In the comic book continuity, what all do we know about the life of the man known as the original Cobra Commander prior to GI Joe v1 #1? In his early adult life, he was a used car salesman. His big brother Dan served in the Vietnam conflict and kept signing up for additional tours to keep his brother from being drafted. One can speculate that this suggests the future CC was around 18 years old circa 1965, narrowing the period of his birth down to the mid-to-late '40s, which seems reasonable as it would make his brother Dan one of the earliest Baby Boomers. Since when Dan killed Snake Eyes' parents and twin sister, Snake Eyes had no one to turn to except Tommy Arashikage, Stalker was presumably still in Vietnam and thus the tragedy had to have occured prior to January 15, 1973 for Snake Eyes to feel this way. Larry Hama implied that the future CC was married prior to the tragedy, and indeed this would explain the timing of Dan's return to the United States, since married status was a draft exemption during the Vietnam conflict. Thus it seems to me that we can infer the following:
1) The future CC was the second of two sons born to a middle-class American couple in the mid-to-late 1940s.
2) In his early adult life, he was a used car salesman.
3) He was married no later than 1972, probably prior to his 26th birthday (the draft applied to young men 18-25).
Well, fans of the Marvel comic know what happened next: the future CC went bonkers, blamed Snake Eyes for his brother's death, and secretly spent his family's savings hiring not one but two assassins to murder him in Japan. When Mrs. Snake discovered what he had done, she confronted him and he walked out on her, taking their young son William with him. He blamed the death of his brother and the failure of his business on a conspiracy between big government and big business to form a plutocracy where the the life of the "little guy" was expendable and slowly building a criminal organization that would grow into the paramilitary terrorist army Cobra!
So I think we know or can infer the facts above, but there are two big questions I have about CC in the Marvel continuity:
1) What clues are there to his real name? After Cobra Commander and Destro led an attack on the Pit and Generals Abernathy and Hollingsworth collapsed it on them, they escaped using an earthboring machine and stole a car. When they were pulled over by a State Trooper, CC had his "real driver's license" and the trooper recognized his "unpronouncable" last name as the same as Billy's. Since CC is clearly portrayed as Caucasian, would it be reasonable to narrow his ethnic background down to European groups whose surnames can be difficult for a typical American to pronounce based on how they're written? Have there ever been any hints to his first name, including the Devil's Due series?
2) Assuming that GI Joe #10 took place in 1983, can we narrow down the year of Billy's birth?