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G.I. Joe character
Bat-soldier
A B.A.T. as seen in the intro to G.I. Joe: The Movie.
B.A.T.
Battle Android Trooper
Affiliation Cobra
Specialty Cobra Android Trooper
Primary MOS Independently Targeted Battle Robot
Subgroups Armor Tech
Series G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero
G.I. Joe: Sigma 6
Year introduced 1986

The Battle Android Trooper (B.A.T. or BAT for short) is a fictional robot from the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero universe. Created by the evil Cobra Organization, the BATs provide disposable brute strength to the Cobra army.

Profile

BATs are the perfect Cobra trooper. They never question orders, shirk duty or surrender. They are cheap and easy to replace. However, BATs do not react well to changes in field conditions, or discriminate well between targets. They will shoot at anything that moves. Cobra Infantrymen don't like to be on the same battlefield with BATs, and will sometimes dispense BATs into a losing battle, by kicking them out of low-flying aircraft without parachutes. BATs also have a tendency to burst into flame when hit from behind.[1]

The first production series of BATs was developed by Doctor Mindbender. These models had a humanoid form, with exposed electronics in their chest cavity for easy battlefield maintenance. The right forearm could be equipped with a flamethrower, laser cannon, gripper claw, or standard robotic hand. Doctor Mindbender has overseen subsequent modifications and customization of the BATs, including a streamlined appearance, increased targeting accuracy, and modular missile launcher systems.[2] Though they have become more mindless with each successive design, their manufacturing process and weapons systems are continually being upgraded.[3]

Toy history

As of July 2009, there have been 20 figures in the 3 3/4-inch line of the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toyline, most released as either B.A.T. or Cobra B.A.T., one figure released as B.A.A.T as part of the Star Brigade line, one figure released as Cobra Inferno B.A.T, and one figure released as Cobra Sky B.A.T.

Vintage/Modern

The B.A.T. first appeared in the 1986 series of the toyline.[4] A second version was released in 1991.[5] A battle armored version, the B.A.A.T (Battle Armored Android Trooper) was released in 1993, as part of the Armor-Tech subset of the Star Brigade line. The B.A.T. was released again in 2002, as part of the full relaunch of the G.I. Joe toyline.

International Variants

In 1990, the first mold of B.A.T. was released as Robóid in Brazil.

Sigma 6

B.A.T. had two 8-inch figures, and was packaged in many of the 2.5-inch mission scale.

25th Anniversary

In 2008, Cobra B.A.T. was released as part of the 25th anniversary, with a new sculpt based on the original design. This B.A.T. mold was reused for a total of 4 releases, including the 2009 Hall of Heroes series. A recent specialized version of this B.A.T. mold has been released as the Jungle B.A.T. in the "Pursuit of Cobra" line, while the Official G.I. Joe Collectors' Club plans the release of a special Nano-B.A.T. as part of a forthcoming subscription figure offering.

Comics

Marvel Comics

BATs first appeared in issue #44 of the G.I. Joe comics published by Marvel Comics. They were robotic creations of Doctor Mindbender, who used them to gain entry into Cobra. Use of the BATs was sporadic. Their limited artificial intelligence prevented them from performing more complicated strategies and maneuvers. Still, that did not stop Cobra from using them altogether. They can still push farther than regular troops and take more damage. Nothing short of rendering them absolutely inoperative (i.e., destroy all vital core components) would stop them.

They were later used in attacking the Joe Team's headquarters the Pit, which ended up being beneficial to the G.I. Joe team. The Pit was currently empty of all but General Hawk and three high-ranking military officers. During the battle, two of the inspecting generals sacrifice themselves—and eventually the Pit—to save the others. The third general uses his influence to reinstate the team, as he and Hawk look over the remains of the headquarters.[6]

A BAT is influential in G.I.Joe Yearbook #4. It is used to impersonate Cobra Commander in a coup attempt; it is disguised with his battle armor. The disguised BAT is captured by the Oktober Guard and in attempting to kill them destroys itself in helicopter blades.[7]

Serpentor utilizes the BATs to augment his forces—both as messengers and expendable troops—when Cobra Commander's army outnumbers his.[8] One is seen as a spying device, until battle damage reveals it's camera and it is destroyed.

In issue #119, a new type of android is developed by Cobra, which mimics human appearance and movement. Since the purpose of these androids were infiltration and espionage rather than warfare (similar to the synthoids of the animated seres), they were never really called BATs. These androids were destroyed by Scarlett, Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. Another Cobra scientist, Dr. Knox, developed a more highly-advanced version of the B.A.T., which was sent to go after Scarlett. Cobra is unable to produce more of it, as the only prototype was destroyed.

Devil's Due

After the events of the Marvel Comics series, BATs were hardly ever used again by Cobra. However, one resurfaced in the pages of the Devil's Due G.I. Joe comics as an advanced model type, with the appearance of the original model. The B.A.T. had been crafted by Doctor Mindbender and several Techno-Vipers. It was far more adaptable and capable of self-repair. It was stolen by Firefly after it killed Alley Vipers and Cobra troopers. During the incident it also battled Dreadnoks and Joe forces.[9]

G.I. Joe vs Transformers

In Devil's Due miniseries G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers, Cobra brainwashed the Transformers, both Autobots and Decepticons, and used them as their main attack force. The brainwashed Transformers were referred as "Battle Android Troopers", seemingly as an homage to the BATs, since they were androids, too. The BATs themselves would make an appearance in the third series, in both ground and flying form, with an added ability - they could combine into Cobratron, a giant robot seemingly based on Combiners like Devastator. Despite this, they were swiftly defeated by the Joes' Cybertronian battle suits, and the visiting party of Autobots.

Animated appearances

Sunbow

The B.A.T.s were part of the new cast of characters in the second season of the G.I. Joe animated series from Sunbow Productions. They did not play any major role, and very much served as cannon fodder.

DiC

The second model BATs appeared in the G.I. Joe animated series by DiC Productions. In that series, they are led by Overkill. Unlike the first generation BATs, this series is able to pick themselves up after being damaged.

Sigma 6

In the G.I. Joe: Sigma 6 series, the BATs come back with a more upgraded role, serving as the bulk and primary soldiers of Cobra’s army. Their disposable nature, again, gives the Joe Team an excuse to be indiscriminate in battle. The BATs have a much more robotic appearance, and there is now more variants with different functions:

  • Ninja BAT - A ninja type
  • Aero-BAT - had wings
  • Cobra Mantis - A BAT unit driven by Destro in episode 17.
  • Overlord Vector - A snake torso BAT.
  • Overlord Virus - A ninja type BAT that was sent to Japan as backup for Storm Shadow. Under the influence of power stone, it is almost invincible. It later returns as a guard for an abandoned and seemingly haunted castle in Romania that Destro modified as a Cobra base.
  • Overlord Vortex - A BAT with a single red eye, two laser-firing arm cannons, and tank-like wheels for feet. Its metal hide is very hard to penetrate.
  • Zeus - A megaBAT created by Destro to destroy Megalo City. Zeus's AI is run by the captured Spud.

Renegades

In the G.I. Joe: Renegades episode "Castle Destro," the B.A.T.s are featured as prototype androids hidden in the armors that are seen in Destro's castle.

Other works

A B.A.T. figure is briefly featured in the fiction novel 6 Sick Hipsters. In the story, the character Paul Achting spent four years collecting G.I. Joe figures to set up a battle scene between the Joes and Cobra. As he imagined the characters in his head, he observed the "core of Cobra Command" atop an oak toy chest, high above the thick shag carpet, while a B.A.T. "with a holographic chest paced, anxious for battle, across a derelict copy of The Silver Chair".[10]

References

  1. Hama, Larry (1987). Howard Mackie. ed. G.I. Joe Order Of Battle. Marvel Entertainment Group. p. 11. ISBN 0-87135-288-5. 
  2. Hidalgo, Pablo (2009). G.I. Joe vs. Cobra: The Essential Guide 1982-2008. Random House. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-345-51642-8. 
  3. Wherle, Scott (2002). G.I. Joe: Battle Files #2. Devil's Due Publishing. p. 16. 
  4. Santelmo, Vincent (1994). The Official 30th Anniversary Salute To G.I. Joe 1964-1994. Krause Publications. p. 108. ISBN 0-87341-301-6. 
  5. Santelmo, Vincent (1994). The Official 30th Anniversary Salute To G.I. Joe 1964-1994. Krause Publications. p. 133. ISBN 0-87341-301-6. 
  6. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #53
  7. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #72 (June 1988)
  8. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #73-76
  9. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero vol. 2 #12-13 (December 2002)
  10. Casablanca, Rayo (2008). 6 Sick Hipsters. Kensington Publishing Corp.. p. 61. ISBN 978-0-7582-2283-1. 

External links

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