Laird James McCullen Destro XXIV, usually referred to simply as Destro, is a fictional villain from G.I. Joe, a military-themed line of toys from Hasbro. He first appeared in the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero line. He is portrayed by Christopher Eccleston in the 2009 live-action film, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.
Born in Callander, Scotland, Destro’s full name is James McCullen Destro XXIV, and he is Laird of Castle Destro in the Scottish Highlands. The Destro clan has designed and sold weapons for centuries, and Destro is the head of their current incarnation: M.A.R.S. (Military Armament Research Syndicate). He wears a mask forged from beryllium steel, a tradition dating back to the English Civil War, when an ancestor of his was caught selling weapons to both sides. Forced to wear a steel mask for his crimes (neither side wanted to execute the ancestor because they still wanted the weapons he sold), the Destro clan has since turned it into a symbol of pride, passing it down from father to son for over 20 generations. In the episode "Skeletons in the Closet" it was also revealed that Destro is distantly related to Lady Jaye.
Destro’s key characteristics are his sense of honor, a calm demeanor, and love for Cobra's second-in-command, the Baroness. As a businessman, Destro is cutthroat and unyielding. He uses his own troops, the Iron Grenadiers, and hires mercenaries to stir up conflict in dangerous regions, then sells weapons to those armies. Continuing a tradition started by the first masked Destro, he will even sell to both sides of the same war.
The first Destro figure was released in 1983, as a part of the second series of 3 3/4" G.I. Joe “A Real American Hero” figures. This initial version featured a silver, vacuum-metalized head. In 1988, a second version was produced, this time with a gold vac-metalized head. This figure was released as part of the Iron Grenadiers faction, and the new mask symbolized his change in allegiance. A third figure of Destro followed in 1992, once again featuring his classic silver mask, this time painted instead of chromed.
Read more about Destro at Wikipedia
Official Site: Hasbro
Researched by: razorback