The last time I attempted to make the G.I. Joe episodes Hasbro was uploading to YouTube as a Saturday Night Showcase it didn’t quite work out. This time, with an official channel for the daring highly trained special mission force, I have better playlists I can embed…or better yet, a movie edit so you only have to see the credits once for the franchise’s 40th anniversary. In honor of the 35th Anniversary of G.I. Joe: The Movie and the film finally getting to theaters, we go back to where it began. At least for the show. If you want to go into the history of the toyline you’re on the wrong site.
“The M.A.S.S. Device” is the collective name of the first five episodes of the original G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero miniseries. Another followed, and then a weekday series alongside Hasbro’s other Sunbow-produced series The Transformers, as it went from weekend series to five days a week. Containing the episodes “The Cobra Strikes”, “Slave Of The Cobra Master”, “The Worms Of Death”, “Duel In The Devil’s Cauldron”, and “A Stake In The Serpent’s Heart”, you get a sense that Sunbow was already taking a few less restrictive takes. For example in the first firefight at the opening of the first episode you don’t see as many parachutes when Cobra planes get shot down.
Destro has created a huge teleportation cannon, the “Molecular Assembler Scrambler Sender” according to the Joepedia, powered by three elements so rare they only exist in this show. With Duke captured (an interesting choice for your first story since this doesn’t take place in the same continuity as the Marvel Comics as far as I know) the Joes must rescue their leader, stop Cobra Commander from stealing landmarks to force the nations to surrender (“ruthless terrorist organization” you know), and save the world. Enjoy.
As mentioned, a second miniseries would be produced, which I’ll post next week, a daily series that included another miniseries, and the rather goofy DIC series (plus numerous other series not sharing a continuity, and even the DIC series is up for debate after “Operation: Dragonfire”). This along with the movie forms one big continuity that is still a fan favorite today. This is why I don’t buy the “it’s just a toy commercial” argument. A good show is needed to sell the toys; that’s how it worked for toys based on existing shows after all, and Sunbow was really good at it.