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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

Favorite Fictional Characters, #275: Destro

Is that mask...bolted into his neck?

I was the Transformers guy back in the day; my friend Jeff DiBartolomeo was the guy with the G.I. Joe toys at his house. I was always intrigued by the novelty of them - it's always more fun to play with somebody else's stuff - and of course, I watched the cartoon. G.I. Joe was very like the Transformers animated series of the same vintage: rival organizations, one nefarious and one pro-social and yet their conflicts were always far more like squabbling siblings than open warfare. Their skirmishes always lacked any real or permanent consequences, mainly because none of the crack warriors in either show could actually ever hit what they were aiming at.

In all of the hot mess that was the G.I. Joe cartoon (ethnic stereotypes, baffling plots, absence of physics), the cool factor always ramped up when Destro was around. Here was a Scottish lord (that's his ancient family crest he wears around his neck) who wears a metal mask (complete with moving metal lips) in homage to an ancestor who was forced by Cromwell to wear one as punishment for supplying weapons to both sides in the British Civil Wars of the 1640s. That's some serious clan pride. Destro is kind of an amalgam of Tony Stark and Doctor Doom, an inventor and arms dealer with a surplus of regal bearing and limited patience with the clumsy cunning of Starscream-voiced Cobra Commander. Wealthy beyond measure, Destro lives for his personal and family honor, and to get it on with the Baroness.

For mid-80s awesomeness, you had to take two trains and a bus to beat Destro.

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