"And this is how I win the world. This juncture of course is usually where the wheels come off. But not this time. Cutting the traitor Major Bludd's heart in half right in front of you, right here in this room, should have gotten the point across. It suited me once to appear weak and cowardly because it motivated you "people" to think. But today, is a new day. There will be no move to take over my command, there will be no mistakes. There will be NONE OF YOUR CRAP! NONE OF IT! Work with me, I will give you the world in less then 24 hours. Work against me, and I will gut you like a fish. Right here."
Entries for each group are by approximate release/publication date.
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Comic BooksA Real American Hero (Marvel) continuity
- The original Cobra Commander himself is, underneath any silliness or ridiculous behavior, a truly vile, heinous monster who has earned his title of the Arch-Enemy of the G.I. Joes. A former car salesman who got his start with well-intentioned goals following the death of his brother, the Commander quickly moved beyond this altruistic outlook, growing in ambition and love for power as he killed thousands of people in his various maniacal plots. Returning from the grave after a seeming change of heart, the Commander brags that he has thrown away all of his humanity and redeeming qualities, illustrating this by burying his own son alive along with many of his former allies. Orchestrating a variety of atrocities that ranged from nuking cities to dropping acid rain onto others, the Commander throws away the lives of hundreds of loyal recruits to illustrate his cruelty, and his villainy culminates in the final arc of the Devil's Due series, in which the Commander murders his son, Billy, simply to prove that he can, and tries to wipe out all life on Earth so he can feel like a god. Cobra Commander goes through a variety of character twists and turns, but always is brought back to his roots: a psychopath who willingly, happily has chosen to destroy his humanity and embrace pure evil for the power and glory it brings him.
- Devil's Due series:
- Vance Wingfield, debuting in "Operation: Wingfield", is a military tactician obsessed with the idea of survival of the fittest above all else. Believing that a large portion of humanity has become weak, Wingfield sets out to cull mankind, planning to frame America for dropping a nuclear bomb on Russia, then ride out the ensuing World War III so he can rule over whatever ashes are left. Wingfield forcibly subjects his future army—including children—to Training from Hell, and eventually tries to kill himself, his followers, and their entire families to ensure a nuclear holocaust starts. Surviving this event, a crippled Wingfield goes on to use a Computer Virus to drop satellites onto Chicago and Silicon Valley, killing thousands of men, women, and children, planning to continue to wipe out more cities. Even after death, Wingfield's abused, corrupted son Tyler tried to kill millions in his father's name, ironically unaware that Wingfield loathed the boy and had tried to kill him for being "weak".
- Sei Tin is the leader of the rogue Red Ninja clan, who murdered his way to the top and brags about killing any clan members who he deemed as weak. After suffering a crippling injury and losing control of the Red Ninjas while trying to kill Snake Eyes, Sei Tin returns, massacres a large chunk of the clan, and kidnaps Storm Shadow's lover Junko, subjecting her to months of physical and psychological torture. Sei Tin eventually breaks Junko's mind and tries to force her to kill Storm Shadow while Sei Tin murders the man's pupils, which culminates in Junko regaining cognizance long enough to kill herself rather than deal with the trauma Sei Tin subjected her to. When left paralyzed following another defeat, Sei Tin gleefully takes advantage of former partner T'jbang's mercy to swap bodies with him, trapping T'jbang in his own paralyzed, mute body and mocking him daily while attempting to once more turn the Red Ninjas into his own personal army.
- A Real American Hero (IDW):
- "Dr. Venom", real name Claude Vinim note , is the original Mad Scientist for Cobra, who came into the organization after burning a college dean alive for attempting to expose Venom's murder of his own father. Developing the Brainwave Scanner for Cobra, Venom deliberately designs the machine to cause the maximum amount of pain to its victims, using it to Mind Rape anyone unfortunate enough to cross Cobra. After making an Arch-Enemy out of Snake Eyes by using the Brainwave Scanner on him, Venom brutally beats the defenseless G.I. Joe, betrays and tries to kill him when they are forced to team up, and shoots one of Snake Eyes's partners, Kwinn, In the Back when the man showed Venom mercy. Though seemingly killed after a failed attempt to poison the United States's money supply and kill millions, Venom returns, having copied his brain into a computer program, and begins bodyjacking several people, using them in his mad experiments on innocents to kill or subjugate every member of G.I. Joe and Cobra alike. Though lacking in appearances of other leadership of Cobra, Venom's despicable crimes and scoffing of love and caring relationships marks him as one of the worst criminals to ever grace Cobra's ranks.
- Silent Option: Ilsa Bachmann is a vicious, elderly human trafficker who deals primarily in young children. Through her top lieutenants, Ilsa oversees hundreds of kidnapping and trafficking cases for decades, and when Agent Helix begins taking apart her entire operation, Ilsa captures her and tries to force her own team to kill her lest all of them die from a bomb. Ilsa then decides to pay Helix back for her meddling by attempting to murder the woman's foster parents, and is revealed by Firefly to have had an entire group of trafficked children eliminated to silence them, at which point Ilsa betrays and tries to murder Firefly for exposing said information.
- Special Missions (Marvel Spinoff):
- Issue #2—"Words of Honor": Doktor Otto Totenschadel is a Nazi war criminal seeking to escape any form of retribution for his past crimes, no matter the cost. A vicious sadist who oversaw concentration camps and experimented on thousands of innocent people to perfect his horrific "Sarin Plus" nerve gas, Totenschadel hoped for it to be used in World War II to kill millions. However, realizing that a direct deployment of his nerve gas on American soil would lead to him being relentlessly hunted by America's governments, Totenschadel betrayed and murdered several of his fellow Nazis to enable himself to vanish with priceless treasures. When, decades later, Totenschadel is tracked down by Israeli militants seeking his head, the despicable former Nazi tries to hand off his Sarin Plus to Cobra in exchange for protection, uncaring of the millions Cobra will endanger with the nerve gas.
- Issue #22—"Decisions": Bill and Mary are a pair of sadistic terrorists who, along with their partner Erich, go on a vicious shooting spree at a packed airport, gunning down innocent families and civilians with smiles on their faces and while laughing in glee. Killing seventeen people in this rampage, Bill and Mary then take a family hostage inside their home and stage themselves as the hostage family, hoping for the G.I. Joes to mistake the family as the terrorists and kill them in Bill and Mary's place. When this plan fails, Bill tries to kill the whole family before Mary takes the young son Mikey as a hostage, holding a gun to his head and threatening to shoot him in his kneecaps if he struggles, hoping to use him to escape then kill the boy anyway.
- Issue #25—"Forced Play": Nobel Peetman is a Darklonian ambassador who seeks to discredit and wipe out the Lower Darklonian Separatist Front to ensure the dictator Darklon continues to reign supreme and empower Peetman. Pretending to be an ally to the LDSF, Peetman supplies them with bombs and manipulates them into targeting a National History museum, leading to hundreds of civilians being endangered and ran over by the terrorists, before orchestrating their deaths or captures by G.I. Joe. Executing the leader of the LDSF after revealing how he tricked them, Peetman reveals his plan to bomb an elementary school while hundreds of children are inside, then frame the LDSF, annihilating any good will the group has and securing the power bases of Darklon and himself.
- Krake is a brutal, vicious Cobra leader who carves a path of destruction straight into the position of Commander. Born in a war-torn country, Krake raised himself to be a cold-blooded mercenary, able and willing to kill anyone in his way in his path to power and survival. Upon joining Cobra, Krake carries out a bevy of missions chosen for him, notably leading an attempted massacre of a village detrimental to Cobra's operations, until he is chosen as a candidate for Cobra Commander, at which point he assassinates a fellow candidate and orchestrates the deaths of hundreds of G.I. Joes to secure his election. As Cobra Commander, Krake quickly orders the murders of the entire Cobra Council to secure his permanent reign; invades and nukes the country of Nanzhao, killing hundreds; and executes dozens of Cobra prisoners and any Cobra troops who have no usefulness to the organization any longer. Under Krake's more aggressive Cobra, terrorist attacks endangering civilians are faked to kill enemies of Cobra; an entire city is nearly destroyed to frame the G.I. Joes; and young children are taken captive to force their parents to do work for the organization, all of this working together to cement Krake's Cobra as the most evil the organization has ever been.
- Crystal Ball is a member of Cobra's high council, using his position to obscure his true goals of supernatural extinction of the human race. As High Inquisitor of Cobra, Crystal Ball moves through the organization to subject its newer or suspicious members to heinous, untold forms of torture and indoctrination. A cultist madman who has made contact with various abominable, otherworldly beings, Crystal Ball runs simultaneous gambits to bring them all to Earth and wipe out mankind, so egotistically set on being the catalyst himself that he stops Dr. Llund's contact with the Old Ones and tortures her to death for trying to steal his idea. After multiple failed attempts to summon his dark gods while betraying his allies to death, Crystal Ball uses Cobra-La to forcibly massacre and mutate hundreds of people into Viper slaves, then summons Golobulus to Earth so Crystal Ball can bask in the end of all life.
- Rodrigo Vargas is one of the candidates to become the next Cobra Commander, and a Mad Scientist to boot. A sadistically curious lunatic who is introduced covered in blood from an experiment, Vargas begins his campaign to become the new Commander by seemingly donating countless medicine to the city of Kariba, Zimbabwe, as an act of charity; in reality, Vargas has poisoned the medicine, infecting hundreds of thousands with a monstrous plague that drives them into bloodthirsty insanity. As Kariba turns into a war zone of infected citizens tearing the military and each other apart while the government firebombs it, Vargas, suspecting his girlfriend of being a counterintelligence agent, infects her with a brain-eating parasite that destroys her free will centers, before offering her the choice of killing herself, or letting the parasite continue its course and give her an agonizing death. Even when infected with his own virus, Vargas just laughs that there is no cure, bragging that he was planning on letting the virus spiral out of Kariba and kill millions as nothing but a "test" for it, after which he could target anywhere he wanted with a horrible, plague-induced death.
- Firefly is a Cobra operative skilled in pyrotechnics and sabotage who absolutely loves his job. Introduced blowing up a building filled with dozens of people as one of his jobs for Cobra, which is something he routinely does, Firefly later attempts to blow up an entire casino filled with hundreds on Tomax Paoli's orders, showing visible annoyance when many of the patrons flee and lower the body count. Not restricted to just destruction of buildings, Firefly flings a live grenade into a crowd of innocents to kill them all as a distraction for his escape, and assists in Cobra's takeover of an entire town by walking into a police station and burning the entire staff alive with a flamethrower.
- Origins issues #1-5: Chimera is a former Green Beret who got rich from manipulating stocks, but when his crimes were discovered and his money taken from him, he murdered his entire family before going on the run. Undergoing facial reconstruction surgery, Chimera bombs the clinic where he had his operation to kill anyone who saw his face, and later murders numerous police officers who try to arrest him. Taking over a gang of thugs after executing their current leader, Chimera kidnaps a governor's daughter, claiming his plans to use her for ransom to his gang, before sadistically murdering her in front of her father to show his true goal isn't money, but destruction. Chimera reveals he has set two timers, one of which will release a toxin that will kill millions of people worldwide, the other which will leak stock market strategies and money laundering secrets to corrupt individuals, and will lead to economic failure within a few years. Though killed while trying to murder numerous Joes, Chimera's money laundering secrets are still leaked online. Demented and sadistic, Chimera may have been one of the earlier major villains the Joes faced, but he was easily one of the worst.
- Cobra Vol. 2 issue #8—"Serpent's Tale Part Four: Viper's Nest": Skull Buster is the gleefully brutish recruit trainer for Cobra. Skull Buster takes potential recruits on long treks through isolated deserts in which they start out naked and vulnerable. Viciously abusing the recruits every step of their training while ruthlessly murdering any who show weakness, Skull Buster forces them to slaughter anyone they come across to steal their supplies, from Taliban soldiers to entire villages of innocents, including children. Revealed to repeat this kind of training every week on new recruits simply because he loves it, promising that by the time he's done each group will only have "one survivor", Skull Buster seems pleased that his latest group has two survivors, only for one of them to kill himself in sheer revulsion of Skull Buster's evil. Skull Buster simply chuckles "Heh. One."
- Infestation 2: G.I. Joe: Dr. Llund is a fanatical worshiper of the Old Ones. Performing a multitude of sacrifices to contact one, she ends up sacrificing more within COBRA to summon the dark gods and make herself a host of the elder ones, with full intention of them unleashing their songs across the world and completely annihilating it.
- G.I. Joe Vol. 3 issues #14-15: Big Boa is the head of a youth indoctrination camp which molds dozens of innocent kids no older than ten into feral, unthinking killing machines ready to live and die for COBRA. When the Joes ally with an ex-COBRA agent named Siren to rescue her son Isaac from Big Boa's clutches, they find Big Boa has already long ago squeezed out the individuality from Isaac and countless other kids, only one of whom is able to be saved from Big Boa's monstrous psychological conditioning.
- Transformers/G.I. Joe:
- Cobra Commander is the leader of Cobra in the 1930s, here interpreted as a stand-in for the Nazi regime and all the evil that involves. Enslaving the Decepticons to his will after slaughtering a monastery they were slumbering in, the psychopathic Commander forces them to lay waste to cities across Europe, with any survivors of the bloody massacres—even children—being thrown into slave camps or used as human shields. The Commander forces Shockwave to exhaust all of his energy in bombing his foes, uncaring that he's killing most of his slave labor while remarking "that's what they're for", after which Cobra Commander proclaims his intent to overrun the world with his tyrannical rule and institute himself as a god, deciding on a whim who lives and dies under his megalomaniacal boot.
- Anastasia DeCobray, The Baroness, is the Nazi-esque Cobra's highest ranked leader except Cobra Commander himself, and matches her commander in cruelty. A vile sadist who enjoys torturing prisoners with tools thousands of years old, the Baroness subjects the G.I. Joe member Flint to such agony and seemingly kills him in the process. Always advocating for Cobra's more horrible crimes, the Baroness eventually initiates her master plan alongside her lover Destro, murdering their ally Starscream and unleashing the monstrous Bruticus to wipe out enemy, foe, and innocent alike in a bloody massacre. Personally betraying and killing the Commander himself, the Baroness then reveals her intent to kill even Destro, hoping to consolidate her own power once everyone who could rival her is dead.
- G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers:
- G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers II, written by Dan Jolley: Shockwave is a coldly ruthless Decepticon who assumed control of Cybertron after the disappearances of Optimus Prime and Megatron, and now rules it with an iron fist, crushing any rebellion against him. Scheming to invade Earth, Shockwave successfully turns the planet into a warzone, killing billions of humans and keeping countless more as slave labor who he routinely executes by the dozen when they fall behind in their workloads. When the past is altered and Earth is saved from this invasion, Shockwave instead attempts to bring about a time fracture upon Earth, bathing the planet in nuclear fire for decades and wiping out all life on the planet so he can then gut the planet of its resources, and planning to keep human survivors as experiments for him to vivisect.
- Black Horizon, written by Tim Seeley:
- Unicron is the Chaos Bringer, a planet-sized Transformer that devours entire planets and keeps thousands of survivors as tortured, mind-altered slaves inside his body until they die and he replaces them with new victims. Having devoured countless planets over millennia, Unicron struck a deal with Cobra-La on Earth that he would spare the planet for a few centuries until there were billions of humans populating it, at which point Unicron would return and consume them all, leaving the barren husk for Cobra-La to rule. When the G.I. Joes and Transformers try to stop Unicron as he causes natural disasters worldwide and kills countless people, Unicron sics his "antibodies" on them, gleefully boasting his plans to slowly eat them all alive in the same fell swoop that he consumes Earth.
- Golobulus is Unicron's agent on Earth, ruling over Cobra-La and using his forces to scheme for Unicron's return. Capturing and twisting several Transformers into his monstrous slaves, Golobulus uses them to slaughter anyone who tries to uncover his plans, and even takes humans captive to be kept as tortured pets. Threatening and abusing his own people should they fail him, Golobulus, believing humanity to be a blight upon the Earth, summons Unicron to Earth to wipe out the entire race so that himself and Cobra-La can reign over the planet, and tries to brutally kill the G.I. Joe soldier Firewall as a "sacrifice" to Unicron in celebration of the genocide of humanity.
- Danger Girl/G.I. Joe, written by Andy Hartnell: Cobra Commander is as ruthless and unhinged as often portrayed, establishing himself to his command staff by slashing a Cobra soldier to death for another's offhand insult. Planning to use unearthed nuclear missiles to wipe out millions of people across the globe and threaten countless more until they cow to Cobra, the Commander sends his soldiers to implant homing beacons for the missiles at their targets, taunting his troops all the while that he has no plans to hesitating to fire the missiles when the beacons are ready, uncaring if they are caught up in the blast.
- Street Fighter x G.I. Joe, written by Aubrey Sitterson: M. Bison is the domineering dictator of Mriganka and the founder of the Shadaloo crime syndicate, using his resources to host a massive fighting tournament so as to power his Psycho Drive with the dueling energies. Teaming up with Destro as his partner, Bison also mocks Cammy over her time as one of Bison's enslaved, brainwashed soldiers, and brutally beats her to near death for fun. Bison's ultimate plan is to use his Psycho Drive to orchestrate the destruction of several major cities around the world, killing millions of people until the world cows to him, and reveals he will kill Destro as well when he outlives his usefulness.
- G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero vs. The Six Million Dollar Man, written by Ryan Ferrier: Cobra Commander himself plots to Take Over the World. He starts by having Baroness and Doctor Mindbender brainwash Steve Austin, The Six Million Dollar Man, into joining them, while Commander and Cobra forces take over the massive Infinity Centre skyscraper in Switzerland, taking over the top floor and threatening the lives of the inhabitants. Promising a "bloodbath" if anybody challenges his rule, Commander has Baroness and her henchmen attempt to bring down Air Force One and kill everyone on board, ultimately aiming to prevent the signing of a global peace accord on the Frisian Islands. When this fails, Commander's contingency plan is to have Baroness activate Austin's arm—basically turning it into a nuclear weapon—and attempt to blow up the island, killing thousands of people.
- Battle's Action Force: In this British comic retooling of the classic G.I. Joe franchise, Baron Ironblood, later Cobra Commander, is a sociopathic terrorist obsessed with subjugating or destroying all he surveys. Having created the terrorist organization known as the Red Shadows in a murderous campaign, Ironblood uses them to perpetrate various atrocities throughout the comic, from attempting to wipe out entire cities to planning full-scale invasions of countries at a time, promising to paint the streets red with blood, until, finally annoyed at his constant losses, Ironblood betrays his entire organization to be wiped out by Action Force, ditching them to their fates while he restyles himself as Cobra Commander, creating a new group called Cobra in the process. With this new group, Cobra Commander's evil only increases, as he tries to kick-start wars, enslave London, and finally infect all of humanity with a plague, the cure for which he will only give to those who will bow down to him. Cobra Commander is also a horrific boss to his minions, subjecting them to training that kills dozens of them at a time, executing them for the pettiest of slights, and feeding them to ravenous beasts regularly for his own amusement. Be it as Ironblood or Cobra Commander, this power-hungry madman would let no man, woman, or child come between him and his goals, and he kills thousands of them to illustrate this point.
- Extreme, written by Mike W. Barr:
- Iron Klaw is the main villain the military team the G.I. Joes confront in this comic miniseries, and handily the worst. The leader of the terrorist group Soldiers of Kaos, Anarchy, and Ruin, or S.K.A.R., surpassed in rank only by the Duchess, Iron Klaw murdered his way to the top position of the group, and is a horrific boss, murdering his henchmen for everything from accidentally touching him, to simply assert his ego. After murdering the Duchess when she slowly shows disgust for his homicidal plans for world domination, Iron Klaw murders a man, taking out many of his soldiers in the same instance, to steal his political position, and proceeds to steal the powerful crop hormone known as Ferti-gel, poisons it, then plans to spread it across numerous countries to plunge them into famine and drought in order to blackmail the world with his massive supply of food. Even when forced into an Enemy Mine situation with the Joes against Red Scream, Iron Klaw takes every opportunity to betray and try to murder his "allies". Iron Klaw was a complete sociopath who was only concerned with his own personal power.
- Inferno is a psychopathic Mad Bomber who, though only a minor servant of Iron Klaw in the present, is revealed to be a truly wicked individual in his backstory, shown in the short arc From the Ashes. Using his pyrotechnic skills, Inferno bombed more than half a dozen military bases, killing dozens of innocent American soldiers, and follows it up by blowing up an American intelligence agency, killing more than thirty people. After bombing the recently-created G.I. Joe base, wiping out most of the starting Joes, Inferno goes on to try and kill the President of the United States with an explosive during a mass funeral for his own victims, fully aware of the dozens of military families present as well.
- Cobra Commander is a self-serving sociopath masquerading as a well-intentioned revolutionary. As the leader of the terrorist group Cobra, the Commander is a power-hungry madman obsessed with bringing America to its knees, and kicks the story off by blowing up the Golden Gate Bridge and the many civilians on it. The Commander's ultimate plan is to drop the Omega Black virus onto a highly-populated city, which will horrifically melt millions of innocent people, at which point he will blackmail other cities to cow to his whims. When his plans are thwarted, the Commander attempts to simply launch as many nukes as possible as he makes his retreat. Despite his supposedly benevolent attitude toward his minions, the Commander shows his true colors as he ruthlessly executes anyone who fails him, even animals, and goes on a murder spree of his own soldiers for the slightest of reasons, showing himself to be just a petty, raging bully given power.
- Firefly is a mercenary-turned-Cobra agent who takes joy in classical music and blowing things up. After bombing the Golden Gate bridge in Cobra's name, killing dozens, Firefly derails a train and executes the surviving passengers with a gun to steal supplies which he uses to take over an oil rig whose staff he massacres. Firefly murders anyone who tries to approach the rig, and later mocks a Joe over the fact that Firefly killed the man's girlfriend in a previous job.
- Future Noir, written by Andy Schmidt: In this non-canon, alternate universe, the sociopathic Dr. Mindbender is portrayed as far worse than his mainstream counterpart. Mindbender performs horrifying experiments on numerous innocents, including children, who are drawn into the cult of Cobra. These experiments leave them as hideous monsters in constant agony that he uses to kill anyone who defies Cobra. With raving fanaticism for his leader, Serpentor, Mindbender plans to spread a toxin countrywide that will turn all it infects into monstrous and mangled beasts in order to leave only the "pureness" of the Cobra cult to exist in the world. Commiting his crimes For Science! and misanthropy, Mindbender stood out as a wicked monster who more than made up for the relatively low quantity his crimes with the sheer monstrosity of said crimes.
- 2019 series: Anastasia DeCobray, better known as The Baroness, is a cheerfully destructive Cobra officer with zero allegiance to any ideology except violence itself. Revealed to be the one who suggested the utter decimation of Indianapolis and its population to quell rebellion, the Baroness continues to suggest similarly brutal tactics in the present, threatening to destroy any and every city across America that G.I. Joe crops up in with no care for the body count. Commissioning Dr. Mindbender to perform inhumane experiments on reviving dead Cobra troops, the Baroness casually sentences a Cobra guard to be taken apart by Mindbender and shows her further distaste for her own subordinates when she snaps a Cobra operative's neck to use him as a Human Shield. The Baroness cements herself as the worst the otherwise well-intentioned Cobra has to offer in this continuity, basking in her belief that destroying hope is "beautiful".
- A Real American Hero continuity:
- The Movie: Golobulus is the ruler of Cobra-La and by far the most depraved villain to come from the original animated series. An ancient serpent entity who once lorded over Earth, Golobulus emerges from a deep hibernation thousands of years later to the sight of humanity having blossomed. Refusing to share the planet with anyone else and finding humans to be disgusting apes, Golobulus created the terrorist organization Cobra and installed Cobra Commander as his puppet, using the group to commit a variety of atrocities against the human race in an attempt to exterminate or subjugate them. Tired of Commander's constant inept failures, Golobulus painfully transforms the man into a snake, then reveals his plans to repeat a similar process on the entirety of humankind, reducing billions to submissive beasts for Golobulus to lord over. When the G.I. Joes attempt to thwart his plans, Golobulus sadistically brutalizes and tries to murder them all, bragging his intent to bathe in their blood before moving on to conquer all humans.
- DiC run:
- "The Sludge Factor" two-parter & "Infested Island": Cesspool, once Vincent D'Avella, was a corrupt businessman peddling poisonous chemicals as "super growth" serum, uncaring of the horrid environmental damage he caused. After being exposed to his own chemicals and dubbing himself Cesspool, the madman pretends to ally with Cobra in a scheme to hold a massive food supply hostage, only to reveal his true intentions are to irradiate the entire planet, hoping to destroy the Earth and all life on it for sheer hatred of all things that symbolize life. Cesspool later tries to sic an army of mutated bugs onto cities across the world, endangering countless innocents while he tries to mutate several G.I. Joes into his insectoid slaves.
- "The Greatest Evil" two-parter: The Headman is a far darker villain than the common variety of Cobra agents G.I. Joe faces. A wicked drug dealer who has reduced an entire neighborhood to ghoulish addiction and agony, deliberately addicting children and using lethal force against anyone who stands in his way, the Headman soon enough introduces his new "Spark" drug to the market, the immensely potent, lethal drug driving its victims mad or into near-death comas. Intending to spread Spark on a global scale and bask in the ensuing fortunes despite the suffering it will cause, the Headman takes two of his addicted victims as hostages when G.I. Joe and Cobra team up to take him down, and attempts to douse several members of each group with concentrated Spark to horribly kill them all with the toxic chemical. Even after getting hit with the concentrated Spark, the Headman hits the self-destruct sequence for his base, trying to ensure the Joes and Cobra die as well.
- Extreme: Iron Klaw is the maniacal leader of SKAR (Soldiers of Khaos, Anarchy and Ruin), using his public guise of Count Von Rani to cover up his heinous acts. Iron Klaw abuses and threatens his own minions into submission and regularly endangers innocents in his schemes for power, never hesitating to test out a new weapon or acquired Kill Sat on entire cities. In one of his most horrific crimes, Iron Klaw subjected dozens of captured men to experiments that left them mutilated monstrosities that he abandoned to die, and when the sole "success", Wreckage, lost his memory, Iron Klaw manipulated him into believing America was behind his trauma, and uses him as a weapon that he discards as soon as he runs out of usefulness. Iron Klaw's grandest scheme comes when he invades a meeting of dozens of world leaders and infects them all with a deadly plague, using them as hostages to enable his takeover of America, and, when Iron Klaw's attempts to gain control of America's nuclear weapons to use in a conquest of Earth fails, he orders the world leaders be burned alive and their screams broadcasted for all his enemies to hear.
- Sigma 6: Cobra Commander is as bombastically villainous as always, and despite the heavy censorship of this series, stands out as a purely evil warlord. Using "Thor's Hammer" to obliterate the G.I. Joe base of operations, the Commander then attempts to use "Thor's Hammer" to carve off the entire East Coast of America so as to invade it and create his own country, uncaring of the massive casualties that would ensue. The Commander pulls off a variety of other terrorist acts that endanger many innocent people—all while threatening the lives of his minions and command council for the slightest of failures—and reaches the apex of his evil when he unveils the Terrordrome. Using the Terrordrome, the Commander throws all of Earth's weather into catastrophic conditions, causing floods and forest fires worldwide that endanger countless lives, and follows it up by threatening to leave entire countries in these conditions while revealing he has frozen all of the world's leaders alive to serve as trophies to his conquest.
- Resolute: Cobra Commander is the ruthless leader of the international terrorist organization Cobra, and this version is a far cry from his previous versions. Appearing before the United Nations via a hologram, Cobra Commander wipes out Moscow and its population of 10 million with his Kill Sat and announces he will do the same to more nations if the world hasn't surrendered to him within 24 hours. After the G.I. Joes begin thwarting his plans, Cobra Commander orders his soldiers to destroy cities randomly until the world gives him what he wants, then kills one of them for informing him they have to recharge the weapon first. When the Joes locate his base, Cobra Commander proceeds to freak out, slaughter his entire command center, and try to use his satellite laser to obliterate Washington, D.C. before being stopped by the G.I. Joes.
- Cobra Commander/Adam DeCobray is the cruel, calculating head of Cobra Industries, who uses the supposed philanthropic organization to mask the terrorist activities of the group "Cobra". The Commander utilizes Cobra for a variety of crimes, from developing a bioplague to wiping out entire towns when they halt Cobra development, all while silencing any potential leaks and ruthlessly executing or punishing his subordinates, notably sealing a metal mask around the face of James McCullen and dubbing him "Destro". To combat the Joes, the Commander threatens their entire families with death, kidnaps one of their number to experiment on, and frames them for heinous crimes committed by Cobra itself. After his bevy of plans to Take Over the World through more subtle methods are consistently thwarted by the Joes, the Commander forgoes all attempts at obscurity and tries to lead a full-on invasion of various countries using the M.A.S.S. device.
- Dr. Mindbender, real name Brian Bender is portrayed here as a more youthful, monstrous incarnation of his usual depictions in media. A psychopathic Mad Scientist who develops the Bio-Viper army for Cobra, Mindbender experiments on innocents to assist in his projects, and works with Baroness in ordering the deranged Firefly to destroy a small town and its inhabitants. Torturing the twin psychics Tomax and Xamot in an attempt to use their powers for Mind Rape, Mindbender later tries to destroy Brooklyn, New York just to distract the Joes from his activities, and interrogates and threatens a young child for information in the same episode. As Cobra develops the M.A.S.S. device, Mindbender cheerfully tests it on Cobra's own soldiers, uncaring of any deaths it causes, before trying to send Snake Eyes through it and kill him while making his best friend Scarlett watch.
Films & related worksThe Rise of Cobra & Retaliation
- The Doctor/Cobra Commander is the Diabolical Mastermind behind Cobra, and the ultimate villain of the films. Once a soldier named Rex Lewis who was left to die by his military allies, the Commander embraced his abandonment, as it gave him time to weaponize the nanomite technology and ally with James "Destro" McCullen of MARS Industries as "the Doctor". Using the nanomite technology to mind control a variety of soldiers—even his own sister Ana, the future Baroness—"the Doctor" planned to assist McCullen in using the nanomites to wipe out major cities, before using Zartan to replace the President of the United States for ultimate power. After the nanomite plan fails, "the Doctor" betrays McCullen, uses Ana as a hostage, tries to blow up his entire lair and everyone inside and christens himself Cobra Commander. Later escaping prison, the Commander uses Zeus to destroy London, promising to continue wiping out entire cities until the world cows to Cobra.
- Zartan is the Commander's right-hand psychopath, a Master of Disguise whose sadism and cheerful personality make him far worse than any other servant of Cobra. His introductory scene showing him stabbing Cover Girl through the back and mocking her as she dies, Zartan assists in killing a variety of Joes before killing a man for his clothes to evade capture. After capturing and replacing the President of the United States, who he regularly tortures for information, Zartan orders the execution of the G.I. Joes and kickstarts a war in a foreign country to enable Cobra Commander's escape. At the demonstration of Zeus, Zartan giddily pulls the trigger that blows up the city of London, England, and is revealed to have been the one who killed Storm Shadow's master as a child and corrupted him into evil, cementing himself as the worst Cobra has to offer alongside its Commander.
- The Rise of Cobra (primarily): James "Destro" McCullen is the head of Military Armaments Research Syndicate (M.A.R.S.) Industries, using the company to mask his growing schemes for power. Able and willing to sell weapons to terrorists worldwide and eager to test out said weapons on anyone in close proximity, McCullen works with the Doctor to create the powerful machines called Nanites, using them to turn hundreds of men into enslaved soldiers fully aware of their surroundings but unable to control their own actions. Developing four nanite warheads then orchestrating the destruction of the military convoy transporting them, McCullen tests one of the warheads out on Paris in an attempt to wipe it out, before planning to use the other three to destroy Moscow, Beijing and Washington, D.C., at which point his plan to use an impostor President to take control of a panicked Earth will ensue. McCullen also arranges for the deaths of his own troops should they be captured, has the President's security detail killed, and keeps the Baroness as his enslaved puppet to seduce, even ordering the death of her public husband out of mere jealousy.
- Retaliation Extended Action Cut: Firefly is a sadistic pyrotechnics expert who happily works with Cobra for the chance to see "the look" on the faces of his victims when they die. Killing his way inside a prison in his introductory scene, taking the time to mercilessly gun down two defenseless security guards after bombing their partners, Firefly also leads the massacre of the G.I. Joes, killing dozens upon dozens of unsuspecting soldiers. Later mocking Roadblock over this slaughter of his friends, Firefly is tasked by Cobra Commander in securing the Project Zeus control case so the Joes can't stop the weapon, something Firefly quickly accomplishes, nearly murdering fellow Cobra agent Zartan in the process just because he dislikes the man. Firefly is utterly smug in the fact that millions will be killed by Zeus thanks to him protecting the control case, disregarding the lives of his own men as he tries to enable Zeus to fire.
- Tie-in comics:
- The Rise of Cobra prequel issue #4—"Snake Eyes": Skorpion is the leader of the Russian Green Army, an Eco-Terrorist organization that takes several government figures hostage. Demanding the shutdown of a dam, Skorpion declares that he'll blow it up and drown thousands of people if his demands are not met, later retaliating against Snake Eyes by trying to trick him into killing a hostage. When his demands aren't met, Skorpion gleefully begins massacring his hostages, gunning them down en masse.
- Operation HISS, written by Brian Reed: Major Sebastian Bludd is a mercenary hired by Cobra to cover up its criminal activities and enable the escape of Cobra Commander from imprisonment. Using nanomite technology to turn entire factories of workers into living statues or bloodthirsty soldiers, Bludd kidnaps a variety of military soldiers to use as hostages, executing one simply because his rank is higher than "major". Bludd demands the release of Cobra Commander, threatening to start detonating bombs across the entire world and kill thousands of people if his demands are not met, and illustrates the threat is real by blowing up the Golden Gate bridge, killing everyone on it with smug satisfaction before ordering a variety of other bombs be detonated—though noting to spare Sydney, Australia from any of them, as he has family there he wants to kill with his bare hands very soon.
- The Rise of Cobra, by Double Helix Games: Cobra Commander is bent on world domination no matter the cost. Cobra runs a variety of operations around the globe using experimented-upon, mind-controlled soldiers and hostage scientists, all at the Commander's behest. After attempting to test the nanomites by firing warheads full of them at various cities, the Commander reveals his final scheme is to use the M.A.S.S. teleportation device to wage destructive war on all countries at once until Cobra reigns supreme.
- Kenta is a power-hungry Yakuza boss who was once the heir apparent to the Arashikage clan. Banished and losing his claim to the clan when he tried to murder his rival, Tommy, Kenta began arms smuggling and war profiteering to form an alliance with Cobra. Working with his new partner Snake Eyes to manipulate Tommy, Kenta sacrifices the lives of dozens of his men in service of a staged fight, and later burns another alive to test the Jewel of the Sun. Upon properly obtaining the Jewel, Kenta marches on the Arashikage fortress and massacres all in his path, planning to wipe out the entirety of the Arashikage as punishment for his banishment, after which Kenta betrays his partner the Baroness to keep the Jewel all to himself for more intended atrocities.