?If you’ve read the latest G.I. Joe series from IDW, the only clues you’ll find about Cobra are that it’s evil, expansive, and extremely stealthy. Their goal is to take over the world, and the best way to do that is without everyone seeing you try to take over the world; Cobra’s forces aren’t for making an assault on Washington D.C., they’re for quietly taking over military installations and defending themselves from G.I. Joe.
So, when your organization depends on you remaining an elusive mystery, secrecy is #1. That is, unless you joined Cobra in the ’80s or ’90s, then you got stuck with the shittiest uniforms of any military outfit other than when the Village People were in the Navy. Honestly, these 15 Cobra Vipers must have felt really, really stupid wearing these neon monstrosities. They don’t promote stealth; they promote Mardi Gras and sipping girl drinks. They’re so garish, they’re about as menacing as Rainbow Brite — clearly, Cobra Commander had the big box of Crayola crayons when designing these uniforms. Here’s 15 Vipers, all regretting dropping out of community college. Thanks to YoJoe.com for the photos.
?This basic, no-frills model of Viper gets a pair of grey leggings with a red patch on them to go with his purple body suit. He has shoulder fins that hearken back to the good ‘ol days of the ’50s, where you’d see cars with the same fins on the back. Someone at Cobra must have had a Happy Days fixation, as well as a healthy respect for respirators.
?I was going to let Secto-Viper go, since, yeah, sometimes you can get away with yellow coveralls. Devo does it pretty well. But when I saw the little black codpiece I knew he had to make the list. I can excuse feet of orange cable hanging down your chest, but when you call attention to your tiny package like that, you’re getting called out for it.
?Remember when your mom told you to always own a pair of khaki pants, because they go with anything? LIES. Khaki pants and shirts do not go with purple ski masks and backpack straps. It’s hard to think of anything that does, or even why Cobra would special order purple ski masks, but thank God Gyro-Viper just drives the helicopter and doesn’t have to do public speeches or anything.
?Nothing says “toxic” like a purple sweat suit and two teal parking meters on your chest. Throw in red gloves and black rain boots and, yep, the special needs kid dressed himself again.
11) Ninja Viper
?Storm Shadow = awesome. Snake Eyes = awesome. Ninja Vipers = sea foam fail. On what planet is this teal monstrosity considered stealthy? Hiding amongst Care Bears? Sneaking around the bottom of an in-ground swimming pool? Infiltrating Cirque Du Soleil? None of these things Cobra should be doing.
10) S.A.W. Viper
?Stupid-Ass Wardrobe! Shitty Awful Wear! Scaring Away Women! All of them work for this unfortunate fashion freak. If the thigh-high maroon boots with cut-outs in them don’t scare off the ladies, I’m sure the bright green belt buckle will.
9) Range Viper
?Waist-down, it’s ok. You can hide out in ambush with black and grey. Then you add a turquoise shirt and a lumpy yellow belt and you might as well slap three wolves and a moon on that bad boy. And two bandoliers because, well, you might as well accessorize that shit.
?Frag-Viper? More like…uh…Fraggin-stupid Viper! As you may know, gold lam? catsuits and swatches of teal were the #1 hit costume for jazz dancing troupes in the late ’80s. Now we know what the Cobra costume designers majored in.
7) H.E.A.T Viper
?Ugh, he even has that stupid emo hair flip. On top of his helmet. Yellow and purple probably looked more intimidating on the drawing board, but when you finally give it out to the troops, it makes them look like a fat kid in a snowsuit who ran into a graffiti gang.
6) Sludge Viper
?Was there a sale on turquoise fabric at some point in the early ’90s? Because I remember a ton of surfer T-shirts printed on it, as well as some fly Hammer pants. How can you sneak around in this? How? Banana yellow, blue-green fatigues, and Navy blue boots do not make your terrorist group badass!
?I can’t imagine anyone would give this soldier flak for his off-the-shoulder sweater/shorts combo. And no one would really be questioned about boots that lock into your belt, your belt that is under those sweater shorts. If anyone in the US Military reads this site, please, please explain to me the tactical advantage of a one-shoulder shirt with attachable boots.
4) Python Tele-Viper
?Roll up those long-sleeve T-shirt sleeves, recruit! You’re a Tele-Viper now! And as a Tele-Viper, you get the ultimate Cobra perk: you’re allowed to dress in the dark! Sure, put on those red shades! Yellow hat goes great with black headset! And any pattern on your overalls is great, just as long as it’s loud! Welcome to Cobra!
?Heli-Viper: sponsored by Smuckers. With a name like Smuckers, he has to be good! Or evil. Whatever.
2) Cyber Viper
?What the fuck? Oh, no, no buddy, don’t do that to yourself. Half-pants went out with Prince, and he never wore red and lime green. Michael Jackson never sported one yellow glove. Tearing your T-shirt sleeve off was cool in the punk years, and you’re no Captain Sensible. All-around, you just look homeless. Please, just try to transfer to the motor pool or something.
1) Alley Viper
?Sporting a color pattern that was last seen on a pair of JAMS shorts from 1991, Alley Viper makes the worst “urban assault trooper” ever. Unless Cobra was thinking urban = black culture from the ’90s, in which case he would blend in very well as a back-up dancer for Digital Underground and Tone Loc. Or hey, I could be wrong. He could just suck at paintball.