The Cobra Strikes

"The Cobra Strikes"
G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero episode
Episode no. Episode 01
Directed by Dan Thompson
Written by Ron Friedman
Produced by Don Jurwich
Featured music Johnny Douglas
Production code Sunbow Productions
Original air date September 12, 1983 (1983-09-12)
Episode chronology

The Cobra Strikes is the first episode of the 1983 mini-series G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.


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

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 Hoover, 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."

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. Hoover 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, Hoover tells the Joes to leave their weapons aside. Unbeknown to everyone, Hoover comes closer to the satellite and plants a homing device.

Destro activates the M.A.S.S. Device and, after a brief technical difficulty, teleports several Cobra Troopers and H.I.S.S. tanks to the military base. The group appears exactly where the satellite is. Caught unaware, the Joe Team is forced to retreat. Major Hoover 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...


"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."


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