I would have preferred this stand alone as Zartan's origin without the Born Losers/Billy Jack episode. Zartan as a petty biker thug doesn't sell me. If we didn't know why he was in federal prison and were only alluded to what he might have done to deserve it, he'd be a more mysterious, intriguing character. There is no real mystery to any of the iconic characters so far. Cobra Commander has half a mask, which maybe in time will become a full mask after he is scarred by a confrontation with Joes. I'll keep watching GI Joe:Origins, I mean Renegades, but I just wanted more than waiting for the cool cameo of the week.
The other episode explains his knack for imitating voices, though, and gives him the reason to be conditionally released to search for the Joes.
So that's it for Renegades, it seems. I read that there is a "hiatus" planned after the current run of episodes until the next film comes out. Maybe they've decided to go back to the drawing board and rebrand what GI Joe is... again.
It will not easily happen, but I'd prefer a more Resolute-like series with a military edge. The setback for pursuing that, perhaps, is Hasbro wants to appeal to a worldwide audience without professing any political affiliation. Despite its name, the 80s show did that more so than Renegades has and Resolute was decidedly more global in its scope as well. I suppose what we get will depend on what the movie focus will be.
The show isn't doing well. Maybe it's because they hardly ever promote it? Most people who actually watch it seem to dig it. It's certainly better than Prime. Quality rises to the top, but only if the people making and distributing it don't try to bury it (cough, Pushing Daises, Arrested Development, cough).
Maybe there's some hope, though I'm not going to cling to it. The reasons they cite make no sense (why not put Prime on hiatus to focus on Dark of Michael Bay's Heart, since those movies are popular)?
Renegades seems to me like a stronger base to build an audience after the fiasco of Rise of Cobra. The movie was panned, the sequel seems to be falling apart, the toy line bombed harder than any other Hasbro line in recent memory, and, yet, they want to put their eggs in the sequel basket. It makes no sense. Another massive commercial disappointment on the ROC scale, and the line could wind up being canceled altogether.
I read on another site's thread that GI Joe has been essentially schizophrenic this past decade, though the post didn't use that term, with so many different iterations and revampings (no pun intended). They've had so many different scales (3.75", 8", 2.5", back to 3.75", with 12" sprinkled in sporadically), cartoon attempts (Valor vs. Venom, Sigma 6, Resolute, Renegades), and comic versions (I can't even count) that fans like us must wonder "what is going on?"
I think Hasbro is hoping to latch on to some identity to define the Joe-verse. They pegged it on the first film and it failed to resonate with fans. In what meeting do they decide "Let's latter, rinse, and repeat?"
At what point do they look at online buzz and say, "Hey, Renegades and Resolute were the only two stabs at GIJoe in film or TV from the past twenty years that generated mostly positive buzz. And one of them is probably too violent for The Hub"???
They're probably using kids in focus groups, having never learned that kids in focus groups are never as honest as they're supposed to be because they simply don't understand the purpose. And they can be coached pretty easily. "You think Prime is awesome, right?"
TF:Prime, for and because of all its faults, coincides with the Hasbro vision of Transformers as iterated on-screen. The style of the mechs are in line with what the film portrayed. As such, Hasbro is satisfied. I've watched Prime episodes, here and there, and am not a fan. In response, I avoid buy buying TF toys, but I'm not the target audience for the show or the toys. Hasbro sold the TF part of me out to the 8 year old crowd long ago. I think they've been wanting for some time now to sell the much larger G.I. Joe part of me to elementary school students nationwide. If they go to animated style figures or try to go for a Combat Heroes cartoon ala Superhero Squad, they'll succeed and I'll be done with collecting G.I. Joe. My wallet is rooting for Hasbro to succeed...
They have a real problem with consistency. Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow have to have the Arashikage sigil all over their uniforms, swords, etc, despite this being a rather secret thing in the past. Following the movie, they got so militant about "Ripcord must be a main character and black, and there's no dude called Roadblock--it's Heavy Duty" that IDW had to name a character who's obviously Roadblock, Heavy Duty, and shoehorn a black Ripcord into the comic, but, less than two years later, they kill off Ripcord immediately in Renegades and have Roadblock (with Heavy Duty again, apparently, his cousin).
They don't know what to do with the whole thing. Common sense would be to listen to the fans. Then again, they tried their damnedest to bury Resolute, and seem to have been woefully under-promoting Renegades. Seriously, it's Pushing Daisies all over again. (I say that because I've showed my PD DVD's to a lot of people, and no one ever thought it was anything short of awesome. But, even while the show was still on, no one had heard of it, and these weren't TV hermits, either. I know a lot of people who haven't heard of Renegades, and they almost always seem to dig it when they see it. But, hey, I'm just a viewer; what do I know?)
I never saw Rise of Cobra because it didn't look very good. according to wikipedia it grossed $302 million worldwide and IMDB says it grossed $150 million in the US. From a business point of view, the movie sequel will make a ton of more money than the Renegades cartoon weather it is a flop or not. It is probably safe to assume the movie will blow. Sucks for anyone that is a fan of the cartoon.
Originally Posted by El Chuxter
I never watched Pushing Daisies.
Consistency cannot successfully occur when there is no unifying vision. I'm not naive enough to think a brand should never change. Thank the Maker that G.I. Joe did change from 12" to 3 3/4". That change went through the 12" original line then to the Action Team then a hiatus ending in ARAH, the prosperity of which lasted 15 years before a switch out. There was the 4" Sgt. Savage line followed by Extreme followed by hiatus interspersed with ARAH hero 15th Anniversary, Valor v. Venom and Spy Troops, and DTC, before a re-imagining into Sigma Six, which itself was re-imagined from 8" to 2.5". Order was finally restored for a few years with the 25th Anniversary line. The line was going well, Resolute gave us promise of shining toy seas ahead, with a movie on the horizon. Chaos soon returned. What is the common thread here? We've had nearly 20 years of instability with the line. "Kids are ever changing," "the military is a touchy subject to many," "relevancy is tough to generate," whatever their excuse, the fact is Hasbro has a vein of gold they do not know how to mine. We get nuggets here and there, but most of the time we've been shoveled more dirt than anything sparkly.
Hasbro should get together with people like either Man of Action or Bruce Timm and his people to create an animated iteration of the Joes grounded in what has already existed. This could become the basis for comics, toys, and then a film based on what exists. All four should coincide with an overarching idea connecting them: cartoon, comics, toys, film. If that is what Hasbro has finally learned, it's about time. If they're planning on using the film as their base, they've hedge their bets poorly.