G.I. Joe is a team of highly trained soldiers. Cobra consists of the world’s most ruthless terrorists. But what they both have in combat skills they lack in fashion, because holy hell do a lot of them dress like imbeciles. Here’s two dozen members of Joe and Cobra who desperately need a new set of duds.
Zartan is a master of disguise, someone who can emulate the appearance, voice and mannerisms of practically anybody. Why he’s painted huge black spots over his eyes is unknown, but since his disguises usually involve masks, it’s not the biggest deal. The biggest deal is that he is wearing sleeves that aren't connected to anything. First of all… why just the sleeves? How are they staying on? Do his shoulders get colder than the rest of his torso or something? Second and more importantly, aren’t you limiting your power of disguise when you’re wearing something no other human being would possibly wear? I mean, sure, you can disguise your face to look like anybody, but if your'e still wearing your disconnected sleeves, people are going to see through your disguise pretty quick.
2) Dr. Mindbender
Dr. Mindbender is Cobra’s “Master of Mind Control,” and as you can see, he’s wearing a cape without a shirt, metal suspenders over his bare chest, bright purple slacks, and he sports a monocle and a handlebar mustache. He’s not a fashion disaster, he’s a fashion Armageddon. I can only assume he dresses like this as part of his psychological warfare against his enemies.
Look, Sci-fi. Your code name is Sci-Fi. We fucking get it. You didn’t need to pick up a Robocop Halloween costume and paint it lime green for everyone to know you have a hard-on for the future. Just talk about Heinlein books like everybody else.
Zartan’s brother Zandar raises his sibling’s fashion nightmare by wearing the same sleeves-only “shirt,” just in a light blue, but adding a pink handkerchief tied around his neck. So… his shoulders and his neck get cold? Okay, sure. In Zandar’s defense, though, people are going to be hard-pressed to notice his ridiculous outfit after he’s covered his chest in Nazi SS symbols.
Leaving aside the very pertinent question of how intimidating any terrorist leader can be while wearing a snake-themed outfit of green and yellow, the real problem here is Serpentor’s use of the entire snake mouth as his helmet. I get what he’s going for, but by leaving the snake’s jaw underneath his chin, Serpentor looks like he’s perpetually being eaten by a snake, one that’s going to close its mouth and swallow him at any second.
6) Big Boa
GODDAMMIT WHY DO SO MANY MEMBERS OF COBRA NOT WEAR SHIRTS. Big Boa is clearly a fan of Mad Max’s Lord Humungus, because he’s dressed in much the same fashion. However, Humungus kept his outfit in classic black, while Big Boa went for the much less intimidating red and blue. Moreover, Lord Humungus didn’t accentuate his outfit with boxing gloves. The end result is that Big Boa doesn’t look fearsome, he looks like a boxer who is also a confused cosplayer.
As I never, ever get tired of pointing out, Raptor is Cobra’s tax accountant, who dresses like a bird — and when I say “like a bird” I mean like a bird-themed professional wrestler — because he also works as Cobra’s falconer, because Cobra… has a need for falcons, apparently? Anyway, dressing like a c-list Spider-Man villain is never going to be the right fashion choice. Question: If you wandered into Raptor’s office to get your taxes done, would you be more put off by his bird costume, or his lack of a shirt? I honestly can see a scenario where I let a dude in a bird suit do my taxes, but never a guy who isn’t wearing a shirt.
8) Croc Master
Since Cobra’s need for crocodiles is just as great as their need for falcons (apparently), they hired Croc Master who is just straight up wearing a gimp mask. Suffice it to say I’m not sure how Croc Master “masters” all those crocodiles, but I am pretty sure someone needs to call PETA.
Outback’s sole noticeable “fashion” is his shirt that merely reads “Survival.” As Joe’s resident Survivalist, this is akin to wearing the band’s shirt to its concert. Would Duke wear a t-shirt that said “leadership” on it? Would Snake Eyes wear a shirt bearing the word “ninjitsu”? Would Scarlett wear a t-shirt that said… the noun version of whatever the hell she does? Probably not.
A lot of Cobra’s Viper troops wear purple, but only the poor Gyro-Viper has the distinction of wearing a purple helmet over a beige uniform. If you don’t think the Cobra cafeteria erupts in penis jokes the minute this guy wanders in, you’re being naïve.
11) Nemesis Enforcer
Perhaps its unfair to judge the members of Cobra-La on modern fashion, since they’re a race of ancient snake people who’ve had virtually no contact with the outer world, but I still think someone should have figured out Nemesis Enforcer’s outfit was a crime against nature. “Let me see… I’ll take the purple jumpsuit with the red mini-vest… best put on my khaki button-down on under it so my sleeves are khaki and nothing else… get my red knee pads… and yeah, I should paint my crotch bright red too, just to make sure everybody has to think about my penis."
12) Road Pig
To Road Pig’s credit, he isn’t wearing some tiny portion of a shirt, he’s wearing no shirt at all — infinitely more acceptable. On the other hand, he has a really massive codpiece, and his shirtlessness only accentuates it.
13) Storm Shadow v2
Storm Shadow’s choice of ninja outfit is usually white, which, sure, isn’t that stealthy, but it’s reasonably stylish. So I’m sure he was pissed off when he woke up from a nap to discover that someone had covered him in small pieces of electrical tape. Now the only place he could possibly hide himself is next to a screen playing the old black-and-white Tetris on the original Game Boy.
14) Alley Viper
Alley Viper’s are Cobra’s Urban Assault Troops, although in their garish orange uniforms with sky blue highlights, what they assault most heavily are people’s eyes. I have to imagine Cobra Commander designed this dude at TG.I. Fridays after he was given a few paltry crayons to draw on the paper mat to occupy himself until the potato skins arrived. “Orange and Cornflower? That’s it? What can I draw with these— wait a minute…”
There’s a time and a place to wear a top hat, and that time is during important social functions between the years 1820 and 1920. If you’re wearing a top hat at any other time or place, you are an asshole. If you’re wearing a sleeveless vest with it, you’re also probably a burgeoning serial killer.
16) EEL v2
And then there was the time Cobra Commander ordered his underwater troops to dress like they were bootleg Chinese robot action figures.
The Toxo-Zombie is Cobra’s “Toxic Disaster Trooper,” which is such an easy opportunity I’d feel kind of ashamed for taking it, Still, I will say that the disaster must have already happened for the Toxo-Zombie to leave the Terrordrome with two mismatched boots and gloves and two differently sized lime green belts that may have been glued together. Even more worrisome is that fact that the Toxo-Zombie's briefs have been violently torn off right at the crotch.
YOU CAN’T BE A PIRATE AND A NINJA SIMUTANEOUSLY, DOJO, YOU HAVE TO PICK ONE.
The only proof Bullet-Proof has is that G.I. Joe allows soldiers to fight in their Masters of the Universe Battlecat pajamas.
20) Dr. Mindbender v2
All right, Doc. Well done on actually wearing a shirt. But purple and yellow isn’t an appropriate uniform color scheme, unless you’re picking it for your 6-year-old son’s soccer team. Where the hell do you even get yellow slacks, anyways?
21) Leatherneck v3
OH MY GOD LEATHERNECK KILLED AND SKINNED A GIRAFFE TO MAKE THOSE PANTS
Speaking of pants, what the fuck? Why are the Cyber-Vipers’ pants red but with a lime green leg? Is there some Cobra-maintained sweatshop somewhere, where the workers have to cut the left leg off a pair of red pants, then attach the leg from a pair of lime green slacks? Transforming two pairs of ugly pants into one wearable but even uglier pair of pants? Couldn’t the Cyber-Viper use the Information Superhighway to figure out this is a terrible fucking idea?
23) Scarlet v2
And then there was the time Scarlett fought an entire battle while wearing her Poison Ivy cosplay.
24) Slice v2
It was a decidedly bold decision to cover only the stomach, hips and upper thighs of this orange gi in black spots. A decidedly terrible decision, too, obviously, but still bold. Only the bravest warrior would be comfortable wearing a uniform that made him look like he had a genital rash that was slowly overtaking the rest of his body.