May 2, 2009

[TV] G.I. Joe: Resolute (2009)

As a child of the 80's, I was never really a big fan of G.I. Joe. I mean seriously, it was generally cool and all but my line of interests was always drawn more towards robots and all things mechanical. Thus the only attraction for the series for me personally was the vehicles, but only to a limited degree. Heck, I think I liked the vehicles in Inhumanoids more than G.I. Joe.

This is not to say I didn't find many a boring afternoon stuck with nothing else on TV. So I learned that Cobra Commander sounded a lot like Starscream and despite being in the military, G.I. Joe did not wear standard uniforms. Oh, and wrestlers like Sgt. Slaughter get to be in the show too.

The movie was pretty interesting too, especially that "Cobra La" battle cry, but beyond that I never really got it. There were all these big battles, an insanely large roster of heroes and villains and despite the prolific use of laser weapons, no one ever died. Yeah, that's Saturday morning television for you right there.

Fast forward to 2009 and Cartoon Network comes out with G.I. Joe: Resolute under their Adult Swim brand of cartoons targeted at older audiences. Written by that mad genius Warren Ellis and with a really cool sneak peak trailer at a prior Comic Con and you end up with some major buzz for an update of an 80's animated classic.

The premise is pretty simple - imagine a world with G.I. without the insane lasers that turn their battles into laser tag. Tone down the garish colors of their costumes. Try to make things a little more realistic in terms of current military technology. Take the original characters but have someone who has never seen the original cartoon have fun with them. There you go.

The series has some amazing stuff for die-hard fans. You'll see familiar characters updated to be a lot more bad ass. You have a Cobra Commander who isn't a total idiot. Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow getting all ninja wicked on each other. You even get classic tie-ups like The Baroness and Destro still in each others arms. Awww, yeah, we can all get sentimental about stuff like that. Plus despite the loss of laser guns, they still had their share of insane super weapons. It makes you almost miss Destro's Weather Dominator.

But there are things core fans are going to miss. Whatever happened to the twins Tomax and Xomat and Dr. Mindbender? Since we had Duke, where was Lady Jaye and why wasn't she getting it on with Scarlett? And why didn't they EVER shout "YO JOE!!!"

Still, it's a great "re-imagining" of the series, even if you are getting sick of that term for "retcon" or "reboot", but it's the signs of the times. It could have been much worse. Still, it was a pretty daring initiative and some characters actually...*gasps*...DIE, although not as many as I was hoping for.

You should definitely get out there and try to catch the series if you get the US edition of Adult Swim. If not, there are webisodes. If not even that, well, this is the internet. Go figure.




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