Born in Atlanta, Georgia where her father and three older brothers were martial arts instructors. Shana M. O'Hara got along well with her father and brothers, beginning her training at nine years of age. They discovered that Scarlett had a natural affinity for the ancient fighting arts and was only fifteen when she was awarded a black belt. Scarlett and her sister Siobhan never got along well, and they drifted apart as they got older.
After joining the Army, Scarlett received a varied education, attending Covert Ops School, Marine Sniper School, Special Air Service School and the Marine Tae Kwon Do symposium. Scarlett has participated in many martial arts tournaments and is also qualified as an Army hand-to-hand combat trainer. She is proficient in various weaponry, including the XK-1 power crossbow and many martial arts weapons such as throwing stars, garrote and Ka-Bar.
She is often shown in flashbacks for other characters as both a weapons instructor and hand-to-hand combat instructor for the earliest incarnations of the team. It is later revealed that she is chosen for such elite training as she is not likely to be suspected by most enemies. Scarlett also spent some time with the C.I.A. and often uses this skill set to gather intelligence on Cobra.
Her primary specialty for the team is counter intelligence, but her secondary military specialty has remained classified in all of her file cards.
The character’s origin is with the toy line from Hasbro and not from the comics. As one of the few original female characters of the expanded toy line (the original G.I. Joe was a single character), she gained a degree of popularity. She was first seen in comics in the Marvel version of G.I. Joe in a series labeled G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. She appeared in the first issue in 1982. Her story and character were developed for both the toy line and the comic series by Larry Hama. He is quoted as saying that he used his wife as an influence in developing her character.
Scarlett is often regarded as one of the most loyal and most respected members on the team. This respect and loyalty is often reciprocated once earned, as Scarlett highly values the experienced members of the team. She shares a special bond with Snake Eyes as well due to events in their past, and this develops further into a romantic interest.
It is worth noting that Scarlett has been depicted as what is essentially a combat personnel despite the fact that the United States Army does not allow women to serve on the front lines. She is often placed in charge of field teams because of her rank and seniority.
In the current IDW G.I. Joe comic series, Scarlett is seen taking on a stronger intelligence role. She has strong feelings for and a romantic relationship with Snake-Eyes.
Major Story Arcs
As is revealed in a flashback, Scarlett’s first assignment with the team is to act as a hand-to-hand combat instructor, and it was here that she met Snake-Eyes for the first time. Scarlett was impressed by his abilities, his honor, and his moral code, and because of this, they eventually became close friends. Snake-Eyes' disfigurement is tragically directly due to her. On a mission in the Middle East, a small contingent of Joes comprised of Scarlett, Snake Eyes, Rock’n Roll and Grunt were supposed to save George Strawhacker after he had been captured by Cobra.
A helicopter malfunction resulted in the need to perform a crash landing on the aircraft. Rock’n Roll and Grunt were able to save themselves, but Scarlett was trapped inside. Snake Eyes remained with her, and suffered his disfigurement due to a window which exploded in his face. Scarlett would go to recover from her injuries completely and Snake Eyes harbored no feelings of regret for having saved his friend. This resulted in the two becoming even closer than they had been previously.
The Snake-Eyes Trilogy
Snake-Eyes attempts to have facial reconstruction surgery to repair his facial scars. The Baroness, who was under the impression that Snake-Eyes had killed her brother, takes a team of Cobras and storms the hospital where he is staying. Scarlett, who is by Snake-Eye's beside during the surgery, attempts to protect him but is shot in the head by the Baroness at point blank range.
Scarlett would lapse into a coma, and her sister Siobhan agreed to take her off of life support after she was declared brain dead. Scarlett recovers though despite bad odds and is eventually reunited with Snake-Eyes.
Snake-Eyes and the Ninja Force
In a story arc starting in issue #135, she confronts Snake-Eyes and she leaves the team. Unknown to most others this was simply a ruse in order that she could infiltrate Cobra. The undercover assignment was partially so that she could help to hunt down Baroness and Destro. Snake Eyes keeps up the ruse (which he is now aware of) by actually attacking Scarlett and piercing her with his sword. Such is his skill though that he was able to make a superficial wound appear grievous and Scarlett escaped mostly unharmed. Another Cobra assassin though figured out that she must be a double agent as Snake Eyes would never have missed a kill under similar circumstances.
IDW Publishing started a new series, that continues where the Marvel Comics series ended. The new series started with a free comic book day issue #1551⁄2, and replaces all of the Devil's Due Publishing continuity that was established. This series is again written by Larry Hama.
Powers and Abilities
Like most characters in the G.I. Joe universe, Scarlett possesses no special super abilities. She is however in peak physical condition and has extensive training on a variety of weapons to the level of mastery.
In addition she is a highly skilled hand-to-hand combatant. She is also skilled in other aspects of military operations, including tactics and intelligence gathering. Due to her time with the team she has also learned a wide variety of other skills, including jet fighter combat.
G.I. Joe Reloaded
In G.I. Joe: Reloaded an alternate version of her past is told. This occurs in an alternate story line to the main series.
Scarlett appears in this series, and although it is not considered continuity it is consistent with her other appearances.
Scarlett appeared in a six issue mini-series that tied into the Sigma 6 television series. Much of her character and story is changed. She is much tougher and harder edged (makes such comments that she has not worn a dress since prom), she is second in command under Duke, and her counter-intelligence specialty is replaced with an expertise in piloting helicopters.
Danger Girl/G.I. Joe
After the acquisition of the Danger Girl characters by IDW it was decided to first launch the characters under the IDW banner with a crossover with one of the major properties at IDW, G.I. Joe. The series starts off with a dog chase involving Scarlett and Flint and they are soon shot down. It is revealed that they were providing escort for a shipment of rediscovered missiles with great destructive power. They are soon shot down though and the missiles are taken by Cobra, who also take the two prisoners. Once in Cobra custody they come across Abbey Chase who is acting undercover, though the two members of G.I. Joe do not know this.
Elsewhere the American president arrives to the USS Flagg and informs the Joe team to stand down and to not seek to free their teammates. General Flag orders them to stand down. The remaining female members (Cover Girl, Lady Jaye and Jinx) come up with a plan where they will contact the Danger Girl team (Cover Girl had previously met Johnny Barracuda) The team shows up and exposes the U.S. president as Zarana in disguise. Soon enough it is revealed that the Danger Girl team already has an operative in place and she informs them of the plan.
Firefly is to head to Moscow and detonate one of the missiles while Major Bludd is to go to Beijing to detonate another. Three teams head out, one to each of the two cities and the third to the Cobra base. By now Abbey is under suspicion of Baroness, Destro and Cobra Commander and is captured by Zartan when she attempts to free Scarlett and Flint. While they are trying to escape a team of Low Light, Snake Eyes and Stalker arrive to free them. Meanwhile in Beijing a team of Jinx, Johnny Barracuda and
Sonya Savage stop Major Bludd while a team of Sydney Savage, Cover Girl and Roadblock stop Firefly. It is soon revealed that there is another missile which is headed for the homing beacon which Zarana has placed on the USS Flagg. Silicon Valerie, Duke and Lady Jaye quickly deal with it. Meanwhile at the Cobra base Storm Shadow has arrived to stop the Joes and he engages Snake-Eyes in combat. Eventually this group is also able to escape, while blowing up the base and they are all reunited on the USS Flagg.
Scarlett was a featured character in the 2009 film G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. She was portrayed by Rachel Nichols. Scarlett has also appeared in several direct to DVD releases such as G.I. Joe: Valor vs. Venom and G.I. Joe: Spy Troops.
Scarlett appeared in several G.I. Joe animated T.V. series. In the first from Sunbow, which ran during the 1980's, Scarlett was one of the main characters. She carried over many characteristics from the comic series; a strong, tough, intelligent female character. She used her trademark crossbow and showed extreme hand-to-hand combat skills. When Duke or Flint were not present, Scarlett was team leader. A slight change from the comic series. She was voiced by actress B.J. Ward.
Scarlett then appeared in only five episodes of DiC's G.I. Joe animated series. Her costume colour scheme was changed slightly. She also appeared in the G.I. Joe: Resolute mini-series and the short lived series Renegades.
As one of the most popular G.I. Joe characters, Scarlett is generally among the team members whenever they show up in various forms of media. This is more often based on the generic character and not as much on the comic. Scarlett appeared frequently in the animated series in the 1980s.