Saturday, April 29, 2023

Coming up: Cobra Trooper Week!

The momentum of attention on the internet is a really interesting phenomenon...all those little incidental details and quirks that cause one idea to fall by the wayside while another goes viral.  I've drifted in and out of Reddit participation over the past few years, and I see things all the time that just make me...wonder.  I'll dig a little deeper into a subreddit and find a great post that leaves me thinking, "Wait, why am I just the third person to upvote this?"  And then some stuff, for whatever reason, just takes off.

"Takes off" would be a bit of an overstatement for what I'm transitioning into talking about, but the sentiment applies here.  The G.I. Joe subreddit is one of the main ones I visit these days, and I've posted a couple of things there.  I recently started what is almost certainly one of the lowest-effort threads I've ever initiated on Reddit - some pictures of my Cobra Trooper action figures with their code names - and it probably got the biggest reaction of anything I've posted.  I mean, I had definitely noticed that the denizens of the sub (a very friendly place, btw!) often just like to see pictures of toys.  Which is understandable.  It's a sub about toys.  But still...I was surprised.  The most groundbreaking aspect of the post is that one of the guys is holding a hockey stick.  So...not groundbreaking.

Blast Beat, Apostle, and Hat Trick

At any rate, I certainly ain't complaining, and it's inspired me to try and make this upcoming week officially Cobra Trooper Week here at Monstrous Matters.  I need to get some character backstories and game stats down on digital paper, and this is a great chance to do it!

I hope you'll join me.



  1. I always felt bad for the basic Cobra troopers. They were immediately overshadowed by other, more interesting, generic troopers. Why would you bother with these guys if you had the red ones (better costumes) or the robot ones (robots)?

    1. I love how "robots" speaks for itself in that reply!! :) (And you're right, I was definitely obsessed with the B.A.T.S. at one point!)

      You are on the nose, and that isn't even touching on the legions of specialist troops Cobra has. Now that I think about it, I did probably treat these guys as somewhat obsolete as a kid (Apostle is a childhood save); then years later, the nostalgia kicked in, I realized how cool they looked, maybe saw some cosplay, and latched back on.

      Also, I bet there are all sorts of headcanons out there for how these guys, Vipers, Officers, and specialized Cobra soldiers fit together in the organization's structure...

    2. There is almost certainly an Official Handbook style book -- maybe ven published by Marvel -- in which there's a Cobra Organisation Chart.

    3. Hmm. Now I'm going to have to put more effort into seeking that out. While I know I've seen one or more charts like that, I don't remember anything regarding the structure of rank and file Cobra soldiers vs. each other. It does seem like that would have been created...although it also seems like they just sort of trusted Larry Hama (for the comic universe, anyway) to keep it all straight in his head, as long as he featured the characters and vehicles Hasbro needed him to.

      Well, my downtime today is now covered!

    4. As I suspected, GI Joe: Order of Battle exists. Four issues of character profiles, with Cobra's lot in #3.

    5. I'll check it out and report back here...!

    6. a quick (and perfectly legally executed, I assure you) look at OOB #3 reveals nothing but pictures for the standard Cobra trooper and officer, and the Viper entry is pretty much like the file card (maybe the exact same?). The Viper is at the bottom of the Cobra pyramid, but there's no indication of whether the "standard" troops and officers are the same ones that wear Viper gear or separate individuals. (In my mind, all Cobra soldiers and officers wear the blue as everyday gear and their Viper - or specialist - gear when the job calls for it. But I doubt there's anything official to back that up.)

      I'll give it a better look later...maybe I missed a chart somewhere...!

    7. Disappointing! I wasn't necessarily expecting the level of detail the Official Handbooks went into, but even the Transformers got organisation charts.