the Russian, and Schrage the (formerly East) German:

 

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Heather Collins

Recent issues of Larry Hama’s G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero reintroduced Heather Collins, the daughter of Wade and sister of Sean who we first saw as a child. Despite being a civilian she proves to be a skilled hacker and a capable fighter. Here she is if she did join the Joes.

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The final member of the six-Joe Urban Assault Team is the team’s communication expert, Dial-Tone. This also happens to be the 100th post on this blog! Thanks for following along, and there will be more to come!

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The newest member of the Urban Assault Team, Clutch. The original G.I. Joe driver seems like a good choice to be speeding through the city to backup the team.

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More of the Urban Assault Team, this time its leader: Bullet-Proof. Last seen leading the Joes’ D.E.F., he has a more “law enforcement” design here.

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It’s been a while again, but now we continue with the next member of the Urban Assault Team, following Mayday and Mutt. Red Zone is a pretty obscure character, only appearing in the 2006’s Plague Troopers vs. Steel Brigade set as Steel Brigade’s urban assault expert. A fact not noticed by me until after coming up with this concept! His file name (Luke Ellison) and his likeness come from a real fan who won a contest to be made into a G.I. Joe figure. Note that Red Zone proudly displays his Steel Brigade patch!

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After creating a new design for Mayday earlier, I thought of focusing on other characters who could also specialize in urban warfare. This newly designed Mutt (with Junkyard) was meant to compliment her design, and others will soon follow as part of a G.I. Joe Urban Assault Team. Customizers have been known to create action figures with common themes, and this is the same idea.

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Updated Cutter

Today we have a sometimes-forgotten G.I. Joe character, Cutter, the team’s only member from the Coast Guard. Here his uniform is similar to the modern uniforms worn by the Guard.

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New Mayday

In the early 2000s, Devil’s Due gave us the G.I. Joe recruit Paige Adams, who went on to become a full-fledged member code named Mayday. (Not to be confused with G.I. Joe Extreme character Mayday.) This new design includes “urban camo” to match her Urban Warfare Specialist title.

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New Dr. Venom

Here’s a new version of Dr. Venom, this time trying something other than the traditional “scientist in a lab coat” look.

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More of the usual style designs seen on this site are in the works, but here is something from a fun website. The SP-Studio website allows visitors to design characters in the style of the Comedy Central cartoon South Park. That show is not exactly in keeping with the family-friendly tone of G.I. Joe. But it was fun playing with the site. Maybe a few more will show up now and then.

Here’s Stalker and Joe Colton

 

This has only been done twice before, once for Grunt, and a much longer one for Scarlett. Gung-Ho‘s character design timeline includes 24 variations of the Cajun Marine, though a few simple repaints were left out. Obviously these take a long time to create, but hopefully you’ll see others now and then.

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New Gears

1994 Star Brigade action figure Gears was another straight repaint of another figure, 1992’s Barricade. He came with the Power Fighter mech, but his filecard says he is an “invention technician” so this outfit is meant to fit in well at an R&D lab.

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New T’Gin-Zu

The 1997-2002 era of G.I. Joe was not the only time straight repainted figures became new characters. Ninja Force included T’Gin-Zu, the operator of the Pile Driver vehicle and repainted Storm Shadow. This variation makes him more unique, muting the bright colors and mixing the ninja style with a more typical G.I. Joe driver design.

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Another of the “clone” action figures released in The Real American Hero Collection of 1997-2002, Vypra has appeared a few times since, always as a Jinx repaint. That includes a 2015 release. Here, some earlier Vypra elements remain, but most ninja elements are gone.

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New Rumbler

Wow, two updates in two days! Today’s concept is for an obscure character that came with the remote control Crossfire vehicle, Rumbler. I don’t think he ever showed up in any stories (the Marvel comic incorrectly used his code name for Armadillo instead), and he’s just a cobbled together figure. This is somewhat inspired by Rumbler being the latest Joe featured at GIJOE365.com. This new Rumbler is based on a NASCAR driver, combining those colorful logo-covered outfits with some military details.

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Soldier Serpentor

Now for a sort of random concept. What if Serpentor spent more time on the battlefield and dressed in something more appropriate than his snake “costume”? Here, Serpentor is dressed more like a modern soldier but adds some ancient Roman-style armor and weapons, so he can fight alongside his troops.

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IDW’s Hard Drive

IDW has introduced new variations on a number of characters. Hard Drive, a sometimes overlooked character from the Valor vs. Venom toy line, reappeared as a female character in “Season 2” of IDW’s G.I. Joe and appeared prominently in their Special Missions series. This is one of several uniforms she appeared in.

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New Beach Head

An updated version of Beach Head, this time ditching the balaclava and giving him a Ranger beret. no special theme here, just “new Beach Head.”

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Marcy Malone

Here is a character many have never seen. A while back, cartoonist Ryan Dunlavey provided alternate covers for some of IDW’s G.I. Joe series chronicling the story of Marcy Malone: Intern of Cobra! The only person to join Cobra for the college credits. Click here to see the whole story.

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IDW’s Brainstorm and Ronin

While fans sometimes overlook new G.I. Joe material in favor of the “classic” Joes, IDW’s comics have introduced characters to the canon, too. From those books, here are tech guy/scientist Brainstorm, and Ronin (formerly known as Chameleon). Both characters’ designs vary in their different appearances, so these include some elements from various issues.

brainstorm-idw  ronin-idw

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For this site I search around the internet looking for interesting unproduced designs, concept art, etc. This time around we have an early unused Renegades Lady Jaye concept posted here over a year ago, as well as concept art seen in this auction (mentioned by someone on Facebook), only referred to as Battlefield Messenger (though he does resemble Dusty).

ladyjaye-concept-jj battlefield_messenger

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New Thunderwing

Wow, three posts in three days! Today is another of the redesigned clones from 1998, the Thunder repaint, tank commander Thunderwing.

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New Wet Down

Here is another redesign of one of the “clone” G.I. Joe action figures released around 2000. The Navy SEAL Wet Down was a repaint of Torpedo, and this time even the colors weren’t that different.

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Continuing with Larry Hama’s Fury Force, here’s Brujo and Lilah Galil. Lilah is shown in some concept art riding a motorcycle.

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The most obviously different character in the “Worlds Without End” universe is the Baroness, who is not only a double agent trying stop Cobra but in a relationship with Steeler. (Also, she apparently wears contacts.) Here we have the Baroness if she later completely left Cobra in that world and began working with the Joes.

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Worlds Without End

Here’s yet another theme, characters inspired by the memorable two-part G.I. Joe cartoon episode “Worlds Without End,” featuring an alternate universe where Cobra as defeated G.I. Joe. “This” world’s Clutch, Grunt and Steeler decide to stay behind to fight Cobra there. These designs are those three Joes fighting the Cobra empire as rebels.

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New Whiteout

Fury Force will continue later, but now we go back to new versions of the renamed “cloned” figures from the year 2000. Before starting this I had forgotten that we did get a new Whiteout in 2010 that used some new parts, but here’s another version, anyway…

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Fury Force!

Many G.I. Joe fans know that the 1980’s G.I. Joe concept incorporated some ideas from Larry Hama’s proposed military series, Fury Force. The comic would’ve starred the son of Nick Fury and his team of elite soldiers. You can find more about it easily online. I though it would be fun to recreate Hama’s initial Fury Force sketches.

Today, we start we start with a very early Snake-Eyes-like character Spook, and a big guy with a familiar name, Steeler.

FF-Spook  FF-Steeler

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New Zandar

For the first design in a long while, here’s Zandar. It has some elements of the original, with a little Devil’s Due mixed in, with some toned down colors. I hope no one misses the pink…

Zandar-NEW

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Apologies

Sorry for the long wait between new material, everyone! More is coming soon!

Desert Lady Jaye

This is a design that fits into no particular theme beyond new designs for old characters. Here’s Lady Jaye in desert gear.

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New Side Track

Continuing the redesigns of the “identical twins” figures from the early-2000s, here is Side Track, originally a repainted Ambush. Not to be confused with… Sidetrack. Yes, two unique characters released two years apart have names differentiated only by a space in the middle.

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New Double Blast

Around the year 2000, G.I. Joe returned as Toys R Us exclusives. Much of the new toys were simple repaints and many got mixed reviews. Some were old figures with new names and identities, so this is an attempt to fix that. Here’s Double Blast, no longer Roadblock’s identical twin.

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New Duke

A final 1983 character design, this time First Sergeant Duke. Not any special concept here, just a new jungle-camo version of the character.

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New Tiger Force Tripwire

Based on a suggestion from a Facebook follower, here’s a Tiger Force variation of the new Tripwire from the previous post. Once the initial design is done, changing the color scheme is pretty easy!

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New Tripwire

Next up from 1983, a new version of mine detector Tripwire. He looks a little bit more hi-tech here, complete with a heads-up display in his face shield.

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Desert Gung-Ho

Also from the 1983 G.I. Joe vintage is Gung-Ho. This time it’s GH in a desert-themed outfit.

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New Cover Girl

Continuing with Joes that debuted in 1983, here’s a new version of Cover Girl armed with a rocket launcher and a wrench — both useful when your tank breaks down. Her original filecard refers to her as a mechanic, too.

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Continuing on with making some new versions of the 1983 Joes, here is a new Ace, and Wild Bill ready for cold weather.

Ace-NEW-BG Wild-Bill-ColdWeathe-BG

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A while back I posted new designs for the first 13 members of G.I. Joe. Just for fun, here’s a group shot.

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Raven (G.I. Joe)

Several times here I’ve gone back to the old Sunbow cartoon for inspiration. This time we go back to the second season episode “In the Presence of Mine Enemies”, in which Slip-Stream is stranded on a dangerous island with a female Strato-Viper, code named Raven. The two join forces to survive and in the end Raven rips the Cobra insignia off her uniform. Slip-Stream even suggests she may be a recruit. So here she is, Raven as a G.I. Joe in a more vintage-style uniform.

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A two-for-one post today. First up we have Major Bludd in Arctic gear which needs no explanation. Then we have a character design from the front cover of the 1983 childrens’ book, The Spy Eye. I am guessing it is supposed to be Ace since he is the only other Joe character in the book besides Hawk, Steeler and Flash. It’s just as possible it’s not him since the outfit doesn’t match the interior art which has Ace in a non-specific uniform that better fits with the 1982 Joes. Click here to see the whole book on 3DJoes.com.

MajorBludd-Arctic  Ace-TheSpyEye

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New Zartan

Making up for the “joke” of a post last time, here is a new version of Zartan. This is a more high tech design, leaning heavily on the idea that the master of disguise uses holograms embedded in his costume to change his appearance.

Zartan-new

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Zartan (Invisible)

Today’s design: Zartan when he turns invisible. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! 🙂

Zartan(Invisible)

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