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Comic Book Origins: Destro

Comic Book Origins: Destro

Script written by Craig Butler

A man who can undermine the leader of an entire organization devoted to world domination is a man to be feared. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we will explore the comic book origin of Destro. With his metallic mask, Destro looks like the kind of villain that would be loaded with super-powers. In fact, though he does have access to some mighty technology, Destro's real power lies in his Machiavellian skill and cold-blooded strategic planning.

Special thanks to our user Tyson Turner for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at http://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest






Script written by Craig Butler

Supervillain Origins: Destro


A man who can undermine the leader of an entire organization devoted to world domination is a man to be feared. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we will explore the comic book origin of Destro.

As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginations and different versions to a character’s past. We have chosen primarily to follow the storyline which unfolded in 1983’s G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero numbers 11, 14 and 15, which was expanded upon in 1987’s Action Force numbers 4 and 45,

With his metallic mask, Destro looks like the kind of villain that would be loaded with super-powers. In fact, though he does have access to some mighty technology, Destro’s real power lies in his Machiavellian skill and cold-blooded strategic planning.

Destro’s introduction came in the middle of an ongoing G.I. Joe storyline. As usual, the team was fighting their arch-enemies, the evil terrorist organization known as Cobra. Destro apparently already had a past relationship with existing Cobra member the Baroness. In his initial appearance, Destro had created a complicated scheme in which a plague was unleashed on an entire town as a way of distracting the world from Cobra’s actual goal of obtaining plutonium.

Some issues later, readers learned a bit more of the depth of Destro and the Baroness’ past relationship. They also learned that Destro still cared a great deal for the Baroness. He had set in motion a plan to kill the Cobra Commander but was forced to rescue the leader when it appeared his plan would also destroy the Baroness. Destro proved that, while he is indeed a villain, he possesses positive traits like honor, and that his heart is not as cold as his metallic face would have us believe.

A 1987 storyline revealed a bit more about Destro’s past. The current Destrowas the latest in a long line of arms manufacturers. This family had profited from selling weaponry since the days of the Crusades and erecting a castle in the Balkans. Destro became a member of Cobra not because he believed in its ideals but because the Commander was powerful but unstable. The arms dealer planned to manipulate Cobra to his owns ends.

In a flashback, readers saw a much younger Destro in a confrontation with his father, who at that time wore the trademark mask. His father berated him for selling arms to the wrong people. The young man responded by killing his father, claiming the old man had become soft. The son took his mask and proclaimed himself the new leader of the Destro clan.

In 2007, some revisions were made to the story. The Destro family name was actually McCullen, and they were of Scottish ancestry. They had sold weapons as far back at the 13th century. When the English broke an agreement with the McCullens, they imprisoned the head of the clan for years, making him wear an iron mask to keep his identity a secret.

In this story, the current head of the Destro organization was James McCullen. He was visited one stormy night by a masked man who wanted him to join the nascent revolutionary force he was forming. Destro didn’t exactly trust the man and certainly didn’t share his beliefs. But he saw an opportunity to profit substantially and so began his alliance with the Cobra Commander.

His trademark silver mask makes Destro a villain with a distinctive visual look that allows him to really stand out on the comics page, but it’s Destro’s ruthlessness and cunning that make him such a fan favorite. As a foil for Cobra Commander, he provides a level of complexity to many stories and adds conflict beyond simply fighting the G.I. Joe force.

Are you a fan of the dastardly Destro? For more comic book origins, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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