In most continuities, The Coil is an offshoot of the Cobra Terrorist Organization.
A Real American Hero comics continuity
Members of Coil High Command
- Serpentor - Supreme Leader of The Coil. Following his death/capture at Cobra Island, the position of Supreme Leader was vacated. Serpentor was kept in suspended animation and brainwashed for later use by the Jugglers but was likely killed when Red Shadow agents, lead by Juggler mole Mars Harring, gained access to the secret facility the Jugglers were keeping him in and broke his chamber.
- Overlord or Mikhail Derenko - Former Spetsnaz commander and Special Ops Hammer Team member, Mikhail spent years gathering former Cobra agents under the alias "Nowhere Man" on behalf of Serpentor. Overlord was the general of The Coil and had he not taken employ with the Jugglers, it's likely he would have succeeded Serpentor as leader. He was killed when caught in the destruction of G.I. Joe's Iceland facility.
- Dr. Mindbender - Creator of Serpentor, Dr. Mindbender along with Hannibal sought out Serpentor and joined The Coil. Mindbender's tenure with the organization was brief as he was taken prisoner by Cobra forces following their acquisition of Cobra Island. He managed to get himself back in with the Dreadnoks and eventually Cobra before the Commander shot him.
- Firefly - World famous saboteur, following Cobra's collapse in the early 90s Firefly began working with Mikihali in recruiting former Cobra assets to The Coil. Firefly is perhaps one of the longest tenured members of the Coil, however he ended up deserting during the Cobra Island battle
- Zandar - Brother of Dreadnok leader Zartan, Zandar joined the Coil for power and respect, feeling unappreciated within the Dreadnoks. Zandar joined the newly reformed Cobra as a spy for the Coil and it was because of this he was able to successfully kidnap Cobra Commander later on. During the Cobra Island battle, Zandar attacked his brother but was nearly killed when Zartan gained the upper hand. Zartan meanwhile, had not known it to be Zandar until it was too late. As a result, Zartan called off his Dreadnok forces and took his brother off island for medical treatment. He managed to avoid punishment by service to Cobra.
- Overkill or Robert Skelton - Formerly a S.A.W.-Viper in Cobra, Skelton became infamous for slaughtering a number of helpless GIJoe agents at Trucial Abysima. Serpentor sent multiple Coil agents to recruit Skelton and eventually succeeded in bringing him into the fold. Skelton then took on the name "Overkill" and during the Cobra Island battle nearly killed G.I. Joe Commander General Hawk, but was injured by Kamakura. In the aftermath of the battle, Skelton followed Cobra Commander to an escape sub and begged for power, only to pass out from blood loss. Sometime later Skelton would be turned over to Cobra scientists and made into a cyborg.
- Hannibal - One of the first clones from the process that made Serpentor. Not much is known of Hannibal except that he aided Dr. Mindbender in gathering some of the Serpentor child clones. Hannibal was initially placed in a foster home with Juggler agents as parents, before retaliating and disappearing. Following the Cobra Island battle, Hannibal and the other children were all taken into custody. He demonstrated astonishing reflexes and fighting skills in his brief battle with Snake Eyes.
- Clone Children - Julius, Alexander, Genghis, Ivan, Attila, Vlad, Phillip, Napoleon, and Thomas, named for the other DNA sources used to create Serpentor, they are the clones of Serpentor who, unlike Hannibal and Serpentor himself, were not given growth hormones. Each is highly intelligent and seems to share a common mind with Serpentor and Hannibal.
Field Commanders During Cobra Merger
In the animated series, it was Cobra Commander who secretly founded the Coil after Serpentor rose to power and took over Cobra. They appear in "Into Your Tent I Will Silently Creep." Its members were:
- Cobra Commander (leader)
- Firefly (only member of both comic and TV versions of the Coil)
- Storm Shadow
In the series, the Coil never got to pose any threat due to cancellation of the series, but hinted at in one of the final episodes by Dr. Mindbender quietly regretting Serpentor's creation. However, in the abandoned plot for GI Joe Season 3 (which was later rendered invalid by the DIC acquisition of the licensing rights), Tomax and Xamot would restructure the Coil from surviving Cobra members, turning the Coil into a crime syndicate as opposed to the military organization of Cobra.
IDW comics continuity
The Coil exists as a religious wing of the greater Cobra organization. Its leader, Serpentor, denies it is a cult but an organization dedicated to knowledge and self-improvement. The group's symbol is a snake, representing wisdom and change in ancient times before it became associated with the devil, deceit and generally creepy creature. Serpentor claims the Coil has members numbering in almost a million including prominent members of the celebrity circuit and commerce. The group is accused of several missing persons never found but nothing could be tied to them. And of the people who are found and refuse to go back to their friends and families, the Coil claims that it is of their own free will and decision.