The Legions of
Bases of operations:
Broca Beach; Trans-Carpathia
G.I. JOE #1
The army of
Cobra is based upon the regular infantry
. The original Cobra soldiers were many of those who
the vision of their leader, Cobra Commander. Trained by
they learned their skills to help establish footholds for Cobra in
unstable nations all around the world. As the organization grew,
army grew to include mercenaries, known international terrorists and
soldiers from various nations, including the United States. The Vipers
are either in it for the money, or for the continuation of Cobra's goal
of world domination.
original Cobra soldiers and officers wore blue
military fatigues and helmets, along with a red or black facemask to
their identities. The Cobra officers' uniforms varied slightly from
of regular troops, the most obvious difference being a v-shaped symbol
on the front of their helmets. The name, Viper, was in fact not used
around 1985. It still described the regular infantry, but new more
troops were soon created, each adding a prefix to the title. The first
of these specialized divisions were the communications officers called Tele-Vipers.
A year or two later, the basic Viper
underwent a major
uniform change. The most striking difference was the wraparound helmet
with silver-plated facemask, presumably meant to emulate the helmet
by Cobra Commander. These helmets gave Vipers additional protection, as
well as built-in commo gear. Cobra officers continued to use the
uniform. Nearly all of Cobra's rank and file start off as standard
and then undergo special training to join the specialized groups.
most of Cobra's forces scattered after being
defeated by military forces. In the years that followed, Cobra
began to rebuild his army, including many of the specialized Vipers of
the past, some in modified versions of their original uniforms. The
for the Cobra officer has changed slightly to include protective armor,
but is still based on the original Cobra uniforms. Recently, the Vipers
again faced the G.I. Joe team in battle when Cobra Commander and his
returned. Some time after their return, Cobra Commander developed the Neo-Vipers,
soldiers genetically altered for enhanced strength, endurance and
dexterity. A number of new types of Vipers have debuted, as well.
The following is a list of
most of the specialized Vipers added to Cobra's
forces over the years:
Alley Vipers. Urban assault troopers. They
have worn various
types of brightly colored uniforms and armor. They are equipped with
equipment to be used in warfare in urban areas. The Alley Vipers were
seen in action during a battle fought in Rio Lindo, the capitol of
Gordo. A group of Alley Vipers later fought in the conflict
Cobra and the G.I. Joe team that took place in the town of Millville.
Alley Vipers were also used in Cobra's invasion of the European country
of Borovia. (GI 92,
Cobra troopers. Designed
by Dr. Mindbender, these soldiers were only in the experimental stages
when Cobra was defeated by military forces in Europe. There may
have been only one Cyber-Viper, who the Joes encountered while fighting
Cobra in the mountains of Trans-Carpathia. (GI 149)
Flak-Vipers. Anti-aircraft troopers.
Flak-Vipers are equipped
with portable missle launchers and a laser rifle. They first
the G.I. Joe team during an assault on the Pit (Joe HQ) in Utah.
Frag-Vipers. Cobra's "grenade throwers".
Frag-Vipers use a special
manual hurling basket (based on the cesta from the sport Jai Alai) to
grenades used normally in grenade launchers. This eliminates the sound
and light of a firearm's muzzle flash, allowing the Frag-Vipers to stay
out of sight. Their helmets include an automatic range-finder. G.I. Joe
first encountered Frag-Vipers during a rescue mission in Rio Lindo, the
capital of Sierra Gordo. (GI
HEAT Vipers. Anti-tank specialists, aka
"bazooka men". HEAT Vipers'
helmets contain built-in targeting computers used to fire the Vipers'
advanced armor-piercing rockets. G.I. Joe first encountered HEAT-Vipers
while rescuing Snake-Eyes from the Cobra Consulate in New York. (GI 96)
Laser-Vipers. Portable laser troopers.
Laser-Vipers wear large
backpack-mounted lasers used as weapons at close range and spotter
for missiles at longer ranges. G.I. Joe first encountered Laser-Vipers
during a Cobra assault on Pit III in Utah. (GI 130)
Night Vipers. Night fighters. The Night
Vipers wear highly-advanced
helmets with a built-in infrared detector, image intensifier,
sound amplifier and laser range-finder. Their combat suits are made of
synthetic composites that reduce the Night Viper's heat signature and
most ground radar. The Joes first encountered them while rescuing
from the Baroness' custody in the Cobra Consulate. (GI 94)
Range-Vipers. Wilderness troopers. They are
known for their high tolerance of harsh environments. The Range-Viper
looks like a stylized skull and was designed to intimidate. The Joes
encountered them during the Battle of Benzheen. (GI 113, 130)
SAW Vipers. Heavy machine gunner. SAW
Vipers use highly advanced
mini-chain guns and night vision, auto-ranging scopes. Their weapons
also made with sound suppressors flash inhibitors for stealth.
One SAW Viper's cold-blooded actions
proved tragic for the
G.I. Joe team. Misunderstanding orders from Cobra Commander, Tomax and
Xamot ordered the SAW Viper to execute a small group of Joes captured
Trucial Abysmia before the Battle of Benzheen. The ruthless, merciless
Viper shot and killed seven of the unarmed Joes and seemed to enjoy it
before the remaining Joes made their escape. After more Joes were
by Cobra, the three survivors -- Duke, Falcon and Cross Country --
down the SAW Viper to avenge their fallen comrades. Duke finally had
SAW Viper in his sights, unarmed. Duke couldn't bring himself to kill
defenseless man and left him where he found him. After initially
about the Joes' retaliation, Cobra Commander threw a party in the honor
of the SAW Viper. After being last seen fighting in the Battle of
that particular SAW Viper's current status is unknown. (#109-112)
Sludge Vipers. Vipers employed by the Cobra
agent Cess-Pool, known
for using toxic waste as a weapon. Sludge Vipers use "sludge guns" that
fire hazardous liquid waste which can dissolve certain materials. They
wear solvent-resistant armor to protect them from their own weapon.
Joe first encountered Sludge Vipers during a battle between Cess-Pool
the G.I. Joe Eco-Warriors team. (GI 123-125)
Snow Serpents. Polar assault troops. Snow
Serpents are actually
a branch of the Eels (Cobra's frogmen and underwater demolitions
specially trained for arctic operations. They also undergo anti-tank
airborne training. (OB
3; GI 136)
HISS Drivers. Drivers of Cobra's HISS tank,
one the organization's
earliest and most recognizable vehicles. HISS drivers were the first of
Cobra's specialized troops, and were trained in the repair of the
and electrical systems of their vehicles.
Ice Vipers. Drivers of WOLF arctic tanks.
They are a mechanized
branch of the Snow Serpents (who are in turn a branch of the Eels) and
must undergo Techno-Viper training to learn how to repair their
hostile arctic conditions. The G.I. Joe team first encountered the Ice
Vipers and their WOLFs during a battle in the wilderness of Frusenland.
60; SM 20)
Nitro-Vipers. Drivers of the Detonator
Nitro-Vipers start as Track-Vipers before being chosen to operate the
and are demolitions experts.
Track Vipers. Drivers of the HISS II
assault tank, they tend
to be being large and muscular, and are trained in the field repair of
W.O.R.M.S. Drivers of the Maggot
self-propelled artillery tank.
W.O.R.M.S. stands for Weapons Ordinance Rugged Machine
referring to the their ability to repair their vehicle as battlefield
and to change wheels and artillery shells single-handedly.
Eels. Elite divers, the Eels are more than
just "frogmen". All
are highly trained demolitions experts and marine engineers. Eels
rigorous training and become some of Cobra's most highly skilled
They are often part of the crew on Cobra's naval vessels, and virtually
all of Cobra's underwater vehicle operators come from the Eel forces,
do Cobra's arctic troops - the Snow Serpents. The Joes first
Cobra Eels when Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow fought a group in the
waters off the coast of Cobra Island. (GI 47)
Hydro-Vipers. Cobra's Eels that have been
to survive in the lowest depths of the ocean, with enhanced reflexes
resistance to cold temperatures and extreme pressures. They wear
that resemble a vicious sea creature.
Lampreys. Pilots of Moray hydrofoils.
Lampreys are specially
trained Cobra Eels. G.I. Joe first encountered Lampreys during a
attack on their Tactical Battle Platform. (GI 40)
Secto-Vipers. Drivers of BUGGs --
heavily-armed "tracked submarines"
dedicated to patroling the shoreline of Cobra Island. They are a
branch of the Eels. The G.I. Joe team first encountered the BUGGs and
drivers during their involvement of the Cobra Island civil war. (GI 76)
Aero-Vipers. Gold-helmeted Cobra pilots
that fly the Condor high
altitude bomber jets.
Air-Vipers. The core of Cobra's air force,
Air Vipers fly transport
aircraft, FANG helicopters and Rattler ground attack jets. The
pilots that fly more advanced craft start as Air Vipers.
A.V.A.C.s. Elite pilots specially trained
to pilot the advanced
Firebat fighter jet. An A.V.A.C. was usually stationed at each Cobra
Drome launch base. (GI
Gyro-Vipers. Pilots of the Mamba attack
helicopters. Only the
most skilled Cobra pilot can learn to master the difficult controls of
Star-Viper. A highly-advanced Strato-Viper,
who piloted the Stellar
Stilleto high-altitude rocket fighter. Dr. Mindbender surgically
the Star Viper by implanting an electro-magnetic shunt into the right
of his brain. Electronic impulses sent into the shunt gave him very
reflexes and heightened senses, giving him an advantage in high
dogfights. The Star Viper had an even higher tolerance for G-forces
a standard Strato-Viper. (Click here for more about the individual known as Star-Viper.)
Strato-Vipers. Pilots of the Night Raven spy
plane. They must first
be Air Vipers with combat experience and must undergo a surgical
that makes them less susceptible to the stress of G-forces and
high altitudes. (Click here for more about the first individual Strato-Viper.)
Kitchen-Vipers. Chefs that were assigned
to the headquarters
building on Cobra Island. They cooked only for Cobra Commander or
Serpentor. (YB 3)
Medi-Vipers. Cobra's medical corps.
Medi-Vipers serve as both
battlefield medics and staff for any of Cobra's medical facilities.
Techno-Viper. Battle field technicians.
They are responsible
for repairing vehicles in the field under dangerous conditions and also
serve as combat engineers and demolitions experts. They also maintain
operate computer systems and electronics at Cobra installations. The
first encountered Techno-Vipers while battling Cobra in Frusenland. (GI 68)
Tele-Viper. Communications specialists.
Tele-Vipers are equipped
with highly-advanced telecommunications devices, most of which are worn
as backpacks and helmets. Their equipment is capable of both audio and
video transmissions from the field. The Joes first encountered
during the rescue of Snake-Eyes from Cobra Island. (GI 47)
Toxo-Vipers. Hostile Environment troopers.
Toxo-Vipers are sent
onto the battlefield to create a foul and unsuitable environment,
varios toxins and gasses into the air. Their suits is moderately
and solvent resistant, but not completely impervious. Assignment to the
Toxo-Vipers is given as punishment to troops, and the division is
called the "leaky suit brigade". The Joes first encountered Toxo-Vipers
while defending the secret military laser installation in New York's
building. (GI 86)