"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."
Comic Books (by publication date)
- G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (Marvel) & Devil's Due series:
- 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.
- Vance Wingfield, debuting in "Operation: Wingfield", is a military tactician obsessed with the idea of survival of the fittest, and, believing that a large portion of humanity has become weak, sets out to cull mankind. Wingfield plans to frame America for dropping a nuclear bomb onto a highly populated Russian city, then ride out the ensuing World War III before rising up and ruling over whatever of humanity is left. To aid in his endeavors, Wingfield subjects numerous men to Training from Hell, while attempting to turn their children into Child Soldiers, and eventually tries to blow up himself, his followers, and their entire families with another nuke to ensure a nuclear holocaust starts even if he is dead. Surviving this event, though crippled, Wingfield goes on to create a virus that can pull satellites down from orbit, and proceeds to drop satellites onto both Chicago and Silicon Valley, killing thousands of men, women, and children, planning to do the same to Washington, D.C. and New York City as well. Even after death, Wingfield's crimes continue, as his son Tyler, whom Wingfield horribly abused and corrupted into becoming like him, tries to continue his father's legacy, threatening millions of lives, all the while unaware that his father was planning to kill him as a child because he was showing weakness. Vance Wingfield stood out even among the terrorist organization Cobra as one of the few wholly irredeemable villains the G.I. Joes faced in their original comic run.
- Extreme comic mini-series:
- 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, much like many of his other incarnations, a pure evil lunatic in this mini-series created to make a more realistic take on the franchise. 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 innocents on it. Going on to try and steal the United States Constitution, the Commander's ultimate plan is to drop the Omega Black virus onto a highly-populated city, which will painfully rot the bodies of the millions infected by it before melting their brains, at which point he will blackmail other cities to cow to his whims. When the Joes show up to stop him, the Commander attempts to simply launch as many nukes as possible as he makes his retreat. Despite his seemingly-benevolent attitude toward his minions, this is completely thrown out the window when he is revealed to ruthlessly execute anyone who fails him, even animals, and goes a murder spree of his own soldiers for the pettiest of reasons. Though slightly implied to have a tragic backstory and many claims of well-intentioned goals, Cobra Commander is ultimately shown to be a remorseless and deranged tyrant with nothing but greed and evil itself driving him.
- 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.
- 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.
- G.I. Joe (IDW)
- The Second Cobra Commander, real name Krake, is the egomanical psychopath who took over the terrorist organization Cobra after the previous leader's death. Growing up in a war-torn country, Krake became a dangerous soldier by his teen years, and ruthlessly killed anyone who threatened his livelihood, from innocent slaves who worked too slowly, to his own partners when he suspected one of them might be a mole. Joining up with Cobra, Krake became one of its top enforcers, murdering dozens of innocents and trying to slaughter an entire village of people throughout his missions. Eventually taking over the organization as the new Commander, Krake's first order is to lead to an onslaught on the entire country of Nanzhao, massacring hundreds of innocents, nuking its major cities, and turning it into a radioactive wasteland. Showing no loyalty or care for anyone but himself, Krake regularly attempts mass murder and bombings, from shooting up airports and bombing entire cities, to trying to drop an entire plane onto the city of Paris to kill one person. With slave camps worldwide, Krake has adults and children alike forced to work under threat of death, and, in some cases, sends the children to training camps where they are brainwashed into becoming sociopathic fanatics of Cobra's cause. A homicidal megalomaniac who killed any and all threats or annoyances to himself on a whim, Krake is one of the most wicked Cobra Commanders throughout the G.I. Joe franchise.
- Xamot Paoli is the more sadistically inclined, ambitious twin brother of the pragmatic Tomax. Committing a variety of war crimes and atrocities throughout his life alongside his brother, from slavery to exterminating hundreds of innocent people, Xamot makes a personal enemy with the G.I. Joe Chuckles when he tricks Chuckles into killing his own Love Interest for an ultimately pointless reason. After being scarred across his face by Chuckles for this, Xamot grows more unhinged and deranged, culminating in his concoction of a scheme to murder the Cobra High Command—starting with his own brother—which Xamot personally kicks off by massacring an entire room of defenseless Cobra agents. Though sharing many of his crimes with his brother, Xamot is the more proactive and crueler of the duo, and uses his relatively few appearances to make his own mark.
- 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.
- 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.
- Skull Buster is the recruit trainer for Cobra, and a sadistic brute to boot. To train potential recruits, Skull Buster takes them on long treks through isolated locations such as deserts or jungles, forcing them to start out naked and starved. When any of the recruits show weakness, such as decreasing mental health or revulsion at eating raw meat, Skull Buster wastes no time in ruthlessly killing them. Along their travels, Skull Buster has his troops murder any and all people they come across, be they Taliban soldiers or innocent villagers-including children—in order to steal their supplies. Doing this routine weekly on separate groups each time, Skull Buster enjoys his job way too much, and takes sadistic pleasure in any of his trainees' deaths, be they by his hand, their own weakness, or suicide. Though having limited appearances, Skull Buster made his mark as the most wicked low-level villain in the story.
- Future Noir: 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.
- Transformers/G.I. Joe, by John Ney Rieber: Cobra Commander continues to prove himself capable of being an irredeemable psychopath when it comes to adaptations of his original iteration. With Cobra serving as a stand-in for the Nazi Party, Commander runs his empire with the same cruel egomania that the Nazis were known for. After discovering the Decepticons hidden in an ancient monastery whose inhabitants he has just had slaughtered, Commander forcefully takes control of the Decepticons and forces them to lay waste to numerous countries across Europe, including Berlin and Rome. Any survivors of these massacres, including the children, are forced into slave camps, and, later, used as human shields against the Commander's enemies. After forcing a Decepticon to exhaust all his energy in wantonly laying waste to enemies and allies alike, the Commander reveals his plan to use the Decepticons to institute a new world order under his rule where only the strong will survive and serve under his thumb. Cobra Commander is a megalomaniac whose status as a stand-in for the Nazi leadership makes him one of the most realistic, and wicked, baddies throughout the G.I. Joe franchise.
- G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero vs. The Six Million Dollar Man, by Ryan Ferrier, SL Gallant, et al.: 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.
- The Movie: Golobulus, the ruler of the ancient serpent civilization Cobra-La and the Greater-Scope Villain for both Cobra Commander and Serpentor, is the most evil villain in the original G.I. Joe animated series. Once the ruler of Earth, Golobulus and his subjects were forced underground 40,000 years ago due to the Ice Age, and when, centuries later, Golobulus planned to resurface and rule once more, he was outraged when he saw that humanity had become the dominant species. Refusing to share the Earth with anything even close in intelligence to himself, Golobulus installed one of his servants into a terrorist organization as its leader, this servant rechristening himself Cobra Commander and making countless attempts to wipe out or dominate human civilization in the name of Golobulus. Growing annoyed with Commander when he constantly fails, Golobulus painfully transforms him into an actual cobra, then reveals that he plans to drop spores onto the Earth to agonizingly turn all of mankind into monstrous beasts with animal intelligence so as to pave the way for Golobulus to rule once more. When the G.I. Joes show up to stop him, Golobulus puts his sadistic personality on full display as he proclaims his plans to bathe his hands in their blood and make sure the last noise they hear is the sound of their own vertebrae snapping one by one. Despite appearing in a series known for its rather cheesy, ineffectual villains, Golobulus was a surprisingly dark and cruel villain, with his genocidal plans surpassing anything attempted thus far in the series.
- Sgt. Savage and his Screaming Eagles: Lieutenant Garrison "General Blitz" Krieger, aka Dr. Garret Stromm, quickly establishes himself as one of the most evil characters in the franchise. A member of the IRON (International Robotic Operations Network) Army in World War II, Krieger infiltrated the U.S. Army and served in Sgt. Savage's unit, all of whom he led into a trap, with only Savage surviving the ensuing slaughter. Krieger then subjects Savage to horrific experiments in his attempts to create a super-soldier to help The IRON Army win the war. Having Savage cryogenically frozen after The IRON Army's defeat, Krieger turns himself into a cyborg and spends the next 50 years re-establishing The IRON Army in secret, helping to create the terrorist group Cobra in the process. When Savage's frozen body is located by the G.I. Joes, Krieger dispatches an executioner robot to kill Savage and any Joes that get in its way. Krieger then initiates his master plan: Using a satellite weapon to take control of Earth's computer systems, then leading The IRON Army in the conquest of the world. Savage, though brutally beaten and taunted by Krieger, manages to stop his plan, but not before Krieger makes his escape. A vicious would-be dictator, Krieger was willing to betray, torture, and murder anyone who got in his way to ensure The IRON Army's domination of the world.
- 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.
- Adam DeCobray/Cobra Commander is the CEO of Cobra Industries, a business organization he uses to cover up Cobra, a ruthless terrorist group. Using Cobra to manufacture everything from weapons to plagues, Commander frames a group of soldiers who try to reveal Cobra Industries's true colors, sending them on the run for the rest of the series. When the soldiers, called "Joes," continuously meddle in his plans, Commander has the parents of the leader, Duke, kidnapped, offers a deal for their lives, then plans on killing them along with the Joes after the deal is through. Commander takes no slight against him lightly, shown when he tries to bomb a college to kill one blogger who slanders Cobra Industries, feeds a possible whistleblower to his pet, Serpentor, and seals a metal mask onto James McCullen (Destro) for leaking information about Cobra. Along with regularly attempting to starve, annihilate, and blackmail entire cities, Commander has a lethal virus developed that he plans on spreading across the world, then selling the cure only to those who can afford it. After his plan to mind-control the entire planet fails, Commander plans to use the M.A.S.S. device to transport his armies across the globe and Take Over the World. When The Joes interfere once again, he flies into a rage, brutally beats them down, then tries to drag Duke down with him when he falls over an edge. Cold-blooded and power-hungry beyond salvation, Cobra Commander once again proves himself to be far worse than his original counterpart ever hoped to be.
- Dr. Mindbender is the young, sociopathic, top scientist of Cobra. Commisioned by Cobra Commander to build an army of Bio-Vipers, Mindbender happily tries to feed the Joes to them, and when one of his Vipers escapes and begins causing chaos, Mindbender goes to extra lengths to put civilians in danger. When the people of a town Cobra is plunging into a drought by building a dam begin fighting back against Cobra, Mindbender, along with the Baroness, pays Firefly to destroy the town and its inhabitants. Tracking down twin psychics, whom he located by torturing a fake medium, Mindbender captures and subjects the twins to horrific experiments. Later, the Joes accidentally release the powerful Electro-Viper onboard a ship, and Mindbender remotely targets it towards Destro's castle, completely aware of the destruction the creature would cause once it reaches land. After another of his Vipers escapes, Mindbender tortures a young boy for the Viper's whereabouts, and later tries to level Brooklyn, New York to act as a distraction while he flees the Joes. Helping build the M.A.S.S. device for Cobra, Mindbender nonchalantly tests it on Cobra's own soldiers, many of whom don't survive, and later tries to send Snake-Eyes through the machine in order to force his best friend to reveal the machine's secrets to Mindbender, then tries to kill them both once the device starts working. Doing everything for sick thrills or for science, Mindbender may not have been as powerful or influential as his cohorts, but he far surpassed them in sheer monstrosity.
- 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.
- Operation HISS tie-in comic: 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.
- 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.