Okay, so most people know that I have an unabashed lady boner for all things G.I. Joe. I even liked the live action movie, which managed to exceed my (incredibly low) expectations and ended up being a really fun, if incredibly stupid movie. It gave me exactly what I wanted though - fucking laser beams, ridiculous grandiose schemes, and shirtless Storm Shadow (I didn't even know I wanted that but it turns out I did. A lot.). Anyway.
So, turns out there's a new G.I. Joe cartoon airing, called G.I. Joe Renegades. After I finished jizzing my pants, I immediately downloaded the first two episodes, figuring that even if it was bad, it would still be amusing cause that's the goddamn point of G.I. Joe. Half the reason I love it is that the original cartoon was so fucking absurd.
Sadly, Larry Hama's divine hand does not appear to have touched this thing in any way, which would explain why it is such a steaming pile of shit. So the premise is that Cobra is set up as seemingly benevolent mega-corporation that has a hand in every damn thing and everyone just LOVES Cobra. Out of goddamn nowhere, Scarlet decides that THEY MUST BE EVIL (I assume she's had some sort of evidence of this before now or something but it's never explained) and WITHOUT ORDERS somehow manages to collect up Duke, Roadblock, Tunnel Rat, and Ripcord - who at this point...I'm not actually sure if they're G.I. Joes. They're all specialized the way they are in the Joes but they seem to be just regular soldiers and they don't actually have codenames yet. For some reason Tunnel Rat apparently just LIVES OUTSIDE OR SOME SHIT and the military is okay with this because they're all for free-spirited nature-lovers. But anyway, Scarlet has NO AUTHORITY AT ALL but I guess the army just hands out their highly trained dudes for secret missions that HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED BY ANYONE, ANYWHERE, EVER.
Now, this isn't like a front or anything. Scarlet doesn't secretly have backing from General Hawk or some nascent G.I. Joe-type entity or anything like that. She's just collecting up a bunch of dudes she doesn't know and waltzing into a Cobra pharmaceuticals plant...which might be okay if she had a cover story but no, she just walks in and FLASHES A BADGE. PRETENDING SHE HAS AUTHORITY. FOR THIS MISSION THAT SHE IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE ON. BECAUSE THAT WILL END WELL.
Needless to say, shit goes to hell in a handbasket instantly and their little group gets all shot at. The not-really-Joes eventually get weapons (yeah, they came in with none - I guess you can borrow U.S. soldiers no problem but not their gear - which honestly sounds about right) and fire back, which handily recorded for later. Anyway, after that, there's a lot of fighting and a lot of stupidity. Turns out that Scarlet is working with Snake Eyes (the ONE good part about this entire shit-fest, because I love love LOVE Scarlet and Snake Eyes' working relationship. Or romantic one, at times. They always make a great team.) who does most of anything useful of the two of them. He is also somehow a fucking Jedi because he deflects laser beams with a sword, which...I just...I can't even. It looks cool and yet it is so fucking stupid at the same time.
Scarlet, meanwhile, just stands around getting hurt. A lot. Like all the time. It's a little ridiculous because the Scarlet I know kicks Cobra in the nads and rescues her own damn self (Exibit MOTHER FUCKING A
) but no, in this incarnation Scarlet's role is to get snippy with Duke and get hurt in really stupid ways. Every single fucking fight. There's three big fight scenes and she is the first one to be hurt in every single one and at the very end manages to ACTUALLY SPRAIN HER FUCKING ANKLE OR SOMETHING and has to be helped out of the building by the other guys. There's no plot point there. It's just that she's a girl and delicate and if she didn't have Snake Eyes to be her Silent Protector she would probably be dead by now.
So anyway, once Scarlet is done getting hurt they all steal a truck and run away, but turns out OH NOES, Scarlet has handed the evidence over to the WRONG GUY (make back-up copies? NAH, WHO NEEDS 'EM? You are fucking terrible spy, Scarlet. I hate you.) and it's now been destroyed, meaning that she and the Not-G.I. Joes can no longer prove that they had a legit reason to blow up a building. I mean, horrible sci-fi goo monsters (yes, they had those - it's just as fucking stupid as it sounds) are a pretty good reason for blowing up buildings. Oh, a building which is full of hundreds of innocent staffers, by the way. Who do get evacuated but only because COBRA WAS KIND ENOUGH TO HAVE CONTENGENCY PLANS FOR SHIT LIKE THIS. COBRA MADE SURE IT'S EMPLOYEES GOT OUT. THE G.I. JOES DID NOT EVEN THINK OF THEM. Anyway, the evidence is gone and NO ONE CAN SAVE YOU NOW. YOU GUYS ARE RENEGADES. Also Ripcord is presumed dead, but is obviously not dead at all. I assume he's gonna turn up and be brainwashed or something, cause that's how Cobra rolls.
This is made all the more disappointing by the fact that there was some really awesome stuff going on in terms what the series looks like. The art style is pretty slick and the animation is...decent enough. I wouldn't have expected better. More interesting is the fact that outside of Scarlet and Duke, the entire rest of the team is PoC - Ripcord and Roadblock are both black and Tunnel Rat is Asian. So that's pretty fucking cool. And the three of them, having just met, immediately end up rubbing each other the wrong way, but it's funny and cute rather than "Scarlet is a bitch who ruins everything with her terrible plans". They, in fact, have actual personality, unlike Scarlet (and also Duke, but no one was expecting him to have one, lets face it).
So. I'm gonna watch the second episode since I have it and technically it's the second half of the pilot, so maybe some of this will be resolved, but I'm not holding my breath.
Now, I'm a big fangirl for Cobra ANYWAY, but it's fucking sad when the series is so badly written that legitimately want them to win just so that all of these characters will die horrible, lingering deaths.