|“||Cracking Cobra defenses is just like cracking a computer code - it just requires patience and persistence!||”|
SPARKS was originally recruited for the G.I. Joe support staff by General Flagg and served as a radio operator and computer expert in the early days of the team. He saw little field action, and eventually “retired” to freelance work in the media industry. However, his skills were so uncanny and his loyalty so strong that he soon returned, working as a liaison to Military Intelligence and the Generals in Operations. While he serves many vital functions, his specialty is operating so-called “secret numbers stations,” sending shortwave radio transmissions to covert operatives throughout the free world in English, Spanish, German, French and Slavic languages in a variety of electronically-altered voices.
SPARKS also serves as the personal advisor to General Colton, founder of the G.I. Joe team. It was this chief of staff who recommended that SPARKS keep his field skills sharp, and join the Joes on training missions when possible. On these exercises SPARKS transports the field radio and works closely with the squad commander. He may not have the combat skills, but his dedication to the team is without limits.
Alessandro Verdi -- Alex to his friends -- is the son of a former United States ambassador to Italy. He was born during one of his family's extended periods of time spent overseas. Growing up traveling through Europe, Alex developed a love of language, and being fluent in three by age nine. When his family returned to America permanently, he began studying languages formally and made his way to Harvard where he graduated from with full honors.
Alex eventually joined the Army as an interpreter, hoping he could work for peace within the military, despite being an avowed pacifist. He is also extremely well-read, and over the years has authored over fifteen bestselling books.
Verdi later took a position as a translator at the Pentagon, where he began working with General Lawrence Flagg during the initial formation of the G.I. Joe team. By then he had picked up the nickname "Sparks." Sparks' skills reached beyond simple translation into the realm of information technology and communications, and his skills proved invaluable in assisting Flagg in finding suitable candidates for the new team. Steeler, in particular, owed his inclusion on the team to Sparks' recommendation.
Sparks also played a part in uncovering evidence that a corrupt General had paid mercenaries to attempt to kill Clayton "Hawk" Abernathy who had recently been court-martialed. Flagg and Sparks used that evidence to blackmail the General into dropping the charges against Hawk, freeing him to become field commander of the Joe team. Sparks is also one of the few people who know of the existence of the team's top secret fourteenth member, the late Shooter.
Sparks was eventually given a permanent reserve position as the Joes' liaison to the Pentagon. He never served in the field, but worked behind the scenes during all incarnations of the team. He occasionally spent time at the team's original headquarters, where he met the Joe jungle trooper, Recondo. Always somewhat of a loner, Recondo struck up a friendship with Sparks when he recognized his name, having read many of his books. The two friends would often spend time discussing and debating great literary works.
When the team was reinstated in 1997, Sparks returned to his behind-the-scenes work. He continues to assist General Colton in his "retirement." In 2013, Sparks was assigned to the Pit to help fight the Quintessons' communications disruptions.
Sparks is ranked E-5/Sergeant. He has been an advisor for General Colton for years, but only added officially to the G.I. Joe roster in 2007.
Sparks is available for application.
|This page uses content from JMM’s My Useless Knowledge Website. The original article was at JMM's G.I. Joe Comics Home Page. A member of this wiki, User:Kadjem, was granted temporary permission to use this content. However, JMM’s My Useless Knowledge Website is not part of the GNU Free Documentation License program, so the content is being rewritten to adapt and fit into this wiki and avoid plagiarism.|