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Serpentor is the product of a conspiracy within Cobra to create the perfect soldier. A cabal of Cobra scientists led by Dr. Mindbender and Destro raided just about every tomb to contain history's greatest warriors. They scrounged every scrap of DNA they could that would serve as the genetic blueprint of this super soldier. Thanks to Mindbender's genius, Serpentor is imbued with the memories and experience of these legendary men.
Serpentor possesses acute military genius, courage, daring, charisma, political knowhow and fighting prowess that easily overshadows Cobra Commander's. His creators neglected to take into consideration that the warriors from which Serpentor's DNA come from also happen to be cunning and ruthless leaders with huge ambitions. For in Serpentor's blood, it calls forth in him the glory of conquest... the conquest of the world.
A Real American Hero continuity
Marvel Comics continuity
Serpentor was created by Dr. Mindbender in an attempt to build the ultimate soldier for Cobra. Mindbender and Destro raided the tombs of great warriors from the past, and also made use of the body of Cobra traitor Storm Shadow. Mindbender combined the DNA in a vat and implanted his own knowledge and allegiances, and the soldier was grown in the Cobra town of Springfield. He was born when the G.I. Joe team launched an attack on the town, and Serpentor volunteered to lead the Cobra troops in a delaying action to allow evacuation of the town. In battle he demonstrated his vast military skills in being able to anticipate and counter the Joes' attacks, whilst he also demonstrated great risk and charisma, rapidly earning the admiration of the troops. He succeeded in fooling the Joes about the location of the Cobra evacuation, with the result that Cobra successfully withdrew. Serpentor could have been left behind, but Destro made sure he was saved.
Serpentor reached Cobra Island and immediately a power struggle between him and Cobra Commander broke out. The latter made unsuccessful attempts to have Serpentor assassinated, but Serpentor anticipated them and made speeches and actions that ensured if he were killed by Cobra Commander it would still destabilize Cobra. Cobra Commander then ordered Zartan and the Dreadnoks to disguise themselves as Joe members to assassinate Serpentor, but it was foiled by Destro. Serpentor once again turned events to his advantage by using the attempt to call for an attack on the Joe base, the Pit, despite the reservations of Cobra Commander. An attack was made with both Serpentor and Cobra Commander trying to take a lead, with the result that each sought to take glory from the other. Serpentor tricked Cobra Commander into going into the depths of the Pit, where he was trapped when the Joes detonated explosives to destroy the base.
With Cobra Commander missing, presumed dead, Serpentor took the leadership of Cobra and embarked upon new ventures including arms sales, selling Terror Dromes to various countries, and establishing a consulate in New York to carry out Cobra operations discretely with diplomatic immunity. He also continued to lead field missions, such as an attempt to prevent a Joe team from capturing parts of a Terror Drome in Sierra Gordo. He also sought to capture the new mobile energy generator, Power Station Alpha, forming an alliance with the alien Decepticon Transformers, but when it became clear that the Decepticons planned to use Alpha to destroy the Earth, Cobra formed a new alliance with the rival Autobot Transformers and G.I. Joe to stop them.
Serpentor's leadership began to falter when he replaced the Baroness as head of operations in New York with Zarana, creating a potential enemy. Then a man arrived on Cobra Island claiming to be Cobra Commander. He answered all questions correctly but Serpentor was still unsure and reluctant to yield command. However it was known that the Baroness knew what Cobra Commander looked like under his helmet and she was tasked with verifying the arrival's identity. She declared that the true Cobra Commander had returned, to Serpentor's chagrin. Once again Serpentor sought to bring down his rival for command by forcing the latter into danger, through making him lead a mission into space, but instead his rival showed leadership and earned the respect of his troops. Serpentor and Mindbender spied on the rival, discovering that he was in fact an impostor, being Fred VII, a Crimson Guard from the "Fred" series. However they did not expose him because of his support amongst the troops.
Serpentor continued to plot to regain the full leadership of Cobra, unaware that Fred had installed a spy camera in one of Serpentor's B.A.T. bodyguards. Mindbender developed the Star-Viper who was sent to infiltrate the new Joe base where he successfully stole a new secret decoder black box. When the Star-Viper returned to Cobra Island he was given a hero's welcome; however at the ceremony tensions between Serpentor and Fred boiled over, leading to a fight that began the Cobra Civil War. Serpentor and Mindbender soon realized they had limited forces and so Mindbender travelled to the US with the black box to secure a deal. The US government reasoned that it was better to have Serpentor in command, as a constitutional monarch, instead of Cobra Commander, a fascist dictator, and a full force of Joes was dispatched to the island to support Serpentor. There were tensions over the chain of command, and also over Serpetor's use of the captured Baroness as a human shield tied to his H.I.S.S. tank, but shelling from Fred's forces and the arrival of a third force under the command of Destro made Serpentor agree to a joint command with Hawk. Soon Serpentor, the Joes and Destro had Fred boxed in between them, causing panic in the latter's command. However Serpentor became over-confident of his position. On Fred's side Zartan seized the initiative and fired an arrow. Serpentor declared he could feel victory coming, like the day when the Normans won the Battle of Hastings and King Harold was downed by an arrow in the eye. Suddenly he was killed in the same way.
Devil's Due Comics continuity
G.I. Joe vs. Transformers
Action Force (British) Comics continuity
Serpentor presided over the abortive trial of Destro, who was accused of disloyalty in his attempt to capture the Broadcast Energy Transmitter. Suddenly Serpentor's concentration lapsed and the room faded away, to be replaced by another decorated with serpents which he found very familiar. Before him stood a woman who repeatedly told him "Cobra needs the Broadcast Energy Transmitter!" and he declared she was the woman of his desires. Serpentor came to and aborted the trial, declaring that Destro was right about the need for the B.E.T. Later Serpentor commissioned a powerful laser to be powered by diamonds from Weaponsmith, and told him that he could find a huge diamond on a model in Amsterdam.
Blackthorne Comics continuity
Dreamwave Comics continuity
Hasbro Comics continuity
Sunbow animated series
Voice Actor: Richard Gautier
It was later revealed that Serpentor was created on orders issued from the ruler of Cobra-La, an alien (Alien to the current planet by time. It was ruler of Earth 40,000 years ago) civilization because Cobra Commander has repeatedly failed in all missions to destroy humanity. Dr. Mindbender received the information, the idea, instructions via a Psychic Motivator.
DiC animated series
Serpentor returned with a different color uniform and a new voice actor. He reorganizes Cobra with Destro, Baroness, Scoop, Zarana and Copperhead returning to the team. In the series, Serpentor attempted to harnass the mythical power known as Dragon Fire, but was unaware of Cobra Commander's return. In the ensuing civil war, Serpentor was captured and transformed into an iguana by Cobra Commander. He was last seen running off into the jungle in his iguana form with Gnawgahyde chasing after him.
- The Real American Hero Collection (2002)
- Serpentor was included in the final release of the Real American Hero Collection toys. He was packaged in a two-pack together with Shock Viper.
- Real American Hero Collection filecard
- Comic Pack (2005)
- The Comic Pack was a three-pack of action figures that included Serpentor, Firefly, Scrap-Iron and a copy of the comicbook G.I. Joe #49.
- Comic Pack filecard
- A Real American Hero 25th Anniversary (2007)
- The original Serpentor action figure design is revisited with a 21st Century twist.
- RAH 25th Anniversary filecard
- Combat Heroes (2009)
- Serpentor is included in Hasbro's preschool line in a two-pack with Beachhead.
- Working names included "King Cobra," "Cobra Rex," "Rama Set" and "ZoR."
- According to cartoon story editor and writer Buzz Dixon, Serpentor's origin was the by-product of the different thinking between Hasbro and the Sunbow writers about the nature of Cobra. Hasbro had developed a new toy to be released as the "Cobra Emperor" (later named as "Serpentor") and intended that he would be the previously unseen superior of Cobra Commander who had always been present. However, Dixon objected that this was in complete contradiction to previous episodes that had established Cobra Commander as the sole head of the organization. He put forward two possibilities for the "Emperor" character becoming the new leader of Cobra Commander after the latter's failings caused dissatisfaction - either the senior Cobras deciding to literally create a new leader or that Cobra was a front for a more secretive organization who sent Serpentor to replace Cobra Commander. Hasbro liked both ideas and asked that they be combined, resulting in both the origin of Serpentor and then the introduction of Cobra-La.
- Larry Hama suggested to Buzz Dixon that Serpentor sound like John Houseman - in other words, like a cultured old man.