Cobra Commander was living on the road and doing scams and con jobs to earn a living. He became increasingly egotistical yet paranoid, citing all of his issues were the fault of the corrupt American system that always kept the little guy down. These views and feelings sparked great ambition of wreaking vengeance upon the businesses and governments of the system. He began seeking out individuals who shared his desires to topple these entities and used money from various schemes to attract followers. When he began having meetings with these new found followers, was when he first started wearing the blue hood to mask his identity.
The organization grew and he moved it to the town of Springfield, a place where the economy had crumbled and the population had become desperate. Using his criminal wits and charisma, he quickly garnered the support of the townsfolk and had their gratitude and loyalty and gained complete control of the town. With this new base of followers he established the paramilitary group Cobra, a cartel that promised wealth and power to its members as long as they were willing to be completely loyal and use any means necessary to achieve their goals.
The President/CEO of Hasbro attended a charity event that Marvel Comic’s President was also attending. The two ended up in the men’s room and began discussing each other’s respective businesses when the Hasbro exec mentioned that he wanted to reactivate the trademark G.I. Joe line but was struggling to devise a new approach. The Marvel exec stated that they employ the best creative people in the world and to let them bring in Jim Shooter, then editor-in-chief for Marvel Comics to solve the re-launch problem.
Before G.I. Joe’s re-launch, Larry Hama was working on a new concept for a comic book called Fury Force, which he hoped to launch as a new ongoing series for Marvel Comics. The original idea was Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D would assemble an elite team of soldiers to battle neo-Nazi terrorists from an organization called HYDRA. The idea was shot down, but Hama carried over the basic outline to the G.I. Joe project. Now with all of that in place, G.I. Joe needed a nemesis, which is where Cobra, unofficially credited to Archie Goodwin, was invented.
Cobra Chain of Command
- Cobra Commander - The leader and founder of Cobra. His face is almost always obscured either by a hood with only his eyes visible or by a high tech battle helmet with various security features integrated into it, to maintain the secret of his civilian identity. He is regarded as the most dangerous man on Earth, because he can draw followers to him. Only Baroness and Destro have seen his face.
- Serpentor – Serpentor was created through a breakthrough in cloning research by Doctor Mindbender from the DNA and memories extracted from the remains of the most ruthless and effective military leaders in history, including Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Attila the Hun, Alexander the Great, Hannibal, and Genghis Khan as well as Storm Shadow. In addition to his genetic disposition to greatness, an early experiment also gave him access to the brain patterns of G.I. Joe HALO jumper Ripcord, allowing him to use their strategies against them.
- Destro aka James McCullen Destro XXIV - A Scotsman who always wears a metal mask. On numerous occasions he tried to take over leadership of Cobra. Destro is an arms dealer and his top client is Cobra. He is the hereditary leader of M.A.R.S. (Military Armaments Research Syndicate), which is the largest manufacturer of weaponry and state-of-the-art technology in the world. He has a personal army called the " Iron Grenadiers".
- The Baroness aka Baroness Anastasia DeCobray - The daughter of rich European aristocrats and never wanted for anything. Her brother was killed, and she believed an American soldier by the name of Snake Eyes was the killer, which drove her toward the Cobra organization. She serves as Cobra's Director of Intelligence and is romantically involved with Destro. She and Destro had a son named Alexander McCullen. The son, Baroness and a former British soldier, Lilian Osborne teamed up to seize control of a revitalized Cobra at one point.
- Mistress Armada aka Lilian Osbourne – Lilian teamed up with Alexander McCullen while in military training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. She helped Alexander gain control of his father’s company and pose as Destro. Destro eventually brought Alexander and Lilian down and got them into custody. It is unknown what his plans are for the pair for their roles in impersonating him and taking control of his business.
- Vypra aka Ann A. Conda – A martial arts specialist that trained privately and disregarded joining the military because she felt soldiers were “wimps”. She signed up with Cobra, liking both the name and the attitude of the organization. She ascended through the ranks quickly and proved herself as someone not to be underestimated. General Hawk regarded her as one of the nastier threats to come out of Cobra’s ranks in years.
Destro’s Personal Troops:
- Scrap Iron – Head product designer for Destro’s armament corporation. He carries out all initial field testing on all new armor, weapons and other creations. His main area of expertise is remote-launched, laser-guided, rocket-propelled piezoelectric fused anti-tank weapons. While some weapons systems are classified as “Smart” weapons, his are often known by the nomenclature of “Brilliant.”
- Metal Head – This “Walking Anti-Tank Weapon” can launch high-explosive missiles from his backpack or hip holster tubes and guide them to their target via a laser beam, without using his hands or feet. His targeting and weapons system is completely voice-activated and highly sophisticated. It’s as simple as visually acquire a target, let the computer calculate range and path trajectory and give a green light, to which he yells “Bang!” to commence firing.
- Annihilators – Destro’s personal bodyguards and elite airborne assault troops. They are versatile and can be deployed from land, sea and air via mini-turbine Heli-packs on their backs. They are well armored and are the elite of the elite recruits from Destro’s Iron Grenadier forces. They also serve an apprenticeship as hard-sell telephone sales negotiators for Destro’s M.A.R.S. armament corporation.
- Ferrets – The backbone of Destro’s armored assault squadron. They are the pilots of the D.E.M.O.N’s and conduct long range attacks in battle to neutralize enemy strong points, as well as capturing LZ’s (Landing Zones) for airborne insertions.
- Iron Grenadiers – The Iron Grenadiers are personally selected from Destro’s personal bodyguards to spearhead his incursions into new territories. The Iron Grenadiers act as agents, provocateurs, saboteurs or terrorists, anything to propel an unsuspecting country towards chaos and turmoil, which creates new markets for Destro’s weapons business.
- Nullifiers – The Pilots of the A.G.P (Anti-Gravity Pods), which are quick, small, sharply maneuverable aircraft. Unfortunately this type of aircraft is punishing on the human body, so to become a Nullifier, one must be in peak physical condition and maintain an six hour weight workout every day to maintain the physique and high levels of endurance required to command the A.G.P.
- T.A.R.G.A.T.S. – Trans Atmospheric Rapid Global Assault Trooper aka TARGATS are Destro’s leading technological soldier. With breakthroughs from Destro’s technicians, the TARGATS can be deployed into orbit from a shuttle, wearing armored self-contained bio-system suits and ceramic composite heat shields that double as hang gliders and weapons platforms. Their re-entry over their target is usually mistaken for a meteor shower, which shocks and stuns their enemy.
- Wild Boars – The Wild Boars are the drivers of the Razorback, which is a principle front-line assault vehicle with impressive firepower capabilities. It is able to destroy an enemy vehicle within minutes. Only the top drivers get accepted into the Razorback program, where recruits endure a torturous training schedule that demands discipline, discipline and more discipline.
- Zartan - The leader of the Dreadnoks as well as a master spy and assassin. He is a master of disguise able to be anyone anytime he wishes. Thanks to genetic experimentation, Zartan is also capable of changing his skin color to blend in with his background. This special ability is disrupted by sunlight.
- Zanya – The daughter of the leader, Zartan, she became known as the “Dreadnok Princess.” Initially Zartan tried to send her away from the Dreadnoks after she tracked him down, but she was persistent and eventually accepted into the Dreadnoks. She took to their way of live with a fervor, finding her father and his band of misfits to be the coolest guardians she could ask for.
- Zandar – Zartan’s brother and another master of camouflage and covert movement. He’s good at hiding and sneaking up on people, needless to say he doesn’t sneak up on people to do them any good. He’s also an expert with a wide variety of silent weapons and is capable of remaining completely motionless for long periods of time and altering his skin color.
- Zarana – Sister of Zartan and Zandar, Zarana is a master assassin who gains access to her victims through skillful acting and master use of makeup and disguise. Unlike her siblings who rely on purely physical aspects of disguise, Zarana works from the method-actor’s point of view to completely become the object of her impersonation – thinking, feeling and reacting like another person. She is an expert in small arms, explosives and edged weapons and she also has the ability to change her skin color.
- Torch – Ex-Merchant Marine that learned to use a cutting torch while at sea. He is an illiterate, unrepentant thug whose penchant for sudden and expected violence is matched only by the depth of his stupidity.
- Ripper – Known as the meanest devil to come out of Tasmania. He was expelled from nursery school for extorting candy from his classmates and this carried over into adulthood where he spent most of his time in various correctional facilities. He is a career professional criminal motivated by greed and a severe dislikes for the luxuries of civilization, except for motorcycles.
- Buzzer – Buzzer is a left-wing extremist who went to Australia to research the biker gang phenomenon only to be transformed into the very object of his studies. Years of intellectual displeasure and extreme indignation at society’s two-face morality manifested into the intense love for chainsawing apart expensive gadgets of technological nature.
- Thrasher – Thrasher is the Thunder Machine driver. He was raised as a spoiled brat who was never held accountable for anything. His parents always believed that his actions would eventually curb to maturity. He was never denied anything and got everything he asked for, despite oftentimes resulting in unexplainable destruction or minor disaster. At a young age, he wandered into the swamps where he could do as he pleased. It was there in the swamps that he met up with Zartan and the Dreadnoks and joined their crew.
- Zanzibar – Zanzibar is known as the Dreadnok Pirate. He spent his formative years lurking on crowded piers with his hands in other people’s pockets. For a time he dabbled in river piracy, stock fraud and smuggling, but felt it was still too much work and not malicious enough for his personal preferences. His luck changed when he was delivering bootleg gasoline to Zartan’s filling station and got hired on as a Dreadnok.
- Monkeywrench – Monkeywrench grew up with a knack for incendiary and explosives. He was a pariah in his hometown by the age of 16, and moved on to London to take part in a “new wave” movement, where he developed a nasty and crude anti-social behavior, which was non-existent for his locale. Eventually he traveled to Australia where he got connected with the Dreadnoks.
- Road Pig – Donald Deluca had a tough childhood and was not popular by any means. He was ugly and smelled bad and often talked with his imaginary friend named Road Pig. He didn’t fit in anywhere until he came upon the Dreadnoks, which he joined and decided to use the name of his imaginary friend, who turned out to be a split personality. Road Pig helped Zartan expand the Dreadnok chapters and recruit members. His commendable achievement was when he was responsible for the capture of Snake Eyes and Scarlett at one time.
Cobra Command Conventional Military Operations:
- Major Bludd - Major Sebastian Bludd is one of the deadliest and lowest mercenaries in the world and has extensive combat experience. Bludd was wanting for crimes in many countries and caught the eye of Cobra Commander who hired him to join the Cobra organization. The true purpose of his hiring was to kill Destro, because Cobra Commander felt he was a threat to his rule. The G.I. Joe team captured Major Bludd and Scar-Face, but they quickly escaped and subsequently killed the G.I. Joe leader General Flagg.
Cobra Command Unconventional Military Operations:
- Firefly - The world's greatest saboteur, Firefly's background is a mystery due to the fact that he was orphaned at a very young age when his parents were murdered. A mercenary and assassin, Firefly was initially hired by Cobra Commander to kill Snake Eyes, but later on was brought into Cobra among the High Command. He is the Faceless Master of the Koga ninja clan. During a battle with his group of Red Ninjas who were turned against him, he was assumed dead, but now it is presumed that he escaped as he is been spotted on occasion in parts all over the world in the last several years.
Cobra Command Medi-Research-Science Division:
- Dr. Venom - A Cobra scientist who played an important role in the early years of the Cobra Organization. He was killed in action and eventually replaced by Dr. Mindbender.
- Doctor Mindbender - He is responsible for the creation of Serpentor, the Cobra B.A.T., and creeper spores as well as responsible for perfecting the Brainwave Scanner. Despite his initial test of might against the G.I. Joe with his battalion of B.A.T.S and creeper spores which failed, Cobra Commander and Baroness were still impressed with his genius and brought him on-board to Cobra.
- Crystal Ball – Born the seventh son of a seventh son, the gypsies of old believe that he possessed supernatural powers. While unknown to be true, Crystal Ball could sometimes read minds, which made him a unique addition to the Cobra forces, as an interrogator of captured enemies.
- Interrogator – An enigma with an unknown identity and past. He has a unique ability to siphon information out of even the most guarded prisoner with no more than a simple conversation. It appears he uses a voice modulator built into the helmet along with trance inducing LED display. Subjects listen to his voice and get mesmerized by the flashing lights and spill their deepest secrets. If that doesn’t work, he won’t hesitate to use more extreme chemical or physical methods to get information.
- Scalpel – Scalpel received his medical degree from a mail in college found in the back of a magazine. His hands on experience came from working as a doctor’s assistant at an illegal clinic that treated gang members and other criminals. He joined Cobra for the money and the chance to work on exotic injuries and wounds. While he had a very high survival rate with his patients he treats, his nervous little giggle tends to scare patients. He has a personal grudge against G.I. Joe Sgt. Hacker for reasons he refuses to disclose.
- Medi-Viper – Medi-Viper troopers are the battlefield medics for the Cobra infantry. They are recruited by head Cobra medic Scalpel from members of various Cobra Viper forces who have demonstrated an aptitude in the medical field. Their job is basically repair-and-recycle; in other words, tend to the wounded and get them back in combat as quickly as possible.
Counter-Intelligence and Security:
- Tomax and Xamot: Crimson Guard Commanders - Twin brothers that lead the Crimson Guard and are the respectable corporate face of Cobra. When not engaged in dangerous field missions, Tomax and Xamot are in shirt and tie managing Cobra's business affairs with their extensive legal and entrepreneurial expertise. The brothers share an empathic connection, almost like a psychic bond. While this is often useful, as it allows them to communicate wordlessly and finish each others sentences, it is also a liability, as they feel each others pain during fights. Tomax and Xamot are mirror images of each other, except Xamot has a scar on the right side of his face. The twins run a corporation called Extensive Enterprises which is a legitimate business firm that masks their true criminal intent. They are also known more for their skills in the boardroom than on the battlefield.
- Crimson Guard Immortals – The Crimson Guard Immortals are fanatical super soldiers who abide by a fearsome oath of absolute obedience to their superiors. They are advanced weapon system marksmen and martial arts experts, which make them one of the most formidable fights in the Cobra legions. They typically serve as the personal bodyguards to the head snake, while others run covert operations around the country under deep cover. Many of them shadow under apparently normal occupations and frequently serve in public office.
- Crimson Guard – Initially created by Cobra Commander when he realized he needed a more subversive group of soldiers to represent him in the political, financial and judicial areas. The Guard fight most of their battles in the boardrooms and courtrooms of America rather than risking the loss of their talents on the battlefield. The Crimson Guard was eventually placed under the command of the Corsican twins, Tomax and Xamot. Crimson Guardsman must remain in top physical condition and maintain their skills off the field by undergoing a rigorous training regimen.
- Fred VII - A soldier in the Crimson Guard who temporarily impersonated Cobra Commander after fatally shooting him (or so he believed). He was killed when the real Cobra Commander made his triumphant return.
Cobra Command Ninja Commander:
- Storm Shadow or Thomas "Tommy" Arashikage - A ninja, whose heritage consists of 30 generations of ninjas, trained in martial arts who served in the military alongside future G.I. Joe operatives Snake-Eyes and Stalker. During a military patrol, a firefight broke out and Snake Eyes was seriously injured. He was ordered to leave his friend behind, but he ignored the orders and rescued Snake Eyes, saving him from certain death. He brought Snake-Eyes into his clan; the two became sword brothers. He joined Cobra with the intention of finding the man who killed his uncle, the leader of his clan. It was later revealed that Zartan and Firefly were in fact responsible, but Storm Shadow was never able to avenge his master's death. He eventually was brainwashed and began working for Cobra in earnest.
Cobra Command Ninjas:
- Satan – Any expert in archery, the Cobra Ninja is called upon for those operations where precision and supernatural cold blood is needed. The arrow in his hands transforms into a laser ray due to its range and devastating effect of his shots. Very few saw him, and even less were lucky enough to be able to describe him.
- Red Ninjas – Ruthless mercenaries who work mainly for Cobra Commander. They earn top dollar in battle because they are one of the most formidable clans of ninja warriors existing today. When Ninja Viper troopers enter a fight, they are in it until the bitter end (or unless a better offer comes along). The only defeat they have ever suffered was to G.I. Joe.
- Ninja Vipers – Recruited from the highest ranks of Cobra’s Viper Corps, the Ninja Vipers are the elite representation of ruthlessness. Only the most sinister and cunning Cobra are selected for duty as Ninja Vipers. They are all 10 level black belts in karate, jujitsu and kung fu. They are extremely obedient and always carry out their orders to perfection.
- Slice – A renegade ninja from Storm Shadow’s very own Arashikage clan. Slice developed his very own evil sword technique by observing the battle strategies of scorpions and adapting the movement into a backhand sword slash that he coined the “Scorpion Slash.” He’s an expert with all edged weapons, small hand guns and explosives, and enjoys working with the Cobra Ninja cohort, named Dice. Slice is also the pilot of the Cobra Parasite.
- Dice – Dice was once a Cobra Night Creeper, but was kicked out for being too evil. Dice partnered up with Slice, specializing in choke holds, pressure points, snares, traps, blunt instruments and eye-gouging. His primary weapon of choice is the Bo-Staff, which he can manipulate with blazing speed and bone crushing power. His most deadly move is called the “Flying Dragon.” He pilots the Cobra Rat.
- Night Creeper Leader – Cobra Commander entered into a contract with a syndicate of high-tech ninjas led by a mysterious man only known by the name of Aleph. He conducted all field intelligence and covert operations for Cobra. All investigations into his origin and the backgrounds of the Night Creepers have run into dead ends.
- Night Creepers – These vicious ninjas conduct all field intelligence and covert operations for Cobra. If provoked in any way, even by other Cobra members, they are known to react without mercy. They are generally regarded as having the scruples of a Wall Street stock manipulator, the lethal skills of a master martial artist, and the stealthy talents of a cat burglar.
Cobra Command Android Force Commander:
- Overkill – Overkill began as an experimental prototype for the 3 version of the B.A.T.S but because of his advanced micro-computers and enhanced tactical logic programs, the cost projections were too high for profitable mass production. Because of his advancement, Cobra Commander decided to utilize him as a battlefield commander for the android troopers. Cobra Commander got the idea to add a voice synthesizer program to repeat demoralizing slogans at ear shattering volumes. Overkill’s primary job is to operate the destructive Cobra Earthquake assault vehicle.
Cobra Command Android Force:
- B.A.T.S – B.A.T.S were considered the perfect Cobra trooper as they never question orders, will never surrender and require no leave-time, sick-pay or benefits of any kind and they are cheap and easy to replace. However they do not adapt to changes in field conditions, nor do they discriminate between targets. They will shoot at anything that moves, be it friend, foe, or animal. They also have a defect that causes them to burst into flames when hit from behind.
- B.A.A.T.S – Battle Armored Android Troopers were totally artificial robotic troopers with primitive logic circuits. They could sustain enormous amounts of damage and still continue with their mission objectives. The new B.A.A.T.s has been re-designed with less artificial intelligence than before because their circuits have been modified for weapons and assault capabilities only. Battle destruction and elimination of G.I. Joe forces were the only parameters programmed into the circuitry of these walking tanks. Due to their primitive programming and trigger happy circuitry, they can become confused during battles and fire at anything that moves, including other B.A.A.T.s
Cobra Command Naval Force Commander:
- Copperhead – Copperhead was the primary Water Moccasin Pilot and was promoted to Naval Force Commander. While his birthplace is unknown, it is assumed he is native to or otherwise intimately familiar with the Florida Everglades. Background information shows that he raced speedboats in high stakes races in Monaco and Japan. As an obsessive gambler, odds are he started betting on his own races and sold his services to Cobra in hopes of paying off his debts to bookies.
Cobra Command Naval Force:
- Bio Vipers – Bio-Vipers were once a battalion of ordinary Cobra Eels, until they underwent a DNA experimentation designed and conducted by Dr. Mindbender. Dr. Mindbender bio-genetically cross the Eels with an assortment of the ocean’s deadliest predators, turning them into ferocious monsters. Sandpaper skin like a shark, razor-sharp teeth of a piranha, and the strength of a giant squid. They became so out of control and unpredictable that Dr. Mindbender had to add computer integrated body and brain implants to control them.
- Eels – The underwater demolitions specialist for the Cobra organization. They man and operate the Cobra marine outposts disguised as off shore drilling rigs and augment the crews of larger Cobra naval vessels. They often pilot Wave Crushers in combat.
- Hydro-Vipers – Hydro-Vipers are qualified Eels who volunteer to be surgically altered to withstand nitrogen narcosis and other side effects associated with deep diving. They also have synthetic webs between their fingers and chemicals injections to provide natural insulation.
- Ice-Vipers – Ice Vipers are the mechanized branch of the Snow Serpents, both of which must first qualify as Cobra Eels. They must undergo additional training of Techno-Vipers and be prepared to service and repair their own vehicles in harsh arctic environments. They are the pilots of the Cobra WOLF (Winter Operational Light Fighting) vehicle.
- Lampreys – Lampreys protect and defend all of Cobra’s coastal and underwater outposts, including Cobra Island. Because of the importance of their job and missions, each Lamprey is hand-picked, highly trained and formidably equipped. Lampreys are armed with rapid recycling squad laser weapons and 9mm pistols and machine guns, specially modified for amphibious use. They tend to pilot the Cobra Hydrofoil Moray and the Man-O-War submersible.
- Morays – Moray is the codename for the Cobra’s elite underwater forces. They are hand selected from the best and meanest of the Cobra Eels. The Morays are genetically reconstructed to increase their strength and improve their underwater abilities. Using these enhancements, the Morays can go where the Eels can’t and can carry out worse acts of sabotage. Often times they will pilot the Cobra Mantis Sub.
- Sea Slugs – Sea Slugs are qualified in underwater demolitions, small vessel tactics and a wide range of underwater technology. Their training focuses on the use of the Sea Ray submersible and its variants. They train for 3 main scenarios: river sand ports, Deep Ocean and Arctic campaigns.
- Secto-Vipers – The Secto-Vipers are the dedicated marine security patrol forces for Cobra Island. They pilot Cobra Buggs and are specialized in amphibious operations and shoreline surveillance. They are assigned a specific quadrant and are required to learn and know every square inch of it as well as the topology of the ocean floor that coincides with it. They also have extensive knowledge of all marine craft in use by the world’s armed forces and know their strengths and weaknesses.
- Sub Vipers – The Sub Vipers are Cobras underwater infiltration and sabotage team. They pilot Wave Crashers to travel underwater and conduct their missions. They are more comfortable in the dark, muddy, frigid deep ocean than they are on dry land. They are mine experts which makes them extremely dangerous around harbors and marine warfare.
- Undertow – The Undertow soldier, part of Destro’s Iron Grenadiers, is trained to function in the murky, polluted waters of military and industrial ports and waterways. They wear a wetsuit made of non-toxic, anti-corrosive material. Their facemasks are coated with a special silicone to protect against hostile biological agents and infections.
Cobra Command Armored Force Commander:
- Overlord – Overlord earned his way up through the ranks of Cobra’s elite forces. He is a power hungry authoritarian hell-bent on becoming the supreme ruler of Cobra. He is a sinister individual who demands complete loyalty from his troops and has the strength and charisma of a leader. Those under his leadership tend to be more dangerous and more vicious than ever. His personal attack vehicle is the Cobra Dictator which is a tank/hovercraft.
Cobra Command Armored Force:
- Rip it – Rip It is the Cobra Chief heavy equipment operation and tank battalion commander. He is a talented and skilled individual that has no allies. Some Cobra troops consider him a coward because he unleashes his barrage of attacks while safely enshrouded within his HISS tank, but he is an utterly vicious comrade.
- Decimators – Due to the sandy beach that circumvents Cobra Island, a special vehicle needed to be designed to handle shallow coastal waters, sand and scrub vegetation. The Cobra Hammerhead is just that vehicle, and it is piloted by the Decimator. The Decimator wears a helmet with wide-angle, image-intensifier unit built in that provides 180 degree view in almost complete darkness.
- HISS Drivers – Cobra HISS drivers are selected from the best and most devious of Cobra’s thousands of yearly recruits. Every Cobra HISS driver is a graduate of Cobra Battle School - Advanced Weapons Systems and experts with Cobra assault vehicles and helicopters.
- Nitro Vipers – Cobra Detonators were the new elite tanks of the Cobra forces. They featured the latest in laser targeting, computerized GPS, and smart missile technology and were designed by Destro’s armament factory and required extremely skilled pilots who are the Nitro Vipers. In later years the Detonators were replaced with the Steel Crusher A.P.V which became the latest in the high-tech Cobra fleet. The Nitro Vipers are fast, aggressive operators who can expertly navigate narrow streets and rough cross-country terrain with easy and complete disregard for anything in their path.
- Motor Vipers – The Motor-Viper Corps attracts the type of person who, without the benefit of an education and ambition, might have joined the Dreadnoks. The Motor-Viper is one that enjoys driving at high speeds and is amused by the dangerous lifestyle. Their vehicle of choice is the Cobra Stun.
- Stinger Drivers – Stinger drivers are front-line fighters who lead Cobra attack units into battle from their Cobra Stinger 4-WD vehicle. Cobra troopers that get noticed, get lucky and are selected for higher ranks which put them in the driver’s seat of a prime attack vehicle like the Stinger. They are trained in ultra-aggressive drive tactics to prepare for battles that range from urban sprawls to remote wilderness.
- Track Vipers – Once the HISS tank was upgraded to the HISS II, the drivers needed to update their training as well and with that came a new name, Track Viper. The new HISS II means the Track Viper can single-handedly, drive the vehicle, lock on to targets, and operate the weapons system all within a climate controlled cockpit that has excellent visibility without any blind spots.
- W.O.R.M.S. – WORMS are self-propelled artillery specialists of the Cobra ground fleet and are cross-trained within their entire specialty. Any WORM can man any position on a Cobra Maggot, be it pilot, gunner, loader or mechanic. To operate a maggot to full capacity, it requires a crew of 4, but can maintain battle capability with a crew of 2.
Cobra Command Special Forces Commander:
- Armadilha – A former African guerrilla, Armadilha knows everything about traps and ambushes. One of his pleasures is to hear the hair-raising sound of bones breaking when someone gets caught in one of his masterful creations. Even Cobra personnel are terrified of him and his traps. Nobody has seen him without a helmet, vest and uniform on.
Cobra Command Special Forces:
- Alley Vipers – The Alley Vipers are Cobra’s equivalent of an S.W.A.T. unit or British S.A.S. They are the spearhead of Cobra’s inner-city invasion forces. These elite marauders are brutal, ruthless and extremely diabolical. They will not hesitate to use any form of treachery needed to achieve their goals. In order to pass their training to become an Alley Viper, they must endure a full burst of machine gun first across their frontal body armor, leap down a 30 foot drop onto concrete with full combat gear and run down a hundred meter gas-filled tunnel without a gas mask.
- Range Vipers – Range-Vipers are assigned the long-term operations deep within enemy territory, completely isolated from communications or supplies. They have an abnormally high tolerance for discomfort and can survive on a diet of snakes, grubs, roots, berries, nuts and anything else they can scavenge up. They build shelters out of indigenous materials and obtain ammo and supplies by conducting hit and run raids on enemy outposts.
- Shadow Vipers – How Shadow Vipers get in and out of places detected is a mystery to anyone, but they do and they leave their mark of devastation behind. They are expert computer hackers and camouflage, disguise and concealment professionals. They also utilize a special powder that makes then virtually invisible to radar and infra-red sensors for up to 24 hours, which is plenty of time to infiltrate and ravage any facility and steal any secrets they may come across.
- Snow Serpents – Snow Serpents are the Arctic specialist branch of Cobra. They are specially trained and equipped to handle extremely frigid temperatures. Each one is airborne qualified and licensed to operate the entire fleet of Polar attack vehicles. They train by marching 50 miles in full gear then swim in sub-zero ice flow just for fun. This makes them the most formidable Arctic fighters.
Cobra Command Trainer:
- Big Boa – Cobra Troopers can be a disorderly and disruptive bunch on occasion. They aren’t motivated by patriotism, unit loyalty, honor or sense of duty. It takes a brutal, unsympathetic taskmaster to crack the whip them into fighting shape and Big Boa is the man for this task. His voice booms, he has fists the size of mallets and the demeanor of an angry bear.
Cobra Command Infantry Force:
- Cobra Officers – Cobra Officers, officers in name only, are front-line fighters who lead Cobra attack units into battle. They are all martial arts experts, masters of disguise and demolitions specialists. Many of them double as spies at military defense plants, nuclear power facilities, etc.
- C.L.A.W.S. – The CLAWS (Combat Light Armored Weapons Specialist) are the newer elite troops of the Cobra organization. They are lightly armored heavy weapons specialists that can take a long of punishment and dish out even more. They utilize a new lightweight, ionized fiber armor which was developed from stolen U.S. Army technology. They can move quickly and take out large targets and vehicles. Many of them also pilot the Cobra Fang 3 and the Venom Striker.
- Desert C.L.A.W.S. – The Desert CLAWS are like the regular CLAWS, except they also have added technology to help them survive the hottest, driest parts of the world. They armor has the added function of heat-deflection insulation and a body cooling system.
- Cobra Troopers – These are the very basic, bottom of the totem pole soldiers in the Cobra forces. This is where almost every Cobra soldier starts out. The number of new recruits per year is massive, reaching into the tens of thousands. They go through a very basic training and are provided with their uniform and gear and then grouped up into reasonably cohesive teams.
- Cyber Vipers – Cyber-Vipers have bio cybernetic implants, designed by Dr. Mindbender, which allow them to interface with computerized systems like the extremely advanced Cobra Deviant Mobile Mech Suit. This allows them to operate the suit as an extension of their own body. They are also the commanders of the Mega-Monsters and keep them under control.
- Desert Scorpion – Desert Scorpions are not a volunteer position, it is a punishment handed to a Viper that refuses to follow orders. To survive they must quickly adapt to the attack patterns of the venomous desert scorpions with which they live. They get a re-evaluation after a year and if their record is unblemished they will be reinstated to their previous rank. They fight hard because they know if they don’t they will be forced into the Toxo-Vipers, the Cobra Hostile Environment Detachment.
- Fast Blast Vipers – Fast Blast Vipers are deployed to lead attacks with destroying G.I. Joe as their objective. They are armed with specially designed battlefield bazooka, and have a computer chip implanted into their brain to neutralize any fear-like emotions and enhance their aggression.
- Flak-Vipers – The Flak-Viper is a portable anti-aircraft artillery weapons specialist. Their helmets have a passive infrared targeting and sighting system, and the Flak-Viper has exceptional natural hand-eye coordination and the skills to concentrate on multiple targets simultaneously. Flak-Vipers train daily to maintain their effectiveness which allows them to fire extremely accurate missiles at enemy aircraft with absolute impunity.
- Frag-Vipers – The Frag-Viper is an important part of the Cobra Viper team. They are trained to toss high-explosive fragmentation grenades, at a pace of 15 rounds per minute, with the range and accuracy of Rocket Propelled Grenade launchers, but without the noise and added hassle of the launcher itself. They were insect looking goggles which contain electo-optical image-intensifiers that provide both infrared and night vision capabilities. Their helmet has a built in range-finder and automatically varies the fuse time on the grenades to accommodate each designated target.
- H.E.A.T. Vipers – HEAT (High Explosive Anti-Tank) Viper specialist are equipped with the latest in hyper-kinetic, high-speed, wire-guided, armor-piercing technology. The sighting system is fiber-optically connected to the helmet, which computes range-finding, trajectory and image acquisition. This allows the HEAT Viper to fire their weapon from behind the protection of cover and in adverse weather conditions.
- Incinerators – Incinerators are exactly what they sound like; they are flame-weapon and arson specialists. They are equipped with state-of-the-art fluorocarbon propellant flame projectors which shoot out burning streams of jellied gasoline. They are completed covered from head toe in fire-resistant, air-conditioned fighting suit.
- Laser Vipers – Laser Viper troopers’ primary function is “target illumination” targeting for other Cobra Viper units. The Cobra Laser Viper places his beam on a target then squeezes off a laser-guided anti-tank missile that uses the beam to locate its target. This beam also works the same way for many of the other Viper troops.
- Mega-Vipers – Mega-Vipers are the spearhead of the Cobra Mega-Monsters, and they go right into the thick of battles with the Monsters. Commands for the Monsters are issued by Dr. Mindbender or Cyber-Vipers, but it’s the skilled tactics of the Mega-Vipers who train and lead the Monsters on their attack missions.
- Monstro-Vipers – Monstro-Vipers were once members of the Cobra Range Vipers, until Cobra Commander demanded they “volunteer” for an experiment in DNA alteration. The experiment was run by Dr. Mindbender who crossed the Vipers with the bio-genetics of rapid werewolves, giant “Bigfoot” creatures, and the most vicious grizzly bears. The fusion process leaves them ¼ man and ¾ beast, the most brutal beasts to ever roam the earth.
- Neo Viper Commander – He is the leader of the Neo-Viper forces, the troops that make up the backbone of the Cobra legions. Extremely mean, unquestionably loyal and willing to backstab anyone it takes to get ahead, he trains the Neo-Vipers in all forms of combat and has them ready to deploy immediately when needed. He is outfitted with techno-engineering to withstand all types of severe weather elements, same as all Neo-Viper troops.
- Neo Vipers – Neo-Vipers are cold-blooded commandos whose mental states have been enhanced to change them into superhuman warriors. They are suited up in armored climate-controlled outfit, which allows them to function in extreme environments. They train in deep battle tactics, survival procedures, and high-tech weapon-systems management. They are aggressive, ferocious, sneaky, yet practical enough to know when to retreat tactically.
- Night Vipers – Night Viper troops wear specialized gear for nighttime operations, such as a helmet that is a miracle of electronics-miniaturization. Their helmets have a wide-angle image intensifier, directional sound amplifier and passive infrared detector, assisting them in quickly locating enemies via sight and sound with immaculate accuracy. They wear customized synthetic composite suits to conceal them from radar and they are skilled and trained in perpetually dark environments.
- S.A.W. Vipers – The Cobra SAW Viper soldier is equipped with a gyro-stabilized, cryogenically cooled mini-chain gun with infrared night-vision auto-ranging optical sighting system. This means they have a highly accurate, low malfunctioning machine gun that can tear apart a target in heavy brush over 800 yards away in pitch black darkness.
- Sludge Viper – The Sludge Viper never runs out of ammo, since his sludge gun has a built in decomposition accelerator which can create more toxic sludge out of whatever is readily available. The sludge gun propels the toxic sludge at lethal velocities with noxious methane gases. The gun also features a laser range finder, 3 gen image intensifier and phased magnetic array, sludge guidance system.
- Techno-Vipers – Techno Vipers are Cobras battlefield technicians. It is inevitable that the vehicles and machines used in these modern battles will break down and when they do it is the mission of the Techno-Vipers to provide field maintenance support and combat-engineer capability to the frontline Cobra troops. They maintain and operate Cobra Power Fighter units on the battlefield so they can help with the battle while out in the field until they are needed for technician duties.
- Tele-Vipers – Tele-Vipers are the communications gurus of the Cobra organization. Their understanding of communications equipment and protocols covers all conveyance technology from SatCom to VHF and they relay information and conduct ultra-sensitive surveillance and espionage.
- Toxo-Vipers – Originally the Toxo-Vipers were referred to as the “Leaky Suit Brigade”, and assignment to them was considered severe punishment. While the new Toxo-Vipers sport top quality state-of-the-art equipment, which greatly increases their survival ratio, it is still considered a punishment as they have to deal with intensely toxic sludge.
- Toxo-Zombies – Toxo-Zombies are the result of Toxo-Vipers who suffered prolonged constant exposure to the worst chemical wastes. The radioactive byproducts and toxic sludge have mutated them into vile deformed zombies. They are not really alive, but not dead either, somewhere in-between.
- Vipers – Cobra Viper commandos carry out extremely dangerous and deadly missions. They attack convoys and other military patrols. They are supported by advanced vehicles and weapons which they use to ruthlessly bombard their targets. They wear multi-layered body armor and wrap around helmets with built-in communication gear. They also carry multi-burst laser pistols, commando rifles and grenade launchers.
Cobra Command Air Force Commander:
- Wild Weasel – Wild Weasel learned his flying skills while running Cobra operations in every hemisphere in the world. He has extensive knowledge of close support aircraft ranging from jury-rigged civilian conversions to state-of-the-art flying weapons platforms. His main battlefield strategy is to swoop in with his Cobra Rattler and take out enemy armored vehicles to reduce the opposition for Cobra ground forces. When he gets into the cockpit of the Night Adder he goes looking for trouble just so he can open fire with the side guns and launch of massive array of missiles at any G.I. Joe aircraft unlucky enough to invade his airspace.
Cobra Command Air Force:
- Aero-Vipers – Aero-Vipers are not surgically or bio-organically altered like Strato-Vipers and Star-Vipers; they lift weights and learn to take the pressure from g-forces and hard aircraft maneuvers. In the 90’s they piloted the then advanced technology Cobra Condor Z-25 which had forward swept wings and computer driven servo-actuators which allowed it to perform a turning radius roughly half that of an F-16. Currently they are combat and reconnaissance pilots that are trained in stealth and evasion tactics to conduct clandestine operations using the most advanced stealth jets, the Crimson Hydra.
- Air Devils – Air Devils are front-line stealth assault air commandos that are highly trained in unorthodox combat styles and dirty fighting. They use Cobra Gliders to silently fly past enemy defenses to penetrate deep behind the lines to wreak havoc from within. They are lightly armed due to weight restrictions, but they can procure heavier weapons and ammunition from enemy forces they sneak up on and overtake.
- Astro-Vipers – Astro-Vipers are Cobranauts whose mission is to maintain and repair satellite surveillance technology. Astro-Vipers are the only ones qualified besides TARGATS for duty in the voids of space. As Cobra’s network of “eyes-in-the-sky” grows, so does the demand for more technicians capable of being Cobranauts, whom need to be able to withstand repeated high-G launching and extensive tours of duty in orbit. They are recruited from the ranks of the Strato-Vipers.
- A.V.A.C. – The AVAC (Air Viper, Advanced Class) is a Cobra Firebat Jet pilot who has been specially trained and has exceptional pilot and navigation skills. They need these skills as the Firebat has minimal pilot instrumentation. Piloting a Firebat has been described as strapping yourself onto a cannonball, as it is vertically launched for takeoff and only contains a basic flight panel, throttle, pedals and stick, no navigation and no ejection seat.
- Blackstars – Cobra Commander has formed an alliance with a secretive legion of space pilots called Blackstar. Their origin is unknown, but they are the best at what they do. They have incredible agility in zero-gravity environments and can engage in stellar dogfights. As no one has ever seen a Blackstar up close, there are questions as to whether or not they are even human.
- Gyro-Vipers – Gyro-Vipers are the pilots of the Cobra Mamba which are smaller, faster attack helicopters with very little armor. Gyro-Vipers are fast, decisive thinkers with even quicker reactions. They describe helicopter flying as operating a yo-yo with your left hand while spinning a pie plate on the tip of your right index finger while you balance full glasses of water on top of both feet. Now piloting an attack helicopter is like doing all that while riding a 12 point buck through the woods during hunting season.
- Night Vultures – Night Vultures are like Air Devils, they use Cobra Gliders to insert themselves covertly and conduct recon missions. As part of their training, they are dropped from a transport miles from land over shark-infested waters. Those who make it back earn the Night Vulture badge and earn the right to keep the personal effects of those who “drop-out.”
- Sky Creeper – Sky Creeper created his first glider out of bed sheets and broom sticks and used it to successfully escape reform school. His criminal career consists of robbing fancy rooftop restaurant patrons and then escaping by jumping off and gliding off into the darkness. Sky Creeper was recruited by one of the Dreadnoks during a prison stint, he formed the Night Vultures, which he commands.
- Star-Vipers – A Star-Viper is a qualified Cobra Strato-Viper with an electro-magnetic shunt implanted into the brain which stimulates the reflexes while heightening awareness for split second decisions. This is necessary during the high-speed, upper-atmospheric dog fights they take part in. Early on they piloted the Cobra Stellar Stiletto, which could fly at Mach speeds and was equipped with laser guns and deep space missiles. Currently they fly the Sand Serpent which is an experimental aircraft designed by M.A.R.S. Industries; and employs stealth technology so it can bombard aerial and ground forces.
- Strato-Vipers – The Strato-Vipers are the “crème de la crème” of the Air-Vipers. A Strato-Viper candidate must have 1,500 hours of flight time logged, a fixed wing rating of at least 4 engines, combat experience and an impeccable security clearance. They must also be willing to undergo a surgical enhancement that makes them resistant to hypoxia, hyperventilation and other decompression illnesses that affect pilots above 63,000 feet. They pilot the fast and stealthy Cobra Night Raven.
- Vapor – Vapor is an unbeatable sky warrior who pilots the Cobra Hurricane VTOL tactical fighter. He has direct shunts from his optic nerve to his inboard targeting computers. All data is projected to his helmet’s field of vision screen. He also utilizes an advanced laser-powered, heads-up-display target locator which can control and fire the weapons by simple voice commands.
- Kwinn - An Inuit mercenary who only appeared in the first year of the comic book. A mercenary with a strong code of honor, he had previously worked for the CIA, Mossad, MI6, and the KGB, and worked with Cobra in Sierra Gordo. He would later renounce his life as a mercenary, only to be betrayed and killed by Dr. Venom. A hidden grenade then slays Venom.
- Blackout - Sniper Thomas J. Stall was rejected by G.I. Joe for failing his psychological exam and was suspected of being involved with the disappearance of his sister. After being imprisoned, Thomas broke out of a brig at Fort Huachuca during an attack by Cobra, to whom he surrendered willingly and subsequently joined.
Cobra’s primary base is Cobra Island. Cobra is said to have bases, underground cells and even whole communities scattered across the globe. Following are several specific locations with names:
- Springfield - A small anonymous U.S. town was the first entirely Cobra controlled town, which Cobra secretly operated as a base. Cobra stored a lot of equipment and vehicles there; many home garages had military vehicles such as tanks inside. Many covert operations were held there, including the creation of Serpentor, which in turn directly led to the town's population being evacuated to Cobra Island after the Battle for Springfield, took place.
- Broca Beach, New Jersey – Broca is an anagram of Cobra. After Springfield, Cobra overtook another town as their secret base of operations in America. This one was transformed from an abandoned seaside town and was run by the Dreadnoks with the help of multiple Cobra operatives. The displaced residents of the destroyed Springfield town were relocated here.
- Delhi Hills – After a rough mission campaign, G.I. Joes Rock’N’Roll, Alpine, Bazooka and Mutt meet up for a little R&R at a small town bar. They later discover that the bar and the whole town are inhabited by Cobra affiliates. They get captured, later escape, and by time they return with reinforcements all evidence Cobra was there has been eliminated.
- Castle Destro - Destro's fortress in Scotland. Training ground for the Iron Grenadiers. During a feud between Destro and Cobra Commander it was destroyed by Cobra Commander, and a new castle was presumably reconstructed some years later.
- Cobra Citadel also known as the Silent Castle - Cobra's base of operations in the Balkan regions, located in Trans-Carpathia. Owned primarily by Destro, he incorporated many secret passageways and features into the castle's architecture including the ability to shift its configuration (through a complex series of levels, pulleys, and gears) into a near-exact likeness of Castle Destro - both internally and externally. Cobra Commander initially gave up the rights to the castle to Destro, but he later decided he wanted it back as it was rather close to his operations in Darklonia.
- Cobra Consulate - A towering high-rise in New York City used by Cobra as an embassy and base of operations after Cobra Island was declared a sovereign nation. Its top levels were destroyed in a battle with G.I. Joe, and the building was abandoned by Cobra for some time (save for a few late-night top-secret meetings).
- Cobra Island - The primary base of Cobra operations located somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico. It was created after a massive man-made earthquake. Cobra lawyers, well-prepared, moved in and had it legally declared a sovereign nation. It was the battlefield for the Cobra Civil War, and the battle against Serpentor and ' the Coil'. After Cobra abandoned it for several years, the island was seized by the U.N. It then came under the control of the Coil, then Cobra, and was finally destroyed by a nuclear warhead, which also killed every member of the Coil.
- Millville – An industrial-heavy steel town that fell into economic ruin after the closing of the local plant. When Cobra descends literally invading them one day, the residents are immediately subjugated to a brainwashing device, leading to the formation of a local resistance with the help of Mutt and Spirit.
- Monolith Base - A massive mountain complex located in Badhikistan. It served as Cobra's main base after Cobra Island was taken over by Serpentor and his Coil forces.
Animated Television Series