As we head to the long-awaited theatrical premiere of G.I. Joe: The Movie there’s one comment that critics of the film have made that frankly I don’t understand. “Cobra-La doesn’t make any sense in a story about the military versus a terrorist group.” I mean…HAVE YOU WATCHED THIS SERIES? As it is the first three miniseries have included a teleportation device, a weather control device, and a set of devices that shut off all electrical power. This was always a science fiction series that also doubled as a war story. Tonight I want to further prove the idea that a secret underground civilization is actually normal for this show.
Tonight I’m posting a series of episodes from Hasbro’s YouTube channel and their official G.I. Joe channel with sci-fi plotlines on par with Cobra-La, and that’s not even counting the miniseries we’ll be concluding this series of Saturday Night Showcases where they build a new leader out of the the DNA of dead people. Even the Joes had machines that didn’t exist but Cobra committing crimes against nature is right up with committing crimes against humanity. Check out these prime examples.
Perhaps you prefer a more primitive secret culture who worships a fallen satellite that the Joes and Cobra need to get their hands on?
Here’s an episode that connects so many of the Hasbro/Sunbow cartoons. Hector Ramerez, a parody of Geraldo Rivera, shows up here, Transformers, Jem, and is a recurring pest on Inhumanoids. In a later episode Cobra tries to use him in a public relation scheme. Other connections to Transformers features the girl who loved Powerglide in the episode of the same name showing up to pursue Lifeline, Flint and Lady Jaye’ daughter being one of the Autobots allies in 2006, and in that same period a visit by Cobra Commander using his synthoids. Speaking of which…
There’s No Place Like Springfield
The synthetic humans first appeared in “The Synthoid Conspiracy”, where Cobra tries to replace important people with their clones. However their best use is this episode, in which Shipwreck wakes up to find years of his life missing, being retired with a wife and daughter, and having terrible nightmares while Flint blames him for the death of Lady Jaye. Yeah, I probably just spoiled at least part of the twist but it’s rare that Cobra Commander reuses an old scheme in a new way…or any 1980s kids show villain really. This is also surprisingly dark for a kids show, but it’s dark with purpose rather than just to be grimdark moody so it’s dark done right as you watch Shipwreck, usually one of the more upbeat Joes even when complaining, think he’s losing his mind, and probably the most useful Polly ever gets beyond berating Shipwreck.
The Viper Is Coming
How do I not include this episode? It’s one everyone talks about even if the sci-fi in this one is rather minor. Barbecue moves into an unused fire station as his new home because he’s obsessed with his job…which is actually starting fires. Then he keeps getting phone calls from “the Viper” that leads the Joes into their biggest hits on Cobra yet. It’s the ending that makes this memorable. THIS is a silly concept!
Worlds Without End
One of my favorite two part episodes and nobody talks about it. Clutch (one of the few Joe figures I used to have) and some others traveling to a parallel universe where the Joes are dead, Cobra rules, and Clutch is dating the Baroness. Don’t worry, AU Clutch wasn’t evil.
The Gods Below
So Golobulus is too much to handle but you never mention the time Duke went up against Osiris? And he didn’t even have a deck of playing cards.
Cobra cloned dinosaurs, and they aren’t opening a theme park.
Skeletons In The Closet
DESTRO HAS AN ELDRICH HORROR IN HIS BASEMENT! YOU’RE ARGUMENT IS INVALID!
Yeah, let’s not pretend the secret creature society is the shark jumping moment for this series. We didn’t even get into giant germs, using a heavy metal band to mind control teens, or that time Shipwreck’s wacky kids story characters came to life to attack Cobra. It’s always delved into storylines you weren’t going to see in a John Wayne picture. I’ve only scratched the surface but I think I made my point. Next week we conclude this nostalgic preparation with the most important multi-part story before going into G.I. Joe: The Movie with the creation of Serpentor.