The things that make an army so effective is their emphasis on discipline, order, loyalty, and hegemony. The idea is that you can take a group of men (nowadays it’s men and women) from different locations and all walks of life, and transform them into a solitary unit that eats, thinks, and breathes alike, and is completely interchangeable. The uniforms create a sense of solidarity and brotherhood (and sisterhood). This is not a ragtag group of misfits, who are iconoclastic, wearing clashing outfits, with very little in common, and all on their own personal, individual agendas. So tell me again why are the Joes considered the good guys?
When it comes to the G.I. Joe franchise, the “Kangaroo men” moment for me was the introduction of Serpentor. The concept was great: COBRA gathers the DNA of all of greatest conquerors and military geniuses of all-time, (basically, the entire roster of any Civilization game), and clones the perfect leader. The problem is that due to heavy censorship restrictions placed on children’s’ television, Serpentor was so idiotic and clueless, not only could Serpentor not win a game of Civilization, Axis & Allies, Stratego, or Risk, he couldn’t even earn a draw in a game of Tic-Tac-Toe! (Note:Podcast Unlimited has done a Top Ten Board Games list – hopefully I will get to posting it someday).
The bottom line is that my familiarity ended sometime around 1988, or comic book issue #50.
Considering the lack of patience Keith and I possess, I am surprised that we waited a full 12 weeks between our Top Ten lists of favorite GI Joe and COBRA characters. I could have sworn it was only 4-6 weeks.
Looking at the rosters, and number of toys and accessories created by Hasbro, you have to give COBRA credit. They were considerably outnumbered, and outgunned, yet they were never fully defeated. It must be that organized military unit thing.
Without further adieu, here is our lists.
The Top Ten COBRA characters
- 10. Serpentor
- 9. Major Blood
- 8. Battle Armored Trooper (B.A.T.)
- 7. Tomax & Xamot
- 6. Cobra Commander
- 5. The Baroness
- 4. Destro
- 3. Firefly
- 2. Storm Shadow
- 1. Zartan
- 10. Zarana
- 9. Crimson Guard
- 8. Dr Venom
- 7. Wild Weasel
- 6. Raptor
- 5. Destro
- 4. Firefly
- 3. The Baroness
- 2. Zartan
- 1. Storm Shadow
Honorable mentions: The Dreadnoks (Buzzer, Ripper, Torch); Scrap Iron; Rip It; Copperhead
For those expecting a Trouser Snake mention, forget it. We did a Robot Chicken list, and Fumbles/Trouser Snake was ranked #2 on both of our lists.
Next Podcast Unlimited List: Top Ten Draft Picks from our Fantasy fantasy League. (For those who find fantasy football to passé.)