I originally crafted this as a reply in the 1990-1991 Top Ten Figures thread, but it got a bit off-topic and I think it merits its own discussion.
1991 Cobra Commander. How do you utilize him? There are many nice versions of CC and there can only be so many of him running around at once. This is a decent enough figure for the most part, but I can't see him as a definitive version, not with that clear red facemask. So he is easily relegated to a do-nothing status.
I've never liked having figures I can't use alongside the others, so something had to be done. I took the mask off mine, and was met of course with inhumanly colorless eyes and eyebrows. I'd already found him to have an oddly squat and inhuman physique, so I went outside the box for this one and cast him as Golobulus' brother, Seraticus.
Seraticus has less biological modifications than Golobulus underwent, and he's more interested in furthering Cobra-La's goals through militarizing the resources of Cobra. He sees his brother and Serpentor as lacking in imagination, and is stepping in to save them from themselves. Seraticus is craftier than Golobulus and much more practical, willing to dirty himself in the trenches of inorganic matter to win the war against it. His outfit is chosen to inspire the allegience of the many Cobra soldiers who have rightfully found Cobra-La unnerving, and to outshine Cobra Commander without directly challenging him and squandering resources on a civil war. The red chitinous mask is the one piece of Cobra-La biotech he has chosen to keep openly on his person. It protects his face and can adjust its opacity based on his wishes. The helmet is actually biological too, but well-disguised and with certain emergency offensive capabilities. If the mask is removed without his consent, the attachment holes in the helmet will spray a toxic gas which his physiology is immune to. He admires Cobra Commander's deviousness, and has no qualms about borrowing his better ideas-- though he wouldn't use explosives in his helmet because he doesn't have a death wish. He claims to be a moderate Cobra-La with designs only on conquering humanity instead of destroying it, but he plans to lead Cobra to global victory and then to use his position of power to dismantle and systematically eliminate humanity from within.