|This article is about the second Cobra Commander in the main story. For his predecessor, see Cobra Commander. For a list of other meanings, see Cobra Commander (disambiguation).|
The true name of the man once called Krake is unknown. Born in blood and raised in the drug fields of the Golden Triangle, the loss of his parents to the region's narcoculture hardened him, and set him on a path that saw him become a soldier of fortune, an assassin for his government, and an agent of Cobra, until finally, he ascended to the position of Cobra Commander. A born leader of men, able to envision and realize his objectives with a clarity and capability possessed by few other people on the entire planet, intensely proud but resignedly nihilistic, Krake was happy to deal death and duplicity to rise through the organization's ranks. Upon securing the position of Commander, he immediately saw to it that Cobra would leave the shadows behind, becoming a legitimate world power under his absolute leadership.
The child who would become Krake was quite literally born on the battlefield, when his mother gave birth in the midst of an armed conflict over the poppy fields of Southeast Asia's Golden Triangle. The midwife observed that the infant had "the eyes of a tiger." The boy's father was killed by a grenade seconds later, and his mother was forced to flee with him in her arms as their lands were overtaken. As the years passed, the boy and his mother found work harvesting poppies for the native drug runners, until one day, when his mother was assaulted by local enforcers. Snatching up one of the men's guns, the boy opened fire on the men.. but by the time the clip was empty, his mother lay dead alongside them.
Orphaned and alone, the boy did what he had to in order to survive, killing to make money and amassing a group of loyal followers. Known to his men as "Tiger Eyes", he was revered for having what seemed to be preternatural luck—a claim he privately dismissed, as his short life had taught him that one made one's own luck in life that had no meaning. His "luck" ran out when he and his men where captured by Thai military police, but, ever the self-preservationist, he did not hesitate to agree to kill for his government in order to save his own life. Once he had completed his mission and been paid, however, he promptly killed his handler and returned to his old life.
Arriving to a meeting with a local criminal named Trahn, Tiger Eyes found that Trahn and his men had all been slain by a death squad led by Sebastian Bludd, so that Bludd's mysterious employers could take control of Trahn's operations. Bludd intimated that an inside source had helped them in their mission, and that one of Tiger Eyes's men was also an informant. Rather than attempt to root out the traitor, Tiger Eyes slaughtered all his men on the spot—a merciless act that inspired Bludd to compare him to a krake, an especially mean breed of snake from his home country of Australia. Duly impressed, Bludd informed "Krake" that he would now be working for his unknown masters as well.
The relationship was prosperous, but wealth was not enough for Krake: he needed to know more about Bludd's organization, and his insistent probing caught the attention of its leader. A squad of Vipers was sent to attack him in his home, and when he successfully fought them off, the Baroness appeared to formally invite him to join Cobra. Krake, however, refused to be anyone's lapdog, and attacked her. Once he had been subdued, the furious Baroness decided that if he wanted to go it alone so badly, she would show him how bad it could be. Krake was drugged and dropped into the middle of Hong Kong with only the clothes on his back and immediately found himself targeted by local drug kingpin Uncle Ho; the mainland drug triads had a price on Krake's head, and Ho intended to collect. Single-handedly fighting his way out of the city, killing everyone in his path, Krake hunted down Major Bludd, who brought him before the Cobra Commander. In return for a position within the organization, Krake promised to provide rare and valuable intel on the mainland triads that would allow Cobra to take control of them. The Commander agreed, and—after undergoing plastic surgery to change his appearance, and then donning a mask to hide his new face from even his new comrades—Krake became a fully-fledged agent of Cobra. As his first action, he used Cobra's high-tech arsenal to murder Uncle Ho. The Origin of Cobra Commander
Rising through the ranks
Cobra psychologist Lester Horvath came to fear Krake when he realized that he was an "8", the incredibly rare highest ranking on his Lome System, a method of grading an individual's ability to actualize their force of will. Terrified of what a personality like Krake's could wreak first upon Cobra, then the world, Horvath secretly positioned soldier Michael Monk—an equally rare "1" on the Lome Scale—inside Krake's unit, the Movement, in the hopes that Monk would be able to counter him when the time came. Krake embraced Monk as a close confidant, and charged him with eliminating certain leaks in the organization—including Horvath himself—but also saw to it that Monk's wife and daughter were imprisoned in Cobra's Section Ten gulag to ensure his compliance in the future. Origins #23
When Cobra became concerned that G.I. Joe had become aware of its use of the small village of Waziristan to funnel drugs, Krake led a team to wipe it off the map. Teleported into the village by Cobra's M.A.S.S. Device, Krake and his men began indiscriminately killing, but G.I. Joe had beaten them to the punch and were already watching the village through armed drones. Coming under fire from the drones, Krake was forced to call for emergency extraction, and he and his men were teleported back to Cobra's Arctic Section Zero base. M.A.S.S. Destruction, Part 2
When Cobra Commander was assassinated by the G.I. Joe operative Chuckles, the Cobra Council elected to hold a contest to choose the next Commander. Krake was one of seven contestants charged with visiting as much death and misery upon G.I. Joe as possible, with the one who inflicted the most being deemed the winner. G.I. Joe vol. 2 #1 Krake began immediately, luring a team of six Joes into a trap in the deserted formerly-Cobra-held town of Springfield and killing them all. Cobra Civil War #0
Unafraid of acting against his fellow competitors in the contest, Krake turned his attentions to eliminating the Baroness—with whom he had never seen eye-to-eye after their first meeting—from the running. While she was confronting a squad of Joes in their underground Bear Lake facility, Krake gunned down her troops as they waited outside, G.I. Joe vol. 2 #5 then withdrew as he came under Joe fire. G.I. Joe vol. 2 #6 Later, Krake bombed the Joe convoy transporting the captive Baroness and rescued her; believing that he was going to kill her, the Baroness demanded he do it quickly, but Krake simply knocked her out, preferring to see her humiliated rather than dead. G.I. Joe vol. 2 #8
Only Krake, Major Bludd, and Yakuza master Oda Satori survived to the end of the contest. Bludd was appointed the winner by the Council... until it was revealed that "Satori" was, in fact, a disguised Zartan. Krake had slain the real Satori for treachery some time ago, and had had Zartan take his place. Thus, every kill Satori's operatives had accomplished during the contest—including the destruction of the Joe's headquarters—had actually been masterminded by Krake. Impressed with the depth of his scheming and treachery, the Council announced that Krake would ascend to the position of Cobra Commander. G.I. Joe vol. 2 #8 He immediately initiated a series of aggressive new policies, shutting down Section Ten and relocating Bludd, its warden, to the Golden Triangle, and ordering Serpentor to expand the reach of The Coil in Asian countries. Cobra vol. 2 #8
Out of the shadows
For the entirety of its centuries-long existence, Cobra had remained a secret from the world at large, its reach vast but its true nature always hidden. The new Cobra Commander resolved to change that. Secrecy held no allure for him; he wanted the world to know of Cobra's power without question, and brought the organization into the light in the most dramatic way possible: by launching a concentrated military attack on the Golden Triangle country of Nanzhao. By obliterating the current regime in Nanzhao, displacing its poulation, and taking the country for its own, Cobra would gain status as a legitimate world power while simultaneously breaking the back of the Golden Triangle's drug trade, thereby allowing Cobra's own drug operations elsewhere in the world to profit. Cobra Command, Part 1 To ensure that their actions would go unopposed, the Commander met with representatives from nearby nations to assure them that their countries' interests in Nanzhao would be preserved and that business would continue as usual. Cobra Command, Part 2 To prove his intentions to the Indian ambassador, the Commander even ordered the native rebels Cobra had allied with to begin their takeover executed, and burned their drug stockpile as further evidence that Cobra had no designs on the Nanzhao drug trade—actions that incensed Major Bludd. Then, as a prelude to his final move, the Commander dispatched the Baroness to secretly assassinate the entire Cobra Council, placing complete control of the whole of Cobra in his hands. Cobra Command, Part 3
Though Cobra's violent declaration of war was condemned by many, the toppling of the existing corrupt, drug-fueled Nanzhaoese regime was looked upon by just as many as a positive. With world opinion of Cobra deadlocked, the Commander took a moment to rest, whereupon he was approached by Storm Shadow. The ninja was still angered over the death of his oyabun, Oda Satori, and though Krake claimed he was not responsible for Satori's death, he refused Storm Shadow permission to kill Zartan in retribution. Cobra Command, Part 5 Subsequently, Cobra Commander initiated the final phase of his plan and had nuclear warheads dropped on Nanzhao's major population centers, cementing the end of its drug trade and establishing Cobra as a nuclear power on the world stage. Cobra Command, Part 7 Only one hitch occurred in the plan when G.I. Joe succeeded in destroy the platoon of Destro's Battle Android Troopers that were intended to remain in Nanzhao as an occupying force, but Cobra Commander took the loss in stride, merely warning Destro that he would have to share in the financial cost of the loss of the robots. Cobra Command, Part 8
In the aftermath of the "acquisition" of Nanzhao, Cobra Commander reviewed the performance of his subordinates in the conflict, regarding scrambled phone calls Tomax Paoli had been making with some suspicion. Disgruntled by the Commander's order to have all communications run through his channels, Tomax intended to move forwards in a coup to overthrow him that he had been planning with Major Bludd and Serpentor... only for Serpentor to sell out his co-conspirators on discovering the deaths of the Cobra Council, forcing Tomax and Bludd to go on the run. Updated on the situation by his aide-de-camp Savane, the Commander viewed the losses as entirely acceptable and deemed the whole operation a success. None were aware of the secret selfishness that had influenced his actions—with the destruction of Nanzhao, the narcoculture of the Golden Triangle, which had shaped his hard, unforgiving life of sacrifice, survival, and death since the very moment of his birth, had been eradicated. Such sentimentality could not be countenanced, of course; when Savane observed that he had been spending a lot of time in the warehouse Cobra had filled with treasures and artifacts from Nanzhao, the Commander remarked that he felt "at home" among them... then immediately ordered the building burned to the ground, his old life now well and truly a thing of the past. Cobra Command, Part 9
The new age of Cobra
While reaping the benefits of the Nanzhao operation, Cobra Commander had documents revealing the secret existence of G.I. Joe anonymously leaked onto the internet, then appointed Zartan the public face of Cobra and had him bring the information to public awareness, forcing Joe to join Cobra in the light. G.I. Joe vol. 2 #12 Soon after, however, Zartan came under attack from the forces of Storm Shadow's Arashikage, who had allied with Snake Eyes to claim revenge for the death of Oda Satori. Zartan survived their initial attack, but as he angrily reported on it to Cobra Commander, the Commander began to tire of his tone, and sent Savane to dispose of him. Serpent's Shadow, Part 2 Zartan survived, but nevertheless, the Commander used the news of his "death" to lure Storm Shadow out of hiding and into an ambush. Serpent's Shadow, Part 3 Snake Eyes rescued Storm Shadow from the trap, so Cobra Commander ordered Serpentor to forge a new order of assassins out of the ranks of The Coil to combat the Arashikage in the coming conflict. Serpent's Shadow Conclusion
After a G.I. Joe unit destroyed Cobra's Section Five facility, Cobra Commander arrived to personally survey the wreckage. With cold fury, he killed the surviving staff and ordered terrified facility head Doctor Mindbender relocated to a new project. Soon after, when a senator Cobra had paid off turned against them, claiming the documents they had released about the existence of G.I. Joe were fake, the Commander warned Cobra hacker Error 404 to make sure nothing could be traced back to them. Deep Terror Epilogue
When the Baroness proposed to Cobra Commander that Cobra buy the Eastern European country of Tryolvia in order to attain a fixed base of operations, Target: Snake Eyes Part 1 the Commander was initially apprehensive of the forty billion Euro hard cash price tag, but ultimately agreed. Target: Snake Eyes Part 2 Impressed the royal palace, he decided to take it as his headquarters (scoffing at Savane's suggestion that he rename it "Cobra-La"). Unfortunately, the Arashikage sank the cargo freighter transporting the payment, Target: Snake Eyes Part 3 and the enraged Commander cast the Baroness out of Cobra's ranks for her failure and sent assassins to eliminate her. Target: Snake Eyes Part 4 Seeking someone to punish for Cobra's recent setbacks, the Commander sent a team led by Munitia to capture retired Joe general Hawk, but Hawk took out the entire enemy unit. Retired
Cobra Commander charged Serpentor with recovering the sunken billions. Crush Depth, Part 3 Soon after, he recruited Siren to serve as Cobra's new public relations agent, assigning the Baroness — now back in Cobra's good graces — to work with her. G.I. Joe vol. 3 #12 He also appointed his old comrade Michael Monk as head of Cobra's new Manhattan division, in a move that caused Destro some concern. Homefront, Part 5 When Error 404 failed to arrange the assassination of key figure in an European peace conference, the Commander sent troops to bring him in for punishment, but he had already fled. Denial of Service
Impressed by a test run of Destro's new, highly-advanced breed of B.A.T., Cobra Commander agreed to invest further funds in them. Destro Must Die, Part 1 The subsequent test of a partially-human B.A.T. at the Section X testing ground in Russia was less inspiring, however, and the arrival at the test site of G.I. Joe soured the mood even further. Destro Must Die, Part 3 Despite the concerns of the Russian government officials attending the demonstration, Cobra Commander gave Destro carte blanche to deal with the situation—which ended in disaster, and resulted in Cobra being "invited" to depart Russian soil. Destro Must Die, Part 4 Destro's relationship with the Commander would then completely disintegrate when he covertly supplied the Joes with intel on Michael Monk's movements, prompting the Commander to storm his castle with an armed platoon. Threat Matrix, Part 3 The Commander refused to hear Destro's warnings about the threat the dangerous Monk posed, forcing Destro to flee, covering his escape with a legion of B.A.T.s. Threat Matrix, Part 4
At some point over the next five years, under unknown circumstances, he lost control of Cobra to Tomax. His image continued to adorn Cobra recruitment posters. The Fall of G.I. Joe Part One As the Cobra Commander known to the public, Krake's likeness was adapted by the screenwriter Thundercracker for the appearance of Cobra Commander in his Chuckles biopic. Starscream: The Movie
Krake finally resurfaced four years later as part of the Cobra delegation that met within Trypticon to discuss how to combat the threat of Unicron. Unicron #5
- Despite Major Bludd's claims, there's no such real-life snake as a "krake."