As are all of his fellows on the GI Joe team, Alex 'Sparks' Verdi is naught but a normal human, lacking special powers of any kind. While he wields advanced military hardware in the execution of his job, he lacks any other exceptional abilities of an ascendant stripe.
Hindrances / Augmentations:
Communications Gear (i): from cellular telephones to advanced, independent radio rigs, Sparks is usually armed with at least one communications device at all times. He can normally use this gear to talk with others within a 100 mile range (intensity 7 range).
Helmet (s): though he isn't in the field very much, Sparks can nonetheless find himself there to deliver a message of extreme import. As such, he carries a helmet that provides him intensity 4 (+1) protection from physical attacks that strike him in the cranium.
Knife (s): similarly, as a Joe, Sparks always has to carry a knife on his person, should he need to cut something - or someone, assuming all else went wrong. This knife is of m.s. 12, and can be used to inflict +2 lethal damage in melee.
Sidearm (a): Sparks always carries a piece on him, even when he's just acting as a liaison between the Joe leadership and the rest of the military. He can fire a single shot from this weapon to inflict his Agility +4 damage, +5 in a semi-auto spread.
Boxing (s): an essential portion of his Army education, this skill explains Sparks' ability to protect himself should he find himself otherwise unarmed. In such melee, he may divide his pre-card play action score between two attacks, the last being a contingent action.
Detective / Espionage (i): his secondary military specialty, this skill describes Sparks' ability to act covertly, particularly in the area of communications/ He's able to pass messages in secret over electronic mediums with ease, doing so at a reduced difficulty.
Languages / English, French, German, and Spanish (i): augmenting his role as a communications specialist, Sparks can speak in several languages. He can read and write fluently in these four tongues, in addition to several additional, Slavic languages.
Guns (a): another essential portion of his military training, this skill showcases Sparks' ability to fire a gun to defend himself or his country. He may fire standard, semi-automatic, or fully automatic rifles or pistols at one difficulty lower than is normally necessary.
Military / United States (w): the source of all his other talents, this skill denotes Sparks' origins and career all in one. It denotes his inherent understanding of military protocols and procedures, and ability to lead fighting men into battle when required.
As a long-standing member of the GI Joe team, Sparks can readily rely upon them for assistance - he was instrumental in picking several members of the original line-up, after all! Though not usually field active, he'd also return the favor to his fellow Joes should he simply be asked.
Soldier: Alex joined the military to do right by his country, and has done rather well in this regard. He seems more than happy to do his part and be a team player, to be the grease that helps his unit function more smoothly through thick and thin.
While on duty, Sparks typically wears a tan colored, long-sleeved shirt, brown trousers, brown leather gloves, black leather boots, a tan colored helmet, a green leather belt, and green webbing to hold his 'combat' gear. Outside of field duty, he typically wears standard Army dress.
Sparks is an eager, patriotic fellow who is more than happy to lend his considerable skills in communications (both electronic and otherwise) to the never-ending fight for freedom. Though not always field-active, he definitely does his part to keep the Joes in operation.
Real Name: Alex Verdi, Grade E-5
Occupation: GI Joe Telecommunications Operator, Liaison
Legal Status: citizen of the United States with no known criminal record
Marital Status: single
Alias(es), if any: none
Group Affiliation: GI Joe
Height: 5' 10"
Weight: 175 lbs.
Other Distinguishing Characteristics: none
Sparks was an up and coming communications expert when he was tapped by General Flagg to be his personal assistant, this while the General was in the process of assembling a top notch team of highly trained military men and women to found Special Counter-Terrorist Group Delta.
Otherwise known as the GI Joe team, this group would go on to become the nation's principal defense against Cobra, a ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world - and Sparks had a considerable role in finding exceptional troops to fill its ranks.
Once the team was up and running, Sparks continued to act as a liaison between General Flagg and the rest of the conventional armed forces, performing various communications duties for both the General and the team - at least until General Flagg's death at Major Bludd's hands.
Soon after, Sparks sort of drifted out of the military for a time, concentrating on work in the private sector.
Sparks continued in this fashion for many years, at least until he was asked to rejoin the Joes by General Colton. Having enjoyed his role in the Joe team, Sparks was more than happy to take him up on this offer.
Sparks served as the General's assistant for years, particularly after General Hawk himself was paralyzed in battle with Zartan (who was, at the time, posing as Cobra Commander). He even served a pivotal role in the operation of the Joe team's final base, the Rock.
It was here that Sparks had his shot at heroism, when shortly after Cobra staged a daring attack on the facility, they instigated none other than World War III. Their ultimate gambit to conquer the world in one fell swoop, Cobra and they almost managed it this time!
However, thanks to Sparks' incredible communications skills, the Joe team was able to pull itself together and rally itself for a final strike against their long-standing enemies... defeating them at the last minute and saving the world from nuclear Armageddon.
Of course, with Cobra defeated and its Commander in jail, Sparks didn't retire from the GI Joe team again, oh no. Though victorious, the Joes were now turned to the task of keeping the world in one piece as it tried to rebuild from the vast damage Cobra had inflicted.
And naturally, with a whole lot of Cobra's operatives at large after their ultimate defeat, this could take quite some time!
* Note: Sparks received no action figure in 1982, but was retroactively inserted into the Joes' origins by Devil's Due comics. While this might otherwise negate his standing in Joe continuity in general, he also showed up once or twice in the animated series.
His only action figure release occurred in 2007, making him official - unlike other Devil's Due additions, such as Daemon or Mayday. This figure was built to resemble his appearance in the Sunbow cartoon, obviating the need for a listing of his 2007 'variation'.
GI Joe directories featuring a version of Sparks:
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