The Cobra Strikes is an episode of 1983 miniseries A Real American Hero.


Cobra steals a spy satellite with their newest invention, the M.A.S.S. Device.


The Joe Team is testing out their new Skystriker XP-14F jet fighters when Major Bludd leads a Cobra attack on their base. Since most of the Skystrikers are still on the ground, Cobra manages to destroy much of them. Duke and Scarlett manage to pilot one, take off and take the fight to Cobra. Having done what they came for, Bludd calls for retreat. Afterwards, Duke calls his men to be on full alert as Cobra may be up to something.

RAH mini06

This is not the Silent Castle, it's the Cobra Temple.

In an unknown mountainous region, Destro arrives at the Cobra citadel where he unveils to Cobra Commander the elements needed to power the M.A.S.S. Device. The machine is designed to teleport Cobra forces to locations of their choosing. Right now, they want something from the location their homing device is beaming from.

At a military base, General Flagg calls in Duke to test the strength of that installation's security. Observing the goings on is Major Juanita Hooper, someone from the budget department that Flagg admits is a pain to have around. The base is guarding a new spy satellite meant to launch the next day. Flagg asks Duke how soon he can have his team test security. Duke replies, "right now."

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Unbeknownst to Flagg and Duke, Major Juanita Hooper is not who she appears to be.

At the same moment, Snake-Eyes, Scarlett and Stalker each infiltrate the base in their own way and eventually make it to the center where the satellite is housed in a silo. Hooper remains unconvinced. Flagg and the major show the Joes the satellite. The satellite is designed to receive and relay high levels of energy to anywhere in the world. As they are not engaged in combat, Hooper tells the Joes to leave their weapons aside. Unbeknownst to everyone, Hoover comes closer to the satellite and plants a homing device.

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The awesome M.A.S.S. Device. Cobra built it but it seems like only Destro knows how to operate it.

Destro activates the M.A.S.S. Device and, after a brief technical difficulty, teleports several Cobra Troopers and to the military base. The group appears exactly where the satellite is. Caught unaware, the Joe Team is forced to retreat. Major Hooper reveals herself to actually be the Baroness and runs over to her side. The Joes are locked out of the silo and must find another way in to stop Cobra from taking the satellite. To get back in, they use the elevator grids to rip open the silo's sides. The plan works and it's Cobra's turn to be surprised. The tide of battle quickly turns and Cobra is forced to surrender. That very same moment, Destro gets the M.A.S.S. Device working again and starts to teleport their men back. Bludd and the Baroness quickly run to their quickly disappearing troops. Duke, hoping to catch the Baroness before she gets away is caught in the energy wave and is teleported along with them.

Duke finds himself in the Cobra citadel alone facing Cobra. He puts up a fight but is soon overwhelmed. Cobra Commander wants him alive and orders that he be prepared for the arena. After reprogramming the satellite, Destro launches it into orbit. With the satellite, Cobra is better able to focus the M.A.S.S. Device to a homing device. As a demonstration of its power to the world, Cobra makes the Eiffel Tower disappear. Meanwhile, Duke finds himself in an enclosure with mind-controlled slaves.

Investigating what kind of device Cobra used for teleportation, Breaker's research finds it similar to a work on matter transference by one Dr. Laszlo Vandermeer. The Joes head to the doctor's estate in New England. It turns out Cobra is already there and ambushes the Joes. Though the Joes were initially caught surprised, they fight until Cobra is forced to retreat. Dr. Vandermeer is rescued but his work was stolen by Cobra. The only way to defeat Cobra is for the Joes to build their own M.A.S.S. Device.

For the cliffhanger, Duke is fitted with a metallic headband that forces him to bow to Cobra Commander and Destro. In the arena, he must fight a hulk of a man...


Featured Characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

G.I. Joe Cobra Civilians Others

Featured Vehicles & Equipment

G.I. Joe Cobra Civilian


"I'm gonna kick the mustard out of that crazy hot dog!"

-- Duke

"My invention will seize the molecules of the Relay Star satellite, assemble them for transportation, scramble them into a coherent beam of pure energy, and send them here to us!"

--Other than "seize," Destro lays out exactly what "M.A.S.S." stand for.

"You incompetent steel-head! Your bungling has cost me dearly!"
"Premature panic is the sign of an immature mind; I have mastered the device."

--Cobra Commander is always too quick to judge Destro.

"I'm afraid our surrender has been cancelled!"

--This isn't "goodbye," Baroness, only "see you later."


Animation and technical errors

|Glitches1=*After the first commercial break, there is a sign above the gated compound that reads "US Militaly - No Admittance".

  • While not exactly an error, as it is consistent (even in the intro), Snake-Eyes is animated without gloves. Maybe his gloves are flesh-toned?
  • Cobra Commander's neck changes from blue to silver in different shots.
  • When Duke wakes up in the slave pen, his jump wings are missing from his shirt. In the next shot, they're back.
  • The first shot of Cobra Commander in the Arena of Sport shows his mask as flesh-colored.

Continuity errors

  • When Scarlett, Stalker and Snake-Eyes break into the satellite compound, they render salutes. Duke, an enlisted member, returns the salute.
    • In the military, it is a sign of respect and a traditional courtesy to salute commissioned officers, however it is seen as a sign of high respect for troops to salute their enlisted leaders as well. Also, it is required that anyone of any grade salute a Medal of Honor winner. Even the President is required to do so, even if the wearer is a Private.
  • If Cobra "picked [Dr. Vandermeer's] brain" to build the M.A.S.S., why was he still at his farm?
  • Ramar the monster slave apparently can swing his hands out and knock down massive stone pillars without suffering any ill-effects.

Miscellaneous trivia

  • First appearance: everybody.
  • When the Cobra jets crash on the Joes' base, no one ejects. Never let anyone tell you there were no deaths on the cartoon!
  • "M.A.S.S." stands for "Molecular Assembler Scrambler Sender."
  • Baroness disguises herself as Major Juanita Hooper; Major Bludd disguises himself as Dr. Laszlo Vandermeer
  • Cobra officers are nearly indistinguishable from Cobra blueshirts; they wear the same blue tunics and pants, with red Cobra emblems on the chest. The officers additionally have a rank chevron on their helmet and gray gloves; by the time The Revenge of Cobra rolls around, Cobra officers wear the proper silver Cobra emblems, helmet chevrons and black gloves, like their action figures.
  • During the intro, Clutch is shown driving the V.A.M.P.; sitting next to him is a someone in a green uniform with red pads. Moments later, though, Flash is shown zooming by on a R.A.M. Is Clutch's passenger Grand Slam?
  • Ron Friedman
    • The Cobra Strikes” -- M.A.S.S.
    • In the Cobra's Pit” -- Weather Dominator
    • The Further Adventures of G.I. Joe” -- Pyramid of Darkness
    • Arise, Serpentor, Arise! (Part 1)” -- Serpentor
    • Ron Friedman wrote the scripts for all 4 miniseries and the parallels between the 4 miniseries are unmistakable. There are minor variations.
      • The Joe team is running a routine mission, followed by a Cobra sneak attack.
      • Duke is captured by Cobra in the first episode of the miniseries.
      • There is a Cobra invention that can be used to subjugate the world.
      • Joe and Cobra meet at 3 or more separate locations with exotic names to retrieve components.
      • The Joes meet a stranger along the way that helps them.
      • A Cobra agent double crosses Cobra Commander in the final episode.
      • The Joes launch an all-out attack on the Cobra hideout.
    • Cobra Commander was arrested at the end of the miniseries, yet is now ruling Cobra at the beginning of the episode with no explanation. Destro betrayed Cobra Commander and escaped at the end of the miniseries, yet here he and Cobra Commander are working together like nothing happened.

Real world references

  • The sound effect of the cannon on the R.A.M. used by Stalker to infiltrate the home of the Relay Star satellite was sampled from the lasers in the original Battlestar Galactica, which was also the source of the Joe's weapon sounds: the Cylon lasers.
  • The SFX used by Cobra's weaponry, however, were taken from the laser's used by the android crew of the antagonist's ship from the movie "The Black Hole".


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