Nemesis Enforcer (1987)

Nemesis Enforcer. Sounds like the sort of thing you’d see as a knock-off Masters of the Universe villain.They say that Cobra-La was a placeholder name that was left without being changed, and Nemesis Enforcer seems generic enough to be one as well.

In the movie, Nemesis Enforcer was a hulking presence, who easily dispatched many Joes, including Roadblock. He even took on a HAVOK single handedly. The figure is stuck at the common size buck of the vintage line, which isn’t a complaint, but merely an observation. I often wondered back in the day why the Star Wars line could make figures that were much taller or shorter than the standard size, yet Joe for the most part, did not. I daresay that to modern eyes, the scale makes this fellow actually look kind of cute. The modern scale allows for size differences, and the later version of Enforcer was quite large, and definitely more menacing.

The Cobra-La concept isn’t every Joe fan’s most fondly remembered element of the 80s era, but the brand isn’t a stranger to far-out ideas. Consider Super Joe, the swan song of the first generation of the toys, whose villains included the extraterrestrial Intruders, Gor and Terron, and supremely goofy (yet cool) characters like Luminos and the Shield. Next to that motley crew of oddities, an ancient Lovecraftian race of inner Earth dwellers doesn’t seem like quite so cornball an idea.



  • On that last bit–I agree wholeheartedly.

  • He WOULD make a good MotU villain!!
    I remember being bummed out as a kid that his elbow-spikes weren’t anywhere near as imposing as in the movie. Then I grew up and with the invention of the internet learned I was supposed to be bummed that he exists at all…

  • I’d wager that Hasbro’s repeated use of molds to mix and match parts when creating new figures might have something to do with their scale issues. Kenner didn’t have that problem since they didn’t do repaints and characters had to be movie-accurate, given that Lucas was tightly overseeing the licensing front during those early years of the brand.

    The 25th version of Nemesis Enforcer is a far better depiction of this character. I don’t remember much about the ’87 movie but I’ve yet to pick up the Cobra-La three-pack to this day. It’s just way too out there for my tastes so I can easily do without it.

    The texturing on NE’s armor is nicely done, though.

  • So why did the cobra-la three pack come with a Royal guard and not Pythona?
    I know cobra-la rivals the Lunatrix empire in levels of hatred in the fanbase but Pythona always seemed to be the less hated of the group.

    On the subject of his squid backpack. I used to have an interest in cephalapods before perverts on the internet ruined it.

  • No Pythona because:

    1. Female figures were a hard sell both to the public (little boys are fickle) and the suits who made the final decisions, which is why Jinx was the last female figure until 1993’s Ninja Force Scarlett.

    2. I’ve heard Pythona was planned for 1988 but reactions to Cobra-La were so negative that plans for additional Cobra-La items were scrapped. Another item would’ve been the Insect-Cycle vehicle with its driver figure, who was reassigned to Iron Grenadiers as “Nullifier”.

  • When I had the Nullifier, I think with all the hieroglyphs on him and after reading that it was originally intended as a Cobra La trooper, I just couldn’t look at the Nullifier the same. He was “out there” for Destro already, and it seems in fact that he was out there after all.

    The Nemesis Enforcer/ Immortal was a 25th figure I sort of wanted to catch, … didn’t want Falcon. At the time, I thought it would have been a great mix in my RAH collection for Nemesis Enforcer to stick up a couple heads higher for the first time against other figures.

    Also not a huge Cobra La fan myself, but with Serpentor and Dr. Mindbender of the old days being sort of odd themselves, I found myself interested in that whole other faction that could be with the Coil. Nemesis Enforcer fit in this group I made up well.

    What do you guys make of the little hieroglyph symbols, like Nemesis Enforcers medallion like thing?

    Would an organic culture like Cobra La even have metal?

  • I remember getting the 3-pack for Christmas back in the day, and I had just enough imagination to overlook NE’s non-menacing visage to try using him. His legs are way lazy, though; is he wearing cargo pants? Pistol holsters?? A new supervillain faction really diminished Cobra Commander, and his retconned backstory was too far out. “Wasssonceaman…” was some funny stuff, though.

  • I was just wondering if Nemisi enforcer here inspired Serpent man from that DIC episode?. I know its a stretch but i was just wondering.

  • I never minded Cobra La because it led to some SPECTACULAR visuals for the movie – far moreso than merely going up against Cobra would have (I mean, the movie starts off with basically demolishing a flying aircraft carrier as an afterthought).

    And after (deep breath) ghosts, Cthulhu (or whatever was in Destro’s basement), monster space fuzzies, that giant snake of Serpentor’s, a giant city-destroying blob that was apparently killed by throwing apples at it, and who knows what else, Cobra La really isn’t that much of a stretch, is it?

  • Good point–it’s not. I don’t mind the weirdness of Cobra-La. I think most fans’ problems with Cobra-La may stem from the fact that it changed what people had in mind as an origin for Cobra. I was more than a little bummed about finding out Cobra Commander’s background when I first saw the movie.

  • Yeah I liked the idea and it’s execution but, it didn’t stay too long in my playtime with my Joes. I knew CC was a grim looking baddie under the mask, but I always felt it was due to an accident of sort. I preferred Cobra to be a terrorist organization not a group of primal underground hive dwellers out for revenge. . .

  • It just hit me–Cobra Commander’s origin in the movie is a bit reminiscent of the origin for the Warlord, the main villain in the old THUNDER Agents comic book.

  • I always liked the idea of Cobra-la and the use of “organic” technology. Much like others, I despised the connection to Cobra. The Royal Guard was the best of the three pack.

  • I see that, but… I don’t know, Cobra Commander was far more insane in cartoon form to begin with. It never seemed like THAT big a reach to me, since the overall tone was so much broader. He was still trying to take over the world, he just was doing it for more than his own glorification. And he never came across as a disgruntled used car salesman who was mad at the world in the cartoon. I think people assigned his motivations from the comic to his cartoon form, when they really are two separate characters.

  • I like Cobra-La idea.
    But it did not have the proper accuracy from Hasbro/Sunbow.

  • I think GI Joe is sometimes more interesting when they’re not in conflict with Cobra. Seeing them take on other nation’s armed forces happened rarely, though Larry Hama occasionaly wrote stories with non-Cobra antagonists.

  • The ironic part is from what I’ve seen about best quantifying Joe collecting, it strongly correlates with year, not with who the figures are. Cobra-La, Battle Force 2000 (Cobra-La is more sought after than 1990 figures by those numbers).

    As a kid, I was baffled by the tentacled backpack. The wings fit the movie, but the tentacles I had no idea about.

  • I can’t get into Cobra La. I had the figures as a kid and couldn’t understand how they fit into everything. So, Golobulus and the Nemesis Enforcer became cannon fodder. The Royal Guard was cool and got used as a diver or astronaut. I would give him the tentacles as an odd little flying pack based on insects. (I hated the bat wings, but had the tentacles capable of flight. Go figure.)

    I never saw the movie as a kid. So, my only understanding of the character was the filecards and those made no sense.

  • Cobra-La was no less farfetched than the stuff we were given in “The Gods Below.” Now, that was a weird episode. But unlike the movie, it wasn’t meant to influence the toy line or explain Cobra’s origins.

    If it had been a one-shot deal like the Osiris story, nobody would have minded as much.

  • Regarding Nullifier and the A.G.P. pod, neither made much sense to me back then, although by 1988 most vehicle designs were anything but realistic.

    Didn’t know about those hieroglyphs up to now, so I went over to and sure enough, Nullifier looks more like one of Golobulus’ crowd than any Scottish pilot I’ve ever seen. Even his file card reads weird, especially the last bit where he sounds very alien-ish.

  • Out of those three figures I only like the Royal Guard as well. I’m hoping to grab a few of them eventually.I don’t like the colors but they’re interesting enough. I have no interest in the others from that three pack but the 25th Nemesis Immortal has grown on me enough for me to get it too.

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