There are people who always make a profit from war. Destro is one of them. The current Destro is the 17th “Laird” of a manor house in the Scottish highlands and the current head of a centuries-old arms manufacturing firm. It is because of war and the expense of others that the Scottish Destro family has thrived for centuries. They build and supply weapons to any side who can meet their price. Descended from a long line of arms dealers, smugglers and tax-evaders that dates back to the time of Robert the Bruce, Destro’s predecessors supplied weapons and aircraft to the British in World War II, and Destro’s father was active in supplying arms to Southeast Asia. Destro has expanded the family business by making it a truly international operation. To Destro, war is man’s most natural state: the fittest survive and the greatest technological advances are made.
Destro is the faceless power behind M.A.R.S.*, the largest manufacturer of state-of-the-art weaponry. Not much is known about Destro other than his reputation for anything at a price. Power is the name of his game and he plays to win – every time. His corporation not only manufactures and brokers weapons and war materials, Destro employs agents to incite war and unrest in unstable countries, creating new markets for his armament, and provides high-tech arms to any side able to meet his price. He often steals the U.S. government’s most advanced secrets – and then his corporation makes big profits from the theft.
Destro briefly ran his own small army, from his private bodyguards, known as the Iron Grenadiers before becoming the chief weapons supplier and advisor to the Cobra organization. Cobra gave Destro more latitude in designing weapons than most national military organizations, and Cobra’s penchant for inciting conflict in various parts of the world ensure a continued need for weaponry.
Destro and Cobra Commander despise each other, but maintain an alliance of convenience. Although Destro personally feels Cobra Commander to be a pompous, posturing poltroon, he knows that working with Cobra is good for business. Although he also finds the aims and methods of Cobra Commander to be distasteful, he is obligated to deal with him for the sake of family business.
Destro maintains a luxurious lifestyle around the world and wears a silver warrior mask (a family tradition) to enter battle himself, either with Cobra Command or against them if it’s better for business. Tradition holds that the current head of the firm always wears a polished beryllium steel mask when in public and he displays it with pride.
Destro is a man of raging inner conflicts. A brilliant and innovative tactician, skilled in most armed and unarmed martial disciplines, he is just as effective on the front line of combat as he is in the planning room, and is three times the soldier than Cobra Commander. However, he is disadvantaged by his own sense of honor in the face of Cobra Commander’s utter ruthlessness. Destro is known for his calculated cunning, cool in the face of danger, masterful command, and ruthless determination. For all his despicable dealings and heinous affiliation, he still considers himself a man of honor and takes pride in the unflagging loyalty he has shown to both Cobra Commander and the Baroness. A person of serious contradiction, he is arrogant but humble, mercenary but generous, and cruel but fair.
Destro respects the G.I. Joe team for their combat skills and expertise, but abhors them for wasting such skills to maintain peace. He’s totally dedicated to seeing them undermined, subverted, or destroyed. Destro often finds that his differences with Cobra seem unimportant in the face of his utter hatred for G.I. Joe and all it stands for. The Joes have a grudging respect for Destro even if they disagree with his motives. Believing him to be the man with a sense of personal honor, he is unlike most of Cobra’s hierarchy.
Destro now pursues his own diabolical aims through his army of Iron Grenadiers. As his influence grows around the world, he dreams the dreams that Cobra Commander once dreamed.
From Destro’s personal journal: “As long as there are people in this world, there will always be conflict. Technology advances best during times of strife and battle, and there are always those who will take advantage of this. Better it should be someone with honor.
“I have no respect for a commander who would send his troops into a situation he would not enter himself. That is not a military commander: that is a meat processing executive.”
* Military Armaments Research System