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.

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