Mainframe (G.I. Joe)

Mainframe (G.I. Joe)
G.I. Joe character
Mainframe as seen in the Sunbow G.I. Joe cartoon.
Affiliation G.I. Joe
Specialty Communications
File name Blaine L. Parker
Birthplace Phoenix, Arizona
SN SN: RA 818-50-1673 then SN: 818-50-BL73
Rank E-5 Sergeant
Primary MOS Computer technology
Secondary MOS Infantry
Voiced by Patrick Pinney
Year introduced 1986

Mainframe is a fictional character from G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, a toy created by Hasbro. He appeared in both the comic books and the animated series.


Fictional character biography

Mainframe enlisted in the army airborne at the age of seventeen and soon headed into battle overseas, just in time to get his Combat Infantryman Badge. He left the army to get his degree from MIT on the G.I. Bill then did a stint toiling in the antiseptic corridors of silicon Valley, making big bucks and fighting boredom with a stick. Luckily, the Marines were looking for a few good men with just his qualifications. The proper papers were signed and Mainframe was in uniform. The world's ever-increasing reliance upon technology makes him a valued member of the G.I. Joe team and his ability to design computer viruses makes him a nightmarish nuisance of Cobra.

Hasbro toy line

A Real American Hero (1986)

Mainframe was first released as part of the 1986 series of A Real American Hero toys.[1] He was also available in 1987 and was discontinued in 1988. Appearance: black helmet; grey short-sleeved shirt; black diagonal strap and gloves; grey pants with black belt, holster Accessories: large, angular grey tech backpack with antenna; grey portable computer with handle; small black communicator with peg for hose; standard long, black hose.

Special Mission: Brazil (1986)

Mainframe was released as part of the 1986 series, in the Toys "Я" Us exclusive "Special Mission: Brazil" boxed set. The boxed set also included Claymore, Dial Tone, Leatherneck, and Wet Suit. Appearance: red helmet; beige short-sleeved shirt; red diagonal strap and black gloves; red pants and belt, with grey holster Accessories: large, angular grey tech backpack with antenna; grey portable computer with handle; small black communicator with peg for hose; standard long, black hose.

25th Anniversary

Comic Pack Beach Head & Dataframe(mainframe) also has been released.

In 2008, a new version of Mainframe was released, but renamed "Dataframe".[2] So while there are multiple names, they are all based on the character "Mainframe".


Marvel Comics

In the Marvel Comics G.I. Joe series, he first appeared in issue #58. In that issue, Mainframe and Dusty are sent on a mission into a Middle Eastern nation torn apart by the war between the Royalist rebels and the forces of dictator Colonel Sharif. Mainframe and Dusty are sent in to locate a Cobra Terrordrome launch base hidden in the country after spy satellites detect the base's infrared signature. In exchange for helping them ambush one of Sharif's weapons convoys, the Royalists give the Joes a guide to lead them through the desert, a local teen named Rashid. Much of the story deals with Rashid's disrespect for Mainframe for not being a 'real' soldier. However, after watching Mainframe reprogram a Firebat to strafe enemy troops and hearing about his past as a frontline soldier from Dusty, Rashid changes his mind about Mainframe and even becomes an expert in computer in order to honor him.[3] Later, after detecting a shuttle launched from Cobra Island, Mainframe is part of a team that heads into space onboard the space shuttle Defiant to defend U.S. satellites against a Cobra attack.[4] Some time later, Mainframe works on the USS Flagg as part of Hawk's operations team during the Joes' involvement in the Cobra civil war.[5] Mainframe serves in a similar capacity on the Flagg later during the Battle of Benzheen.[6] He later aids the G.I. Joe Ninja Force in their efforts to help Destro remove a bounty on his head.[7]

Action Force

Mainframe also appears in the British Action Force continuity.


In the original out of continuity G.I. Joe/Transformers crossover, Mainframe is essential in rebuilding the severely damaged Bumblebee.[8]

Devil's Due

Mainframe appears many times when Devil's Due takes over the Joe license. He is one of the first ones recruited back into active duty when gathered intelligence indicates Cobra is a threat yet again.[9] He works closely with Lifeline to neutralize the threat of microscopic nanites which are causing various forms of deadly havoc. A couple of ideas work out and the nanites are defeated.[10] At a later point, Mainframe's long-term efforts to uncover white-collar Cobra crime results in Roadblock fighting Dreadnoks on live television; this just increases Roadblock's financial well-being. Mainframe's work at the computer causes him to admit he needs to get out more.[11]

G.I. Joe comes into conflict with Serpentor and his new independent army, 'Coil', which has taken over Cobra Island. Mainframe teams with Flash for a sabotage mission against EMP generators. Coil troops trap the two with a bomb and they perish when it explodes. The generators are also destroyed.[12] Mainframe's name is part of memorial in Arlington dedicated to all Joes who have lost their lives in the line of duty.[13] Mainframe's protege, Firewall later aids his teammates in finishing an old mission involving the drug dealer Headman. Rashid also assists in this mission.[14]

Mainframe is part of the alternate reality crossover G.I. Joe Vs. Transformers 2. In the climatic battle he assists Doctor Mindbender and Wheeljack in saving the Earth from complete destruction. However, it doesn't go quite as planned, with the after-effects of the life saving computer hacks accidentally incinerating his Joe teammate Mercer.[15]



Mainframe appeared in the original G.I. Joe animated series, voiced by Patrick Pinney.[16] In the G.I. Joe Sunbow cartoon 5-part mini series "Arise Serpentor, Arise!", Beach Head and his teammate Mainframe escaped from Cobra troops by hiding in the actual coffin of Vlad Tepes. When they later escape, Mainframe tells Beach Head he wants to talk to him about his deodorant, in which Beach Head replies: "But I don't wear deoderant." "That's what I want to talk to you about," Mainframe responds. In the same series, Mainframe mentioned a posting he had monitoring base security in Vietnam.[17]

Mainframe was apparently married with children at one point. While driving through Transylvania, he remarks that the countryside reminds him of when he would take his kids trick or treating. In the Sunbow Season 2 episode, "Computer Complications", he mentions having an ex-wife.

In that same episode, Zarana goes undercover at a Joe base as "Carol Weidler". During that time, Mainframe and Zarana develop romantic feelings for each other. At the end of the episode, the Dreadnoks joke to her: "Hey, Zarana, I’ve been thinking! Maybe you oughta quit the Dreadnoks, go marry that wimp, get a house in the suburbs, have kids." to which she responds by shooting in their direction. The episode ends showing both Mainframe and Zarana, miles away looking at the moon, perhaps pondering the same question.[18] In "Grey Hairs & Growing Pains", Zarana helps Mainframe again; he had undergone de-aging.[19]

Mainframe appears in the following episodes:

  • Arise, Serpentor, Arise
  • Cobrathon
  • Grey Hairs & Growing Pains
  • Iceberg Goes South
  • Last Hour To Doomsday
  • Let's Play Soldier
  • My Favorite Things
  • Nightmare Assault
  • Ninja Holiday
  • Into Your Tent I Will Silently Creep

G.I. Joe: The Movie

Mainframe also appeared briefly in the 1987 animated film G.I. Joe: The Movie.[20]


Mainframe is a supporting character in the novel Divide and Conquer. Without permission, he risks damage to Joe Headquarters to gain information from Cobra computers.[21]

Mainframe is featured in the younger-children storybook "Operation Starfight" drawn by Earl Norem. He is wounded in the arm during the story.[22]

Video games

Mainframe appears as a non-playable supporting character named "Data Frame" in the video game G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, voiced by Wally Wingert.

Other works

Mainframe's 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 described three of the Joes hanging back from the front lines: Lifeline, Mainframe, and Iceberg. Beside Iceberg, "Mainframe, clad in his distinctive gray short-sleeved uniform, manned the battlefield computer. They did not speak to each other. Only waited and watched."[23]


  1. ^ Santelmo, Vincent (1994). The Official 30th Anniversary Salute To G.I. Joe 1964-1994. Krause Publications. p. 107. ISBN 0-87341-301-6. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ G.I. Joe #58
  4. ^ G.I. Joe #65 (November 1987)
  5. ^ G.I. Joe #72-76
  6. ^ G.I. Joe #115 (August 1991)
  7. ^ G.I. Joe #137 (June 1993)
  8. ^ "G.I. Joe And The Transformers" #4 (April 1987)
  9. ^ "G.I. Joe: A Great American Hero" Vol 2 #1 (2001)
  10. ^ "G.I. Joe: A Great American Hero" Vol 2 #2-4 (2002)
  11. ^ "G.I. Joe: Frontlines" #18 (December 2003)
  12. ^ G.I. Joe (Vol. 2) #23-25
  13. ^ G.I. Joe #26
  14. ^ G.I. Joe Special Missions: Brazil
  15. ^ "G.I. Joe Vs. Transformers" #3-6 (2007)
  16. ^ "Roll Call". G.I. Joe Roll Call. Joe Headquarters. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  17. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television cartoon shows: an illustrated encyclopedia, 1949 through 2003, Volume 1. McFarland & Co.. p. 376. ISBN 978-0-7864-2099-5. 
  18. ^ "Computer Complications". G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.
  19. ^ "Grey Hairs & Growing Pains". G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.
  20. ^ G.I. Joe: The Movie (Motion picture). De Laurentiis Entertainment Group. April 20, 1987. 
  21. ^ Divide and Conquer
  22. ^ Operation Starfight storybook
  23. ^ Casablanca, Rayo (2008). 6 Sick Hipsters. Kensington Publishing Corp.. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-7582-2283-1. 

External links

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