Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Special Agent Baldwin P. "Bulletproof" Vess is the main character in the animated series C.O.P.S. (Central Organization of Police Specialists), the elite police force of Empire City. (B.P. Vess = Bullet Proof Vest.) He is introduced into the series as a Fed with considerable expertise in criminology. Named Bulletproof because of his armor-plated torso that is resistant to bullets, he leads the organization with selfless dedication. The character carries the distinction of being the first African-American lead in an animated action series and toyline though I suppose that is debatable. He does appear in every episode.

Based on Hasbro's 1988 action figures of C.O.P.S 'N' Crooks, the show is set in the year 2020 and sports the tagline, "Fighting crime in a future time, protecting Empire City from Big Boss and his gang of crooks." Somehow with all the future tech of the show, phones still had cords. The series originally ran from September 1988 through November 1989. DC Comics even ran a C.O.P.S. comic book series from 1988 through 1989 that ran for 15 issues. Later, in 1993,  the show was repackaged for syndication as CyberCOPS so as not to be confused with the COPS reality show. The C.O.P.S. team was effective and very reminiscent of GI Joe. In fact, some of the fact sheets for the characters list some of the team members as GI Joe descendants. The series lasted two seasons (66 episodes). This was actually a good series, one well worth watching, that was partially eclipsed by the success of the He-Man animated series.

Bulletproof was always cool and a man of action as well, never afraid to get his hands dirty. Almost too cool for the show, he sported a trenchcoat, yellow shirt, thin black tie, and sunglasses. His stainless steel, cybernetic torso also allowed him to plug into and control local machines. In the series, he was a caring, effective and enigmatic leader and was well respected from day one. Since the entire series was based on a set of action figures, Bulletproof got a decent one. I remember watching this show but had no idea there were so many episodes. The entire series is available on video. Here's the intro and part of the first episode for your enjoyment:


Empath said...

I remember this series. It was pretty cool.

BLESSD1 said...

Man...I used to LOVE C.O.P.S. but had forgotten all about it. My favorite character was Nightshade. Thanks for posting this!

wallruss said...

My pleasure. Feel free to suggest any old school characters I may have not gotten to yet.

Eyesofphases said...

Props on posting I forgot all about this show. It was one of my favs back in the day.

BLESSD1 said...'re pretty thorough. You post about characters that I've long forgeten about like repressed.

Mauricem said...

I did a post about this show two years ago and forgot all about it till now. You did a really good job of summarizing a great show IMO. The mayor was a black woman which is progressive, but the voice for Bulletproof was a white guy (Ken Ryan). So, you win some and lose some. Good stuff.

If you're interested: