It’s time for the last leg of the Joefest, celebrating G.I. Joe: The Movie finally making it to the theaters, And it only took the passing of a century to do so. “Arise, Serpentor, Arise!” is a five-part miniseries, continuing the trend of starting a season with a miniseries. And that’s if you count the first three miniseries as separate seasons. It’s also the most important going into the movie as it establishes the official chain of command for G.I. Joe and introduces a new leader for Cobra that will play a big role in the movie, where the full extent of his origin is explained.
Tired of Cobra Commander’s ego-driven failures, the top brass of Cobra decide to create a new Cobra leader, inspired by a dream the top mad scientist (because of course they have a top mad scientist) Doctor Mindbender has. Being a miniseries this of course leads to a fetch quest around the world, this time collecting the DNA of some of the greatest…and most ruthless…leaders in history, though even Cobra’s not touching Hitler. The Joes must stop their thefts but luckily they have some new members, including pro wrestler and drill sergeant Sgt. Slaughter! And yet William “The Refrigerator” Perry never got to play himself in an episode and we never saw an episode where the Street Fighter heroes fought alongside the Joes. Yes, these things actually did happen in the toyline, while Slaughter would not only voice himself in both G.I. Joe cartoons but actually filmed live-action segments for later “rerun” seasons of the original. He even appeared in a comedy video about the Joes and Cobras’ downtime activities. And it all started here. We’ll be watching the episodes combined into movie form, like the other miniseries in our Joefest. Enjoy.
Interesting that the Oktober Guard (I think I’m spelling that right) is here. To my knowledge they never had a toy and were created for the Marvel comics, which does not exist in the same continuity as the show, much like Transformers at the same time period. Also for once Cobra gets to keep the spoils of their successful thefts…for better or worse. Serpentor turned out to be a worse leader than Cobra Commander when you think about it. He was the kind of leader that was assured of victory even when all signs pointed against it. Rash, impetuous, and prone to worse violent fits than the Commander I’m convinced they only followed him out of fear. Not that it matters to the multiverse. Outside of a homage appearance in Devil’s Due Transformers crossovers you don’t really see Serpentor showing up in the franchise anymore. In fact he was written out of DIC Entertainment’s continuation of the series in the only good storyline they had (relatively speaking given some of their stories–“The Head Man” is practically a comedy), the five-part “Operation: Dragonfire”. The official YouTube channel doesn’t even acknowledge this version and they have pretty much every other series up there like Sigma 6 and Renegades.
And so concludes this remembrance trip for those of us who don’t re-watch this show on a regular basis. So why did I do all this? I’ll have a commentary next week to explain everything. In the meantime I hoped you enjoyed this semi-retrospective and for those of you who will be seeing the movie either Thursday night or Saturday afternoon (check Fathom Events for theaters and times in your area) enjoy finally seeing this movie on the big screen like it was created to be seen.