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B.A.T.s were not always the mindless automatons that served merely as cannon fodder. Cobra had, in fact, developed a highly-sophisticated B.A.T. capable of coming up with rudimentary tactics and strategies. However, the advanced microchips and tactical logic software used were prohibitively expensive and the only B.A.T. prototype to use this technology was going to be shelved until Cobra figured they might have a use for it after all. Dubbed Overkill, Cobra had hoped it would be the deadliest B.A.T. ever created.
To turn the B.A.T. force into a more cohesive unit, Overkill is given the assignment of commanding them. But what kind of commands would Overkill give? Overkill has the grasp of tactics but not the intricacies of human intellect and speech. Cobra Commander's twisted sense of humor has him command the technicians to enable Overkill speak demoralizing slogans in high volume.
A Real American Hero continuity
Marvel Comics continuity
DiC animated series
The fully-robotic Overkill made his first animated appearance in the DiC animated series. His appearance was that of his first action figure. His key episode in this series is "The Eliminator", in which he receives an upgrade via the Eliminator chip, which makes him stronger, faster and smarter. This puts him in Cobra Commander's good graces.
Other DiC appearances include:
- "The Sword" -- where he's sent by Cobra Commander to retrieve the Sword of Destiny from Night Creeper Leader (who, naturally enough, wants it for himself).
- "El Dorado: The Lost City of Gold" -- where he's possessed by the spirit of Commander Fernando Luiz Jorge Pizarro, cousin to the explorer Francisco Pizarro.
- "Kindergarten Commandos" -- Overkill shows up to help Cobra Commander fight off the forces of six small children and the G.I. Joe Mercer. His appearance in this episode is relatively minor.
- "Keyboard Warriors" -- Another minor appearance.
- The prototype Overkill seen in early '90s G.I. Joe toyline catalogs had the head of a Range-Viper and the arms and legs of Dee-Jay (perhaps chest/waist pieces too, but is not clearly seen as the picture is taken from back/right side). His talking backpack was colored gold, and he didn't have the exchangeable right hand.
- While there was a recolored version of the original Overkill, the filecard of the figure describes his partly-human successor