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Nice little town in Illinois gives Cobra Commander key to the city

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There's a reason the G.I. JoeCon, after spending 18 years in cities like New Orleans, Indianapolis and Dallas, is coming to quiet Springfield, Ill. That's because the entire city is a front for COBRA. What else could explain why Cobra Commander was presented with the key to the city.

J. Michael Houston, the figurehead who leads the puppet government installed by COBRA back in 1983 (G.I. Joe No. 10, to be precise), handed the city back to his supreme leader on Thursday. The city's public affairs staff then hurriedly published this statement from Cobra Commander on official city letterhead.

"Springfielders near and far, I accept your Mayor's generous gift," he said. "And let it be known that I too bring a gift for every man, woman and child of this city that is so near and dear to my heart; an invitation to join with me. Join Cobra!"

Springfield (motto: "A Nice Little Town") is the capital of Illinois. Its principal private industry is ARBCO, a cleaning supplies shell company that covers the movements of COBRA.

In all seriousness, the G.I. Joe canon never said in which state Springfield was located (much like The Simpsons.) The real city's Prairie Capital Convention Center will host G.I. JoeCon April 9-12. This year's event includes autograph sessions with voice actors from the cartoon series and a showroom, as well as panels and seminars on the long-running toy, comic book and movie franchise. Tickets are $20.

For more on COBRA's perfidious influence over all of Springfield, check out this video, by Fun Pub Video on YouTube, in which G.I. Joe artist Robert Atkins finds there's something fishy about his home town.