Times have changed and it's time to revisit the zombie.
The concept based on the file card is that these are Cobra troopers that have been subjected to Compound Z and they have been turned into nearly mindless drones. So they really don't meet the classic concept of an undead flesh eating zombie.
But they still look cool as hell!
I would hate the idea of Cobra creating a virus that reanimates the dead for the purposes of undead soldiers. That could easily turn on them as well as the intended target.
So what the heck are they? One possible scary idea is based on what is hanging from both sides of the body harness. I first heard this mentioned on the Flag Points podcast. An excellent podcast, by the way! Twitziller noticed that the zombies have pipe bombs with detonators strapped to their harness. Holy crap! Cobra has created mindless drones to act as weapons. Just send one staggering into a Joe encampment or whatever type of target and BOOM, threat disabled.
The GI Joe design team at Hasbro did an excellent job with these creepy suckers. A highly detailed sculpt highlighting the zombie's rotting flesh.
A lone Steel Brigade trooper gets caught in the grip of some Z's. Can he break free and save himself?
My custom mix of Shadow Tracker and Night Adder - renamed Voodoo - walks among the Cobra zombies. He fears no man, alive or undead.
My Cheetara custom figure gets ready to dispatch a couple Z's. Hope she sees the one behind her! I'm sure she has already caught its scent.
And another spin on the use of the zombie figure. Using perhaps the finest sculpted figure from the entire Playmates Star Trek run, species 8472 examines these curious creatures.
The idea was originally that the alien has released a bio-weapon into the atmosphere and the final organisms that were resistant to the new arrivals begin to die away, eventually leaving the planet ripe for colonization.