The true face of Chimera is unknown. A soldier turned wall street broker turned terrorist, he was the first enemy faced by the fledgling G.I. Joe.
A genius psychologist who served in the United States military as a Green Beret, the man who would become Chimera participated in an "ultra-hush op in Central America" alongside the Army Ranger later known as Snake Eyes. Some time afterward, he began suffering breaks with reality, which eventually culminated in him shooting and strangling his family and deserting the military, taking a cache of ordnance and explosives with him as he went.
Over the next seven years, the soldier recreated his identity, establishing himself as a wall street broker and amassing a fortune through assorted questionable means that lead to him becoming one of the richest men in the country. He married once again and built a new family, but the collapse of one of his pyramid schemes crippled his finances and triggered another break with reality. Visiting a plastic surgery clinic in Las Vegas, the man had his face reconstructed so that he could create a new identity for himself once more, but fate threw a wrench into his plans when the man in the bed next to him turned out to be his old acquaintance Snake-Eyes, recovering from severe facial wounds sustained in the field, who recognized him from their shared op years before. The man blew up the clinic to eliminate all evidence of what his new face looked like, but Snake Eyes survived—albeit disfigured even further by the blast—and made contact with Army CID to alert them.
The man proceeded to return home to Florida, where he murdered his current family just as he had his previous one. Pursued to his Dallas estate by the FBI, ATF, and Army CID, he disguised his face with a torn-off scrap of the Goya painting Saturn Devouring His Child and dubbed himself "Chimera" in reference to the many different, ever-changing elements that made up his life, then slaughtered his way through their combined forces. Learning from them that Snake-Eyes still lived, Chimera took his private jet back to Vegas to finish him off, but by the time he arrived, G.I. Joe operatives Duke and Scarlett had arrived and recruited Snake-Eyes into their organization. Duke held Chimera off in a fist-fight and the three made their escape.
Relocating to Montana, Chimera recruited the assistance of a local anti-government militia, quickly killing their leader and taking command of their operation.Under his direction, the group carried out a precise series of attacks, first stealing an anti-tank missile launcher that they then used to rob an armored car, acquiring money that Chimera used to hire the services of a far more dangerous mercenary group, who kidnapped for him the daughter of a midwest governor. Chimera led the whole group to a secret, abandoned underground military facility in the Nevada desert, from which he prepared to enact the final stage of his plan: using the leverage their hostage provided to gain control of a major bank, so that he could begin buying up subprime mortgages, rebuilding his fortune while eventually triggering deregulation and worldwide financial chaos.
G.I. Joe followed Chimera's group to their base, but were occupied fighting his mercenaries and unable to prevent him from killing his hostage over a live video feed to her father, forcing him to provide Chimera with the information he wanted lest the rest of his family suffer the same fate. Scarlett eventually caught up to the masked madman and engaged him,but he defeated her and held her at gunpoint while he put the twin stages of his endgame into action. Using the base's facilities, he triggered both "Operation Poison Gas" (the release of a nerve toxin in ten major cities) and "Operation Poison Pen" (the targeted release of the financial information that would trigger the subprime mortage crisis he desired), setting them both on a countdown so short that the Joes could only stop one. Snake Eyes subsequently took his revenge by hurling Chimera down the base's elevator shaft, but even in death, Chimera had the last laugh: forced to make an impossible choice, Duke ordered the Poison Gas countdown stopped, resulting in the successful release of the financial directions that ultimately saw Chimera's goals posthumously accomplished.
- It's pretty clear that writer Larry Hama intended for Chimera to be an early incarnation of Cobra Commander, given how many similarities he shares with the past Hama-written incarnation of the character (constantly hides his face, dead family, built a fortune on pyramid schemes and an organization starting with disenfranchised everyday Americans). The implication, then, coupled with the ambiguity of his departure at the end of the first Origins storyline (no body is ever recovered from the elevator shaft), is that he went on to build Cobra using the fortune he acquired through the subprime mortgage crisis. This plot thread was, however, completely dropped after this storyline, and if it had ever been the plan, it was nullified by the introduction of the Cobra Council and the idea that Cobra was a very old organization which, as established in Cobra vol. 2 #12, had been led by the current Commander for over thirty-five years.