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Zartan is a recurring antagonist of the G.I. Joe series. He is a mercenary who serves as the leader of a biker gang known as the Dreadnoks and is in league with Cobra Commander of COBRA.



Not much is known about Zartan, except that he'll do anything for money. According to the Devil's Due comics, Zartan and his siblings, Zarana and Zandar, were born to a French movie actress and a movie mask maker who had quite the temper. When their parents were killed in a car crash, the children were sent to an orphanage. After killing a bully who was harassing Zandar, Zartan fled the orphanage, and lived a life of crime, using his talent for disguise in his exploits before joining the Dreadnoks.

Sunbow series

G.I. Joe: An American Hero

Zartan is a major antagonist in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.

Zartan first appeared in the first season, along with Dreadnoks Buzzer, Ripper and Torch. He and the Dreadnoks abduct Colonel Sharp as part of Zartan's true plan to free Cobra Commander from prison. In the cartoon, his disguise techniques are all masks, make-up and vocal impersonating techniques.

In the second season, he expanded the Dreadnoks to include his younger siblings, Zarana and Zandar, as well as Monkeywrench and Thrasher. He was also more cowardly in nature as he would often run away from battle when things turned against him. He is also loyal of Cobra Commander, even when COBRA is taken control by Serpentor.

G.I. Joe: The Movie

In the film, Zartan is seen being angry with Cobra Commander for his supposed failures. He is then given a valuable gem by Pythona of Cobra-La, so that he and his Dreadnoks will aid them in freeing Serpentor. Though they accomplish their task, Zartan is unexpectedly absent afterwards and is not seen during the final battle at the film's climax.

G.I. Joe: Sigma 6

In the series, Zartan only has Buzzer, Torch and Machete as his crew of Dreadnoks. Just like their original counterparts, they are a biker gang who are involved in COBRA's plan to take over the world.

G.I. Joe: Resolute

In the miniseries, Zartan appears to be more ruthless than ever, and that he shows a desire of killing people for fun rather than for money. In the end, he is shot down to death by Duke in a failed attempt to kill Scarlet.

G.I. Joe: Renegades

In the series, Zartan has only Buzzer, Road Pig, Monkeywrench, Ripper, and Torch as his crew as they terrorized a local Kansas town and even get their local sheriff on the ropes. However, the Joes helps the citizens stand up Zartan and the Dreadnoks before having them arrested.

Live-action series

Main article: Zartan (G.I. Joe Film Series)

Powers and Abilities

Aside from his natural talent for disguise, Zartan possesses the power of camouflage, allowing him to blend into his backgammon. However, as a side effect of this power, Zartan's skin turns navy blue when exposed to sunlight.


  • In the Classic RAH toyline, Zartan's bio-card said that he had Paranoid Schizophrenia and Multiple Personality Disorder, but a cease and desist order from a mental health care facility prevented this from being brought up again.


            GIJoeTitle.png Villains

Cobra Commander | Baroness | Tomax & Xamot | Storm Shadow | Dr. Mindbender | Firefly | Major Bludd | Scrap-Iron | Serpentor | Golobulus | Cobra Troopers | B.A.T.S.
M.A.R.S. Industries: Destro
Dreadnoks: Zartan | Zarana | Zandar | Ripper | Torch | Thrasher

Alternate Continuities
G.I. Joe: Renegades: Cobra Commander | Dr. Mindbender
G.I Joe 2009-2013 Film Duology: Cobra Commander/The Doctor | Destro | Storm Shadow | Baroness | Zartan | Firefly
2021 Film Series: Baroness | Storm Shadow | Kenta | Mr. Augustine