Destro. International Arms dealer. Weapons supplier to the most powerful Terrorist organization in the world: Cobra.
This is an Icon.
Destro's full name is James McCullen Destro XXIV and he owns a castle in Scotland. Destro is the head of M.A.R.S. (Military Armament Research System). He is in love with Cobra's second-in-command, the Baroness, Anastasia DeCobray. He wears a mask forged from beryllium steel because an ancestor of his was caught selling weapons to both sides in a war.
Destro first appears in the Marvel Comics series G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #11, but it wasn't until #14 where he was fully revealed. I still remember seeing that page where he is standing in front of the Baroness making her call him by name. The storyline with Cobra attacking the US Treasury in Washington to spread the Plague through the US currency, the Baroness blowing up and Destro choosing between shooting Hawk or Cobra Commander while suffering the loss of his love on the back of a Hiss tank.
Yes, dear reader, this is a child's toy and a story from a comic book. Now maybe you know why GI Joe rules............this #$&? is AWESOME !!!!!
But here's the figure.....
The first Destro figure was released in 1983, in the second line of GI Joe. Hasbro needed to bolster the bad guy ranks and they produced a doozy. Anyone who had this figure loved it.
Came with a pistol that could be stored in his backpack/briefcase.
To this day I remember pulling this guy off the pegs of Hills department store and being soooo excited. The Joes are cool and all, but the bad guys are usually more colorful. Besides I had this crack commando unit and only a Cobra Commander with a mickey mouse on his shirt, Major Bludd (mail order), a Cobra Officer and a Cobra Trooper to fight em. That's not good odds folks..... Destro and the second line of GI Joe gave me some more presence on the villain side.
With Larry Hama cranking out those awesome story lines at Marvel, I was deep into GI Joe mania. I hope that every one gets to have something like this in their childhood. Just pure unadulterated fun and imagination to fill your time as a kid, being able to act out adventures without parallel. To this day I am so glad for the day I discovered this toy line in K-Mart. I'll probably take all these memories to my grave without a moment of regret.
You just don't have that happen to you enough in life.