Whether he's the scion of a bizarre ancient civilization, a former used car salesman driven to the brink of insanity, or a renegade European scientist, Cobra Commander really hates G.I. Joe. As the leader of the ruthless terrorist organization Cobra, he frequently tries (and fails) to take over the world. No matter what maniacal scheme he comes up with, be it raising an island from the sea to form his own independent nation, editing elementary school text books to read pro-Cobra or etching his face onto the moon with a laser, G.I. Joe is there to try and stop him.
The Transformers cartoon
By the year 2006, the once mighty Cobra organization had apparently been defeated. Cobra Commander, who was the only one of his organization that had not been put in jail, was now going by the alias "Old Snake". He was left with little to do to but pass the time and hire out his services. He was an independent contractor—of terror!
A mob boss named Victor Drath had hired Old Snake once in the past, and decided to hire him again to learn the secret of synthoid technology so that he might use it against the Autobots. Snake took the job and used the synthoid technology to craft "human" bodies for Rodimus Prime, Arcee, Springer, and Ultra Magnus, then somehow transferred their minds inside them. Drath planned to then destroy the Autobots' now mindless robot bodies, but Old Snake dissuaded him, noting what excellent weapons they would make.
Eventually, the Autobots managed to return to their original Cybertronian bodies and Victor Drath and his gang were arrested. However, Snake managed to escape capture.
After watching Drath and his gang get hauled away, Old Snake walked into the sunset. He mused to himself that "they just don't make terrorists like they used to", and began shouting the old Cobra battlecry to the heavens, perhaps for old times' sake or perhaps threating that Cobra would return.
He was, unfortunately, cut short by a coughing fit.
Marvel Generation One comics
On Cobra Island, Cobra Commander berated Zartan for the careless actions of his Dreadnoks, which had revealed Cobra's interest in Power Station Alpha to G.I. Joe, and ordered him to send Zarana to retrieve the uncouth mercenaries. He feared that the incident had left him vulnerable to the manipulations of his would-be usurper, Serpentor. He was right to be concerned, as he was apparently deposed soon after by Serpentor, who took command of Cobra.
After Megatron appeared in Destro's castle (believing it was a Transformer, since it was a shape-shifting building), Cobra Commander offered him a deal: a new body in exchange for Cybertronian technology. Megatron agreed, but Cobra Commander betrayed him, infecting Megatron's rail gun (the new version of his fusion cannon) with a computer virus to disable it. Megatron discovered the virus, removed it and transferred it to the Cybertronian technology he gave to Cobra. Better luck next time, Cobra Commander.
G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers
- As of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Snake goes by the code name Old Snake. Spoiler alert: Cobra has a Metal Gear.
- Fans have been known to compare Cobra Commander with Starscream. Both were notoriously treacherous, not to mention arrogant and cowardly. Both had a superior that they wanted to get rid of. Also, both had the same voice actor, whom "Old Snake" carried over here. What's more, he is later voiced by Michael Dobson, who voices another Starscream.