Joe Colton is a G.I. Joe character from the live-action film continuity.
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Joe Colton: The president says I can't come out of retirement. He didn't say anything about re-enlisting.

—Joe Colton to Roadblock

General Joseph Colton was the founder and leader G.I. Joe.


Retaliation (2013 Movie)

Portrayed by Bruce Willis

Joseph Colton, generally known as "Joe Colton" was the founder and leader of G.I. Joe. At some point, he went into retirement, leaving the oversight of the organization to others.

After an airstrike takes out most of an elite G.I. Joe team in Pakistan, only three survivors are left standing: Roadblock, Lady Jaye and Flint. They return to the United States, where Lady Jaye uses a computer program to compare speech patterns and behavior of the President of the United States, resulting in the team concluding that the President has been replaced with an imposter. They begin to think that there is nobody they can trust, though Roadlbock tells them that there is still one person who is without doubt above reproach.

The team reports their suspicion to Colton, as well as their belief that the real President is dead. He, however, tells them that if the President has been replaced by an imposter, said imposter wouldn't kill his best asset. He tells them that what they're proposing is treason and he can't help them without more solid evidence. They ask if he can at least get them close and replies that he can't some much as scratch his ass in the town without getting on the watch list, but he can get them close to the President's Chief of Staff. They do so and, in turn, are able to sneak Lady Jaye into a dinner being held by the President. She obtains sample of his hair and they use the DNA to determine that Zartan of Cobra has taken the President's place.

The G.I. Joes discover that the false President is hosting a nuclear disarmament conference with the heads of the world's nuclear nations and realize that this is where Cobra is likely to make its move. They split up and while one team works to thwart Cobra's ambitions, Colton and Lady Jaye launch an assault to free the real President from the underground bunker where he is being held. Colton corners the man, Zandar, who has been tasked with guarding the President. Zandar, however, holds a gun to the President's head and warns Colton that he will shoot. Before he can do so, however, Lady Jaye takes him out from behind, grazing the President in the process.

General Colton with Roadblock at the ceremony on the White House lawn

G.I. Joe succeeds in thwarting Cobra, though their leader, Cobra Commander, manages to slip away. The real President then holds a ceremony on the White House lawn, honoring the team. General Colton hands out medals and promotions, before presenting Roadblock with a gun that once belonged to General George S. Patton, telling him it's for when they find Cobra Commander. Roadblock asks him where where he can find him and he replies that he just needs his orders and they would make a hell of a team. Roadblock then raises the gun, firing a single ceremonial shot into the air.


  • Colton lacks the trademark scar on the cheek of other versions of the character. This may have been to avoid having two characters with this trait, as Duke already had one.
  • In the film, General Colton has one of George S. Patton's M-1911 pistols.