13 Days of Halloween: Serpentor (1986)
Serpentor is one of the few GI Joe characters whose origin to me recalls horror elements. He’s certainly of the Frankenstein monster’s ilk, albeit created from a soup of DNA and synthetic flesh rather than reclaimed corpses. His origin story, at least in the trappings of its imagery and some locations, recalled classic horror elements.
When I first spotted the toy on shelves back in 1986, I had to have it. I had not seen the cartoon episodes that introduced him, nor read his origin in the Marvel comic. Serpentor’s look and his description alone on the packaging sold me. I was all-in on the Cobra Empreror concept, and the spliced DNA of famous leaders made it even cooler.
The figure did not disappoint. He was one of the most detailed sculpts and unique color schemes in the line to that point. He also came packed with a personalised one-man vehicle. By the way, did anyone else forbid the air chariot’s use by any other figures? Mine was always reserved for Serpy.
Thankfully, Serpentor doesn’t appear to be subject to Gold Plastic Syndrome, at least none of the examples I have exhibit it. That’s a good thing, because where would Cobra be without its emperor? Wait, don’t answer that.