Several years later, growing increasingly disgusted with Cobra Commander's incompetence, he created his own army, the Iron Grenaiders. In the original Marvel G.I. Joe comic, Destro even went into semi- retirement and sided with the Joes on several occasions.
In more recent years, he's been back in the employ of Cobra, although the 2005 G.I. Joe Convention Set saw Destro bring back the Iron Grenadiers once again.
When Destro first came on the scene, it could be argued that he was more or less the equivalent, in some respects, of Darth Vader. He was distinctly taller than the other figures -- a full 4" compared to the standard 3-3/4", and he was dressed mostly in black, and wore a mysterious, all-covering mask, although Destro's was chrome silver, not black like Vader's.
This imposing character, given an appropriately deep voice in the animated series, went on to become one of the legends in the G.I. Joe world. Technically one of the bad guys, but with far more honor, and some would say intelligence, than Cobra Commander. Whether this made him easier to deal with, or a far more dangerous adversary, depended on the situation. Destro was a character of considerable complexity.
It's certainly no surprise that he was among those who made the jump over to Sigma Six, and he's appeared in the animated series almost from the outset. So it's also no great surprise that he's received a figure in the toy line.
I'll be honest here -- I don't much like the Destro in the animated Sigma Six series. Unlike the Destro in the Real American Hero universe, who was more than willing the challenge Cobra Commander's more maniacal behavior, the Sigma Six Destro has tended to come across as just one more Cobra bootlicker. The first time he called Cobra Commander "Sir" I wasn't sure I was hearing right. As a character, the Sigma Six Destro seems rather undeveloped, and I'll admit that sort of bugs me.
Now, I need to modify that last statement in light of the second episode of the second season of Sigma Six, which debuted after I wrote the majority of this review. In this episode, Destro, in command of one of Cobra's massive airships, is contacted by Cobra Commander. The trooper who passes the call along says it's urgent, and Destro sarcastically replies, "Everything is urgent with him." Cobra Commander orders Destro to test a new Cobra aircraft that Destro has developed, and warns him that if it fails, Destro will be wholly blamed for it. After the call is concluded, Destro is seething and mutters, "Do not push me, Cobra Commander." So it seems that the Destro character in Sigma Six might be developing a backbone more in keeping with the original Destro.
However, my attitude towards the character as he was initially presented might well have colored my opinion of the figure, when I first saw pictures of it after Toy Fair, and well before the second season got underway. I wasn't sure I liked what I saw. I was pleased that the head was going to be chromed. But the dark blue uniform, somehow seeming washed out compared to the 3-3/4" Destro's traditional black, seemed, in a grim way, almost in keeping with the somewhat washed out personality of the Sigma Six Destro compared to his predecessor. So really, I was fully prepared to dislike the Sigma Six Destro action figure.
And I have to say that, instead, I am pleasantly surprised by it. Destro, as a character, may be an annoying lackey in the Sigma Six animated series, but his action figure is surprisingly impressive.
All right, let's consider the Destro figure. Well, right off, they certainly got the height right. He's distinctly taller than most of the other figures in the line. Coming in at just under nine inches, he's taller than everyone except Heavy Duty, although he's not as heavily built as the Joe Team's resident strongman, and his head is a good bit smaller.
Here's a point I want to discuss, where concept-wise, Sigma Six Destro severely differs from his Real American Hero counterpart. The Sigma Six Destro has claimed, in the animated series, to be partly, perhaps even mostly, robotic. As annoying as some people have found that declaration, myself included, let's leave it as fact for the moment and consider -- does that include the chrome head? Is this a mask or something more? Because if this is a mask, then relative to the head sizes of many of the other figures, it's got to be a darned tight one.
Destro is wearing a fabric jacket, which features the traditional high red collar that most Destro figures have been known for. It actually looks very good, too. It's flared a bit, which works in this size range, and is certainly an improvement over the oversized, "I'm hiding a parachute under this" collar that the 1992 Destro got saddled with in the 3-3/4" line.
The coat is fastened with Velcro in the front, and opens to reveal a silver, and very angular-looking chest and arms. This tends to lend further credibility to Destro's claims of being partly or even mostly robotic in the Sigma Six universe.
The figure is rather narrow-waisted for some reason, but not as severely as Hi-Tech, whom I purchased at the same time as Destro. There's something about the semi-anime look of these characters that tends to be more apparent among the Cobras, who are not wearing Sigma Suits. The stylized look is just somehow more pronounced somehow. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, but it is more noticable.
Unlike the metal dog tags that the Joes in Sigma Six wear, Destro is wearing a large Cobra insignia on a chain. Still, this is more than Cobra Commander or Storm Shadow are wearing in this regard, and it looks good, and is in keeping, to a considerable degree, with the necklace that the original Destro wore in 1983, which didn't bear a Cobra logo. Here again is proof of Destro's closer allegiance to Cobra in the Sigma Six universe. And the Cobra insignia is a nice piece of work. Metallic red plastic with what look like "jewels" molded into the Cobra border of the insignia.
Destro is well-articulated and well-painted. He actually doesn't have
that much painted detail on him -- really just his belt, boots, and
Let's consider Destro's accessories. Much as I don't tend to pay a lot of attention to accessories, the extensive accessories that come with Sigma Six figures do warrant attention and comment. My personal favorite among Destro's accessories are his briefcase. This item features not only a very nicely designed laptop computer, with the blueprints for a fancy Cobra jet on the screen (I'm not sure this has been actually made as a toy -- if it has, or will be, it'd have to be in the 2.5" line, and I'm not paying any attention to that), complete with a sculpted keyboard, built-in mouse, and other details. The other side of the briefcase features -- money. Destro must have quite the expense account, and a considerable distrust of debit cards and travelers checks, to be walking around with this load of cash. It's just printed images, but there's three areas featuring 1000-dollar bills, and three areas featuring 1000-euro bills. And they both look pretty authentic. I didn't even know there was any such thing as thousand-dollar bills, and this is the first time I've seen an image of any of the euros. Interesting place for me to see one, I'll give it that.
Destro also comes with a targeting screen, a handgun, and a rocket launcher missile. As one might expect from a weapons designer, all of this stuff is very fancy and high-tech looking. Reminds me of a cross between the stuff we saw in Aliens, throwing in a fair measure of Halo and Star Trek just for the heck of it. I can see Captain Sisko taking on the Dominion with one of these rocket launchers, and it's not a stretch to see Master Chief or one of the Spartans in Halo using this handgun. Very impressive designs, all of it.
The handgun, by the way, can be concealed in the briefcase. There's a security system for you. Try to steal his briefcase of money and -- of course, anybody stupid enough to try to steal from someone this big, with a chrome-steel head, deserves what he gets. Destro's file card reads as follows:
COBRA WEAPONS EXPERT
Code Name: DESTRO
Destro has extensive experience in the mechanics, manufacture, and operation of weapon systems. He supplies the Cobra organization with most of its weapons and munitions. An insightful tactician, he also advises Cobra leaders in the most effective employment of his merchandise for any given strategic plan. Successful assaults by Cobra forces have typically been the direct result of a superior combination of weaponry and tactics formulated by Destro. One example is a recent attack on a Sigma 6 stronghold in which staggered application of direct and indirect fire weaponry succeeded in breaching the team's well- fortified base. His business contacts allow him access to valuable intelligence information that he supplies to the Cobra organization.
That, in basic form, isn't too far removed from Destro as he has always been. So why's he such a bootlicker in the cartoon? Let's hope maybe that continues to change over the course of the second season.
So, do I recommend Destro? Yes, I do, and more than I thought I would.
I didn't expect to be impressed with this figure, but I am. It's well-
made, nicely-designed (although I still might've preferred more black
and less dark blue), and even the accessories are cool. And certainly,
Destro is a force to be reckoned with in any G.I. Joe universe! If you're
collecting Sigma Six, you will definitely want DESTRO!