Generally speaking, we more readily identify with masked figures, since we can project ourselves onto them. It's the same reason most video game protagonists are strangely quiet. Well, that, and the vicious strain of strep that devastated NintendoLand back in the '80s.
That whole mirror-face thing just clicked, didn't it?
Now, forget everything you know about G.I. Joe. It took us 16 hours to accomplish this step, so feel free to take a minute. All set? Good. Whip out your G.I. Joe action figures. We know you still have them -- you told your big brother you destroyed them all, but we know about the shoe box under your bed marked "really nasty porn STAY OUT." Jumble up all the toys into one big pile, and with no knowledge of their characters -- just their names and appearances -- sort them by team.
Yeah, "Snake Eyes" -- the murdered-out space ninja with the terror wolf -- ended up on "Cobra," didn't he? That's because, in the G.I. Joe toy line, the overwhelming majority of masked figures are Cobra operatives. And that meant ...