1 - Infantry
|“||Being a Cobra Viper means you're the one that goes fist-to-fist, barrel-to-barrel with the GI Joe team. But isn't that the fun part?||”|
The Viper forces are the backbone of Cobra infantry. Chosen for their independent thinking, initiative and daring, they are expected to carry the fight far inside GI Joe territory. They are equipped with armored climate-control suits that enable them to function efficiently in extreme environments, and they are given advanced training in deep battle tactics, survival procedures, and high-tech weapon-systems management. They are aggressive, yet wary; attentive to detail, yet practical; sneaky, yet trustworthy; ferocious in combat, yet willing to retreat tactically. This combination of traits makes them formidable foes, and the last thing that the GI Joe team wants to have sneaking up on them from their left flank.
The standard Viper uniform consists of dark blue fatigues, red padded gloves, black boots and chest plating, and a dark blue helmet with a silver visor and black night-vision goggles. Most are equipped with a white rifle, a black munitions pack, and two red grenades. Additional equipment is assigned on a mission-by-mission basis.
The army of Cobra is based upon the regular infantry troops, the Vipers. The original Cobra soldiers were many of those who shared the vision of their leader, Cobra Commander. Trained by soldiers-for-hire, they learned their skills to help establish footholds for Cobra in various unstable nations all around the world. As the organization grew, Cobra's army grew to include mercenaries, known international terrorists and disaffected soldiers from various nations, including the United States. The Vipers are either in it for the money, or for the continuation of Cobra's goal of world domination.
The original Cobra soldiers and officers wore blue military fatigues and helmets, along with a red or black facemask to cover their identities. The Cobra officers' uniforms varied slightly from that of regular troops, the most obvious difference being a v-shaped symbol on the front of their helmets. The name, Viper, was in fact not used until around 1985. It still described the regular infantry, but new more specialized troops were soon created, each adding a prefix to the title. The first of these specialized divisions were the communications officers called Tele-Vipers. A year or two later, the basic Viper underwent a major uniform change. The most striking difference was the wraparound helmet with silver-plated facemask, presumably meant to emulate the helmet worn by Cobra Commander. These helmets gave Vipers additional protection, as well as built-in commo gear. Cobra officers continued to use the original uniform. Nearly all of Cobra's rank and file start off as standard Vipers, and then undergo special training to join the specialized groups.
In 1994, most of Cobra's forces scattered after being defeated by military forces. In the years that followed, Cobra Commander began to rebuild his army, including many of the specialized Vipers of the past, some in modified versions of their original uniforms. The uniform for the Cobra officer has changed slightly to include protective armor, but is still based on the original Cobra uniforms.
Recently, the Vipers again faced the G.I. Joe team in battle when Cobra Commander and his forces returned. Some time after their return, Cobra Commander developed the Neo-Vipers, soldiers genetically altered for enhanced strength, endurance and dexterity. A number of new types of Vipers have debuted, as well.
List of Viper variations
- Aero-Viper - Condor Z25 pilot
- Air-Viper - Cobra Air Force trainee
- Alley Viper - Cobra urban assault trooper
- Aqua-Viper - Ocean-based attack raiders
- Astro-Viper - Cobranaut
- A.V.A.C. - Air-Viper, Advanced Class; Firebat pilot
- Bio-Viper - amphibious Mega-Monster
- Cyber-Viper - cybernetic officer
- Desert-Viper - Cobra desert trooper
- Elite-Viper - elite regiment officer
- Fast Blast Viper - field combat
- Flak-Viper - Cobra anti-aircraft trooper
- Frag-Viper - Cobra grenade thrower
- Gyro-Viper - Mamba pilot
- Hazard-Viper - toxin specialist
- H.E.A.T. Viper - High-Explosive, Anti-Tank; Cobra bazooka trooper
- Heli-Viper - Cobra Battle Copter trooper
- Hydro-Viper * - Cobra underwater elite trooper. Also known as the "demons of the deep"
- Ice-Viper * - Cobra WOLF driver
- Jungle-Viper - jungle assault trooper
- Kitchen Viper - mentioned in the comics only; never actually seen
- Laser-Viper - Cobra laser trooper
- Medi-Viper - medical trooper 
- Mega-Viper - Mega-Monster trainer
- Monstro-Viper - savage Mega-Monster
- Motor-Viper - Cobra Stun pilot
- Nano-Viper - Cobra commando
- Neo-Viper - officer/infantryman
- Night-Viper - Cobra night fighter
- Ninja-Viper - martial arts
- Nitro-Viper - Detonator driver
- Para-Viper - Cobra paratrooper
- Pit-Viper - infiltration trooper
- Python-Viper - PYTHON PATROL ASSAULT TROOPER
- Range-Viper - Cobra wilderness trooper
- Red Ninja-Viper - ninja warrior
- Rock-Viper - Cobra mountain trooper
- Sand-Viper - desert infiltrator
- S.A.W. Viper - Semi-Automatic Weapons; Cobra heavy machine gunner
- Secto-Viper - Cobra Bugg driver
- Shadow-Viper - counter intelligence
- Shock-Viper - fire assault trooper
- Sludge-Viper - Cobra hazardous waste Viper
- Star-Viper - Cobra Stellar Stiletto pilot
- Strato-Viper - Cobra Night Raven S³P pilot 
- Street-Viper - urban combat driver
- Sub-Viper - underwater demolitions
- Swamp-Viper - amphibious assault trooper
- Techno-Viper - Cobra battlefield technician
- Tele-Viper - Cobra communications
- Terra-Viper - Cobra Mole Pod pilot
- Toxo-Viper - Cobra hostile environment trooper
- Track-Viper - H.I.S.S. II driver
- Viper - Cobra infantry
- Viper Guard - Cobra infantry/security
- Viper Officer - Cobra infantry field command
- Viper Pilot - attack glider pilot
- The Hydro-Vipers are actually part of the Cobra Eels, and the Ice-Vipers are part of the Snow Serpents. Special Viper training has been added to their base training in the original divisions.
Other Cobra troopers
- Main article: Cobra Troopers
- Bill Buttacker - Viper spokesperson for Cobra
- Stark, Viper Squad 1416 commander
- Viper 375 - Played by Spoiler from 2k5
- Viper 4758 - Buzz Boar driver assigned to Frusenland (Bzero DC)
- Viper 4991 - Demonhead's Viper DC
- Viper 5202 - Swiftpaw's DC
- June 25 - Assault on the Citadel
- June 25 - Autobots Attack Luminous - Blaster's POV
- August 7 - The Legendary Claymore Gets Pwned
- September 22 - "Jem's Reunion Concert" - Jem returns for a one-night USO reunion show. But more than music fans are interested in her return...
- November 24 - "Ace Attempts a Rescue"
- March 13 - "Standoff over North America" - Ace, Marissa, and Spike engage Cobra Commander's Kingsnake over North America.
For the more of the various types of Vipers on the MUX, see Vipers.
- ↑ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero vol. 2 #24 (2003)
- ↑ Fleming, Dan (1996). Powerplay: toys as popular culture. Manchester University Press ND. p. 108. ISBN 0-7190-4717-X.
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