The name or term Viper refers to more than one character or object. For a list of other uses, see Viper.

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Vipers are Cobra characters from the A Real American Hero and G.I. Joe vs. Cobra series.
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Vipers are Cobra infantry soldiers. Compared to Cobra Troopers, they have additional training and better equipment. They are equipped with armored helmets and vests that can mask heat signatures, and assault rifles with built-in grenade-launchers.



A Real American Hero continuity

Marvel Comics continuity
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Devil's Due Comics continuity
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G.I. Joe vs. Transformers

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Action Force (British) Comics continuity

Vipers were deployed on Cobra operations including:

  • The attempted capture of a Northrod B2 bomber crew who crashed on an island with top secret information[1]
  • The attempted theft of the new Broadcast Energy Transmitter from a tropical island.[2]
  • An assault on London to free Destro who was held prisoner at Action Force's headquarters.[3]
  • The capturing of an oil terminal in the Gulf of Arabia, which was liberated by Action Force.[4]

They were also stationed at a variety of locations including:

  • A Cobra rocket launch base hidden in the Australian outback[5]
  • A covert Cobra laser research facility on an uninhabited island off Sweden.[6]

Blackthorne Comics continuity

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Dreamwave Comics continuity

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Hasbro Comics continuity

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Animated continuity - Sunbow

A Cobra Viper trooper from the A Real American Hero animated continuity.


Generation 1
Viper A Real American Hero (1986)

The Vipers were first released as part of the 1986 series of A Real American Hero toys. They were also available in 1987 and were discontinued in 1988.

Appearance: blue helmet with black goggles and silver faceplate; blue shirt and black vest with red straps; red gloves; blue pants with black belt and red stripes on sides of legs; black boots

Accessories: black backpack (with sculpted canteen and two grenades) with small Cobra emblem on back; light grey two-handled RDT assault rifle/grenade launcher with small scope. page/Filecard

Python Viper A Real American Hero (1989)

In 1989, Vipers were recruited to the Python Patrol.

Appearance: black helmet with red goggles and faceplate; dark grey short-sleeved shirt with light grey crisscross pattern; yellow straps, belt, and stripes on sides of legs; dark grey pants; black gloves and boots

Accessories: black "Viper" backpack; black "Viper" assault rifle. page/Filecard

Sonic Fighters Viper A Real American Hero (1991)

The Viper was available carded in 1991 as a part of the Real American Hero toys' Sonic Fighters subset. In some areas, the figure was available in late 1990.

Appearance: gold helmet with black goggles and red faceplate; brown shirt and vest with gold straps; black and gold gloves; brown pants with black belt and gold kneepads and stripes on sides of legs; black boots

Accessories: gold Sonic pouch backpack with engraved rope and roll; gold "Shockwave" pistol; gold "Hit & Run" submachine gun; gold "Annihilator" submachine gun; three-piece gold "Downtown" mortar launcher. page/Filecard

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  • Larry Hama made no distinction between the Vipers and the regular Cobra Troopers. He sent a note to Hasbro saying "Vipers can be the generic term for all Cobra Troopers. Tele-Vipers being the comm specialists, HISS-Vipers being attached to the armored branch, Air-Vipers to flight ops, etc." However, most fans consider the Vipers to be the next step up the ladder from the starting-level blueshirts.
  • Adding confusion to the relationship between the Cobra Troopers and the Vipers is the 1986 GJ Joe Order of Battle Viper entry which states that "If you want to get anywhere in Cobra, you have to start out as a Viper." and that Vipers were the "bottom of the ladder". This could be interpreted to mean that for the common Cobra soldier, the Viper is the beginning of the respectable Cobra positions. As a result, this suggests that the Cobra Trooper officers (distinguised by the helmet Chevron) either are outranked by Vipers or may not be officers in any meaningful context.
  • The Vipers' 1991 filecard was written in-house at Hasbro, then sent to Larry Hama for editing. The original reads:
Vipers are considered the grunts in Cobra's Legions. If there's a dirty job that needs doing, these guys are first in line. And after a band of Cobra double-agents stole the plans to G.I. Joe's sonic weapons technology, and they needed somebody to test their own substandard, makeshift versions of these devastating high-tech weapons, the Vipers were immediately volunteered for the job.

See also

External links

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