This article is part of the Cobra After-Action Report series.
New from the Franklin Mint, this Cobra Commander commemorative coin is almost guaranteed to go up in value.Another day, another plan by Cobra to achieve global domination. You've got to admit that even if Cobra Commander isn't very intelligent or effective he's at least tenacious, and that has to count for something.
In "Money to Burn" Cobra's scheme hinges on a recently developed secret weapon - there's a surprise - that can make money burst into flames. This is pretty amazing technology considering nothing but fire, sparks, magnified sunlight, extreme heat, chemical reactions, and maybe friction can set money ablaze. Oh, but Cobra Commander's device somehow allows them to set ALL money on fire. While this might not seem like it will help Cobra's cause all that much Cobra has two other things going for it to make this plan a cut above your average scheme. The first thing is a gang of thieves on the cobra payroll running around robbing jewelry stores and vaults. The other thing Cobra has going for it is a secret arctic coin mint hidden inside a holographic mountain.
Cobra Commander's evil scheme is to make all the money in America burst into flames and then broadcast a message letting everyone know that they can exchange their valuables for the new Cobra coins. Dubious likelihood of success aside what I'm really wondering is why Cobra hired a gang of thugs to rob jewelry stores if they're about to make everyone in America give up their worldly assets for Cobra coins. I guess they might as well if the money they're handing out to the crooks is about to explode. Hell, if I were Cobra I would have a giant party/spending spree right before you make all the money catch on fire. But I guess that would make too much sense and doesn't really play into the fact that Cobra Commander's idea of fun is stealing something or laughing at the world from the eye/window of a giant stone snake head fortress.
This plan looks fine and dandy when it's summarized on exploding piles of paper, but let's take a look at the cold, hard facts.
Theater Commander: Cobra Commander
Theater Resources: A money burning machine, a holographic mountain generator, and the resources of Extensive Enterprises.
Company Level Resources:
1+ Company of Cobra Infantry
1+ Platoon of Crimson Guard Elite Infantry
2+ Cobra Rattlers
12+ Cobra Flight Pods
12+ Cobra Hang Glider Thingies
6+ Cobra Robotic Turrets (Asps)
Known Opposing Forces:
Every government and military agency in the United States.
Primary Mission Objectives
Achieve total domination of the US economy by incinerating the supply of currency and replacing it with Cobra coins.
Alternate Mission Objectives
Pay some guys to break into some stores.
Now that we know the specifics of what Cobra Commander has in store for an unsuspecting world, let's find out how he manages to destroy any chance he has at world domination.
198X - Day 1, MidnightCrime wave!!A crime wave is sweeping the jewelers and coin-collectors of Generic City, USA! Hands reach through shattered display cases and explosions tear through sealed vaults. This spree of looting is being bankrolled by none other than preeminent homoerotic twins Tomax and Xamot. They have hired the criminal element to run rampant stealing everything that's not nailed down and delivering it, along with an armored car, to the Crimson Twins on a mysterious pier. Their armored car loaded with their ill-got gains Tomax and Xamot drive through the deserted streets of Generic City to their business front Extensive Enterprises. This must be one hell of a commute since its pitch black outside when they leave the docks and broad daylight when they arrive at their offices. They drive their stolen armored car through a secret brick wall door in the parking garage and emerge moments later on the top floor of the building from their secret book case door. It's fun to be mysterious! Obviously their red and blue S&M uniforms aren't appropriate for the office so they change to a matching set of business suits.
After changing into their work clothes they immediately leave the office and fly via Rattler to a snowy mountain range. What's this? I don't see any giant snake head fortresses on that mountain range, maybe they're lost or something. In an effort to throw viewers off for no apparent reason the Rattler passing through the side of the holographic mountain is concealed by a conveniently timed cloud. Cut to the much more expected exterior of a snake-headed Cobra base and we're left totally in the dark about what could be going on here! It is a mystery which ties into my earlier point that it's fun to be mysterious.On the left you'll see our giant Cobra sculptures, on the right a Cobra chaise lounge, and up ahead is the Cobra rock garden.Cobra Commander leads the dapper twins on a tour through the appropriate Cobra-styled interior of the Cobra base. In case you missed all the Cobra logos and the giant Cobra shape of the building those doorways look like cobra heads to remind you that you're inside a Cobra facility. The trio arrives in a high-tech control room where Destro is geared up to show off his latest high tech innovation in unconventional evilness. A room-sized cylinder covered with lights starts glowing blue and then a pile of money on a dining room table bursts into flames. Easily pleased, Cobra Commander proclaims "success at last!" I don't want to be too critical of this plan already but if your first test of a multi-million dollar terror device involves making a pile of paper sitting adjacent to it burst into flames then you really need to reevaluate your terror standards. Cobra Commander I will achieve the same effects for about two dollars with a thrown match and a can of lighter fluid. Do you promise you will shriek "success at last" when the match manages to burn all the money?
Back at Joe headquarters Roadblock, Ripcord, Alpine and a couple other Joes are busy defending America really hard by playing poker in the control room. Things are just start to heat up with the betting when suddenly the whole room flashes blue and the money explodes into fire. After a momentary outburst from Ace in which he swears revenge on those responsible for destroying his cash Mainframe nearly instantly solves the mystery by turning on the Joebotron screen and tuning into the 24-7 Cobra Commander edicts channel. While Cobra Commander explains that Cobra is destroying America's "worthless green paper" we get a montage of money burning and then, inexplicably, a scene in which a pink car's tires explode, its hood pops open, its engine catches fire, and its passenger door falls off.
198X - Day 7, 1:00 PMWay to show off that military training Lady Jaye!A week has passed and the nation has descended into rioting and looting. Masses of protesters gather outside the National Treasury chanting for money, while inside Flint and Lady Jaye discuss the situation with some politician in a brown suit. The politician explains the dire situation to the Joes. They can't reestablish the economy without printing more money and they can't print more money because Cobra will just destroy it too. Instead of moving to a gold standard or perhaps relying on existing low-denomination coins the government does what you would expect and remains completely paralyzed by the crisis. Luckily Cobra Commander shows up on the Cobra Channel again revealing phase two of his diabolical scheme. He announces the Cobra economic recovery package which constitutes taking all of your valuables to Extensive Enterprises and exchanging them for Cobra coins.
The Joes head to the nearest Extensive Enterprises building where long lines have already formed of people clamoring for Cobra coins. A blond cretin confronts the GI Joes for cutting in line and throws Lady Jaye to the ground, providing strong evidence that women do not belong in the military. When Ripcord jumps in to save her a near-riot breaks out and the Joes find themselves surrounded by an angry mob. A nearby cowboy stereotype leap into action to aid the mob by tying up the GI Joes and inadvertently leaves his truck in gear with his daughter still inside. This presents the Joes with a fortunate opportunity to win the good will of the crowd by saving the girl. Alpine lassoes the young girl seconds before the truck smashes into the lobby of the Extensive Enterprises building and the Joes are released.Nice tracking device jerks.The Joes bully their way to the top floor and confront the Crimson Twins, interrupting their meeting with a mysterious woman named "Miss Henderhaunch". Tomax and Xamot explain that they have done nothing illegal - you know, other than financing criminals to rob jewelry stores and working with known terrorists - and Roadblock replies by threatening to "Trouble [their] faces into pasta". Despite Roadblock's tough talk Flint realizes this is neither the time nor the place to confront the Crimson Twins and the Joes beat an embarrassed and hasty retreat.
Minutes or hours later the Joes are disguised as Extensive Enterprise employees working to refuel a private jet at the airport. When Miss Henderhaunch arrives with a Cobra escort the Joes take them out and kidnap the woman so that Lady Jaye can disguise herself and take her place. Of course this is all a very Cobra-like plan the Joes are using, leading me to believe that they have grown desperate with the situation. Shortly after the kidnapping Tomax and Xamot arrive and board their waiting private jet along with the faux Henderhaunch. When Flint heads back to the fuel truck where they've hidden the real Henderhaunch he finds that Roadblock has smoothed things over by offering her his soufflé recipe.
Lady Jaye is seated between Tomax and Xamot on the plane as they explain to her that Cobra promises excellent security for her financial assets. She then activates the most horribly concealed tracking device I've ever seen. It's a huge broach on her chest that she has to open and press a button on, which causes lights to flash on it. Even though all this is done in plain sight neither brother seems to take note of it. Ace and Ripcord follow the tracking signal and the jet only to have it disappear mysteriously into the side of a mountain. Unable to believe that the jet liner isn't landing it a giant Cobra head fortress the Joes become completely confused.
198X - 4:00 PMIt's a good thing Miss Henderhaunch likes Velcro!The Crimson Twins show off the impressive security features of the vaults while the Joes puzzle over the disappearing jet. As she bumbles around suspiciously Lady Jaye gets a good look at the vault of Cobra's treasure, the mint for the coins, and eventually the device that destroy money. Realizing that the huge machine must be what is behind the exploding cash she draws her pistol and prepares to fire but is stopped by the Crimson Twins. Caught by one of the brothers Lady Jaye effects an escape by removing her entire disguise in the span of about two seconds. It's good to know that Miss Henderhaunch was wearing Velcro clothing when she was kidnapped. She runs off but Cobra troops are in hot pursuit and she is forced to escape to the roof of the fortress. Lucky for Lady Jaye a Snow Viper happens to be patrolling the sloped roof. On skis. That's right there is a skier on the roof of the Cobra building completely unaware that there is a spy on the loose. Lady Jaye makes quick work of him and steals his skis.
Ripcord is concerned for Lady Jaye's safety and risks jumping through the mountain in the hopes that it is a holographic mountain. Ace wisely tries to stop him but apparently Ripcord's frequent drinking and drug abuse have granted him a keen insight into the mind of Cobra strategic planners. He plunges through the mountain and signals to Flint to begin a massive airdrop of tanks and generic infantrymen.There is absolutely nothing unusual about having guys skiing around on your roof.Meanwhile, Tomax and Xamot have changed into their S&M outfits and are pursuing Lady Jaye on skis down the mountainside. The real mountainside, not the holographic one. Lady Jaye has mysteriously changed into a winter coat and turtleneck outfit that was obviously concealed underneath her short-sleeved green uniform, which was in turn concealed under Miss Henderhaunch's red dress and blouse. Did I mention she has javelins? The Baroness puts in an appearance being incredibly hot and dangerous while standing next to Destro in the Cobra Flight Pod hangar. Cobra Commander orders them to lead the counter attacks against the Joe paratroopers while he flees in terror.
They obey his commands with stunning ineptness, ordering waves of hang gliders to attack the armored convoy of the GI Joes. This turns out to be a trap so that rarely-seen Cobra badass Firefly can melt snow with a flamethrower and cause and avalanche that traps the Joe vehicles. For some reason Firefly's flamethrower is so effective that it turns all the snow into mud. The Baroness leads an extremely short lived surprise attack on the Joes that is quickly thwarted by Flint in one of those weird green flying vehicles that just materialized in the mud. He continues his flyover to rescue Lady Jaye from the clutches of Tomax and Xamot and engages them in a choppy and looped Greco-Roman wrestling match in the snow.Mandatory picture of the Baroness.While all this is going on Ripcord infiltrates the Cobra base and plants an explosive device on the money burner. For some reason the action back in the mud pit has turned against the Joes despite their early successes. Alpine offers the grim appraisal that "we can't hold out much longer" but Roadblock tells him to relax. Just as the Cobra victory seems assured the explosive goes off and showers the Cobra positions in thousands of coins and diamonds. No matter how many times the Baroness screams "greedy fools" the Cobra troopers cannot stop scooping up all the coins and diamonds. Disgusted with their stupidity, and honestly that is pretty stupid since they all know the coins are worthless, the Baroness flies off. The Cobra troopers IMMEDIATELY stop picking up the coins and surrender to GI Joe making the whole scenario even more retarded.
The episode wraps up with a reprisal of the poker game in the GI Joe control room where Ripcord is gambling the fuck out of Ace's incompetent ass. Ripcord makes a titular joke that I would repeat if I were an inhuman monster and then we roll credits on this travesty.
My impression of a GI Joe script writer: Like Cobra's plan, this money went up in flames. Now all I have to do is go home and hang myself because I live a loveless and hollow life.Overall Cobra's scheme in "Money to Burn" is probably the most solid and effective plan yet cooked up by the think tank of Cobra Commander and a bowl full of psychedelic drugs. He has put effort into concealing his remote headquarters. He is using the front of Extensive Enterprises to conduct most of his operations.
Cobra Commander's main mistakes are that he did not activate adequate infantry assets for such a major operation and that his base's security is pathetic at best. I guess when your HQ is inside a holographic mountain you might feel a little indestructible, but that's no excuse for having a guy on skis patrolling the fucking roof. Not to mention Cobra Commander probably wakes up in a cold sweat every night having nightmares about his bases being destroyed. You would think he'd learn from experience and tighten up the security. The fact that GI Joe ineptly attacked him with an under strength force should not have been expected. He was doing something to piss off the entire federal government and should have had enough men on hand to fight off at least a division strength attack from the US armed forces.
With a few hundred HISS tanks and Rattlers along with about thirty thousand men, Cobra Commander could have defeated all but the most determined of attackers barring the use of nuclear weapons. Instead his defenses collapsed the minute GI Joe arrived on the scene and even though he plunged the US into probably years of recovery from the anarchy of rioting and looting he ended the episode no better for it.
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