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Cobra

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cobra_logo.jpg
An outlaw Syndicate seeking to garner power through subterfuge, terrorism, and extortion; Cobra serves as the Arch-Enemy of the G.I. Joe team.

In General

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  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot:
    • In the cartoon, whenever Battle Android Troopers were deployed, there was uncertainty as to whether they could properly distinguish friend from foe.
    • In the comic, Revanche answers the question: What if the Borg decided to go into business as a Private Military Contractor?
  • Army of Lawyers: The Joes actually consider them scarier than Cobra's stormtroopers.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: While the Joe ninjas are practically Jedi, Red Ninjas and Night Creepers are little more than cannon fodder for them. Named Cobra ninjas, in particular Storm Shadow, tend to put up a better fight.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous:
    • A Crimson Guardsman, Cobra Officer, or a specialized Viper will often command smaller units of "Regulars", and occasionally serve as The Heavy for specific storylines.
      Viper: Crimson elite? Hmph. We do all the work.
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    • Strato-Vipers have let this go to their head, to the point that they pull rank on other Cobra pilots... including Wild Weasel. Unsurprisingly, even their own pit crews tend to hate them.
  • The Empire: In all but name, at one point having their own sovereign island nation and a diplomatic presence in New York.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: Their ranks are as diverse as the Joes. Inversely, they have no overt prejudices on who they enslave.
  • Expy: The organization as a whole is one of Hydra, initially, as the original ARAH comic was born out of Larry Hama's Fury Force concept.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The Vipers.
  • N.G.O. Superpower
  • Praetorian Guard: The Crimson Guard serve as this for Cobra Commander.
  • Private Military Contractors: The Iron Grenadiers and the Night Creepers. Sometimes Cobra itself markets itself as one in an attempt to sell itself as a Villain with Good Publicity.
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  • Psycho Rangers: The Python Patrol and The Plague are the Evil Counterparts to the Tiger Force and the Night Force, respectively.
  • Punishment Detail: The Toxo-Viper Corps. Few see the appeal of working with hazardous materials in cheaply made armor of dubious quality.
    Cesspool: One of the distinct disadvantages of being in the "Leaky Suit Brigade": The suit they give you is as worthless as a politician's promise.
  • Weird Trade Union: When Cobra Commander decides to reconfigure his organization, relying on the Red Shadows, Night Creepers, and Revanche to do most of his dirty work, disgruntled Cobra Freelancers (Destro, Baroness, Zartan, the Dreadnoks, the Crimson Twins, Cesspool, Big Boa, Metalhead, Slice, Dice, and Crystal Ball) essentially unionize and force him to negotiate a new business arrangement with them.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: In the comics, one of Cobra's bases is “a nice little town called Springfield,” a Stepford Suburbia Town with a Dark Secret somewhere in the United States. It’s become something of a Running Gag, especially given that since there are so many Springfields, there may be more than one with a Cobra base.
    General #1: Springfield? Which one? There must be one Springfield in every State of the Union.
    General #2: One? I'll bet there are some states with two or three.

Cobra Commander

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ccmdr6.gif
Click here to see his battle helmet 

The Big Bad of the franchise. Sometimes he is the scion from some bizarre ancient civilization, a used car salesman who lost everything and became insane, a renegade European ex-soldier/scientist, or the Baroness' younger brother. Whatever the case, Cobra Commander lusts for world domination above all else. He is hatred and terror personified (well... except in the 80s cartoon), and really hates G.I. Joe.

  • Aborted Arc: Cobra Commander spends the latter part of season 2 crafting an elaborate plan to dethrone Serpentor. The final episode of the season sees most of the Cobra forces returning to Cobra Commander and Serpentor realizing what is going on. The movie ignores all of this, instead seemingly picking up where "Arise Serpentor, Arise!" left off.note 
    • If Sunbow's third season had been greenlit, they would have picked up on this a bit more: Cobra Commander would have been restored to a humanoid appearance by the supporters he acquired at the end of season 2 (adopting the battle armor from his third figure as his new costume), only to discover that Cobra had splintered into smaller syndicates - most notably M.A.R.S. (Destro's organization) and the Crimson Coil (led by Tomax and Xamot). He would have gone to work re-unifying them into a cohesive whole.
  • Abusive Parents: In the comics, he is rather abusive to his son Billy.
  • Adaptational Badass: He is much more competent and deadly in Sigma 6, Resolute, Renegades.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: In G.I. Joe: The Movie, he's a member of the Cobra-La race with light blue skin.
  • Badass Mustache: Usually had one in the Marvel comics on the few occasions he was unmasked, paired with a ponytail and mirrored sunglasses (usually Lennon Specs). Larry Hama has indicated this is a disguise and not his actual appearance.
  • Bald of Evil: Several continuities and works depict him as bald underneath the hood, most notably G.I. Joe: The Movie, the live-action movies, and G.I. Joe: Renegades.
  • Baleful Polymorph: In G.I. Joe: The Movie, where he ends up being devolved into a giant snake by Golobulus.
  • Big Bad: He's the leader of Cobra, making him the ultimate evil, at least technically. He gets downgraded to being The Dragon to Serpentor in the second season of the Sunbow version of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, but he becomes Cobra's leader again in the DiC continuation after being restored to human(oid) form and turning Serpentor into an iguana.
  • The Blank: When wearing his featureless reflective mask, it looks as if he doesn't have a face.
  • Buried Alive: The invasion of the Pit following the Battle of Springfield led to this for the Commander and Destro; they got out thanks to finding a Drill Tank Escape Pod. Happens again when he's shot by Fred VII and buried in a shallow grave; thankfully for the Commander, Fred VIII was spying on VII and got him out in time.
  • Butt-Monkey: In the 80s cartoon. Even compared to his contemporaries, such as Skeletor, Shredder, and Megatron, all whom are infamous for their ineptitude, he's somehow an even bigger failure than them all combined.
  • Captain Ersatz: Given the comic was essentially a tweaking of Larry Hama's "Fury Force" pitch to Marvel, he was very much Baron Zemo. The hood (which was an invention of the comic) clinches it.
  • Catch Phrase: "Cobra, retreat!"
    • During the movie, Cobra Commander repeatedly screams "I was once a man!" as he transforms into a snake. In the IDW series, he uses this phrase quite frequently, although he is now figuratively referring to how he threw aside his humanity to become a terrorist.
  • Chekhov's Skill: In the Marvel comic, he tells Destro that one of the first tricks he learned after turning to crime was hot-wiring cars. A useful skill to have when you need to jack a vehicle for a quick escape.
  • Composite Character: In the European Action Force continuity, the old Big Bad, Baron Ironblood, decides to abandon the Red Shadows and build Cobra instead, and Ironblood became Cobra Commander.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: In Renegades, he is Adam DeCrobray, CEO of Cobra Industries. He's just as evil as ever.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: In the 80s cartoons, although generally portrayed as inept and imbecilic, his plans were often very dangerous, to the point that sheer luck was several times the only thing that saved the Joes. At the end of the "Arise, Serpentor, Arise!" mini-series, he actually saves the Cobra leaders from the Joes and uses this to talk Serpentor into keeping him around as The Dragon, as opposed to killing him.
  • Demoted to Dragon: Only in the Sunbow run of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, where Serpentor usurps him as leader of Cobra. The DiC continuation began with Cobra Commander taking control of Cobra back from Serpentor after being restored to his human(oid) form by the Baroness.
  • Depending on the Artist: Cobra Commander has two main looks—the full metal helmet with a featureless mirrored faceplate and a veil mask resembling an executioner's hood. Both were used in the comics and the cartoons, and there's no real rhyme or reason about why he changes it, except that the helmet may have some practicality in battle.
    • He spent most of the very first issue of the ARAH comic in his hood, which he refers to as a ceremonial piece, before donning his "battle helmet" to confront the Joes. After his return to Cobra in issue #98, though, he almost exclusively wore the hood, with helmets only appearing as part of a Powered Armor set.
    • Hasbro themselves seemed to favor the hood- the original 1982 action figure and it's 1983 swivel-arm release had the helmet, 1984 released the figure with the hood. Hasbro did not release another helmeted version until 2003- in between then it was either the hood, battle armor or a gimmick uniform. Just to clarify this, the original figure is considered V1, while the second helmeted figure is V15, placing 13 figures in between them.
    • Sigma 6 blended the two looks, pairing the hood with an open-faced barbute.
      • Larry Hama stated that the difference between the two was entirely dependent upon the situation. The hood was for ceremonial purposes, when meeting with troops or other members of the Cobra High Command. The helmet was for combat purposes. This wasn't carried over to the cartoon, where he switched out between the two looks, sometimes between scenes.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Due to being a wanted terrorist leader for an world-wide organization, he uses whatever means in his disposal to achieve world domination.
  • Dirty Coward: Maybe not dirty, but he definitely had the coward part down in the cartoon.
  • Empty Shell: In G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers: The Art of War, the Commander takes over the body of Serpentor Prime, but it short-circuits when Hawk accesses the Autobot Matrix of Leadership and its knowledge is passed to him. The Commander's mind is trapped in a non-functioning robot body, while his human one is light-years away, in a catatonic state.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: In contrast to his callous murder of his own son in the Devil's Due continuity, the IDW continuation of the Marvel Comics continuity depicts him as actually distraught by the news that his son was killed by the Blue Ninjas, to the point that he ends up consumed by the desire to destroy the Blue Ninjas to avenge his son's death.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In the cartoon series, Cobra Commander doesn't allow the sale of drugs.
    • Nor in the comics, as he hijacked a top-secret US laser installation to blow up a drug shipment to get back at the dealer who was operating in the Cobra-owned town of Broca Beach.
  • Evil Counterpart: In the early issues, Cobra Commander fancies himself as General Flagg's counterpart. This angle is obviously dropped after Flagg's death.
  • Evil Genius/Mad Scientist: In many incarnations (including the 80's cartoon) it's obliquely shown that he has a scientific background, and it seems he designs at least some of his wacky toys himself, although like Fu Manchu he spends all his screen time kidnapping other scientists or relying on Dr. Mindbender instead of doing his own work. He's much more explicitly a Mad Scientist in the live-action film.
  • Evil Laugh: A high-pitched, raspy shrieking guffaw that he eagerly belts out when it looks like he's winning.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: The live-action movies take this route, most animated adaptations generally attempt to replicate Chris Latta's higher, screechier takenote . Larry Hama has said he envisioned the Commander sounding like Orson Welles.
  • Evil Wears Black: In his He's Back moment (see below), he's wearing a black version of his original ornate blue uniform, with matching hood. Other versions have worn black outfits as well.
  • Explosive Anti-Tampering Mechanism: His helmet has an anti-tampering mechanism that will detonate plastic explosive in it if it's given the incorrect combination to open it, or someone tries to tamper with the helmet's lock. When Snake Eyes detonates it in issue 13 of Transformers vs. G.I. Joe, it leaves the Commander's head a Pink Mist as he's Killed Off for Real
  • The Faceless: He usually wears either a faceplate and helmet or a blue (or sometimes black) hood with eye cutouts.
  • Facial Horror:
    • In the 80s cartoon, at least, there's a reason he wears a mask. This is hinted at "Lights! Camera! Cobra!" when Destro walks in on Cobra Commander eating and is horrified to the point of turning his face and demanding the Commander put his mask back on, at which point Cobra Commander taunts that it takes a strong stomach to watch him eat. G.I. Joe: The Movie shows exactly what is under the hood; about a dozen Extra Eyes, all serpentine in appearance, scattered asymmetrically over his face. In the official "series two" to the 80s cartoons, even after being restored to humanoid form, he retains a reptilian appearance, with green scales for skin and snake-like fangs.
    • In the live-action films, Cobra Commander's face has significant burn scarring due to him surviving a friendly-fire bombing while serving in Iraq.
    • His full face isn't shown in Renegades, but what we do see shows blue-ish color skin and reptilian-like features.
    • Averted in both the Marvel and IDW comics, in which he's shown to have a completely normal face, and wears the mask for secrecy/propaganda purposes.
  • Fatal Flaw: Pride. Which often causes him to celebrate prematurely when a bit of extra vigilance could have ensured his total victory.
  • Faux Affably Evil: At least in the 80s cartoon, whenever he was being interviewed by the media, especially Hector Ramírez (the Hasbro-verse Geraldo Rivera expy), he would be a man of class and taste, the epitome of good manners, and made a compelling case that Cobra was "merely misunderstood" rather than evil. When the cameras were off, he'd act like a petulant Psychopathic Manchild.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: He used to be a used cars salesman, in the comics.
  • Frontline General: When he deigns to personally involve himself in combat situations should be cause for worry, because he either has complete confidence in his current scheme, has a cunning (and oftentimes destructive) exit strategy in case things go out, or his back is against the wall and he's got nothing left to lose.
  • General Failure: In the 80s cartoon. It's true that the Joes won a lot through sheer luck, but Cobra Commander's arrogance, impetuousness and cowardice when directly under fire played a significant part in his defeat on many occasions.
    Destro: Militarily speaking, it is only fair to say that Cobra Commander is a world class buffoon.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: In the comics, he realizes how much of a monster he has become and attempts to leave COBRA behind. Then he gets shot.
  • He's Back: When he makes his grand return to Cobra Island in issue 98 of the Marvel comics. He's back, and he's kicking asses (and dogs) and taking names! And that's just CC cleaning his own house!
  • Humongous Mecha: He and Cobra captured The Ark and use the Transformers within it as "Battle Android Troopers" disguised as Cobra vehicles, making Starscream into a Cobra Nightraven (and personal transport) in G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers. When Starscream escapes to fellow Decepticons led by Shockwave on Cybertron, a recording in the robot revealed the Commander lined Starscream's housing with plastic explosives. The resulting explosion takes out the top of Shockwave's tower and all the powerful Decepticons inside it.
    • Reverse-engineering Decepticon techonology also allows them to create the S.N.A.K.E.S., armored battle suits several feet high.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Once again, 80s cartoon. Cobra Commander was practically a Butt-Monkey, dismissed and insulted by Joes and his own commanders alike, and constantly embarrassed or running to ruin. The season one episode "The Gamesmaster" is a perfect example; he gets kidnapped by a Mad Scientist right out of his own base, he has to be saved several times by Flint and Lady Jaye, he almost drowns in liquefied butterscotch and ends up stumbling around — and falling into — a marshmallow swamp (yes, It Makes Sense in Context).
  • Karma Houdini: Zigzagged in the 80s cartoons; as the third season episode "Only Human" for The Transformers reveals, although Cobra was ultimately eliminated, Cobra Commander escaped and survived without ever being brought to justice. However, although he got away with all his crimes, he never was able to achieve his goals, and Cobra was apparently put down so hard that even he was never able to revive it. This leads to his involvement in the episode, which ends with "Old Snake" forlornly lamenting that they don't make terrorists like they used to and trying to give a Cobra battle cry... only to trail off into spluttering coughs because his lungs can't handle it anymore.
    • Notably averted in the opening of G.I. Joe: Sigma 6 as he's a prisoner in a specially made cell, having somehow been captured by G.I. Joe ,until Destro, Zartan, and The Baroness break him out, at which point he retaliates by completely obliterating GI Joe headquarters minus the main characters and a handful of vehicles.
  • Kick the Dog: The page image for the trope of bad guys doing cruel things for no reason other than to be cruel depicts a scene from the comics where Cobra Commander is literally kicking a dog.
  • Killed Off for Real: In Transformers vs. G.I. Joe, in issue 13, when Snake-Eyes detonates the Commander's helmet explosives.
  • Large Ham: COBRAAAAAAAAA!!!!
    • In Resolute: "LAUNCH THE DEFENSE SWARM, YOU MOROOOOOOOOONS!!!!!"
  • Legacy Character: Subverted in the Marvel comic (where Fred VII took on the identity after seemingly killing the original Cobra Commander, but the original eventually returned to reclaim his identity), but played straight in the IDW comics continuity (which has multiple Cobra Commanders succeeding one another after getting killed). "Great thing about this armor, could be anybody inside it." Billy succeeds his father as Cobra Commander #2 when near the end of issue 13 of Transformers vs. G.I. Joe he assumes command of the remnants of COBRA on Mars. He also inherits the Master Sword and title of "Snake-Eyes," merging his two roles by wearing Snake-Eyes' ninja uniform, only with a red COBRA insignia on the chest.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Exactly where he comes from and who he is is never really made clear, and actively differs in between continuities. In the 1980s cartoon, Cobra Commander tells a journalist that he led an insurrection at his military academy, indicating that he was a human with military training. Later, G.I. Joe: The Movie reveals that he is an exiled scientist from Cobra-La. His Marvel Comics counterpart is a purely human former used car salesman.
  • Named by the Adaptation: The live-action films and Renegades are the only continuities where Cobra Commander is given a real name. It is Rex Lewis in the former and Adam DeCobray in the latter.
  • No Name Given: With the exceptions of the live-action films and Renegades, Cobra Commander's actual name is never revealed.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: During the brief run of G.I. Joe: Sigma 6, he pointedly does not fuck around, and is a serious threat. In fact, the very first thing he does in episode 1 is put G.I. Joe on the run, and keeps them there. He's also taken a few lessons from Serpentor in that he's far more vicious, far less forgiving of his underling's failures, and actually leads on the front, by example, whenever possible, but still, at least on-screen, is not physically abusive, although he did seriously threaten an underling that he caught lying, and makes a point that disappointing him is very dangerous to Zartan, but like the original, respects his men when they bring forth new and creative tactics and strategies, or they "show initiative" in wanting to utterly exterminate the Joes. He's also far more savvy than the 80s version about his own shortcomings, and doesn't let his ego blind him to a Starscream in his midst.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: In the Marvel Comics, this stemmed from Larry Hama's belief that "an idiot who thinks he isn't one" could be just as dangerous a villain as an Evil Genius.
    • Resolute suggests that his quirks in the 80s cartoon were all a ruse to get his men to think outside the box. When this doesn't go as he planned (inciting his men to either not take him seriously or try to usurp him), he decides to drop the act and become a serious threat.
    • G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers has him and Cobra find The Ark the Transformers are in, and make most of them Battle Android Troopers. These force Lady Jaye, Flint and Hawk to realize that continuity's Cobra is a LOT more dangerous than they looked with these BATs.
    • Even in the 80s cartoon, when he made the plans, personally, things got dicey for the US, and especially for G.I. Joe. The most notable example is when he built a space station solely for the purpose of seizing all the communication satellites and monopolizing the airwaves for the sake of pro-Cobra propaganda; it was so effective, Cobra was even receiving voluntary charitable donations. Even Destro couldn't fully understand the value of this until it went into effect. That plan only failed because Zartan and his merry men neglected zero-g training while the Joes did not.
    • A second notable example is the episode where Cobra managed to get within a hair's breath of completely obliterating American currency — no, not the economy, the currency (dollar bills would turn to ash in people's hands. Money in vaults would be safe only while the vault doors were closed and turn to ash the instant the vault door opened.) For reference, imagine waking up to find your bank's records were all overwritten with zeroes, and your bank had to go to paper ledgers.
    • In addition, Cobra Commander had certain media figures, like Hector Ramirez, wrapped around his finger.
  • Offing the Offspring: The Devil's Due comics have him kill his son Billy in the 33rd issue of America's Elite.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: As in the Devil's Due comics, the IDW continuation of the Marvel Comics continuity has Cobra Commander's son Billy get killed. The difference is that Billy's death doesn't happen at Cobra Commander's hand and Cobra Commander actually becomes distraught by the Blue Ninjas killing his son, to the point that he attempts to destroy the Blue Ninjas to avenge Billy.
  • Powered Armor: The battle armor he wore during the DiC series and a bit of the comics before being taken by the Crimson Guard Fred VII to impersonate him. Late in the Marvel run, he received a new suit of Powered Armor that could be worn under his regular uniform, and allow him to go toe-to-toe with Snake-Eyes.
  • Precision F-Strike: He abruptly swears in Resolute: "There will be none of your CRAP! NONE OF IT!!!"
  • Psychopathic Manchild: In the 1980s cartoon, Cobra Commander is prone to violent tantrums and screaming fits when his plans fail.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Zigzagged: At least in the 80s cartoon, he had a surprisingly open door policy towards his underlings for a criminal organization. A notable example occurs in the Di C series when one of his Crimson Guards, basically an Elite Mook, came forward with a plan to attack a heavily armed and armored drug cartel alongside GI Joe. Cobra Commander accepted the proposal because it was creative, original, and the Guardsman laid out some very sound tactical and strategic reasons to undertake the endeavor (while keeping quiet over the fact the drug cartel had hooked his younger sister on drugs, and he wanted revenge). This lead to one of the few on-screen grand tactical victories for Cobra. The cartel was destroyed and its leader killed (the only explicit death in the series) even if GI Joe ultimately wound up with the spoils (the cash) while Cobra wound up with client lists, that served no purpose for Cobra's goals and aims.
  • Retcon: The Commander's backstory varies greatly by adaptation, but the original cartoon contradicts itself on what species he is!
    • In Season 1, he appears to be a Caucasian man with brown eyes and thick black eyebrows. Yet, his face apparently has some disfigurement which horrifies and disgusts Destro.
    • In the movie, he is revealed to be a blue-skinned snake-person, before being turned into a yellow snake.
    • During his cameo in Transformers, he appears to be human again, but with yellow, scale-covered fingers.
    • At the start of the DiC series, Cobra Commander manages to reverse his Snake form to some degree, becoming a human/snake Hybrid. A few episodes later, he's clearly a human (or at least looks like one with his suit on). At least this explains his humanoid appearance in Transformers season 3.
  • Religion of Evil: Downplayed, but, in one of the last episodes of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Cobra Commander pledges to worship an Eldritch Abomination - complete with offering it Human Sacrifices, no less! - if it will destroy Serpentor for him, an act to which the creature agrees, leveling a path of destruction across Cobra Island.
  • Rogues Gallery Transplant: Appeared in a season 3 episode of The Transformers, providing mob boss Victor Drath with the resources he needs to put Autobots into humanoid bodies. At this point, he's a washed-up lowlife going under the alias of "Old Snake".
  • Same Character, but Different: One aspect of the character seems to be his characterization is constantly changing between shows, even if they're nominally supposed to be in the same continuity. In Spy Troops and Valor vs. Venom he's his old wacky 80's cartoon self, in Sigma 6 (which was nominally a semi-direct sequel to Valor vs. Venom) he's reinvented as a dead-serious warrior king, while in Resolute he's an insane murderous sociopath.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Whenever Larry Hama wrote him.
  • Snake People: In the 80s cartoon, as revealed in G.I. Joe: The Movie, he's a member of a hidden civilization of humanoids who evolved from snakes millions of years ago.
  • The Starscream: What he became after Serpentor took over in the cartoon.
  • Trickster Mentor: Resolute reveals that his childish behavior and seeming incompetence were intended to help his colleagues think outside the box.
  • Villain Respect: He actually praises Duke's tenacity and struggle for survival in the first episode of G.I. Joe: Sigma 6 while under heavy fire.
    Cobra Commander: I must admit I'm impressed by your will to live, but it's a losing battle!
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: In the DiC 80s cartoon follow-up, after the events of the movie, Cobra comes to realise that Serpentor is even worse as a leader than Cobra was, and the Baroness secretly restores Cobra Commander to a more humanoid form and helps him take back control of Cobra.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: He has a faint accent in the 1980s cartoon.
  • Wicked Cultured: He quotes Shakespeare in Sigma 6.
  • Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: In G.I. Joe: Reloaded, he is adamant that he is not a terrorist and that his actions are for the greater good.

Destro

Real Name: James McCullen Destro XXIV

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/destro.png

Voiced By: Arthur Burghardt (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Sunbow series), Maurice LaMarche (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, DiC series), Scott McNeil (Spy Troops and Valor vs. Venom), Marc Thompson (G.I. Joe: Sigma 6), Eric Bauza (G.I. Joe: Resolute), Clancy Brown (G.I. Joe: Renegades)

The current CEO of the Military Armaments Research Syndicate, Destro is the latest in a long line of weapon dealers — his main client is Cobra. He wears a metal mask as a family tradition.

  • Arms Dealer: As CEO of MARS, he manufactures weapons he can sell.
  • Bald of Evil: While his metal mask only gives him the appearance of baldness and he's usually depicted as having hair when unmasked, G.I. Joe: Reloaded clearly depicts him as being bald when not wearing the mask.
  • Bling of War: It started with the disco amulet. When he starts the Iron Grenadiers, he gets a new suit with a gold mask. And then there's Pimp Daddy Destro...
  • Buried Alive: Along with Cobra Commander in the Pit, where they would've suffocated and/or drowned had they not found a Drill Tank Escape Pod.
  • Cyborg: Strongly implied in Sigma 6. The ARAH comic eventually went this way as well, with Destro upgrading himself with Revanche nanotechnology.
  • The Dragon: Bordering on Big Bad Duumvirate with Cobra Commander or Co-Dragons with the Baroness, depending on the version.
    • G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers II causes him to abruptly seize control of Cobra to pledge its support to the Joes and Autobots after the Commander's bungled scheme to hack into Teletran 3 put Earth in severe danger.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He is romantically involved with the Baroness. Serpentor's brutality toward the Baroness disgusted Destro so much that Destroy betrayed him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers: Black Horizon has him do business with Cobra-La (thanks to Dr. Mindbender), then say with guilt to Mistress Armada, "I cannot shake the feeling that I may have just sold out the human race."
    • In the 1980s cartoon series, Serpentor's brutality toward the Baroness disgusted him.
  • Evil Counterpart: When Cobra Commander first hires him as "the specialist", he sees the scotsman as Hawk's counterpart leading the troops. They become less alike with time after Hawk becomes a general and Destro focuses more in his weapon dealing business.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Traditionally, in adaptations, though for sheer pitch, his voice in the 80s cartoon is still about as deep as it goes.
  • Expressive Mask: His mask is very expressive in the 80s cartoon and comics, to the point he looks more like a human man who happens to be bald and have gray skin.
  • A Father to His Men: Zigzagged in the comics: He averts this for troops who can't keep up with him, but plays it straight for the ones who can.
  • Friendly Enemy: In the comicbook continuity at least, Destro had respect towards the G.I. Joe and even at times openly defied Cobra Commander, or other villains of the storyarc to help the Joes out. Obviously, at times it depended on the writer.
  • Legacy Character: Despite being the first Destro shown in the series, he's actually part of a long family tradition of wearing the metal mask and taking the weapons business. His long-lost son Alexander also took his role for a short time.
  • Long-Lost Relative: He and Lady Jaye have a common ancestor.
  • Meaningful Name: The acronym for his PMC is also the Latin name for Ares, the Greco-Roman god of war.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: In the 80s cartoon series:
    • In the "Synthoid Conspiracy" two-parter, Cobra Commander and Zartan create a Synthoid duplicate of Destro to show how easily he can be replaced. Angered by this insult, Destro helps the Joes shut down the operation.
    • He sides with Dr. Mindbender after Cobra Commander had one temper tantrum too many, leading to the creation of Serpentor in the "Arise, Serpentor, Arise!" 5-parter.
    • He loses patience with Serpentor's impulsiveness fairly quickly, covertly assisting two of the Commander's plans against Serpentor, though he did spend about half the time commenting how insane said plans were.
    • He finally turns against Serpentor in the second cartoon series. Cobra Commander was turned into an actual cobra by Cobra-La Advanced Phlebotinum, and The Baroness was given the task of keeping CC fed. On one occasion, while the Baroness was in the process of doing just that, Serpentor grabbed her, crushed her hand with enough force to completely destroy it (requiring her to get a metallic prosthetic) and when she screamed from the pain, he punched her so hard, it dislocated her jaw so she couldn't scream. Then he laughed afterwards. Destro secretly sided with GI Joe in order to avenge her.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Canonically Scottish, but almost never has the accent.
  • Not So Above It All: He fancies himself as a more practical and effective leader than Cobra Commander, but he's just as prone to histrionics and mad schemes when properly aggravated.
  • Official Couple: With the Baroness.
  • Only Sane Man: In Cobra High Command. This is most evident when Larry Hama writes him, but in most depictions, he genuinely believes that Cobra Commander is a lunatic (the Sunbow version outright says so to the Commander's face) and can be reasoned with more easily than the rest of Cobra's leadership.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: The Devil's Due continuity ends with him seeing his son Alexander shot in front of him.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: In Part 2 of "The Synthoid Conspiracy", he temporarily teams up to help the Joes get back into power because Cobra Commander dared to replace Destro with a Synthoid clone, and he is mainly concerned with his dignity, showing Cobra how indispensible his services are.
  • Preppy Name: James McCullen Destro XXIV
  • Religion of Evil: In the 80s cartoon series, it's revealed in one episode that Destro is part of a cult that worships - or at least appeases - one or more Eldritch Abominations, which are imprisoned beneath his ancestral castle. He makes an annual Human Sacrifice to keep the beasts contained.
  • Retcon: In recent years, his name was shortened to James McCullen XXIV with Destro being a title.
  • The Starscream: In the 80s cartoon particularly, though it's mostly because he realizes how inept Cobra Commander is. Unlike the narcissistic Commander, however, Destro genuinely believes that being a ruler is an empty gesture unless said ruler has someone to share their empire with.
  • Unholy Matrimony: The Devil's Due comics establish that he and the Baroness secretly married in the interim between the original Marvel Comics series and the Devil's Due series.
  • War for Fun and Profit: He incites war and sells to both sides if it's profitable. It can also be useful when one of those sides is the Pentagon, especially when the Pentagon tries to pin the responsibility for a failed operation on the Joes.
    • His original toyline profile card explains his enmity for the Joes is because, while he respects their skills, he finds their insistence on promoting and protecting peace abhorrent, as he believes that war is humanity's natural state and brings out the best in humanity.

Baroness

Real Name: Anastasia C. DeCobray

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/baroness_7518.jpg
Voiced By: Morgan Lofting (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Sunbow series and first season of DiC series), Suzanne Errett-Balcom (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, second season of DiC series), Teryl Rothery (Spy Troops and Valor vs. Venom), Bella Hudson and Kayzie Rogers (G.I. Joe: Sigma 6), Grey DeLisle (G.I. Joe: Resolute), Tatyana Yassukovich (G.I. Joe: Renegades)

Daughter of wealthy European aristocrats who acts as Cobra Intelligence Officer.

  • Absolute Cleavage: A lot of her outfits show off a considerable amount of cleavage.
  • The Baroness: It's named for her. Fittingly, she's a mesh of the Sexpot and Rosa Klebb types. She's sexy, icy and a bit sadistic, but she (usually) only has eyes for her comrade Destro; nobody else—Cobra or Joe—matters.
  • Blue Blood: In the Real American Hero animated series, there's a line of dialogue (in "Spell of the Siren") where she claims her family has been "bred as rulers", implying that being called "the Baroness" has more of a basis than a nom de guerre.
  • Boobs of Steel: She's one of Cobra's deadliest members and has quite a well-developed bosom.
  • Captain Ersatz: Was basically the Madame Hydra to Cobra Commander's Baron Zemo.
  • The Dragon: Co-Dragons with Destro, depending on the version.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: In both the IDW comic and the "Spell of the Siren" episode of the '80s cartoon, she outright states that she should be leading Cobra, and is only passed over because of her gender.
    • Early during IDW's Real American Hero run, Cobra Commander sends her on an important mission: buying junk food for the Dreadnoks. She's not thrilled. To add injury to insult, she gets captured by the Joes on the way back to base.
  • Freudian Excuse: In the Marvel comics, the death of her brother radicalized her against the West.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In one Alternate Reality Episode of the cartoon.
    • And in the comics (more of a retirement, really, but when she came back she was still good. Until she got brainwashed).
    • And in the live action movie
  • Master of Disguise: She often deceives others by disguising herself.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She even spent an entire episode of the original cartoon wearing nothing but a bikini.
  • Official Couple: With Destro.
  • Pimp Duds: She wears a black pimp coat with a fur collar and a wide red belt with a COBRA insignia on it in the "GrahamCrackersComics.com" variant cover of the first issue of G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers II. And red-brown tinted glasses.
  • Sexy Spectacles: She's a knockout and she wears glasses.
  • The Starscream: She's loyal to herself and Destro, not Cobra Commander. She'll try to undermine her leader if she can. Megatron even lampshades it himself in one of the Transformers crossovers.
  • Toyless Toyline Character: For a short time during the franchise's beginning, she didn't have her own toy.
  • Unholy Matrimony: The Devil's Due comics establish that she and Destro secretly married in the interim between the original Marvel Comics series and the Devil's Due series.

Storm Shadow

Real Name: Thomas S. Arashikage

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sshadow_7863.jpg
Voiced By: Keone Young (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Sunbow series), Scott McNeil (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, DiC series), Ty Olsson (Spy Troops and Valor vs. Venom), Tom Wayland (G.I. Joe: Sigma 6), Eric Bauza (G.I. Joe: Resolute), Andrew Kishino (G.I. Joe: Renegades)

Member of the ninja clan Arashikage, trained under his uncles, the Hard Master and the Soft Master. During his training, he was Snake-Eyes' Sword Brother. After a Cobra agent killed the Hard Master and framed Storm Shadow, he joined Cobra as Cobra Commander's bodyguard under the Commander's promise of telling him someday the identity of the real murderer.

Zartan

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/zartan_new_2.jpg

Voiced By: Zack Hoffman (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Sunbow series), Colin Murdock (Spy Troops), Marc Thompson (G.I. Joe: Sigma 6), Steve Blum (G.I. Joe: Resolute), Brian Bloom (G.I. Joe: Renegades)

A master of disguises who can even change his skin color to blend with his environment. He leads a biker gang called the Dreadnoks. He's the Hard Master's real killer.

  • Bald of Evil: Often depicted as bald underneath his cowl.
  • Becoming the Mask: In the DDP version, we see that all his infiltrations have taken their toll on his sanity. He also mentally "becomes" the person he's impersonating. After having assumed so many different names and faces, "Zartan" is the only name he can cling to. He no longer remembers his own birth name.
    • Cast as a Mask: In the cartoon, when Zartan has to assume another's identity, he is voiced by that identity's voice actor until The Reveal.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: In "Glamour Girls," he takes part in the plot that endangers would-be models, until his sister Zarana winds up as a potential victim. After Mindbender refuses to set her free, Zartan frees several captured Joes to get the job done.
  • French Jerk: Said to be from Nice in his third filecard, but this hasn't really been hinted at lately.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: When he went undercover in the Arashikage temple under the tutelage of their sword smith Onihashi, Zartan fell in love with sword forging, viewing it as art. He was so enamored with it that he was ready to abandon his job against Snake-Eyes and a life of crime in general, dedicating himself solely to working on swords with Onihashi. The future Cobra Commander threatened to blow his cover, leading to his botched assassination attempt and the death of the Hard Master.
  • Inexplicably Awesome: There has never been an explanation for all his seemingly supernatural disguise/shapeshifting abilities, though some continuities have tried.
  • In the Blood: Both his sister and his brother are masters of disguise like him, but they lack Zartan's chameleonic abilities.
  • Master Actor: He'd have to be an exceptionally skilled actor to be any good at impersonating people.
  • Master of Disguise AND Voluntary Shapeshifting, making him into the perfect infiltrator.
  • Morality Pet: Billy, Cobra Commander's son.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: In the Sunbow cartoon, Zartan's Winterized uniform featured a fur-lined vest, as opposed to the greatcoats or parkas favored by other Cobras.
  • The Straight and Arrow Path: He tends to be an archer.
  • Voice of the Legion: In G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, his voice has a tendency to reverberate, especially in the earlier episodes.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Doesn't care much for sunlight, though specifics can vary per continuity.

The Dreadnoks

Real Names: Tom Winken (Torch), Richard Blinken-Smythe (Buzzer), Harry Nod (Ripper), Bruno LaCrosse (Thrasher), Bill Winkie (Monkeywrench), Don DeLuca (Road Pig), Clyde Hyde (Gnawgahyde)

Torch voiced by: Frank Welker (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Sunbow series), Ted Lewis (G.I. Joe: Sigma 6), Matthew Yang King (G.I. Joe: Renegades)
Buzzer voiced by: Neil Ross (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Sunbow series), Wayne Grayson (G.I. Joe: Sigma 6), Charlie Adler (G.I. Joe: Renegades)
Ripper voiced by: Chris Latta (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Sunbow series), Jason Marsden (G.I. Joe: Renegades)
Thrasher voiced by: Ted Schwartz
Monkeywrench voiced by: Neil Ross (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Sunbow series), Charlie Adler (G.I. Joe: Renegades)
Road Pig voiced by: Gary Chalk (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, DiC series), Kevin Michael Richardson (G.I. Joe: Renegades)
Gnawgahyde voiced by: Ian James Corlett

Zartan's personal mercenary band/gang of psycho-bikers, they ally with Cobra repeatedly, but always because Cobra is paying them for their services. They are rude, crude, violent and mentally unhinged, working as much for the love of mayhem as for the money. Their numbers change and swell depending on the continuity. For example, in the 80s cartoon, only Buzzer, Torch and Ripper appeared in the first season, with the second season adding newcomers Monkeywrench and Thrasher, and Zartan's siblings Zandar and Zarana. Series two added Gnawgahyde and Road Pig to the group. The comics and toyline, meanwhile, included all of the aforementioned and more, including Zartan's daughter Zanya, Burn Out, Chop Shop, Crusher, Death Metal, Demolisher, the Dreadheads, Heartwrencher, Machete, Rugrat, Storm Rider and Zanzibar.

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Roadpig's hair is changed from white with red streaks to red in G.I. Joe: Reloaded.
  • All Bikers Are Hells Angels: The Dreadnoks in general follow this theme, being violent criminals who fit the general stereotypes of biker gags.
  • Bastard Bastard: Zigzagged with Zanya (who was born from a short lived fling). She cares about her dad and is oral to him. It's just that this entails being a ruthless criminal.
  • Beard of Evil: Torch has a beard and is a bad dude.
  • Beneath Notice: Zandar is very talented at being ignored, to the point where his fellow Dreadnoks won't even notice he's there unless he says something.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Road Pig is in charge of protecting Zarana, and both of his personas love her.
  • Badass Bikers: Most of them are bikers and very formidable in combat.
  • Carpet of Virility: Gnawgahyde shows off some chest hair a few times when he fights shirtless.
  • Chainsaw Good: Buzzer's trademark chainsaw has diamond-tipped blades, allowing it to slice through rock and metal.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Monkeywrench. During a last man standing competition, rather than slug it out with the other participants, he just lets everyone else tire themselves out, then finishes off the stragglers with gas grenades. "What did you expect, sportsmanship?"
  • Cool Bike/Cool Car: The Dreadnoks are basically a biker gang who build their own vehicles with the design aesthetics of Mad Max.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: The Devil's Due Publishing comics reveal Zartan to have a teenage daughter named Zanya, who ends up joining the Dreadnoks.
  • Depending on the Writer: Gnawgahyde's intelligence level was rather inconsistent in the DiC cartoon. Some episodes had him of average intellect and the straight man to Metal-Head's buffoonery, while others had him just as stupid.
  • The Dragon: Zarana to Dr. Mindbender in the Sunbow cartoon. She would sometimes bring along other Dreadnoks to provide extra security for his operations.
  • The Engineer: Thrasher, who maintains the Dreadnoks' vehicles, having built (or rebuilt) many of them. He built the Thunder Machine from scraps and stolen parts (including an F-16 jet engine), and it was strong enough to survive a point-blank shot from an ultra-high-tech, top-of-the-line D.E.M.O.N. - and a bunch of grenades used to turn it back over! (Though the grenades did mess up the engine.)
  • Evil Poacher: Gnawgahyde has this as his motif, and is in fact so disgusting that his fellow poachers eventually drove him out.
  • Genius Bruiser: All of the Dreadnoks are viciously enthusiastic fighters, but some of them are also far more than mere Dumb Muscle:
    • Road Pig's original persona of Donald is full-on Wicked Cultured.
      Road Pig: How poor are they that they have not patience? What wound did ever heal but by degrees?
      Destro: It's from Othello. Road Pig doth quote The Bard to us.
    • In at least one comic series, Ripper is actually a highly successful businessman on the side, running a very successful grape soda company that makes him quite wealthy. He's just with the Dreadnoks because he loves destroying things.
    • In the original toyline/comic info, Buzzer is actually a disgruntled Sociology Don from the Cambridge University in Britain! He went to Australia to research for a paper on the local biker gangs, and found something in the Dreadnoks that resonated with his original extreme left-wing political beliefs, resulting in his abandoning society to become the psychopathic anarchist he is today.
    • Thrasher's an arrogant little punk, but he built the Thunder Machine from random junk all on his own, and there's a reason why he's responsible for creating and fixing machines for the rest of the gang.
    • The Dreadhead cousins own an arms company and several are involved in running it.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: The Dreadheads (six cousins, two sets of three brothers) are completely identical except for the colors of their beards (black, blonde, red, brown, white, and green).
  • Irony: In the comics, Buzzer made a research paper on biker gangs only to become one in the end.
  • Kill It with Fire: Torch loves to set things on fire, and his iconic weapon is a portable flamethrower.
  • Know Nothing Knowit All: Buzzer comes across as this in the Marvel comics; his academic background gave him a fair amount of book smarts, but he ultimately didn't have that much more common sense than his book dumber but street smarter comrades.
  • Master of Disguise: Zandar and Zarana, much like their brother Zartan, are good at impersonating people.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: The cartoon version of Gnawgahyde sides with the Baroness to restore Cobra Commander because Serpentor disdains him.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: As mentioned above, Zandar and Zarana are very good at disguising themselves. However, they lack whatever it is that makes Zartan practically a shapeshifter, so they are sidelined in that role whenever he is present.
  • The Pigpen: Dreadnoks aren't known for their personal hygiene, but Zanzibar is far and away the worst of the bunch, so much so that the other Dreadnoks can't even stand to be around him.
  • Punny Name: The real names of the original three, Buzzernote , Torchnote , and Rippernote , are a reference to the poem Wynken, Blynken, and Nod. Their first names also make them Dick, Tom and Harry, a term that means anyone and everyone.
  • Psycho for Hire: If the Dreadnoks aren't on retainer for a specific mission, they're all too happy to go out and cause mayhem on their own. Sometimes they may even need to be reminded while on the job not to go off and do their own thing, unless doing so is key to the operation (such as providing a distraction).
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The original three, Thrasher, and Monkeywrench. Later Dreadnoks were more effective.
  • The Scrooge: Zarana is stingy with her money, never leaving tips (which sometimes results in otherwise Beneath Notice disguises being remembered) and charging Dreadnoks for concessions at her base.
    Buzzer: When Zartan said his sister was cheap, I thought he was talking about something else altogether.
  • Split Personality: Roadpig has two personas, Dumb Muscle Roadpig and Wicked Cultured Donald. They even have conversations and are more friendly to each other than most examples of the trope.
  • Stocking Filler: Heartwrencher wears short shorts and fishnet stockings.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Monkeywrench loves to make things explode, and specialises in using grenades and explosives.
  • Sunglasses at Night: They're always shown wearing their trademark sunglasses, day or night.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: In the comics, they were absolutely nuts for grape soda and chocolate donuts.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Monkeywrench is so scared of spiders that he's panicking like a little schoolgirl when he sees one.

Firefly

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/firefly_ae33.gif
Voiced By: Gregg Berger (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Sunbow series), Sean Schemmel (G.I. Joe: Sigma 6), Peter MacNicol (G.I. Joe: Renegades)

One of the top experts in explosives around the world. Sometimes Cobra contracts him for sabotage missions.

  • The Blank: Uses a low-level hypnosis to have people see his unmasked face as this.
  • Briefcase Full of Money: He asks for 2.5 million dollars in one of these when trying to sell information on the Pit to Cobra Commander.
    • Cobra Commander doesn't go for it, ordering his men to lock Firefly up once he has the information.
    "How about 1 million in a Kmart bag?"
  • Cutting Corners: Although perhaps not poor, in one issue Firefly dares to call Cobra Commander collect when he has information on the pit to sell.
    • He mentions in his backstory-monologue to Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow in an earlier issue that he couldn't back out of the contract on Snake Eyes because he had already spent the money, so perhaps he really does need to cut corners.
  • Mad Bomber: He detonates stuff for kicks.
  • McNinja: In the comics; the orphaned son of a French plantation owner in Vietnam raised by a ninja clan who owed his father a debt.
  • The Mole: In Sigma 6.
  • Professional Killer: He makes a living by killing people.
  • Psycho for Hire: He'll do anything he's hired to do, regardless of how many lives may be at stake.
  • Swiss Bank Account: He original filecard mentions having a Swiss account, and he mentions it himself in the Sunbow cartoon episode "Eau de Cobra".
  • Wicked Cultured: A fan of classical music, Beethoven in particular, in G.I. Joe: Reloaded.

Tomax and Xamot

Real Names: Tomax Rogue and Xamot Rogue (changed to Paoli for the IDW comics).

Tomax Voiced By: Corey Burton (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Sunbow series), Stephen Stanton (G.I. Joe: Renegades)
Xamot Voiced By: Michael Bell (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Sunbow series), Stephen Stanton (G.I. Joe: Renegades)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/TomaxXamot_8358.JPG

Former diamond smugglers, these twins are in charge of Cobra's finances.

  • Blessed With Suck: Their Twin Telepathy in the 80s cartoon often made it so that one good punch to one would take them both down.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: In the 80s cartoon, they're both high-ranking Cobra leaders and skilled businessmen, running Extensive Enterprises. They're also master acrobats who enjoy showing off their skills; their first appearance in the cartoon has them arrive at work by jumping from a plane to the building's roof without parachutes.
  • Coordinated Clothes: Both their business suits and battle outfits mirror each other.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: They run a company called Extensive Enterprises, which gives Cobra its funding.
  • Creepy Twins: They can come off as being very eerie.
  • Depending on the Writer: How loyal they are to Cobra Commander. They were his most loyal officers in the Marvel comics, but in the '80s cartoon they hated him as much as Destro and the Baroness did. The IDW comic took the middle ground, Tomax was loyal to the Commander while Xamot was The Starscream (plotting against the Commander and his own brother).
  • Dragon Ascendant: In the IDW comics, Tomax becomes the third (seen in series) Cobra Commander.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Their usual pattern of speech, at least in the 80s cartoon, is for one to speak, then the second, then for them to speak in unison to finish the commentary.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: Xamot has a scar on his right cheek. They also part their hair on opposite sides (Tomax to the right, Xamot to the left), which goes along with their mirror-image outfits.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: Their first names are also mirrors of each other.
  • Shout-Out: As an homage to Dumas' The Corsican Brothers, one of the Trope Codifiers of Single-Minded Twins, Tomax and Xamot are from Corsica.
  • Single-Minded Twins
  • Synchronization: They feel each other's pain, so if one of them is incapacitated, the other will immediately do the same.
  • Twin Banter: They will quite often speak in unison and/or finish one another's sentences.
  • Twin Telepathy: They have a telepathic connect, at least in the 80s, that lets them think and feel what the other feels.

Doctor Mindbender

Real Name: Brian Binder/Armand K. Singh

Voiced By: Brian Cummings (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Sunbow series), Jim Foronda (Spy Troops and Valor vs. Venom), Charlie Schlatter (G.I. Joe: Renegades)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/MINDBENDER_7512.JPG

A former dentist who tried to find a way to stop dental pain via brainwave manipulation. When he tested his idea on himself, the alteration caused to his mind made him become a madman. He soon became Cobra's main scientist after the death of his predecessor Dr. Venom, given his proficiencies with brainwashing and genetics.

Copperhead

Voiced By: Frank Welker (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Sunbow series), Maurice LaMarche (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, DiC series)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/copperhead_273.jpg

Driver of the Water Moccasin boat. He would later become the De Facto leader of the Python Patrol.

  • Death by Adaptation: The IDW comics kill him off fairly early, replacing him with a Distaff Counterpart named Copperback (though she's more of a scientist than a swamp fighter/boat pilot).
  • Demoted to Extra: His appearances became scarce as the series went on, to the point that he doesn't make any appearances in the DiC series beyond the "Operation: Dragonfire" arc.
  • The Gambling Addict: He's in Cobra to get enough money to pay his gambling debts, but in the meantime, he gets more debts.
  • The Mob Boss Is Scarier: As Ax-Crazy as Cobra Commander may be, Copperhead still considers his bookies to be much scarier.
  • Worthy Opponent: Gung-Ho is implied to see him as one:
    Gung-Ho: Sure. I know the type. They're all around the Gulf Coast. Trash. Drifters. They can drive a swamp buggy like the devil himself, rebuild a V-8 with a coat hanger and spit, fight all night and raise cain 'til the cock crows. They got a heart fulla gimme and a mouth full o' much obliged.

Wild Weasel

Voiced By: Pat Fraley (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Sunbow series), Trevor Devall (Valor vs. Venom)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/weasel_pic_2_2348.png

A ground support pilot who has developed a Red Baron like reputation within the Cobra ranks. Though he can fly any of Cobra's fighters, he generally favors the Rattler VTOL Tanksmasher.

  • Ace Pilot
    "Those soldiers lucky enough to return from a dogfight with Wild Weasel curse his name only at the beginning and the end of their stories; the rest is filled with compliments and awe"
  • Cool Plane: The Rattler, essentially a three-engined version of an A-10 Thunderbolt II, but with VTOL capability. And nobody can fly it like Wild Weasel.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Wild Weasel is somewhere between this and Awesome Ego. Evident in issue #34 of the ARAH continuity, with the Baroness.
    Wild Weasel: The easiest way to navigate at this altitude is to follow the highways. This way, I can get my maps at gas stations-
    Baroness: Look where you're going! The overpass!
    Wild Weasel: I don't have to look where I'm going.
  • The Dreaded: From the data desk:
    "None of the agents on the current roster are as experienced or capable a pilot as Wild Weasel is, and very few of the reserve members can match his airborne abilities. This alone makes me fear the day Wild Weasel resurfaces as an active threat."
    • This is likely only to the pilots. It doesn't take more than a few pages for the Joes to take him down after he infiltrates the Pit as part of the Phoenix Guard. He pins the Joes down with their own weaponry, but clearly is not as good on the ground as in the air, being taken out by a single grenade.
  • Improbable Piloting Skills: He drives an air-to-earth aircraft and can use it to dogfight against other pilots.
  • Meaningful Name: His code name comes from the nickname of air crews who would scout out ahead in search for anti-aircraft missile batteries and clear them out before the main carrier group arrived.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Might be Secret Identity, but because of his anti-social behavior, not even other members of Cobra know much about him, even his actual name.
  • Worthy Opponent: To Ace in a memorable Rattler-against-Skystriker dogfight in (ARAH #34) Both fought until they were mutually out of ammo, saluted, and flew back to their bases. Additionally, in that issue, much of the dialogue of Ace and Wild Weasel echoed each other, despite the lack of communication between the enemy planes. They both knew exactly what the other plane was doing and planning.
    • His original filecard has a quote from Wild Bill where he considers Wild Weasel one as well.
      Wild Bill: He may be a back-shootin', low down snake in the grass, but the boy can fly like nobody's business. You gotta respect the skunk for that! Hey-what did Voltaire say? To forgive our enemies their virtues-that is the greater miracle.

Major Bludd

Real Name: Sebastian Bludd

Voiced By: Michael Bell (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Sunbow series), Maurice LaMarche (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, DiC series), Andre Sogliuzzo (G.I. Joe: Renegades)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/MAJORBLUDD_4096.JPG

A former ASIS note  operative who became a mercenary after he was discharged. Wanted for numerous war crimes, he joins Cobra in exchange for sanctuary.

  • Dastardly Whiplash: Bludd's identifying mustache and eyepatch, in addition to working with the Cobra organization.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • In the first 5 episode mini-series with the M.A.S.S. device, he had mercy on an irradiated Snake Eyes, who's suffering from the "radiation sickness," telling his men not to shoot him. He even has sympathy for the fact Snake Eyes is suffering with the sickness.
    • Late in the DDP comics Cobra Commander kills Billy and strings his body up on display. Even Bludd finds this display of cruelty unsettling.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Kwinn in the original comics. While both are mercenaries who will take jobs for anyone who pays well enough, Kwinn had a code of honor and never betrayed a client. Bludd was not above throwing his comrades under a bus, and would turn on his employers if someone else made him a better offer.
  • Eyepatch of Power: He has an eyepatch.
  • Giftedly Bad: His poetry. Trying to use "Uzi" at almost every rhyme doesn't help. The Baroness once claimed to enjoy Bludd's poetry, only for Cobra Commander to decry him as an idiot who thinks "Proust" rhymes with "Faust"note .
  • Land Down Under: He's Australian by origin, though he served in the French Foreign Legion. This mostly manifests in some wording choices and accent in the 80s cartoon, though.
  • Posthumous Character: He appears in the beginning of Resolute as a corpse being examined by Scarlett. It is implied that Cobra Commander killed him for treason.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Depicted as such in his "GI Joe: Hearts and Minds" story, a family man who does mercenary work because there's always a job for him.

Serpentor

Voiced by: Dick Gautier (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Sunbow series), Maurice LaMarche (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, DiC series)

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/serpentor_5357.jpg

The Cobra Emperor, created by Dr Mindbender combining the DNA of history's greatest generals. In the TV series, he was created explicitly to overthrow Cobra Commander, while the comic version's creation was mandated by Cobra Commander himself as a general, but Serpentor arranged the deaths of Cobra Commander and Destro (they got better) to take command.

  • Animal Assassin: He often threw live snakes as missile weapons in the cartoon. These serpents wrapped themselves around their targets' necks and choked them.
  • Artificial Human
  • Artistic License – History: Many of the alleged DNA donors for the composite clone that would become Serpentor come from historical figures who probably have no DNA samples left to be found. The final resting places of Attila, Julius Caesar, Hannibal, Vlad the Impaler, Sun Tzu and many others have never been found. Many of them were cremated so no mortal remains exist for DNA to be obtained. The otherwise source of the DNA for these ancient figures is not explained.
  • Bad Boss: In the 80s cartoon. As annoying as Cobra Commander's histrionics and temper tantrums can be, Serpentor is worse. He's even more arrogant than Cobra Commander, never listens to reason, is consumed with his own ego, and caps it all off by being extremely physically abusive. He actually maims the Baroness at one point, which ultimately leads her to depose him.
  • Baleful Polymorph: In "Operation: Dragonfire", the opening arc of the DiC continuation of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Cobra Commander usurps control of Cobra from him and turns him into an iguana.
  • Beast Master: Only in the 80s cartoon, and even then, only in the season 2 episode "My Favorite Things"; after awakening the genetic essence of Takshaka inside himself, Serpentor is able to command the loyalty of snakes, most notably his gargantuan cobra "pet".
  • Born as an Adult: He is created in a fully grown adult body and with the wisdom of all the deceased world conquerors whose DNA he is made from.
  • The Caligula: In the cartoon. He ironically turns out to be an even WORSE leader than Cobra Commander in the long run.
  • Catch Phrase: THIS I COMMAND!
  • Designer Babies: Artificially engineered with bio-engineering technology, using DNA taken from various great military leaders and conquerors.
  • The Emperor: Serves as this role to Cobra, and this was his designed purpose; to be a superior leader to Cobra Commander.
    • In the Marvel Comics, he takes this role to its logical conclusion, crossing the N.G.O. off of N.G.O. Superpower and painting himself as a constitutional monarchy under siege by communists (the Oktober Guard) and a crypto-fascist dictator (Cobra Commander). It leads to the Joes being ordered to support him during the Cobra Civil War.
  • Evil Virtues: Whatever his many deficiencies, Serpentor is indeed an intelligent and resourceful general and a courageous and charismatic leader who fights with his troops in the front ranks.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Becomes the new Big Bad in the "Arise Serpentor, Arise!" five-part storyline.
  • A Father to His Men: Maybe a sometimes-abusive father (in the cartoon especially), but the Cobra grunts still respect and admire him for being a charismatic, courageous front-line general, especially in contrast to the constantly-retreating Cobra Commander. An early issue of the Marvel comic even had him risking his life to save a wounded soldier.
    Serpentor: What are you staring at? We are not animals. We do not go mewling home at the site of first blood.
  • Frontline General: All versions of Serpentor have no problem sharing the danger of battle with their troops. This leads to his death in the Cobra Civil War.
    Serpentor: How can the troops respect me if I don't share their danger?
  • Genetic Memory: Has the ability to recall memories of the long-dead leaders whose DNA were used to create him. In a story from G.I. Joe Yearbook (an annual spinoff of the Marvel Comics continuity that mainly served to recap the events of the main comic while also including some exclusive stories), he even recalls the creation of an early form of pizza on a Roman battlefield.
  • Gone Horribly Right: In the comics, Cobra Commander had him created to serve under him as an efficient commander. However, Serpentor's strategic skills, intelligence, and personal charisma started eclipsing Cobra Commander himself. This in addition to Serpentor's ambitiousness led to the Cobra Civil War.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: In the cartoon, he was created to be a different kind of leader to Cobra Commander. They got one, alright. He's bolder and more determined than the Commander... but also suicidally overconfident, just as prone to temper tantrums, even more egotistic, refuses to be swayed, will not take advice from anyone, and will physically abuse his underlings both to enforce his will and just for kicks.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: In the cartoon, the incomplete DNA samples left him without the calm thoughtfulness of Sun Tzu, making him prone to violent and enraged behavior.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In America's Elite, US General Phillip Rey found he was a revived Serpentor, yet decided to not become Serpentor again
  • In the Blood: Most of his military cunning comes from the fact of being a composite clone of history's greatest generals.
  • In Spite of a Nail: In both the DDP comics and the IDW continuation of the Marvel ARAH, Serpentor comes Back from the Dead with some upgrades, and is only defeated with great sacrifice.
  • Large Ham: Even larger than Cobra Commander.
    • Incoming Ham: From the moment he achieves consciousness in the cartoon, he makes a speech boasting about how incredible he is, ending in, "For I am Serpentor! AND THIS, I COMMAND!"
  • Lamarck Was Right: Invoked. The man was made with DNA samples from great military conquerors like Napoleon, Julius Caesar and Atilla the Hun specifically in hopes that he would inherit their ruthlessness, their charisma, and their military expertise. It worked... but he also got their ambition, arrogance and cruelty.
  • Neck Lift: Was a fan of this in the Sunbow cartoon, with Cobra Commander usually the intended victim. At the end of "Arise Serpentor, Arise!" he seems intent on literally choking the life out of him, but the Commander manages to convince him he is still valuable to the organization.
  • Opposing Combat Philosophies: During the Cobra Civil War, when Serpentor gets the Joes to help him fight Cobra Commander. The Joes believe in the Geneva Convention; Serpentor believes in strapping the captured and unconscious Baroness to the front of his HISS tank.
  • Poisonous Person: Only in the 80s cartoon, and even then, only in the season 2 episode "My Favorite Things"; Serpentor's blood is apparently a lethally potent venom, such that he is able to nearly kill Leatherneck with a dart coated in his blood.
  • Snake People: In the 80s cartoon, the season 2 episode "My Favorite Things" claims that Serpentor's genetic matrix includes DNA from the mythical Naga king Takshaka.
  • The Starscream: In the comics, rather than immediately declaring himself leader, Serpentor took his time cozying up to the average Cobra trooper in the hopes of replacing Cobra Commander more subtlety than a straight up insurrection, as he calculated most of the troops would be loyal to Cobra Commander in such a situation. True enough, by the time of the Cobra Civil War, most of the rank and file falls in with Cobra Commander, while Serpentor only has the loyalty of the Crimson Guard (thanks to Tomax and Xamot) and the B.A.T's (thanks to them being robots controlled by Dr. Mindbender).
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: In the 80s cartoon, he is the embodiment of this trope. He never listened to any differing opinions or tactics, often resorting to violence on anyone who didn't obey his orders to the letter without question, refused to prepare an exit strategy if things go wrong, would often win short-term gain at the loss of long-term sustainability, and focused purely on offense while neglecting defense. The reason Cobra wound up in Cobra-La in G.I. Joe: The Movie is that Serpentor had led Cobra to almost total defeat in this manner, losing massive amounts of equipment, materiel and personnel in every encounter before even considering retreat. Destro and The Baroness very quickly realized just how much better they had it under Cobra Commander who while seemingly a temperamental Psychopathic Manchild quick to take the credit when things went right, and quick to shift the blame when things went wrong, would at least listen to other people's opinions and tactics, and always had an escape plan should things go wrong so Cobra could fight again another day. It came to a boil in the sequel series by DiC, where the Baroness ended up betraying him and restoring Cobra Commander because he'd continued the same destructive methods of "leadership" and gotten even worse.
    • There's also the question of how much of this might come from Sgt. Slaughter, as in the cartoon he was used to replace the lost DNA of Sun Tzu. Slaughter was as tough as they came and while he knew when to back down, he rarely did, as he preferred to cover other Joes backs when they needed to retreat. He was also supposedly a brilliant tactical mind. While the latter may be true, it's likely his Defiant to the End nature and greater than normal strength— he was implied to be Olympic-athlete level in strength or greater— are the only things Serpentor got from him.
  • Super Soldier: A variant in that he was created to be a superhuman general, rather than a Living Weapon. In the cartoon, Mindbender and Destro's hope was that this living conglomeration of great military leaders would be a superior master for Cobra than Cobra Commander.

Big Boa

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/BIGBOA_5063.JPG

Cobra combat trainer. He wears boxing gloves and has a punching bag with the word "Joe" written on it.

  • Achilles' Heel: While likely unintentional from the writers part, his helmet has been used against him in two separate fights; In a Marvel UK annual, Jinx turns the helmet 180 degrees, covering his sight. In the Devil's Due comics, Bazooka takes Big Boa's helmet and uses it to beat him.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty
  • The Faceless: His second filecard (2013) reveals that he wears his helmet at all times because his face looks like it was beaten with the proverbial ugly stick.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: He is a boxer.
  • Killed Off for Real: In Devil's Due. He is found dead by the Joes, killed by the Red Shadows.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: He was originally part of a plan for a Rocky tie-in; This fell through, but much later in the comics his history was revealed to be eerily similar to Rocky's, except, like, evil.
  • Smug Snake: In Marvel UK comics.

Croc Master

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/crocmaster_8275.JPG

Former alligator wrestler who uses his trained pets to guard Cobra Island.

  • Artistic License – Biology: Croc Master's pet is actually an alligator. His pets have been referred in-universe as alligators by the Oktober Guard and others, so the mistake is his name and not the pets' species.
  • Killed Off for Real: He was killed among many other potential traitors by Cobra Commander.

Croc Master II

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/crocmaster2_8588.jpg

  • Killed Off for Real: When he's sent to make sure the Baroness is dead, she guns him down.
  • Legacy Character: His filecard adresses the death of the original Croc Master
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: He's only shown as a security chief of Cobra Island, just like his predecessor.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: He lasts three pages and dies. This also applies to the toys, as he was released only once and then all later Croc Master figures represent the original one.

Crystal Ball

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/crystalball.png
A creepy, mystic advisor to the leaders of Cobra who claims to have psychic powers.

Cesspool

Real Name: Vincent DeAlleva

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cesspool.png
Voiced By: Terry Klassen (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, DiC series)

Cobra's chemical weapons specialist.

  • Arch-Enemy: To the Eco-Warriors.
  • Cool Helmet: A bulletproof gasmask.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: What he was prior to joining Cobra. He owned a large number of oil refineries, mills and chemical plants. None of them were particularly OSHA compliant.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a burn scar running down the right side of his face, and is blind in his right eye.
  • Hollywood Acid: His weaponized "plasmatox."
    Cesspool: Manufacturers pay me to haul the stuff away and dispose of it, and I make it worse and sell the stuff as a weapon. Not only is it legal; I get a tax abatement for it.
  • Killed Offscreen: In the 31st issue of America's Elite, he is one of the listed Cobra agents incarcerated at the Coffin who was killed rather than liberated even though we don't see his death happen.
  • Large Ham: In the cartoon.
  • Misanthrope Supreme: Wants to make the world as "ugly and deformed" as he is.
  • Secretly Dying: In the DDP comics, he is revealed to have developed terminal cancer, due to the toxins he worked with throughout his career.

Darklon

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/darklon_1.gif

A distant cousin of Destro, Darklon is an eccentric warlord who has carved up his own fiefdom in the Carpathian mountains. He frequently provides asylum for Cobra, in exchange for them helping him stamp out the Resistance groups that occasionally challenge him.

  • Ace Custom: His Evader assault vehicle.
  • Arch-Enemy: Katya, a rebel leader opposing his regime.
  • The Bus Came Back: Was presumed killed when his castle was hit by a missile in ARAH #146. In ARAH #167 he's revealed to have survived.
  • Cool Gun: A CO2 powered air rifle that has been modified to fire either tranquilizer or poison darts.
  • The Dragon: Frequently has this role in the Iron Grenadiers.
  • In the Blood: Darklon is descended from a clan of mercenaries whose lineage goes back to the Italian Renaissance: They would work for one side until a better offer was made (or if their employers ran out of money), then they would go over to the opposition. All the while, they would feed information to both sides to keep the conflict going — ensuring a solid revenue stream. Darklon continues this tradition by offering his services to the highest bidder.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Frequently leads military campaigns himself, leaving the day to day management of Darklonia to a rubberstamp Parliament so he can do this more easily.

Metal-Head

Real Name: Stuart Finley

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/METALHEAD_8601.JPG
Voiced by: Gary Chalk (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, DiC series)

The Iron Grenadiers' anti-tank expert. He invented a backpack mounted anti-armor system, then gave it to M.A.R.S. with only one condition; that he be given the first production model to use in battle.

Slice

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/slice_3295.jpg
Voiced by: Don Brown (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, DiC series), Kevan Ohtsji (Valor vs. Venom)

A renegade member of the Arashikage clan who copies the attack patterns of scorpions for his sword technique.

  • The Blank: Nothing of Slice's face can be seen due to his escrima mask.
  • Breakup Breakout: He was partners in crime with a bo-wielding ninja named Dice. Dice got his second release in the toyline just recently, while there were at least five later Slice reissues.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Slice can kill one of his own in order to prevent the Joes to get a tactical advantage, but got really mad at Firefly saving himself from the freighter while leaving his partners to die (despite Slice not personally knowing one of the dead Cobras).
  • Master Swordsman
  • Ninja: He's a ninja.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: He invokes this trope during his first fight against Snake-Eyes.
  • Overly Polite Pals: With Slash in Valor vs Venom.
  • Those Two Guys: First with Dice, then with Slash.

Vypra

Real Name: Ann A. Conda

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/VYPRA_9791.JPG

Driver of the Rattler 4-WD jeep.

  • McNinja: Weirdly averted. She wears ninja clothes, uses ninja weapons, but according to the guy who wrote her filecard, she is not a ninja at all.
  • Palette Swap: Of Jinx
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: A member of Cobra whose name is a pun on "anaconda".

Overkill

Real Name: Robert Skelton

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/overkill_7546.jpg
Voiced by: Dale Wilson (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, DiC series), Colin Murdock (Valor vs. Venom), Maddie Blaustein (G.I. Joe: Sigma 6)

A cyborg and former SAW-Viper who leads Cobra's B.A.T. (Battle Android Trooper) armies.

  • Big Bad Wannabe: During his SAW-Viper times. Yes, he killed several Joes, but he got soon his commeupance at the hands of Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow.
  • Canon Character All Along: He's a case of this in the Devil's Due comics, which introduced him by establishing that he was the nameless SAW-Viper who killed several of the Joes in the original Marvel comic and that he survived Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow's attempt at killing him. His actual name being revealed to be Robert Skelton, he subsequently takes on Overkill as his codename and eventually is converted into a cyborg by Cobra scientists. Overkill's only prior appearances in any G.I. Joe fiction were in the DiC cartoon.
  • Cyborg: He is a cyborg.
  • Legacy Character: Prior to him, there was a totally robotic (but still sentient) Overkill leading the BATs.
  • Mook Promotion: From nameless S.A.W. Viper to the cyborg Overkill.
  • The Starscream: In Valor vs. Venom and Sigma 6, he shows signs of being disloyal to Cobra Commander.
  • They Killed Kenny Again: Nearly all of his appearances in the DiC cartoon end with Overkill destroyed or dismembered in some ways.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow got the drop on him during the Trucial Abysmia story arc in the Marvel comics, and we even got a glimpse of his corpse, yet he came back in the Devil's Due comics alive, well and perfectly intact (at least until he gets rebuilt into Overkill).

Overlord

Real Name: Mikhail Derenko

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cobraoverlord.png

A Cobra officer who seeks to take over Cobra... and its expanded treasury. He has built a power base among troops who are dissatisfied with Cobra's senior leadership.

  • Ace Custom: The Dictator hovertank.
  • The Dragon: To Serpentor in the DDP comics.
  • Depending on the Artist: Whether or not his right eye is covered by an eyepatch, a monocle, or a targeting lens attached to his helmet.
  • Dub Name Change: In Latin America, he was marketed as Ciclon, an electronic warfare expert working for Destro.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Sgt. Slaughter in promos for the Series 9 toyline.
  • A Father to His Men: Paints himself this way to appeal to grunts who are not happy with Cobra Commander, but it's all an act.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Started out at the bottom of the organization and patiently worked his way up. The Joes specifically describe him as "coming out from nowhere" to become a dangerous opponent.
  • Hero Killer: Kills Chuckles in the DDP Comics (two months after he finally got his own arc).
  • The Starscream: Well-aware that Cobra's senior management has plenty of these already, Overlord takes a different approach: He appeals to the grunts who are fed up with being pawns in High Command's individual power struggles.
    Hawk: Like any corrupt politician, he cloaked his own backroom dealings and improprieties with a platform of reform, righteous indignation, and a return to traditional values...Cobra values.

Interrogator

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/INTERROGATOR_1392.JPG
A psychological warfare expert with a mysterious past, the Interrogator is a frequent member of the Plague, the Cobra equivalent of a black-ops commando team.
  • Ace Pilot: Is a highly skilled helicopter pilot.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Sounded this way in the DiC series, and the filecard also mentions him having an intimidating baritone.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: His purpose is to interrogate.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: His first filecard gives three options: former security chief for a deposed dictator, renegade criminal psychologist, or IRS investigator. A DDP profile also adds the option of being a former Tele-Viper who rose in the ranks.
  • Torture Always Works: He'll get info from his captives by torturing them. And when dealing with unbreakable people like the Joes, he's savvy enough to torture their relatives instead (as he did to Max Hauser to make Duke talk)
  • Torture Technician: He has no qualms with horrifically torturing his prisoners.

Blackout

Real Name: Thomas C. Stall

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/blackout_9049.jpg

The brother of Barrell Roll and Bombstrike. Blackout washed out of the G.I. Joe team, and subsequently joined Cobra, becoming a sniper for The Plague.

  • Black Sheep: His brother and sister are members of the G.I. Joe team, but Blackout defected to Cobra. His former Joe superior Mirage calls him "...an arrogant blemish on a family of career military men..."
  • Cain and Abel: Barrel Roll is his Abel.
  • Cold Sniper: In contrast to his reckless attitude as a Greenshirt.

Scrap-Iron

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/scrapiron.png
Voiced By: Michael Bell (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Sunbow series), Phil LaMarr (G.I. Joe: Renegades)

Cobra's anti-armor expert, rumored to be a weapon designer for M.A.R.S.

  • Ascended Extra: Has a fairly important role in "Arise, Serpentor, Arise!" despite his sparse appearances during the cartoon.
  • The Perfectionist: His file card notes that he strives for perfection with his weapon design and that he has a seething hatred for anything he deems imperfect.
  • There's No Kill Like Overkill: He kills the Soft Master with an anti-tank missile, and then (after clearing it with Firefly) blows up a wrecked car that was still occupied.
  • Two-Faced: In Renegades, he ends up having half of his face horribly scarred in the episode "Rage".

Night Creeper Leader

Voiced By: Andrew Koening (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, first season of DiC series), Maurice LaMarche (G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, second season of DiC series)
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nightcreeperleader.JPG

A mysterious ninja leader of the Night Creepers, a syndicate of mercenary ninjas employed by Cobra.

  • Blind Weaponmaster: His 1993 redesign.
  • Canon Immigrant: He was created for the DiC cartoon before being imported to the toyline and comic.
  • King Mook: His name is literally "Night Creeper Leader", and he looked just like his Night Creeper Minions, albeit slightly taller and with an exposed face. Mitigated with his introduction into the toyline, which gave him a more distinct design and an actual name (Aleph), and fully averted when he joins the Plague as Incision.
  • The Starscream:
    • In "Night of the Creepers", he is (understandably) offended by Cobra Commander and Destro's plan to use the corpses of his Night Creeper ancestors as a zombie army and takes control of them.
    • In "The Sword", he's ordered by Cobra Commander to bring him back the titular artifact, but he decides to use it for his own purpose.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: In "Shadow of a Doubt", he's revealed to be under the delusion that he is a better ninja than Storm Shadow when Cobra Commander is clearly fed up with his incompetence.

Scalpel

Real Name: Andrew R. Walker

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/scalpel.png
The captain of the Medi-Viper Corps.

  • Back-Alley Doctor: Was this before he became a Cobra medic. He earned his medical degree from a shady correspondence college that advertised via mail order, and gained practical experience treating the Mafia's wounded.
  • Combat Medic: Unlike most conventional medics, Scalpel does not object to picking up a weapon and joining in the fight himself... as long as it looks like his side is going to win.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Joe Medics Doc and Lifeline. While both of them are ardent pacifists who chose their profession to help people, Scalpel became a Cobra medic because it would give him a chance to treat "exotic injuries and wounds" and has no moral compunction against joining the fight himself.

Scar-Face

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cobraofficer6_scarface.jpg

A Cobra officer who acts as a Courier.

  • Scars Are Forever: His name comes from the fact that he's scarred.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Died off-screen in issue #19, but the comic book included with his first figure release takes place between issues #32 and #33, with Scar-Face featured as still living.
  • Uniformity Exception: With his mask on, he looks like any other Cobra infantry trooper except for the two scars running down the visible portion of his face, forming a "V".

Doctor Venom

Real Name: Claude M. Vinim

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/drvenom.jpg

Cobra's original science officer, and creator of the Brainwave Scanner.

  • Abusive Parents: He was inadvertently molded into a Sociopath by his abusive father.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: A digital backup of his mind stored in the Brainwave Scanner causes some problems in the IDW ARAH series.
  • Back from the Dead: Sort of. Dr. Venom has stayed dead, but the aforementioned AI "clone" has more lives than a cat... or the Joker.
  • Deader Than Dead: The AI copy of his mind in the IDW continuation of the Marvel Comics continuity eventually perishes for good after leaping from Dr. Mindbender's conscience to a giant robotic body, which is then destroyed in a battle with Cobra and the Joes, ending his threat permanently.
  • Dirty Coward: After trying to kill Snake-Eyes and Kwinn numerous times, once they get the upper hand and prepare to dispense some rough justice, he begs for his life. "No! I'll be good!"
  • Freudian Excuse: Growing up, his plastic surgeon father put the kibosh on his creative ambitions, as he wanted young Claude to follow in his footsteps. He even ordered the boy to drown a puppy the family couldn't take care of by putting it in a bag and tossing it into the river.
  • Grand Theft Me: The Venom AI attempts this twice: First on Cobra Commander's son, Billy, later on Mindbender.
  • Killed Off for Real: By a fragmentation grenade during the Battle of Fort Wadsworth.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: His original field of study was Botany. But he's still able to create brainwashing machines, Iron Man style armor, complicated viruses that need "secret catalysts" to be effective, and an AI duplicate of himself. He's also a fairly decent fixed-wing pilot.
  • Predecessor Villain: To Dr. Mindbender. He created the Brainwave scanner, and is implied to have laid out some of the early groundwork for Serpentor's creation.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Killed his own father by pushing him off a bridge.
  • The Starscream: He was subtle, but the Baroness could see it and tried to get rid of him before he could become a threat. He also shared the Trope Namer's mixture of smugness and cowardice. His AI is more overt about it.
  • They Called Me Mad!: The Defense Department did, and refused to work with him. So he joined Cobra.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: After getting a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from Kwinn, Venom is lucky enough to have his life spared. But Venom can't resist picking up the Villain Ball one last time:
    Venom: So what do you have to say now? No more mumbo-jumbo about weasel spirits? No last lunge to try to strangle me with your last breath?
    Kwinn: No. There is no anger left in me, Venom. I've made my peace with the weasel. Kwinn will not harm you while he lives. That I promise.
    [Kwinn dies, dropping a grenade that kills Venom].
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