This article is part of the Cobra After-Action Report series.
Cobra Commander's flare for the dramatic would make even Joseph Goebbels proud.Monday I brought you the grim saga of Cobra's attempt to steal explosive gas from the government and put it to vague use. Despite massive expenditures of money and overwhelming numerical and qualitative superiority, Cobra's efforts were thwarted. Even though GI Joe won the day, not all ended as rosy as the laughter and happy music that lead into the credits would have you believe. Hundreds of civilians were killed and an entire mountain in the Rockies was destroyed. Today we will examine a much more epic plan enacted by Cobra and presented in the documentary entitled "Cobra Stops the World". Never, or at least not since a couple episodes ago, has the world teetered so near the brink of annihilation.
The first thing that is immediately apparent about this latest scheme of Cobra's is that Destro was directly involved. Say what you will about Destro, but when he has a hand in Cobra planning things tend to escalate both in scale and in the amount of damage done to the enemies of Cobra. This latest plot to achieve no less than total domination of the world is perhaps one of his most daring and simultaneously most conventional and unconventional plans.
You see Cobra has recognized what many other governments have, and that's that oil is the lifeblood of this modern world. While international terrorists have worked hard to create a hostile environment for the exploitation of oil fields throughout the Middle East, Cobra's plot goes one step further. Cobra commander wishes to destroy the world's oil production capabilities and stockpiles, and then hijack the remaining supply of oil. Once this has been achieved he intends to ransom it to the world governments in exchange for a united declaration that Cobra Commander is the supreme ruler of the world.
Cobra troops destroy an oil refinery in the Middle East.The first phase of the plan is to conduct a series of lightning strikes around the globe at ALL of the world's oil production and storage facilities. How Cobra could manage to establish air bases from which to launch all these strikes is never really explained in the episode. Without any real explanation or evidence I don't want to speculate, but if I was forced to I would have to say it involves a giant Cobra base either on the moon or at the center of the earth with a huge machine that can teleport troops around the globe. Once all of these production facilities have been destroyed and the world is relying on a single fleet of tankers in transit from South America, Cobra Commander will swing into action with Phase Two of his diabolical plan.
In classic Cobra tradition Phase Two is unnecessarily convoluted, even for such a massive undertaking. With a single fleet of oil tankers carrying the remainder of the world's oil, not even close to enough to power a single Western nation for a week I might add, the easiest method to seizing control of these oil tankers would be to drop a few dozen cobra troopers on each. Instead Cobra Commander has set up a huge base in South America that's shaped like a Cobra head - not exactly inconspicuous - so that he can exploit a village of natives to mine diamonds for him in the jungle. What does diamond mining have to do with stealing oil tankers, you might ask? Well, if you're using a diamond-powered beam weapon that reflects off satellites to make things invisible then you might need a steady supply of diamonds. Yes, Cobra Commander intends to make the fleet of ships invisible for seemingly no reason. Then he intends to televise the destruction of one ship per hour until the leaders of the world convene to declare him their new master. Should they fail to make the wise choice of new ruler that Cobra Commander has envisioned then they will suffer the consequences of not being able to drive their cars for another hour before the world descends into a new dark age. Then Cobra will seize control of the world using brute force.
Let's take a look at the shockingly small force Cobra Commander has assembled to achieve total domination of the world.
Theater Commander: Cobra Commander
Theater Resources: Cloaking Beam and Explosive Detonator
Corps Level Resources:
12+ "Rattler" Ground Attack Aircraft
6+ "Hiss" Main Battle Tanks
1 Village of Loincloth Clad Savages
10+ "Fang" Light Attack Helicopters
Corps Strength Infantry Assets (roughly 40,000 infantry)
Unidentified Bearded Man
A Go Table
A Pit of Snakes
Known Opposing Forces:
All of the Governments of the World
Primary Mission Objectives
Destroy or Disrupt Oil Production Globally
Hold Ransom the Four Remaining Oil Tankers
Alternate Mission Objectives
Destroy Oil Tankers and Seize Power Through Force
Not to second guess the esteemed tactical duo of Cobra Commander and Destro, but their plan has some serious flaws even if it is successful. The biggest problem with the whole plot is what the living fuck is Cobra going to do if they blow up all of the world's oil? Did Destro modify all of their vehicles to be powered by diamonds? Throughout the episode we see three different Cobra bases with a sizeable Corps-strength deployment of Cobra infantry. Despite this impressive show of force if this is the total number of troops Cobra plans to use when occupying and dominating the entire world then Cobra will find a tough road ahead. Even if the Armed Forces of the United States had to switch to using horses and bicycles they're still going to have millions of bullets they can use to shoot at and kill Cobra soldiers.
All told, this ranks up there as one of the most poorly thought-through Cobra plans to take over the world. I'll withhold judgment just yet though; let's see what happens when the plan is set into motion. Come on Cobra Commander, this is your big moment, dazzle me!
198X, 9:00 AMThe incredible diamond-powered invisibility beam!Cobra Commander interrupts your regularly scheduled programming to bring you a shrill description, complete with filler footage, of a series of Cobra raids on the world's oil production facilities. Offshore oil rigs, Mid Eastern refineries, and even the Alaskan oil pipeline are shown dramatically exploding. Cobra Commander then reveals that the only oil left is onboard five oil tankers, which he proceeds to make disappear by firing an energy beam from his diamond-powered laser cannon. He ends his diatribe by menacingly proclaiming, "Surrender your nations to Cobra or face the nightmarish prospect of a NEW. DARK. AGE!!!"
GI Joe communications expert "Sparks" proves unable to trace the transmission to its location despite a computer with a whole lot of buttons and a backpack that he wears even while sitting down. Duke, who is flying aimlessly around in a jet, asks Sparks if he knows where the tankers went. Sparks thinks they "evaporated", but Scarlet, who has been busy driving through traffic in her form-fitting leotard yet somehow managed to watch the Cobra broadcast, has already gotten to the bottom of what happened. Apparently Cobra is using a beam of some sort to make the tankers invisible even to GI Joe's "most sensitive instruments". How this beam also renders Cobra's giant snake headed fortress similarly invisible is never explained. Luckily Cobra isn't using this magical beam on a safe house, and Duke instructs Scarlet to go investigate. Duke then sends Torpedo and Deep Six, the "Aquaman" of GI Joe, to destroy a floating Cobra base and search for clues.
Duke is under the impression that two guys in a flying submarine can destroy a heavily armed Cobra base by themselves. If I were Deep Six or Torpedo I'd tell Duke to go fuck himself, but they are both so excited to actually have something to do in an episode that they hurry towards the floating fortress.
9:10 AMTorpedo's incredible harpoon shot defies physics to destroy a Cobra base.Flushed with victory, Cobra Commander compliments Destro on providing him with the means to achieve total domination of the world. Never one to let his emotions get control of his common sense, Destro turns the hose on Cobra Commander by reminding him that the whole world is now pretty pissed off and GI Joe is on his case. Cobra Commander, for his part, cackles and says "first they must find us", which would be really funny and true if you hadn't built your base as a GIANT FUCKING COBRA HEAD. Good job once again on that strategic planning. Destro compliments Cobra Commander on his cleverness that I'm apparently missing, but chastises him for celebrating before victory has actually been achieved.
Meanwhile, Deep Six and Torpedo take their flying submarine in a dive on the Cobra floating fortress. They pointlessly fire lasers at it and swoop around while discussing strategy, something they probably should have done before attacking. It should be mentioned that this Cobra base may be the biggest one I've ever seen. It consists of an entire city that's floating on a platform with a glass dome over the top that makes it look like a giant snow globe. Since Cobra has no fucking idea what the word "covert" means they have emblazoned a hundred-foot high red Cobra symbol on the side.Before Deep Six and Torpedo can investigate they are assaulted by this sonic beam weapon that causes slight headaches.Deep Six eventually gives in to Torpedo's suggestion to drop him in the water and does just that before swooping around some more and scaring some Cobra troopers into jumping hundreds of feet to their death. Under the surface Torpedo comes under attack from a number of torpedo launchers built into the base of the pedestal on which the fortress sits. Demonstrating an amazing ability to resist the forces of hydroschock from underwater explosions, Torpedo evades the torpedoes. In a design decision that can only be called asinine, the magazines of volatile torpedoes have been placed directly behind the tube aperture. Defying the laws of physics, water somehow does not flow back through these tubes, yet Torpedo manages to fire a single harpoon through the tube, blow up the magazine and destroy the entire base.
With the Cobra troops fleeing from the sinking fortress, Deep Six no longer has streams of laser fire to frolic in and joins Torpedo underwater. As they are about to swim inside of the sinking fortress they are accosted by a trio of Cobra frogmen who deploy a devastating sonic weapon that causes minor headaches. Baffled that someone could resist the incredible power of this weapon the Cobra divers float motionless as Deep Six swims towards them and then punches each of them in the face. Proving that they are completely worthless, Deep Six and Torpedo swim inside the fortress and find absolutely nothing, which they immediately report to Duke.
9:30 AMA particularly unsportsmanlike Rattler pilot shoots up Duke and Ace's parachutes.Duke and pilot Ace have problems of their own as they waste precious fuel flying above the jungle. Two Cobra "Rattler" aircraft swoop down to attack them. Making Tie-Fighter sounds as they fly, and firing missiles that make Star Wars laser sounds, the Rattlers force Ace to fly into a ravine. Unwilling to give up the pursuit, the Cobra fighters are outmaneuvered by Ace and end up crashing into the canyon wall. Just as things seem to have calmed down, another Tie Fighter roar is heard and a third Rattler appears around the bend, firing a missile and causing Duke and Ace to eject. In a fairly uncharacteristic Cobra act of brutality the pilot flies back to shoot apart the parachutes of Duke and Ace. Luckily there is a river beneath them and they fall into the water unharmed.
No Cobra plot would be complete without leading horridly captured GI Joes to their base, and Major Bludd ineptly does just that. Immediately after hauling themselves from the river, Duke and Ace are captured by Bludd who is leading a patrol of six underdressed tribesmen that are armed with bows and Cobra laser rifles depending upon the whim of the continuity editor. As Major Bludd leads Duke and Ace towards an easy means of destroying another Cobra installation he explains that the tribesmen have allied themselves with Cobra in exchange for weapons.Look out! They're armed with a board game!Back in what is probably the United States, Scarlet has finally gotten around to checking out that Cobra safe house. Knocking on the door disguised as an old woman, she asks an unidentified bearded man to let her use the phone. He refuses and she shoulder-tosses him into the yard, rips off the disguises and bursts into the house to pose dramatically in the doorway. She is greeted by a number of Cobra soldiers who were busily sitting around, playing Go, reading books, and making snacks. Angry at their Cobra youth group meeting being disrupted by a redhead in a leotard, the Cobra troops throw snacks, Go tables, and a lot of gunfire at Scarlet. She dispatches all of these with her crossbow and a few well-placed punches and kicks, leaving only one Cobra trooper standing. She invites him to surrender, he refuses and pulls a hidden lever, dropping her into a pit concealed beneath a pit-shaped carpet. He then walks to the edge and taunts her while she climbs out and kicks him in the face. During a vaguely sexual interrogation session the Cobra trooper provides Scarlet with no useful information.
Her interview is cut short by the latest broadcast from Cobra Commander being piped over the rumpus room TV. Cobra Commander shows the first of the tankers being exploded by a remote control device that features a large button and two equalizer sliders. Before he has even finished his latest diatribe Scarlet dashes out of the safe house, no doubt allowing the Cobra troops she just beat unconscious to escape.
Sparks and Colonel Hawk have also witnessed this broadcast, and Sparks excitedly proclaims that he's been working on a "remote control detector" that may allow him to trace the device being used to explode the ships back to Cobra. The Colonel advises him to hurry, since Cobra plans to detonate another one of the ships in an hour.
10:05 AMBludd is accompanied by a vague number of vaguely armed natives.In the jungle Bludd continues to babble on about Cobra's plans. Ace fakes an internal injury and risks being shot execution style to double over in mock pain. Instead of simply emptying Ace's brainpan out onto the jungle floor, Bludd has two of the native warriors drag Ace and prod Duke over to the mouth of a pit full of poisonous snakes. Just as they are about to be thrown in, Ace shrugs off the men carrying him and Duke grabs the laser rifle of the one that the artists decided would be holding a gun in this scene. After a brief exchange of gunfire, Duke manages to shoot a tree branch and knock Major Bludd into the pit, although he manages to grab on to the rim. Two of the native warriors disappear from existence, but the remaining four charge Duke and Ace and are quickly defeated in a fist fight. Duke and Ace flee, Bludd hauls himself out of the pit and orders the now five natives to pursue the Joes.
Sparks continues to work on his "remote control detector" but is experiencing a little difficulty, perhaps due to the fact that he refuses to take off that goddamn backpack. As the Colonel pressures him to hurry, Sparks manages to blow up what looks like the inside of a TV set. Things aren't looking good for GI Joe!It's a good thing Cobra had this plane they NEVER use sitting around!Back in the sultry jungle, Duke and Ace arrive at the native village and find it turned into an airport for Cobra Rattlers, Fangs, and wedge-shaped aircraft never seen before or since. Crimson Guard troopers are supervising the natives in their efforts to mine diamonds for the cloaking beam. Duke and Ace begin to sneak into the village but are forced to accelerate their timeline when Bludd and the tribesmen arrive behind them and scream "intruders!" Easily dodging gunfire and then punches, Ace capture a Rattler and heads skyward while Duke chooses the wedge-shaped aircraft and drives it into the entrance of the mine while a lot of Cobra troopers watch. The plane explodes sending debris flying directly into every single aircraft parked along the runway. The Cobra troops are so stunned by this change of fortune that they do not even fire on Duke afterwards, nor do they attempt to stop him from getting in the plane with Ace as it flies down to pick him up.
10:58 AMBackpack wearing sadsack Sparks watches his hard work go up in smoke.Sparks is still working on his "remote control detector" back at GI Joe headquarters. Scarlet and the Colonel are speaking with Duke when their conversation is interrupted by the latest message from Cobra Commander. Another hour has passed and the leaders of the world still haven't capitulated to him. Rushing to the control room, Sparks manages to hook up his tracking device just as Cobra Commander pushes the button on the remote detonator. Amazingly, as a second fuel tanker explodes, you can plainly see in the background that there are five other oil tankers. In fact it appears as though Cobra is replaying the footage from their previous destruction of an oil tanker. Since Sparks actually is able to trace the remote detonator this time it can only be assumed that Cobra replayed this explosion because of a problem with their camera equipment near the tankers, but did in fact destroy a second ship.
It turns out that the Tankers are 200 miles east of the Falkland Islands, you know, next to that giant fucking Cobra head base. A GI Joe assault force is mobilized under the orders of Duke and the leadership of Scarlet, and this force sets out to attack the base where the diamond powered cloaking laser thing is hidden.
11:40 AMNo! How could GI Joe find my secret base?!Growing tired of the fact that the world hasn't surrendered in under three hours to Cobra's demands, Destro and Cobra Commander bitch and moan and then decide to blow up the rest of the oil tankers. With the remote control firmly in his hand and his finger poised right next to the detonator, Cobra Commander is interrupted by the shaking of missile impacts against his secret base. He immediately begins shrieking at the inconceivable notion that GI Joe had found them, while the much more level-headed Destro scrambles the troops. Fang helicopters and Hiss tanks issue forth from hangar doors that open in the neck of the cobra. Amazingly the helicopters manage to shoot down Scarlet, but ground troops mistake Duke and Ace in the Rattler for one of their own. When they realize that the Cobra jet is diving on their position with plans to attack the Cobra troops immediately abandoned their position. Almost as an afterthought Ace goes ahead and launches a couple missiles to destroy their vacated vehicles. The Cobra troops run around a corner and surrender to a pair of GI Joe troopers armed with rifles while Duke and Ace land, rendevouz with Scarlet, and infiltrate the base.Duke honey, will you take me out to dinner as the world burns around us?By now you would think Cobra Commander surely had detonated the other tankers. Instead he waits until Duke is in the room, gloats, gets the controller knocked from his hand and then screeches in anger. Before Duke can take Cobra Commander and Destro into custody Cobra Commander shoots smoke out of his neck and he and Destro flee into an elevator. Even though the base is now swarming with GI Joe troops and aircraft patrol the area the Joes give up trying to prevent them from escaping.
Shortly afterwards Duke and Scarlet are alone in a Joe aircraft over the United States, where it's business as usual even though the entire world's remaining oil reserves are on three tankers in South America. Scarlet comforts Duke about Cobra Commander and Destro escaping, even though it was defeatism and criminal incompetence on the part of GI Joe that allowed them to get away. Then, looking particularly square-jawed and glossy lipped, Scarlet suggests that Duke take her to dinner. I hope that stupid cocksucker has a barbecue because power is going to be out over most of the world in about half an hour.
Lord only knows where the world goes from there. With the oil production facilities destroyed the global economy would be decimated and many parts of the world would descend into anarchy. Sure, oil production could probably be restored within a decade, but that would require having the fuel to set up the facilities in the first place. I would expect that Cobra efforts to take over the world probably set back technology and the progress of civilization at least 50 years, maybe even more. Millions would starve as food distribution failed. Population centers powered by nuclear and other non-petroleum methods would be swarmed with pitiful masses of refugees. Riots, devastation, and plagues spread by the rotting corpses of the starved and the murdered would spread across the nations of the world.
Hey, but GI Joe won right? At least Cobra isn't in charge of this festering cesspit of destruction thrown back in a single day to the coal-burning steam age. Don't worry Duke, I'm sure you'll catch Cobra Commander and Destro another day, using your jet powered by Roadblock and Gung-Ho riding bicycles.
This ROM's For You
Hey slugfuckers, good old Taylor here to let you know that we've tossed another burning log on top of the flaming funeral pyre of failure that we call the ROM Pit. Today's showcase is a sad, forgotten Nintendo hero who never got any love or attention. Maybe it's because his game sucked.
I wasn’t able to beat the boss of level one, which just might be the reason I never got to level two. When you get to the end of the level, the enemies all mysteriously disappear while a guy in some kind of construction vehicle drives in from the right side of the screen. He then proceeds to shoot at you constantly while driving back and forth and swinging at you with some kind of ball-and-chain rig. Even my tremendous jumping abilities were no match for this foe, so after he shot me a few times and ran me over, I used my awe-inspiring superhero vocabulary to call him “a big jerk.”
Read the full review right away. It just might save your life.
The Remains of Bidet (James Ivory, 1993)
We might find we have more in common than we think if we just stop fighting long enough to combine our bodies into a singular organism.
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