Ripcord grew up in Columbus, Ohio, where he joined the Civil Air Patrol while still in high school. Once there, he fell in love with skydiving and joined the Army to jump from higher altitudes in even more dangerous circumstances. In Airborne Infantry, Ripcord became a HALO jumper, which stands for "High Altitude Low Opening". In order to avoid detection, a HALO jumper jumps from very high altitudes, drops for thousands of feet, and then opnes his chute at the last second, just enough to break the fall.
This is the most fearless group in the Airborne Infantry, and Ripcord still loves to jump. Ripcord was eager to join the G.I. Joe team, and when the older Joes were promoted and given desk jobs, Ripcord was to be one of their replacements. It was soon obvious that the original Joes were not totally finished with their previous duties, but Ripcord and the other new Joes remained on the team.
In January 2009, IDW created a brand new continuity. This is the main series and simply titled G.I. Joe (with no subtitle), written by Chuck Dixon. The new Ripcord is introduced in G.I. Joe Origins #13 and #14.
At a military briefing, several general's are deciding what to do with the report that lots of men with foreign guns are running around in the jungle in the Republic of Agak. They decide to send in a spy drone for a look see. And the spy drone requires back up which is a 5 man team and transport plane.
Several hours later in the skies above Agak, a spy drone is thrown out the back of a US transport plane and takes off to survey the land. Wallace Weems (Rip Cord) is up in the cockpit of the plane trying to get the pilots to let him fly and telling them how he wants to be a pilot in the Air Force. Using infrared vision the drone sees several soldiers hiding in the jungle below. One of them pulls out a ground to air missile and fires it at drone destroying it. Lt. Cruz communicates with the Pentagon about the destroyed drone. They give him a new mission to retrieve the data card of the drone. He turns to Weems and says "You ready for a jump Rip Cord?" His response is "I asked you not to call me that. When I make the leap from this man's Army to our brother Air Force, I'm taking a respectable aeronautical call sign like Ace or Slipstream or Barrel Roll." They suit up and jump out. Rip Cord is the last of his team to jump as he leaves the back of plane two missiles come rushing up at the plane. He tries to warn them but it is to late the plane is blown up. Sitting below is the soldier, who fired the missiles, watches 4 soldiers open their parachutes.
Back to Rip Cord falling from the plane. He pulls his cord just before hitting the trees, the chute helps break his fall as he hits the branches eventually landing on the ground. As soon as he takes off his helmet 3 soldiers with night vision goggles point their guns with laser pointers at him. They then hit him in the head with the butt of his gun.
A little later they wake up Rip Cord, he is in his under shirt and boxers tied to a chair. He has already been beaten up but still only repeats his name, rank and serial number. The parts of the spy drone are sitting on a table next to him. Also on the table is the black box of the drone which contains all of the video footage and communication gear. Rip Cord's team mission is to get that box. The soldier that has been beating him breaks out a battery and begins to electrocute him. Outside are the other 4 members of his team, they are dead and being put in a mass grave. Inside, Rip Cord appears dead so they just throw him in with the rest of team members and then a bulldozer pushes dirt on top of them.
Rip Cord is the only surviving member of his team that was sent in to retrieve a black box of a downed spy drone. He has been beaten, tortured and buried alive with his dead teammates. But as it rains outside he busts his hand out of the grave he has been buried in. Grabbing a near by shovel as a weapon, Rip Cord with one eye swollen shut and in his boxers and t shirt avoids a guard and successfully escapes into the jungle.
Rip Cord, in a jungle, walks up to one of his fellow soldiers who is dead and hanging upside down in tree by his parachute. Rip Cord is just in his under shirt and pants with no shoes and lots of bruises on his face, a band aid on his head and a swollen eye. He takes the soldier's knife and cuts him down. He starts taking the dead soldiers items, his radio, his gun, MRE packs and starts to put on his boots when a flashlight in the distance is shined in his direction. The soldiers arrive at the body to see that Rip Cord has stripped the important items. And they fan out to look for him. Hiding a few trees away Rip Cord eats a slug as one of the soldiers closes in on the tree.
In the camp that Rip Cord just left, Kurin a scientist helping grow special drug infused beans tells his boss that they aren't ready for picking, yet.
At the Pentagon in a communication center, a message pops up on a secure network from the Republic of Agak saying "Can you hear me now?".
Back at the Pentagon, Scarlett has arrived at the communication center as the message that came in from Agak is being transcribed. She requests all hard and printed copies of the communication between the soldier on the ground named Wallace Weems or Rip Cord. Part of the transcript plays and Scarlett hears "Can you hear me now? The mission is compromised my team is KIA and I'm all that's left. This isn't a drug bust. And until reinforcements arrive, I'm going to do my best to be the Superfly in these scumbags ointment."
At the Pentagon, Scarlett gets in a Black Hawk helicopter which has Hawk sitting in it. She tells him there is trouble in Agak. And they need to be there.
Above the Republic of Agak in Africa, Scarlett & Hawk are headed toward a forward operating base which is the closest safe place to follow and the interesting adventures of Wallace Weems nicknamed Rip Cord.
Rip Cord doing everything he can just to survive uses a leaf to catch rain water to drink.
At the nearby base, Hawk and Scarlett are monitoring Rip Cord's activity. Because Rip Cord has acquired a radio and weapon.
A series of events pass as the days pass all as he reports in his activities in the one way communication he keeps going:
-- He kills a soldier with his shovel.
-- Eats an MRE to help his hunger.
-- Clothes himself with a dead soldiers clothing and shoes.
-- Builds a snare that catches a lizard, which becomes his next meal.
-- His pants being to big cause him to trip as they fall down as he is running.
-- Almost drowns in swamp.
-- Spies on the drug camp and reports there activity to Hawk. Inside the camp, the beans are ready to be harvested and are being weaponized into an arousal that is very deadly. When they test it on a goat by throwing a small capsule of it at the goat's feet it is killed almost instantly.
Rip Cord sees this demonstration and realizes he has to act fast. He rigs a gasoline tanker to the sprinkler system so the beans can be set on fire as they are watered. But one of the guards notices the hose and raises the alarm. But is to late the sprinkler system releases the gas and a cigarette lighter lights the gas on fire. The entire camp begins to blow up and Rip Cord runs out safely. Using several of the guns he has acquired, he begins shooting at the remain guards, but is quickly out number and forced to flee back in to the jungle. He lures his lone pursuer into the swamp that almost killed him earlier.
He returns to the almost destroyed camp to discover that Hawk and more US soldiers are rounding up the remain drug soldiers.
Hawk walks up to Rip Cord and makes him an offer to join his very elite team. But it requires that he remain dead. Wallace Weems agrees and Hawk confirms that his old unofficial nickname is now his official code name. Hawk then gives Rip Cord the opportunity to fly the helicopter out of the destroyed camp. His co pilot is Scarlett, who is packing her crossbow.
Major Story Arcs
In the Marvel Comics G.I. Joe series, he first appears in issue #32. Ripcord develops a relationship with a civilian named Candy Appel, who worked freelance as "Bongo the Bear" performing at birthday parties and similar events. Their relationship is marred by Ripcord being unable to tell Candy his real name, or clearly explain why they draw the attention of Cobra forces. Ripcord is sent with Stalker, Recondo and other Joes to rescue the peace activist Adele Burkhardt from the war-torn fictional country of Sierra Gordo.
Ripcord expresses displeasure they are fighting for a woman who opposes the military. Stalker berates him, informing him that unpopular opinions are just as valid. Burkhardt is safely rescued, but not without the loss of three Tucaro soldiers who volunteered to assist. After Ripcord and Candy call it quits, it is discovered that Candy is the daughter of a Cobra Crimson Guardsman. Candy is taken into custody, but vanishes due to interference by the Cobra agent Buzzer. This sets Ripcord out on a mission to Cobra Island, to find her and clear her name, unaware that Candy has been killed during a coincidental visit to Springfield, the headquarters of Cobra.
He tricks Ace during an overflight into activating his helmet, which allows Ripcord to parachute out, an act unofficially approved by General Hawk. Ripcord battles Zartan, in an isolated section of Cobra Island. Both wound each other, but Zartan subdues Ripcord and switches identities with him. Zartan (as Ripcord) is rescued by G.I. Joe, while Ripcord (as Zartan) is taken into Cobra headquarters. Ripcord's physical differences from Zartan are accepted, because the Cobra agent is a master of disguise. Ripcord eventually ends up at the main center for Cobra, the city of Springfield.
After giving Joes the location of Springfield, he makes an escape attempt, but is captured by a loyal Cobra child. Ripcord's information allows G.I. Joe to raid Springfield. They safely rescue him, but not before he undergoes torture in the "Brain Wave Scanner", a device that was being used to feed information into the form of Serpentor. After this incident, Ripcord takes time off from active-duty. He returns in time for the opening of The Pit III. He is later part of the G.I. Joe forces deployed to back Serpentor in the Cobra Civil War.
G.I. Joe Season 1
Rip Cord is leading a Joe team that includes, Brainstorm, Mainframe, Scarlett & Dial Tone on a daylight drop, out the back of a helicopter into the ocean. It is Brainstorm's first parachute drop into an ocean and he is nervous.
After a safe drop and ride to the nearest island, Scarlett reveals their mission to them. They are to find what they believe is a bank that Cobra has funneled billions of dollars through that is situated on this remote, unpopulated island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean thousands of miles from any other place. It is called Manatua.
As they proceed inland, the chopper that dropped them off returns to it's home ship, the Terrapin. Deep Six is the commander of the ship. Onboard preparing to launch are Cover Girl, Wet Suit, Torpedo, Keel Haul and the leader of the team Shipwreck. They are taking the recently tested and approved Remora submarine (seeGI Joe #7) down into the deepest part of the ocean to investigate a large sonar signature that they believe could be a massive submarine, but the noise is almost to big to be believed. Deep Six authorizes the launch.
Rip Cord leads his team to want is literally a shack with two huge satellite dishes and several solar panels on it. They do every kind of scan they can and find no surveillance. But Dial Tone does detect lots of computer activity coming from inside the shack. They move in to investigate by Rip Cord kicking in the front door.
The Remora arrives at the sonar signature and they confirm it is a massive submarine like no one has ever seen before. It is basically a submarine cruiser and is 600 ft long. The Remora has snuck up on it without detection.
After the one room shack is cleared, Mainframe, Dial Tone and Brainstorm start doing their computer work. After some hunting around they discover a hidden door that leads to an underground mystery.
What they find is a massive cave filled with a lake size amount of the same liquid database matter Mainframe found in Springfield (see GI Joe #10). He drops in a connection cable and Brainstorm along with Dial Tone begin hacking into the Cobranet.
The Remora team has moved past the massive submarine to investigate some activity that is happening even lower in the depths of the ocean. The activity is so far down that their sub can't go and they have to use a remote camera/sub called the Seapup. Using lights as their source, they guide the Seapup to a large surveillance station, which is their first assumption as to it's use.
On the island, Deep Six radios Scarlett that he will be sending the chopper to pick her team up. Shipwreck has reported in that some major trouble is coming their way and they need to pull out.
After more inspection, Shipwreck's team determine that it is actually a nuclear bomb that is positioned directly on an active fault line. They believe Cobra is going to set it off and create a massive tsunami.
Scarlett concerned that they need more time on the island, wonders why Shipwreck is so urgent with his warning. Deep Six tells her that the chopper is on the way.
Back at the massive submarine, the Remora has attached itself to the hull, as Torpedo burns a hole in the subs exterior, the team prepares to infiltrate the sub. As the hole is cut open, it falls near a patrol, Cover Girl and Keel Haul easily handle the two patrol guards but it isn't silently and they believe they have been discovered. So they proceed towards the command level, just as the submarine does a dramatic 180 turn and heads away to clear the blast area.
On the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, a remote deep sea submersible has just set the timer on nuclear bomb that is then dropped off the edge of a very deep crater. Above the bottom of the ocean is the massive Cobra submarine called the Dreadnaught. Attached to the underside of the Dreadnaught is the GI Joe submarine Remora. And it is empty.
The Joe team of Keel Haul, Wet Suit, Torpedo, Cover Girl and its team leader Shipwreck have just infiltrated the sub and taken out two Cobra guards. They are now proceeding silently to the command level. Moving as a team and using a diagram taken from a wall, they enter the generator room, knock out the computer tech and his supervisor. A soldier surprises the team from around a corner and hits Wet Suit over the head with a wrench, completely knocking him unconscious. The soldier then hits the fire alarm button and Shipwreck shoots him and says "Damn". (And there ends the silent part of issue #21, the tradition was recognized.)
Standing on the command deck is Captain Vicuna who receives the warning from the fire alarm. But the sensors don't read a fire, but the Captain orders the generators shut down, the hatches sealed and the room flooded. The team moves out as the doors begin to seal. Shipwreck and Torpedo get through easily Cover Girl slides through and tries to lodge her gun in the door but it is smashed leaving Keel Haul and the unconscious Wet Suit trapped in the flooding room. As the water is rising, Keel Haul puts Wet Suit's air mask on as well as his just as the room completely fills with water. He then taps on the door using Morse code that he is going to use C4 explosives to blow open the door. On the other side, Torpedo orders them to move out and they do. Hoping Keel Haul will catch up with Wet Suit.
Making their way to the command deck, they kill several Cobra techs. As they enter, Shipwreck throws in an EMP grenade that lands at the feet of Captain Vicuna. The electric charge shorts out all of the computer equipment that controls the submarine.
Keel Haul's door explodes as a rush of water fills the next chamber. He grabs Wet Suit and drags him through the blown open door.
The Joes start fighting the techs who are fighting back with axes, wrenches and other tools but dying by gun fire. Shipwreck orders Torpedo to find the console that controls the nuclear bomb and shut it down. The now out of control submarine partially crashes into the side of a rock face doing some structural damage that causes many leaks. Captain Vicuna orders every one to abandon the ship and heads to the escape pods.
The nuclear bomb explodes at the very bottom of the crater.
The submarine is totally rocked and spun causing more leaks from the concussion of the explosion. Now sinking into a different crater, the sub begins sealing doors trapping Cobra sailors in all parts of the submarine. Captain Vicuna, using his gun, prevents many of his own sailors from entering the escape pod he is in command of. He successfully escapes with several other pods as the submarine begins to pick up speed in its decent.
Torpedo and Shipwreck are working furiously to rewire the Dreadnaught so the sailing controls will work again. Keel Haul drags the still unconscious Wet Suit into the command deck and also assists in gain back the controls. Cover Girl begins examining Wet Suit.
On the island of Manata, just a couple of hundred miles away from the site of the nuclear bomb explosion, Scarlett observes the water receding so far back it exposes the coral reef. Rip Cord screams tsunami and orders Dial Tone, Mainframe and Brainstorm to drop what they are doing and run for high ground. The Joes have been downloading and investigating a Cobra bank that is on a completely deserted island, yet, billions of dollars transfer through this bank. Mainframe discovered it and found the largest liquid database vault he has seen. But now they have to run for their lives.
As the massive wave begins to roll across the ocean one of its first victims is the USS Terrapin which both Joe teams are based off of, also the transport helicopter that was about to lift off to pick up Scarlett's team is destroyed.
1800 feet below the Dreadnaught is sinking fast. Torpedo basically hot wires the control systems and begins to stop the fall of the submarine but the bottom is getting closer faster. They fill ballast tanks, release a snorkel, adjust trim, rev the engines to full and to help stop the sinking. With just feet to spare before collision the Dreadnaught rights itself and they begin sailing back toward the surface. The Joes have just captured a huge Cobra submarine. Wet Suit wakes up and asks what just happened.
On the island the wave is basically as high as the highest point. Scarlett grabs Mainframe's arm as the wave hits them but she loses her grasp as they are all washed away in the wave.
Manatua, an island in the South Pacific, has just been hit by a tsunami that was created from a Cobra nuclear bomb set off at the bottom of an ocean crater near the island. On the island, the Joe team of Scarlett, Rip Cord, Mainframe, Dial Tone and Brainstorm have abandoned their downloading of Cobra information to escape from the on coming wave. Mainframe was swept up in the wave and Scarlett has dived down to get him. She cuts off his backpack, which had tons of the stolen data, to swim him back to the surface, where Rip Cord helps haul both of them up to the swamped land. Dial Tone was able to save a satellite phone and calls the USS Terrapin, which has Deep Six as its Captain. He reports back that his ship barely survived the wave, he has missing crewmen as well as the Chinook helicopter that was supposed to be there evac.
Keel Haul and Torpedo have just successfully captured and resurfaced the massive Cobra submarine Dreadnaught. It has lots of damage but is floating. Wet Suit, still recovering from his head injury, is being attended to by Cover Girl. Shipwreck reports in to Deep Six about their "catch".
Captain Vicuna, the commander of the Dreadnaught, is reporting from his escape submarine to the Baroness. His report includes the successful detonation of the bomb, the creation of the wave that hit Manatua as well as losing the Dreadnaught. He tells her that they were boarded by some Americans and last he saw it was headed to the bottom of the ocean. The Baroness corrects him that she is receiving signals from the Dreadnaught and that it is on the surface communicating with the US Navy. Cobra Commander interrupts screaming at Vicuna to take back the Dreadnaught immediately or lose his life.
Cobra Commander is satisfied with the destruction of the data well on Manatua but at the cost of Dreadnaught. He admits his mistake of thinking that the remote location of Manatua was enough to protect it. And he is very concerned that the Joes may have gained to much information. But he walks out of the room, telling the Baroness to come to his private chambers later, he has made a change in the Cobra hierarchy. She smiles.
On Manatua, the Joes scout the island and discover the destroyed Chinook helicopter, no survivors. Deep Six reports that it will be awhile before he can arrange a pick up. His priority is helping gain control of the Dreadnaught. He tells Scarlett to enjoy her day at the beach.
On the deck of the Dreadnaught, Shipwreck and Cover Girl are enjoying the fresh air and inspecting the hull, when they discover a compartment that isn't accessible from the interior of the sub. Torpedo, from the command center, figures out how to open it and does. Inside is a Cobra helicopter. Shipwreck radios to Keel Haul wanting to confirm that he knows how to fly a helicopter.
Mainframe is inspecting the Cobra data well site. And reports to Scarlett that all of it has been destroyed. Brainstorm also reports that an of the data fluid was washed away, but Cobra has to have many more of these data wells. And since their pick up isn't coming anytime soon, he picks up a dead fish on the beach and points out that they won't starve.
Keel Haul, flying the helicopter over Dreadnaught, spots two dark shapes in the water nearing the Dreadnaught. Shipwreck orders the Joes to prepare to repel borders. Wet Suit mans a mini Gatlin gun on the deck with help from Cover Girl.
Captain Vicuna has launch his divers at the big submarine as Keel Haul fires two torpedoes at the Cobra subs. One of the subs surfaces right by Wet Suit and he is shot in legs, Cover Girl mans the mini gun and a furious fire fight happens between the two subs. On the other side of the Dreadnaught, Shipwreck attacks several of the divers as they surface. Cover Girl using the full automatic power of her gun, kills numerous Cobra soldiers but runs out of ammunition. She comments "never enough bullets". A Cobra soldier shoots her in the back. Shipwreck comes rushing over and attacks the soldier, they get in a knife fight with the knife at Shipwreck's throat.
Both of Keel Haul's torpedoes missed so he flies over the deck of the Cobra submarine and drops two grenades right on top of the conning tower. Captain Vicuna ducks for cover from the explosions. The sub now seriously damaged begins to roll over.
Cover Girl's body armor saved her and she returns the favor by shooting the Cobra soldier that shot her and returns Shipwreck's life saving favor by saving his life.
Captain Vicuna bleeding in multiple places elects to go down with his submarine, preferring that option to a death at the hands of Cobra Commander for his failure to recapture the Dreadnaught.
On the deck, Wet Suit bleeding bad has both Shipwreck and Cover Girl trying to stabilize his bleeding. They don't think they can save him without medical supplies. Cover Girl looks over her shoulder and sees the USS Terrapin arrive off the side of the submarine. Wet Suit will survive and the Joes now completely control the massive Cobra submarine Dreadnaught and all of the secrets that Cobra has hidden within it.
On Manatua, the Joes talk about the TV show Gilligan's Island as they relax on the beach when their ride home finally arrives.
The Baroness, dressed in a very revealing evening gown, arrives at Cobra Commander's private quarters. Anatole, his butler, greets her and has her sit at a table set for two. She expects to be given information on future plans. To her surprise Destro walks in. He is still wearing his metal silver mask, apparently the containment suit and is dressed in a very fashionable blue suit with a Cobra logo on his lapel.
G.I. Joe Season 2: Cobra Civil War
Ripcord and Crankcase are part of a small team of Joes (Team Alpa) hiding in the seemingly abandoned Cobra stronghold of Springfield. A Battle Android Trooper (BAT) attacks, killing Crankcase and severely injuring Ripcord. A bomb strike destroys the BAT, while a medic rushes to give Ripcord aid.
G.I. Joe Special Missions
In the middle of a massive thunder storm, the Joe team in two different boats are making their way toward to the Argo Vidale, a very advanced Cobra salvage ship, when Dial Tone is bounced out of the boat. After she surfaces, Ripcord grabs her and pulls her back in.
After the Joes sneak onto the Argo Vidale, Tanglefoot opens a container onboard that is filled with gold bullion before he is shot by a Cobra sniper. Rip Cord in turn shoots the Para Viper, throws a grenade that kills a few more Para Vipers and that blows the team's cover. The Joes manage to jump ship. On the surface of the Atlantic, the surviving Joe members (Dial Tone, Beach Head, Rip Cord, Lighthorse and Tripwire) collect in circle hoping they are rescued. Dial Tone calls the mission a success as Cobra's money bills has been marked. Torpedo surfaces the Joe submarine and all are saved.
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio
Ethnic Background: African American
G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra
In the 2009 movie, "G.I. Joe The Rise of Cobra", Ripcord appears alongside his best friend Duke, delivering M.A.R.S. nanotech missiles to N.A.T.O. On the way, they are attacked by Cobra. They get saved by the G.I. Joes and go to The Pit. He tries to win her over but she seems disinterested.
Ripcord and Duke are given accelerator suits to stop the Cobra from bombing the Eiffel Tower in Paris.The Joes are taken prisoner by the feds but are released later.
Later, in the Arctic, when the Cobra launch the nanotech missiles, Ripcord takes of in a Cobra Night Raven and destroys two missiles heading for Moscow and Washington D.C. The last missiles takes out his aircraft and he bails out successfully. In addition, he serves as Scarlett's love interest in the film.
G.I. Joe Resolute
In the 2009 animated series, Ripcord serves as the no-nonsense pilot of the G.I. Joe team. He transports Duke and Scarlett to a Siberian Cobra facility and equips the two with winged-jetpack prototypes for their mission. He disapproves of Duke's and Scarlett's headstrong, high-risk approach to the mission.
G.I. Joe Renegades
In the 2010 animated series, Ripcord is a daredevil who thinks nothing of taking risks to prove his skill to more senior members on his team. Trained for airborne operations, he is a HALO (High Altitude Low Opening) expert and loves to jump from planes. Ripcord gives his team mates their call signs, and Scarlett gives him his call sign in turn.