COBRA COMMANDER v28
Here we are with another Cobra Commander. Over the past few years, through all the various incarnations of G.I. Joe the Commander has worn all kinds of crazy outfits. The half face plate and bald head of Renegades, the armor of Sigma Six, and don’t get me started on whatever the hell that was supposed to be in the live action movie. So having seen the Commander in all of these different outfits this particular one may not seem so different. Looking at it now I just see the Cobra leader in one of his many classic uniforms. That was not the case in 1987 when the first version of this figure was released, the armored Cobra Commander figure was crazy!! For years we’d seen Cobra Commander in one of 2 outfits, either his battle helmet which was a solid silver reflective faceplate with a militaristic blue outfit, or the hooded version which was basically the same as the other from the neck down but instead of a faceplate he wore a cowl with eyeholes. The cowl version to me always looked like a Pac-Man ghost sitting on someone’s shoulders. These were the two outfits he wore for 5 years in every comic book and cartoon episode. Then in 1987 Hasbro throws us a curveball by having Cobra Commander make this drastic wardrobe change. Full silver body armor with a breathing tube and futuristic looking accessories. Cobra Commander had gone hi-tech and was now more sci-fi than military. Even more shocking then the change of clothes was the change of the man calling himself Commander. In issue 58 of the G.I. Joe comic one of the Commander’s loyal Crimson Guardsmen presents him with this newly designed armor, and then 3 issues later the guardsman named Fred shoots the Commander in the back while he’s out of his armor. He killing him!! My young mind was blown reading this. Fred then preceded to put on the armor and then replaced Cobra Commander as the head of the evil terrorist organization. No one in Cobra knew that their leader had been replaced. Fred was able to disguise his voice via the new armor and thus impersonate the commander without detection. The true Cobra Commander didn’t return until several years later in issue 98.
This figure here is the 25th anniversary or modern era interpretation of the 1987 armored Cobra Commander figure. I’m a total fanboy for these modern era Joes and love seeing my favorite 80s toys updated with modern sculpting and articulation. Cobra Commander version 28 is no exception. This figure rocks. It’s got everything I loved about the original but just makes it bigger and better. The armor is perfect and the accessories are great, the crazy backpack especially. Where this figure really shines is the inclusion of a removable helmet. The original figure’s helmet could not be removed. When the armored Cobra Commander figure was released in the mid 2000s as part of the new sculpt era they really upped the ante by making the helmet removable for the first time and actually having Fred’s head under the helmet. This time around they make the helmet removable only to reveal a black ski mask. I like this because now you can imagine this figure as either the original Commander or as Fred. They re-released this figure a while later (version 38) which actually did feature Fred’s head instead of the ski mask. I can’t imagine a better version of this particular outfit. 9 out of 10.