An ONTD Original: Who put G.I. Joe in my Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Greetings, true believers. If you're one of the sixteen people left in the world who hasn't been spoiled for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the second half of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., or various memes all over the internet, best to turn back now.

Everyone else will recall that a new (old) threat has been unveiled as the primary antagonist in Marvel's interconnected TV/movie universe: Hydra, originally the rogue Nazi deep-science division (which sounds badass lbr). But some sharp-eyed viewers, perhaps those raised in the 1990's, might have found something oddly familiar about this serpentine-themed evil organization and its nefarious members. Hmmmm...


Your nostalgia-muscle wasn't cramping up randomly; there is indeed an uncanny resemblance between Marvel's Hydra (battle cry: "HAIL HYDRA!") and G.I. Joe's Cobra (battle cry: "COOO-BRAAA!") This is because Cobra is actually literally a complete one-to-one ripoff of Hydra in every way, in a really shameless example of Jack Kirby not givin' a fuck.

Want to know more? Of course you do. While we're at it, let's meet the G.I. Joe counterparts to the Hydra characters Marvel has begun to introduce, so that shit can get REALLY confusing as we prepare for Phase 3!


So here's the deal. Jack Kirby, comics legend, was writing everything everywhere everyday back in the 60's. He really liked the snake-themed evil terrorist organization thing: he created Hydra for Marvel in 1965 and "Kobra" (yes, Kobra) for DC in 1976. In the 80's, when toy creator HASBRO wanted a comics series for its revived line of G.I. Joe figures, Marvel basically took an old Jack Kirby pitch about elite S.H.I.E.L.D. agents fighting Hydra forces, changed all the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to G.I. Joes, and changed "Hydra" to the brand-new, very original... "COBRA."

really gets the blood pumping

Anyway, G.I. Joe soon got its own cartoon with storylines adapted from the comics, with the result that pop culture is a lot more familiar with Cobra and their ripped-off characters than they are with Hydra. Even though Hydra was totally first! Fucking injustice.

The total laziness when it came to ripping off the character designs (while not necessarily personalities) was really hilarious, too. Let's explore, won't we?



Johann Schmidt (Captain America: The First Avenger) has a red skull, Destro has a metal skull. Moving on.



Baron Zemo and his fabulous purple hood has yet to show up in the MCU, but as one of Cap's few notable villains, dollars to doughnuts he's on his way. He always covers his face with a hood and/or mask due to horrible disfigurement, coincidentally exactly what happened to Cobra Commander.



Baron von Strucker, last seen in the credits of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, was head honcho of Hydra for many years after Red Skull's apparent "death" and will certainly appear in upcoming Marvel films as a major threat. Cobra's Dr. Mindbender stole his fabulous monocled look and the entire skillset of another Hydra agent, Dr. Faustus, who will also probably appear soon in the MCU. Still with me?



Not to much to say here that doesn't speak for itself. One of Madame Hydra's aliases is "Viper" and she actually appeared under that name in one of those godawful Wolverine films, so I wonder if that means Marvel can't use her. I certainly hope that's not the case because, come on. Yowza.



If you were going to notice the resemblance anywhere, it was going to be here (Captain America: TFA). Cobra "vipers" obviously have the far inferior battle cry though, as well as no particular salute, so they definitely got the short end of the stick.

and of course, that means S.H.I.E.L.D. is G.I. JOE


It's weird to realize it, right?

And there you have it. Is your mind blown? Merely bent? Do you want to hear about how Snake Eyes and Daredevil are the same character too? Did you never watch G.I. Joe in the first place so you don't care? What's wrong with you? Discuss.

SOURCE: My brane