(just) Billy (deceased)
Billy was originally a conventional human, though being the son of Cobra Commander meant that his life would never be 'normal'. Over the years, he has not only acquired cybernetics to replace his missing leg, but received intense ninja training from Storm Shadow!
Ninja Powers: having been the student of Storm Shadow for some time, albeit in an interrupted fashion, Billy is a fully fledged member of the Arashikage ninja clan. No doubt having mastered more, Billy has definitely demonstrated these supernatural, ninja trained powers to date:
* Arashikage Mind-Set: a rare and potent meditation technique, the mind-set allows those who are trained in its use, once they make eye contact, to instantly free a body from brainwashing or any other mind control power or influence. This is effectively rank value 50 Clarity.
However, the Mind-Set also has a secondary use. It can be utilized to place a body in a sort of Zen combat trance, one which will focus their mind absolutely on a given task - to the detriment of all else that may concern said body, whether directly or indirectly.
Cyber-Leg: after Scrap-Iron detonated the vehicle he was currently occupying, Billy lost his left leg. When it was eventually replaced by Fred 7, it assumed the functionality of his original leg perfectly, not even hampering his martial arts any!
Billy's cybernetic leg is built from material value 30 metals, which allows him to actually inflict +1 RS Bashing damage with it, in a pinch. On the downside, it does give him an IPS trait of rank value 1, which can cause problems now and then.
Katana: trained in the ninja arts by Storm Shadow, Billy can make deadly use of this weapon. Built from m.v. 50 metals, Billy can inflict his Brawn +1 RS in Slashing damage with it, or cut through items of up to a similar m.v. when necessary.
Sidearm: though he's a bona fide ninja, Billy doesn't eschew modern weaponry in the slightest. He may fire either a single shot with this weapon to inflict rank value 6 Piercing damage, or a magazine-exhausting burst of fire that inflicts rank value 20 Piercing damage.
Shuriken: Billy has always a few thrown weapons on him, and unlike his martial arts instructor, he tends to prefer throwing stars. He may fling these small bladed weapons to inflict his Brawn value in Slashing damage to his foes, as long as they are within one sector of his person.
Missing Parts / Right Eye: while Billy's lost leg was replaced with a cybernetic prosthetic, he hasn't been so lucky where his right eye is concerned. He thus suffers a -1 RS on all vision-based Awareness ACTIONs, -2 RS if peripheal vision is specifically involved.
Climbing: one facet of the intense Arashikage training that Billy has received has greatly improved his climbing ability. He may ascend or descend virtually any vertical surface, even if they appear to lack hand holds, as if his Coordination was +1 RS in value.
Guns: as the son of the one and only Cobra Commander, much less an asset to military intelligence, Billy has been trained in the use of many modern firearms. He may wield such weapons in ranged combat as if his Coordination was +1 RS higher than is listed above.
Marital Arts styles A, B, C, D, and E: years spent as Storm Shadow's apprentice have benefited Billy considerably. He can attempt melee and grappling attacks, dodge, or evade as if the applicable ability trait was +1 RS, and gains a +1 initiative modifier while unarmed.
Furthermore, Billy may ignore the effects of body armor when attempting Pound or Concuss results, after studying a foe for at least two turns. He may do this regardless of the differences in Brawn and Fortitude between him and his opponent.
Military / United States: eventually being inducted into military intelligence circles, Billy received basic training in military protocols and procedures, if not the benefits of actual enlistment. This allows him to effectively function alongside fighting men and women.
Martial Arts Weapons: thanks to the extensive training he received from Storm Shadow, Billy can competently use any oriental fighting weapon (blowgun, crossbow, katanas, kris, nunchaku, sais, and shuriken) at his Melee (or Coordination, if the weapon is thrown) trait +1 RS.
Trance: Billy has mastered the Sleeping Phoenix technique, allowing him to slow his metabolic processes to the point that he appears dead. Anyone checking must pass a blue Awareness ACTION to see through this deception. While in such a trance, Billy needs little or no air to survive.
Billy's most reliable contacts are members of the Arashikage ninja clan, which he is a member of. Less reliable contacts are those in military intelligence who have made use of his skills, such as the GI Joe team, as well as surviving members of the Cobra underground.
He could conceivably receive aid from his father, Cobra Commander, depending on his mercurial mood swings and the current situation.
Billy doesn't really utilize a set uniform. For quite some time, before he was taken under Storm Shadow's wing as his apprentice, Billy simply wore conventional clothing. After all, he didn't really consider himself a combatant during those years.
While training with the Arashikage, however, he made use of a variant on Storm Shadow's original costume. This included white, loose fitting trousers, a white vest, white sandals, a black sash, a black bandoiler holding his sword scabbard, and an occasional mask.
Once he considered his training complete, Billy often wore seemingly casual clothes, including T-shirts and jeans, of various coloration. However, all the belts, sheathes, and holsters bearing numerous weapons, both melee and ranged, tended to betray the inoffensive cloth beneath.
Billy grew up watching his father transform into the diabolical Cobra Commander, which didn't help in the slightest. However, through everything horrible his father has done to him, Billy grew up to be a determined, stand-up kind of man.
Having witnessed the consequences of evil run amok throughout his childhood, Billy believes in fighting for what is right, no matter the cost. The last thing he wants is others to suffer under Cobra's diabolical yoke as he has.
Real Name: Billy (last name unrevealed)
Occupation: ninja, military intelligence operative
Legal Status: citizen of the United States with no known criminal record, legally deceased
Marital Status: single
Alias(es), if any: William Kessler, Billy Kessler-Latta, Billy Arboc
Height: 5' 7"
Eyes: blue (sometimes portrayed as brown)
Weight: 180 lbs
Other Distinguishing Characteristics: Billy is missing his right eye, which he typically covers with a patch, and his left leg, which has been replaced with a cybernetic prosthetic. Furthermore, he has an Arashikage ninja clan emblem tattooed onto his right wrist.
Billy was born into a damaged family. His father was a used car salesman, at least until he bankrupted himself in a botched attempt to have the man he blamed for his brother's death assassinated. When his mother discovered this, his father abducted him and hit the road.
Constantly raving about how the government is out to squash the 'little guy', and generally blaming everyone else for the mess he'd made of his life, Billy's father traveled across the country. On each stop, he collected men and women just like himself, who 'the system' seemingly failed.
In time, this group of malcontents and misfits that coalesced around Billy's father became known as Cobra, initially a pyramid scheme staffed by highly motivated conspirators. In the end, it transformed into a terrorist outfit determined to overthrow the government itself!
Watching this horror unfold before his very eyes, Billy eventually ran away, and began to work against the forces of Cobra throughout the town of Springfield, where it had taken root. In time, he even repressed his memories of his parentage, as traumatic as they were.
Eventually captured by Cobra operatives, Billy was locked in a Cobra jail, and regularly fed hallucinogenic drugs to keep him docile. However, he had learned on a documentary that exposure to heat can neutralize some drugs, and he managed to do that with his cell's light bulb.
Biding his time and pretending to be docile, Billy made his move when Cobra captured several members of the GI Joe team: Scarlett, Snake-Eyes, and Zap. He helped them to shrug off Cobra's drugs as well, and soon enough they made their escape from Springfield.
Though they tried to take Billy with him, the youth refused, for he wasn't about to leave without toppling Cobra. In time, Billy was approached by Major Bludd and the Baroness, who wanted his help in a sinister plot to assassinate the Commander.
By this time, Billy's distorted memories had convinced him that Cobra Commander had killed his father, so he was more than happy to sign on with these traitors' plot. The best way to destroy Cobra would be to cut off its proverbial head, after all!
Setting him up to pose as a member of the Cobra Youth Brigade, the Baroness and the Major's plan was to have Billy gun the Commander down at the climax of a major Cobra rally. Things went smoothly until the very end when, upon pulling a gun on him, Billy recognized his father.
Arrested after this aborted assassination attempt, Billy was tortured and subjected to the Brain-wave Scanner, but was ultimately liberated by Storm Shadow. Seeing integrity in the young man, he didn't want the Commander to kill him simply for not giving up his co-conspirators.
Fleeing with the ninja, Billy quickly became his apprentice, and was trained over several intense months in the basics of the Arashikage way. This went on for a time, until Billy felt the compulsion to face his father once and for all, at which point he made for Springfield again.
Hitchhiking his way there, Billy was picked up by a drunken driver and Candy Appel, the girlfriend of GI Joe operative Ripcord. They bumbled into a conflict between Cobra forces and the Soft Master, Storm Shadow's uncle, who had invaded Springfield for his own purposes.
Though the Soft Master tried to keep Cobra from killing everyone in the car Billy was occupying after it wrecked outside of town, the villainous Scrap-iron blew up all of Cobra's enemies with his missile launcher, one after another.
Barely surviving this calamity, Billy was nonetheless rendered comatose for years. He remained in that state until his father, who had narrowly escaped death himself recently, was pointed in the direction of his hospital by an unsuspecting state trooper.
When Billy eventually woke up, he was amnesiac at first, but his father took him to a mechanical genius to have him repaired. This genius, the Crimson Guardsman known as Fred 7, built him a cybernetic leg to replace the limb that was blown off by Scrap-iron!
In time, Billy regained his memories, and finally confronted his father about his many misdeeds. Leaving him to his own devices, Billy missed the Commander attempting to turn over a new leaf, only to be subsequently shot in the back by Fred 7 for this supposed betrayal.
Oblivious, Billy continued his ninja training with the Blind Master, who had his own martial arts academy nearby. He took Billy on a mission with Jinx, Scarlett, Snake-Eyes, and Storm Shadow to rescue several Joes captured by the corrupt government of Borovia.
Billy remained in close contact with Jinx, helping her manage the Arashikage Martial Arts Academy in San Francisco, and finally reconciled with his mother. Billy remained at peace until he was approached one day by Raptor, one of Fred 7's flunkies, who revealed the truth about his father!
Accompanying Raptor to Cobra Island, Billy confronted Fred 7, who was posing as Cobra Commander, within the land-locked freighter there. At that exact moment, the real Commander revealed how he narrowly escaped death at the hands of Fred 7, and condemned all present to death!
Using explosives to bury the freighter under tons of volcanic rock, Cobra Commander then went on to retake control of the organization he founded. Though most on the freighter managed to die a slow, horrible death, Billy managed to escape, with the help of Zartan.
The two made their way to Castle Destro, seeking shelter from the Commander's wrath. As luck would have it, Cobra was wiping its enemies off the map at that time, and Destro's castle was their current target. Billy and Zartan found themselves intervening on Destro's behalf.
Eventually convincing the Commander to back off, Billy wandered through Europe for a time, ultimately finding his way to Destro's palace in Trans-Carpathia. He visited on good terms, and things went well - at least, until Cobra Commander came calling again.
Activating some mind control chips that Doctor Mindbender had implanted in their heads, the Commander immediately swayed everyone present back to his side, instantly reconstituting the old Cobra Command. He then claimed the palace as Cobra's new headquarters.
Reinforcing this control with intense sessions in the Brain-wave Scanner, Cobra Commander kept the Baroness, Destro, Zartan, and Billy firmly in his pocket for years, despite more than one rescue attempt by GI Joe, which saw Storm Shadow being mind controlled as well.
Soon after this, the GI Joe team was mothballed, leaving no one to oppose Cobra in its bid to conquer the world. The US government felt that Cobra had its hands full with the nation of Borovia, which it had taken over, and thus figured conventional forces could rein them in.
(Historical Divergence - IDW Time Line)
For quite some time, Billy languished under Cobra's yoke, thanks to the Brain-wave Scanner. What nobody knew, however, was that Doctor Venom had digitized his mind, and placed it within the circuitry of the Scanner, and it was slowly imprinting itself on Billy.
Once Cobra's latest scheme to overthrow the American government was stymied, which ultimately caused the reactivation of the GI Joe team, Storm Shadow came to rescue Billy - and Snake-Eyes, who had also since been captured, and subjected to the Brain-wave Scanner.
Liberated at long last, Billy took a bit more time off, though the three Arashikage ninjas eventually had to investigate someone using their name. Visiting the Storm Shadow Dojo, a Russian martial arts academy in Brooklyn, Billy and company made a startling discovery!
As it turned out, one of the Arashikage masters was captured by the forerunner of the KGB during World War II, and began to spread the Arashikage way during his time in the gulag. Though he died, most of his students went on to found new Arashikage chapters worldwide.
They also found out that a schism in the new Arashikage had caused the development of a group of so-called Blue Ninjas, warriors who had wholly embraced technology by incorporating it into their very bodies - doing so, that is, until they became completely alien in outlook.
These Blue Ninjas chose that time to assault the Storm Shadow Dojo, leveling the joint with a bazooka. Quickly pulling themselves together, the Arashikage counterattacked against these roboticized ninjas, but Billy was quickly cut to ribbons by one of their monofilament blades.
Dying before he could receive medical attention, Billy's body was left with his father, though not before Storm Shadow swore vengeance against whoever was behind these technological terrors. And, naturally, Cobra Commander did precisely the same thing.
(Historical Divergence - Devil's Due Time Line)
On their last mission before they were officially decommissioned, the GI Joe team sabotaged the Brain-wave Scanner that Cobra Commander was using to keep his minions under his thumb. In time, it proved decreasingly effective in doing so, and the Cobra Command slowly dispersed.
Billy in particular made himself scarce, and assuming the identity of William Kessler, wound up tending bar in a Scotland dive. He remained there for quite some time, at least until GI Joe came looking for him again, needing his aid in rescuing Scarlett and Snake-Eyes from Cobra.
He couldn't refuse such a request, and thus left his mundane life to once again do battle against his father's organization. Once the immediate crisis was dealt with, Billy decided he couldn't sit on the sidelines any longer, and asked to join the GI Joe team - officially or otherwise.
Trained by Beach-Head in the conventional military arts, Billy indeed became a Joe, and was often called upon to help the team out when ninja chicanery was afoot. He left the team for a time, however, after Storm Shadow finally broke away from Cobra months later.
He became embroiled in a comflict between the GI Joe ninjas and the so-called Red Ninjas, a breakaway branch of Arashikage. Though Storm Shadow's newest apprentice was slain in the midst of this bedlam, the Red Ninjas were finally brought in line, with Billy taking charge of them.
He continued to lead the Red Ninjas until Cobra Commander ignited World War III, his last-ditch gambit to conquer the entire world. Journeying to where Cobra's headquarters was, Billy intended to reason with his father and, failing that, to end his threat once and for all.
Cobra Commander was having none of that, however. When Billy ultimately refused to come around to his way of thinking , the Commander had him killed outright, and had his body hung from a flag pole to let all of Cobra know that no one, not even his own son, was untouchable.
Cobra directories featuring a version of (just) Billy:
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