By Anthony Breznican
Updated December 12, 2011 at 10:12 PM EST

If you were a tomboy growing up in the ’80s, there really wasn’t much room for you to play along with the neighborhood guys when it came to Transformers, M.A.S.K., He-Man, or other assorted boy-centric things from that era.

There may have been one or maybe two female characters, but otherwise it was pretty much a No Girls Allowed situation.

The big exception was Hasbro’s G.I. Joe, which — while still largely populated by XY chromosomes — had quite a few bad-ass female characters for girls to identify with and pretend to be when it came time to save the neighborhood from Megatron, Cobra, and Darth Vader.

Scarlett, Lady Jaye, and Cover Girl fought for the good guys while the Baroness and the punk-rock Zarana were aligned with the troublemaking boys from that ruthless terrorist organization known as Cobra. Later in the 1987 G.I. Joe movie, the heroes introduced a new female character: the red ninja Jinx.

In the upcoming sequel, GI Joe: Retaliation (out June 29), Jinx is back in the form of the stunning Elodie Yung. Click through for another shot of her facing off with Snake Eyes:

“The word is, when you’re around, things go wrong.”

So says Jinx’s commanding officer, the (now that I’m an adult) unfortunately named Beach Head, when he confronts her in this clip from the original G.I. Joe animated movie. That accounts for her bad-luck code-name, and when he spars with her, demanding she keep her eyes focused on him, things fall apart quickly. She’s a loser.

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

But then Jinx revealed a kind of awesome fighting power — she learned combat maneuvers from a blind ninja master (played in Retaliation by Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA), so she’s best at hand-to-hand combat when blindfolded.

How likely this is in the real world …? Eh, smart money says the gift of sight is a huge plus when swinging a sword. But G.I. Joe isn’t the real world anymore than Transformers is about the energy crisis. Remember, the whole charm of these things was the ability to play make-believe. Director Jon M. Chu’s boyish enthusiasm for this project, documented thoroughly in his Twitter feed, is the right approach.

See more of Yung (pictured left, out of costume) as this kick-ass red ninja in the movie’s trailer later today. Meanwhile, here’s a shot of her doing battle with another favorite from this franchise — the Joes’ silent, fearsome commando Snake Eyes. The trailer premieres at Machinima’s YouTube page, according to Paramount Pictures.

Now you know! And knowing is, like, at least 50 percent of any conflict-type situation, to coin a phrase.

Geek out on Twitter: @Breznican

G.I. Joe: Retaliation

  • Movie
  • 100 minutes
  • Jon M. Chu