The Baroness was the spoiled offspring of European parents who made sure that she and her brother, Eugen, had the best of everything in life. During the time of the Southeast Asian conflict, Eugen had abandoned his aristocratic lifestyle. Using the power and influence, he delivered medical supplies and other needed items into the war-torn region. On one tragic occasion, Eugen's sister, Anastasia, accompanied him on what would result in a deal gone bad. Eugen was fatally wounded just as another soldier burst in and apprehended the saboteurs. Anastasia, who had been in another room, believed that the soldier had destroyed both her brother and his supposedly peaceful contacts. This sent her on a course of revenge that would lead her into a life of international terrorism. She joined the ranks of COBRA rising to its top intelligence agent. The Baroness is a highly intelligent and ambitious individual, and often enjoys pitting Destro, her companion, against Cobra Commander even as they all plot the overthrow of G. I. Joe and the conquest of the world.
From G. I. Joe Files: "The Baroness is probably the most dangerous agent within Cobra. She is ultimately loyal only to herself, and serves Cobra only because it is in her best interest to do so. She has an unrelenting hatred towards established governments that she believes are ruled by military machines. Since G. I. Joe is the 'best of the best' in the military world, she despises the Joes most of all."
Cobra Commander actually started out as a used car dealer, but increasingly began to believe that governments and big business were "out to get the little guy." He was determined to find a way to climb to the "top of the heap" by any means necessary. Already an unstable personality, the man who would be Cobra Commander went completely around the bend when his brother was fatally wounded in a traffic accident with a soldier's family. It mattered not that it had been his brother who caused the accident. Building an organization of malcontents and financing it with everything from pyramid schemes to selling household products door-to-door, Cobra Commander gradually realized his dream of forming a terrorist organization with the will and firepower to cause chaos around the world. Today, Cobra is regarded as the number-one terrorist threat across the globe. Cobra Commander is utterly dedicated to starting conflict, overthrowing nations, and doing everything possible to bring down the governments of the world. With his desire to conquer the planet under his iron fist, Cobra Commander is unquestionably the most dangerous and ruthless man on the face of the Earth.
From G. I. Joe Files: "One wonders how something like this could have happened; how an otherwise innocuous person could have built up such a horrible and frightening entity as Cobra, under his complete and total control. It's not the first time something like this has happened. Probably won't be the last, either. It's up to the Joes to stop the likes of Cobra Commander, no matter how long it takes!"
Destro is the 17th "Laird" of a manor house in the Scottish highlands and the current head of a centuries-old arms manufacturing firm. Tradition holds that the current head of the firm always wears a polished beryllium steel mask when in public. Destro's predecessors supplied weapons and aircraft to the British in World War II, and Destro's father was active in supplying arms to Southeast Asia. The current Destro has been somewhat more ambitious, briefly running his own organization known as the Iron Grenadiers before becoming the arms supplier for Cobra on a regular basis. Although Destro personally despises Cobra Commander, believing him to be a pompous, posturing poltroon, he knows that working with Cobra is good for business. Cobra gives Destro more latitude in designing weapons than most military organizations, and Cobra's penchant for inciting conflict in various parts of the world ensures a continued need for weaponry. The Joes have a grudging respect for Destro even if they disagree with his motives. Believing him to be the man with a sense of personal honor, he is unlike most of Cobra's hierarchy.
From Destro's personal journal: "As long as there are people in this world, there will always be conflict. Technology advances best during times of strife and battle, and there are always those who will take advantage of this. Better it should be someone with honor."