Review | G.I. Joe Renegades Season 1 Volume 1

G.I. Joe Renegades Season 1 Volume 1 is now on DVD.

Renegades is the latest animated series for the G.I. Joe franchise.

The idea for Renegades is different from other G.I. Joe animated series.  In this incarnation G.I. Joe doesn’t exist yet.

Cobra is a multi-national corporation.  Their goal is the betterment of mankind.  Take a look at this video.

Scarlett is an intelligence operative who believes there is something sinister going on with Cobra.  She recruits some operatives to help her on an inspection of a Cobra facility in Springfield.  Duke, Ripcord, Tunnel Rat and Roadblock are the operatives who were recruited.

As they enter the Cobra facility, Cobra’s security team becomes hostile towards them and a confrontation happens.  The “Joes” fight off the Cobra security force and head deeper into the Cobra facility where they meet Dr. Brian Bender (Dr. Mindbender).  Scarlett then finds proof that Cobra is up to no good.

The “Joes” escape the facility, but not before an accident ends up destroying the facility, and the “Joes” lose a member of the team.

Cobra uses their power and influence to blame the Joes for the accident at the facility, and brand them as terrorists.  The “Joes” then escape to the underground and become fugitives or renegades from justice.  They are pursued by Cobra and the US Army.  Their only hope is to find the evidence about the truth of Cobra, and clear their names.

The Renegades don’t actually use the name G.I. Joe during the series.  During one episode someone asks them who they are, and they reply that they are just “ordinary Joes”.  The public then uses the name “Joes” to describe the team.

During the Joes adventures they meet other members who will help the team.  Some of the other “Joes” they meet are Breaker, Flint, Lady Jaye, Law & Order and Airtight (Vol. 2).

The animation for G.I. Joe Renegades done very well, and the characters were designed by Clément Sauvé (who passed away in 2011).  The strong point of the series was the story.  The writing is very complex for a cartoon.  It is more suited for an adult audience rather than kids.

One of the episodes that I thought was too complex for kids was “Fire Fight”.  This is the episode that introduced the G.I. Joe character Barbecue and Cobra’s Firefly.  Firefly is a Cobra saboteur.  In that episode Firefly in contracted by Cobra to burn down a Mayor’s house.  As Firefly ignites the explosives he gazes at the fire and says “I have set you free”.  It is obvious that Firefly is fascinated by fire, and that is a theme you would think is too complex for a kids cartoon.  In that episode the character Gabriel Kelly (aka Barbecue) has burn scars on his arm, which was his souvenir from surviving a fire.  It’s just another thing you wouldn’t see in a normal kids cartoon.

G.I. Joe Renegades has a great voice cast.  The regular cast includes Charlie Adler (Cobra Commander), Charlie Schlatter (TV’s Ferris Bueller) as Mindbender, Natalia Cigliuti (Saved by the Bell New Class) as Scarlett, and Matthew Yang King (who does and unbelievable job as Tunnel Rat).

Even better than the main cast is the guest voices on the show.  Some of the guest voices include Lee Major as General Hawk, Clancy Brown as Destro, Brian Bloom as Zartan, Peter MacNicol as Firefly (who was amazing) and Fred Williard (The Mayor) to name a few.

G.I. Joe Renegades is a great series for new and old G.I. Joe fans alike.  It is a new origin of our favourite Joes for the present time.  The show only lasted for one season.  If it did last for more than one season, I could see these Renegades band together and become and official G.I. Joe team (with the various other Joes they meet along the way).

The retail price on G.I. Joe Renegades Vol 1 is under $15, which gets you the first 13 episodes in their intended order (the broadcast order was changed for broadcast in the USA).  Volume 2 is due out on DVD in September.  The complete series will be available on Blu-Ray then as well.  For a limited time the DVD comes with a $5 off coupon for G.I. Joe Retaliation (the code will still be valid when the movie comes out in 2013).

For $15, I strongly suggest picking the series up.  It is a great series for the casual or die-hard G.I. Joe fan.

Ed Campbell
Ed Campbell

Ed Campbell is a collector of comics and action figures, primarily G.I. Joe. He is also a Cosplayer with Thor and Captain America as just a few of the characters in his arsenal. When not fulfilling his Comic Book Daily duties, he's "working for a living", volunteering his time for his local Fall Fair, and spending as much time with his family as possible. Use the links below to get in contact with him.

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