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Cobra's Plots Leave Much To Be Desired...
Matt - 07/11/00

At a glance, G.I. Joe seemed like true American heroes. I mean, here they were, risking their lives day and night to stop the evil activities of the terrorist group known as Cobra, right? Wrong. G.I. Joe had it easy. Let me put it to you this way: if I said I was going to save the world from the threat of bumblebee, would that make me a hero? Of course not. Bumblebees pose no threat. And neither did Cobra!

Think about it. We've talked about it before...every freaking thing Cobra owned had about a dozen missles on it. Every soldier had a bandolier with more lethal weapons than Lethal Weapon movies. If one of Cobra's planes crashed, a fucking nuclear holocaust would go down with all the explosives tied to the sides of it. So with all the firepower, what would you do? You'd just go blast the shit out of the Joes and the world, right? Well, that's because you're smart. But see, by Cobra's logic, if you have a gun, first you have to kidnap a scientist so you can mutate it into a super gun, then steal one of the Joe's energy transmitters to make your bullets do twice the damage. Note to Cobra: just shoot them. That's all it would take.

Honestly, is that so hard? Look who Cobra was up against! Half the Joes' guys were dressed in basketball outfits or dressed like the battlefield was really a code name for 'costume party'. You can't tell me that a Cobra soldier in full gear, with armor and more weapons than I could carry could have that much trouble defeating the likes of, let's say, Big Lob. But it was worse than that: not only could someone like Big Lob take out one fully-armed Cobra soldier - he could take out 20 of them in a ten second span. Does anyone train those guys in the aim department? I understand that Big Lob's pretty tall, but eventually someone should realize that pointing your rifles towards the ceiling isn't going to get the job done.

Point is, Cobra overlooked the fact that they had more firepower than the Imperial Fleet and East Harlem combined, and opted for some of the stupidest global domination plots of all time. My hero, Cobra Commander, may have been one badass mofo of unchallenged coolness, but when it came to making up a plot, he had all the zest of an impounded LSD addict. So here's an example...

Cobra Claws Are Comin'....To Town!

The episode, Cobra Claws Are Coming To Town, is the closest we'd get to a G.I. Joe Christmas special. But more importantly, it thoroughly expresses what I've discussed: that Cobra's biggest enemy was itself.

The Dastardly Plot: On Christmas, with only a skeleton crew on hand, the Joes find some unwanted stowaways in the toys they collected for needy children - the whole Cobra army shrunken down to the size of bugs!

Already, we're off to a sour start. Instead of just blowing up the Joes, Cobra felt it'd be a better idea to shrink themselves down to insect size to infiltrate the Joes' headquarters. Genius or stupidity? You be the judge.

They disable the Joes' defense grid and return to normal size, easily taking G.I. Joe headquarters. Zartan poses as Duke and goes on tv saying the Joes want to take over the world. Then Cobra pose as Joes and attack Keystone City.

Doesn't sound too bad, right? Cobra played off the amazing idiocy of the citizens in the Joe universe - the only ones who would believe that not only did Duke's voice and mannerisms change, but the Joes felt the need to announce that they were going evil. If you were going to rob a bank, would you go on national television to tell everybody about your great scheme?

Zartan as Duke: Hey there! This is Zar--eh, Duke. I'm from G.I. Joe. We've just gone from 'real American heroes' to thinking you all ain't nothing but queer American zeroes! We're evil. Oh, and for those interested -- we'll be attacking Keystone City tomorrow. Noon. Be there or be square!

And everybody bought it! Lucky Cobra. Unfortunately, their plot met it's end in the weirdest, most asinine way you could imagine...

The Joes escape and have to stop Cobra using Cobra equipment, getting some help from Shipwreck's mutated super-sized Polly. No, you didn't read that wrong - Cobra was defeated by a giant parrot. How does one go about explaining this to Sepentor? 'Uhh...sorry Serpentor...we almost beat the Joes, but this giant bird kinda ruined everything.' Please! Please! If Cobra could be outwitted by the housepet of probably the most useless Joe out there, how could they hope to stand a chance at conquering the world?

PS, to add insult to Cobra's defeat, Polly decided to sing a holiday showtune while kicking their ass from one side of the suspiciously grassy-in-December field to the other... Click here to hear Polly's thoughts on the situation!

There was only one time in Cobra history when they got things right. They still got their asses kicked, but at least they made a good attempt here. What I'm referring to is the opening sequence to one of my cult cartoon faves, the G.I. Joe Movie. It's heralded as the best animated sequence of the entire Joe series. Plus, in the background you'll hear a revamped G.I. Joe & Cobra theme song that'll make you scream 'Cobra La!' like it was going out of style.

The sequence features Cobra trying to bomb the Statue of Liberty, I guess as a sign of some great terrorist symbolism. Fair enough. Point is, they brought a ton of troops and actually used their weapons for once.

To check out the .mov file, with full video and audio, you can do so by clicking here. It's 6.5 MB, but well worth the download for Joe fans.

As for Cobra, let's hope they stop playing 'I dare you to try this!' next time they have a meeting discussing their newest plot. Otherwise, we're going to be subjected to a lot more victorious battlecries of 'Yo Joe!' in the future...

- Matt