JC Hutchins asked yesterday which people preferred, Cobra Commander’s silver mask or his hood. I replied that the hooded look was far superior and then he decided to drag mothers and ethnicity in to it so I’m going to get up in his grill about it.
(Note: I may be making some of that up, but am leaving it there for dramatic effect. This is what’s needed when debating a novelist.)
(2nd Note: For the purposes of this piece I’m using the Marvel Comics’ series as a reference point since it’s much more well-rounded than the cartoon and features more frequent appearances of the hood.)
(3rd Note: Psyche!!)
When Cobra Commander was portrayed with his hood on as opposed to his silver mask it meant, basically, that shit was about to get real. The silver mask indicated he was about to run into battle against the G.I. Joe team alongside Major Bludd and probably get captured again so that Zartan could once again infiltrate The Pit but somehow still not know where it is clearly enough to bring the Cobra thunder in full in order to rescue him.
But the hood being broken out meant Cobra Commander was getting serious. It was more regal, more majestic, more befitting of his world domination plans. It meant he was planning something big in his Springfield headquarters.
Let’s put it this way – wearing the mask into a meeting with potential HISS tank parts vendors is more likely to result in muffled laughter and people asking to check to see if they had anything in their teeth before Destro came in with his real decision making powers. Wear the hood and the cushions on the seats around the table will need to be changed because of the loss of bladder control.
Indeed the silver mask is actually the add-on look for Cobra Commander since before he built Cobra and was simply engaging in rally-building activities across the country and stirring up dissent against the status quo. So really the mask is an add-on that serves one purpose (battle) and even that had to be replaced in favor of the more fully-featured battle armor.
I hear where defenders of the silver mask may be coming from, especially since it’s almost uniformly used in the cartoon series and is the hallmark look of the toy line. But the fact is that the hood is much more in line with someone who’s looking to be called “Commander” and strikes a much more imposing note with allies and enemies alike.