Saturday, January 15, 2022

1983 Destro - Around The Web

Destro's introduction changed the direction of G.I. Joe.  His appearance in 1983 helped set Cobra as a more viable foe for Joe.  And, he also brought an element of design flair to the line.  A human villain with a chromed head was a retail standout at the time.  And, it helped make G.I. Joe a line that went beyond its olive drab roots.  

In recent years, I've come to find the character of Destro to be overly problematic.  He was portrayed as a man of honor.  Yet, to me, this is disingenuous.  He is an arms dealer who profits from violence and death.  He uses his notion of "honor" as a way of shielding his conscious from the atrocities that he enables.  This gives him cover and absolves him of responsibility for any actions of his customers.  It's "just business".  But, to me, that's the issue.  It can't be an arms length transaction when innocent people are displaced from their homeland, intimidated and even killed in violent fashion by the machines of war.  So, now, I see Destro as culpable.  Every death that occurred by his weapons are on his head.  And, his disassociation from that responsibility leaves him a coward in my eyes.

For me, now, Destro is just evil.  So, he appears in my world as a conniving, evil man who seeks to profit off of suffering and war.  It's still terrible.  But, at least he's honest about who he is.  

Obviously, lots of good Destro content out there.  Check out all the links as you'll find fun stuff throughout.

1983 Destro Profile

1983 Destro by masterbungle

1983 Destro by scarrviper

1983 Destro by R.T.G.

1983 Destro at

1983 Destro by flint

1983 Destro at Nekoman's Viper Pit

1983 Destro by cyko

1983 Destro by Cobra Freak

1983 Destro by LT Shipwreck

1983 Destro at When It Was Cool

1983 Destro (No Date Stamp) by Hit and Run

1983 Destro (Date Stamp) by Hit and Run

1983 Destro by Slipstream80

1983 Destro, 1984 Zartan, Firefly, Stinger

1983 Destro, 1984 Zartan, Firefly, Stinger Driver, Hiss Tank, Baroness, Wild Weasel, Hooded Cobra Commander, 2004 Cobra Trooper, Rattler

1983 Destro, 1984 Zartan, Firefly, Stinger Driver, Hiss Tank


  1. Hope you are moving on soon to a different year that the figures you have been doing. ��

  2. 9-year-old me had a very deep conversation with my best friend:

    - "Do you know why they call him Destro?"
    -- "No, why?"
    - "What happens when you add a 'Y' to the end of his name?"
    -- "Umm... ?" [He tries to work it out in his head. That takes longer than it should.]
    - "Destroy. It spells destroy!"
    [His eyes widen.]
    -- "Whoa..."

  3. Destro is an actual Italian surname. It means right (opposite of left) yet Destro is a sinister person, "sinister" means "left handed". He's doing evil things but thinks he's still in the "right". It's brilliant. And totally unintentional by Hasbro (Hasbro actually named DESTRO, not Larry Hama).

    I don't think the head(s) of most US arms makers would consider themselves evil. But they, as far as I know, don't intentionally sell to terrorists, extremists or revolutionaries. But then you get the middle man, the US government/agencies...supplying weapons to shady people. It's the Tony Stark in IRON MAN thing, not realizing where his weapons are ending up. Oh, heck, is Destro really IRON MONGER with just the helmet?

  4. I don't think any heads of Weapon Supply companies are naive as to where the stuff ends up...

  5. I really like Destro, sometimes, I think I might even find him more interesting than Cobra Commander. I think it's because he has so much more personality, whereas Cobra Commander can often times feel like a caricature.

    Yeah, his "honor" was really overblown, but in my opinion, it's more an issue with the comics. It seemed like at a certain point Hama was really reaching to make all of the villains more sympathetic, and I really hate that. It might be okay for one or two, but trying to show the decent side of characters like Destro and especially Zartan, doesn't work for me. In my head, those two have no redemption.

    1. Absolutely.

      Zarana. Storm Shadow. Not many if any other Cobras that I can see with a redemption arc.

      And that's a good thing.