Sunday, March 24, 2019

The Cobra organization in GI Joe started as a pyramid scheme

Cobra Commander abandoned his wife, taking Billy with him. Living on the road and earning a living by increasingly illicit scams and con jobs, the soon-to-be Commander blamed all his problems on the American social system, and traveled in search of people who shared his desire to topple big business and the government, using money earned from pyramid schemes to attract followers. It was during these early meetings that he first began wearing a blue hood to mask his civilian identity.

He then moved operations to Springfield, an average small American town which had suffered economic collapse. Through his criminal skills he revived Springfield's' fortunes, and used cash and charisma to win converts to his cause. Eventually he seized control of the entire town and used it as a base to grow his organization into the paramilitary group "Cobra." This corrupting rise to power distanced Cobra Commander from his son, enough that Billy eventually joined the underground anti-Cobra resistance.
The first episode of The Dream podcast is all about pyramid schemes in the 80's.