Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Bad Guy Beatdown Round 14 - Cobra Commander

Today we're looking at the world terrorist leader Cobra Commander.  Here we have something different from the rest of his cartoon villain peers: someone with no abilities, no talents, and no skill.  Cobra Commander has one thing going for him and one thing alone - Money.  Before I go any further, I must say that I wasn't able to watch all of CC's first 13 episodes, since the original G.I. Joe mini-series wasn't available on my normal cartoon watching sites.  The 13 episodes I watched started with the Revenge of Cobra mini-series, but I was able to watch the first episode of the first series where CC explains that he bank rolls all of Cobra's schemes with his hard-stolen money and complained of losing a fortune when his plans don't work out right.

So Cobra Commander has money, and lots of it, even if he has to supplement that with Tomax and Xamot's Extensive Enterprises, which is Cobra's legitimate business front.  What does that money buy him, though?  Apparently a LOT.  Cobra has a number of massive fortresses with improbable locations - in a desert, in a swamp, underground - each one with giant mechanical snake motifs.

It affords him a literal army of troops that, even if they can't shoot or fight for crap, can overwhelm the Joes, even their best fighter, Snake-Eyes.  It's amazing that he can hire so many people willing to sign up for his terrorist activities but can't give them a firing rang or a boxing ring to train in.  Along with that, they're apparently skilled enough to drive a tank or pilot a jet, but not well enough to not get knocked over or shot out of the sky after just a few minutes in battle.  His money also gives him the opportunity to hire a bunch of mercenaries that actually can do stuff, like Firefly or Zartan, even if he can't inspire much loyalty in them.

Lastly, in a huge surprise to me, he has access to giant robots!  The first time I shows up in the Revenge of Cobra mini-series, I was prepared to write it off as a one-time thing, possibly influenced by G.I. Joe's sister show, Transformers.  But then, another two robots show up in the first regular episode of their cartoon.  They're totally different looking, but the fact that they show up in two episodes makes it canon.  The second set didn't look like this one, but it's such a cool look, I just prefer this one.  No idea if it's piloted by someone or in programmed to follow orders, but either way, it's a great asset to have.

So he's got a slew of very basic fighters at his beck and call, how does he lead them?  Cobra Commander is hindered by two massive flaws: his impatience and his need to be entertained.  First off his impatience.  CC needs to be kept abreast of all of his schemes at all times and if he has to wait, he will destroy his own equipment in a hissy fit.  Secondly, he often puts his plans on hold just to watch the Joes fight in gladiatorial combat.  I don't know why that's such a big deal, but it happens way more often than I expected.

Besides that, Cobra Commander has no advantages.  He can't fight at all, getting captured without resistance at least 3 times.  He carries a gun, but in the 13 episodes I saw, he drew it once but never fired it.  He is capable of flying a helicopter or one of those winged jetpacks, but since both were shot down a few minutes after takeoff, here can't be a really good pilot. It's no wonder Serpentor was able to steal leadership from him so easily later on in the series.

Sorry for the lack of images, my internet is really slow and I can't find the pictures I want. I'll edit this later with more pics.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Bad Guy Beatdown Round 13 - Results

Shadow Weaver's portal find as it grew big enough for Hordak to walk through. He didn't know what to expect if the world on the other side, but he knew of Nazgar and the technological power he controlled before his death. If Hordak could harness that power for the Horde, he could squash the Rebellion and finally claim victory over that barbarian woman, She-Ra.
“Hopefully, those fools Catra and Scorpia can keep the Rebellion in check while I'm gone,” he said as he disappeared from Etheria and set for on the alien world. “What was it Shadow Weaver called it?” he asked himself. “Earth! That name sounds familiar.” He tapped his plated chin then shrugged. Etheria was his concern, for soon he would have it completely within the Horde's control.
As he walked the craggy landscape, he pondered Shadow Weaver's guidance - collect the three messages crystals to fund Nazgar's location and “liberate” his weapons. He looked at the desolate area that surrounded him and wondered if it was Nazgar's weapons which had caused it. He took the scanner from his belt and held it aloft: it started pinging immediately to his left. Shadow Weaver's directions had been spot on, depositing Hordak at the location of the first of the crystals, hidden within a volcanic cavern.
He pointed his arm at the cave entrance and transformed it, blue energy coursing over his limb, the flesh and blood converting into circuitry and conduits.  The cannon that replaced his hand glowed bright red before a stream of energy shot out, boring the collapsed rock away and revealing the stone altar inside, surrounded by a pool of steaming liquid. It reminded Hordak of home and put a smile on his white scaled face.

Possessing the first of his master's message crystals, Hun-Dred sought out the second at the volcano. While his Cult of Dred handled Maxx Steele and his insufferable Robo Force, Hun-Dred would snatch the crystal and escape. His master's order were explicit - retrieve the three crystals and Hun-Dred will know how to resurrect him so they can take over the planet.
Following his sensor readings, Hun-Dred approached the cave entrance, only to find it blasted open. Did Maxx Steele beat him there? He hovered inside, arming his crusher claws with the drill bits stored on his back. “Who has invaded this sacred place?” Hun-Dred called in his robotic voice, the lights on his chest flashing with each syllable and illuminating different facets of the cave.
“Sacred, is it?” the intruder called out, holding the purple crystal in his hand. “You should really consider a housekeeper.” He snorted out a string of laughter.
“That crystal belongs to me,” Hun-Dred days, ignoring the slight. “It is the property if my master, Nazgar.”
“Thank you for confirming my suspicions, you ugly bucket of bolts. Now, get out of my way so I can give the others and steal your master's ultimate weapon.” The intruder’s arm suddenly transformed into a ribbed barrel and shot a blast of energy at Hun-Dred.
In a microsecond, Hun-Dred's computer brain calculated the trajectory of the blast and hovered a foot to the left, avoiding the attack. More calculations allowed him to evade two other shots all while determining the best counter-attack. Stalactites in the cavern’s ceiling would provide enough weight to crush the intruder, Hun-Dred theorized in an instant.  He tilted his head back and aimed the two lasers under his helmet up, firing two blazing beams above the intruder.
The double lasers crumbled the ceiling’s hold and the massive pointed rock formations, dropping them directly onto the intruder.  Buried under tons of rubble, whoever he was would surely be dead and the crystal would be Hun-Dred’s. He stabbed at the pile of rock with his drill bit and began the tedious task of clearing the rubble obscuring his prize.  
When the ground beneath him Hun-Dred began to rumble, his sensors didn’t pick up the tremors due to his hover capabilities.  At the last moment, the sound of metal boring through the volcanic rock alerted him of something coming up just beneath him. He dodged out of the way just as the massive drill broke through the surface, an ugly white face just below the spinning head.  
“You’ll have to try harder than that if you want to beat Hordak!” The drill said before glowing blue and returning to the intruder’s form.  Hun-Dred had never seen a mechanical or technological being with such great shape-shifting powers - he would take the creature’s corpse to Nazgar for examination once it had been destroyed.  Hun-Dred dropped the drill bit and lunged at the intruder, catching both its arms in his crushing claws.
Hordak yowled in pain and kicked Hun-Dred away.  He surveyed the damage to his arms, mangled just above the shoulder.  The energy that had changed the one arm into a blaster tried channeling through both arms, but stopped at the spot where Hun-Dred’s claws has squeezed.
“That’s a clever trick,” Hordak said, “but as you saw earlier, I can change more than just my arms.”  Hunching his shoulders to his neck, more blue energy coursed over his entire body, turning the humanoid creature into a rocket with the same ugly face on it.  Flames shot from the bottom as it launched into the air.
Hun-Dred attempted to fire his lasers at the rocket, but the speed it flew proved impossible for him to lock on to.  Before Hun-Dred could fully turn around, the rocket form slammed into his back and sending him flying. Without a foot grasp on the ground due to his hover capablities, Hun-Dred had no chance of stopping his forward momentum as the rocket continued to push him.
Hordak converted back into his original form and landed on his feet while Hun-Dred continued flying.  The robot slammed against the far rock wall with such force that he immediately exploded into a pile of circuits and crumpled metal, showering sparks everywhere.  Seeing the ease at which the robot shattered, Hordak considered Hun-Dred’s master and tossed the crystal into the boiling liquid at his feet. Anyone would would make such pathetic robots would have nothing worth stepping foot on this planet at all.
Click here for Hordak's respect post.  Click here for Hun-Dred's Respect Post. 

How expected the fighter that got killed in his first appearance to actually survive this round?  He's one of the few villains in this tournament that actually died in their cartoon.  Anyway, besides the blasters under his helmet, Hun-Dred had no real powers - besides maybe a robotic brain, if you can count that.  He doesn't even have any established strength feet with his crusher claws, I just felt bad enough for him that I estimated they could do some damage.  On the other hand, Hordak does have a lot of powers, is capable of surviving a roof falling on him, and escaping through his drill form.  Hun-Dred just couldn't counter Hordak's many forms and invulnerability.

The Winner

To see the winner of the last round, click here.  To see the rest of the Bad Guy Beatdown fights, click here.