MSRP: $145.00 Shipped | 17 Discs | 95 Episodes | Full Details
Presentation | Discs 5-7 | Discs 9-11 | Discs 13-16 | Special Features

Shout! Factory presents G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero - The Full Sunbow Series

Part 2 (of 5) - Discs 5 through 7

In Part 1 of the Full Series set review, I discussed mostly presentation, with a little sprinkling of DVD content mixed in there...the first four discs are pretty much what came with Season 1.1, but there is plenty more to love in this full series set, and I'll start talking about the new content right now.

DISCS 5 through 7

The Season 1.1 early adopters didn't have a whole lot to look forward to with the first four discs, as it was pretty much what they got in the other boxed set, but starting with Disc 5 Sunbow fans can start getting another look at some episodes that haven't seen mass market release since the RHINO days a number of years ago.

I've actually also put links in each of the episode titles below with direct links to awesome G.I. Joe Sunbow Episode Guide episode summaries, so folks can easily see what each episode has in it, and what's in there for everyone.

Disc 5 (Season One)
23. Twenty Questions
24. The Greenhouse Effect
25. Haul Down the Heavens
26. The Synthoid Conspiracy (Part 1)
27. The Synthoid Conspiracy (Part 2)
28. The Phantom Brigade
29. Lights! Camera! COBRA!

Disc 6 (Season One)
30. COBRA's Candidate
31. Money to Burn
32. Operation Mind Menace
33. Battle for the Train of Gold
34. COBRA Soundwaves
35. Where the Reptiles Roam
36. The Gamesmaster

Disc 7 (Season One)
37. Lasers in the Night
38. The Germ
39. The Viper is Coming
40. Spell of the Siren
41. COBRA Quake
42. Captives of COBRA (Part 1)
43. Captives of COBRA (Part 2) I sit back and look through those episodes, all sorts of memories come flooding back in. Disc 5 gives us the introduction of Hector Ramirez, and really focused on Shipwreck's "slacker" nature. The Greenhouse Effect is one of the more questionable episodes as the Joes find themselves face to "face" with killer plants. Yes, killer plants. However, getting past that, there are some cool parts with the Crimson Guards infiltrating a normal town, some action with the Crimson Twins, and a nice conflict between Destro and COBRA Commander.

The fifth disc also contains classic two-parter "The Synthoid Conspiracy" which began a somewhat ongoing theme where COBRA designs replicant human beings (an event that leads to the even more classic "No Place Like Springfield" and even the creation of Serpentor). This is one of my favorite two-part episodes and is full of some pretty cool touches, especially more COBRA Commander/Destro confrontations. It's written by Sunbow veteran Christie Marx, who is a definite fan favorite.

Disc 6 doesn't have any obvious gems, but a lot of nice little moments. Airborne's strong presence in Operation Mind Menace is always a cool thing, as he got very little face time in the cartoons. Flash also makes some appearences as well, which helps thing along. That's one thing about the Sunbow cartoons, even if you're not a huge fan, seeing some of your favorite characters on screen is an awesome experience.

Season One has more hits and misses, in my mind, and this run of discs was pretty cool. Disc 7 carries that tradition along as well. Lasers in the Night has a rediculous concept (COBRA Commander wants to burn his face into the moon with a laser), but has some cool Quick Kick action and his introduction to a female accomplice named Amber that makes some appearences in the series.

COBRA Quake is a double-edged sword. It takes place in Japan, which is always neat, and heavily features Storm Shadow (actually it features... many Storm Shadows, believe it or not), but it's also one of the worst examples of Bazooka's cluelessness that I've ever seen (Bazooka Saw a Sea Serpent excluded). His constant proclomations of "I'll disarm it!" for every explosive device he comes across, and Alpine's consistent refusal to let him do so just puts a focus on Bazooka's "dumb", but I gotta admit, it makes me laugh, too. If you can get over the silliness, the episode is entertaining, I'll give it that. The seventh disk rounds off with the Captives of COBRA two-parter, another great one written by Christi Marx. We get some interesting insight into the Joe's history and family lives as COBRA hacks their computer systems and systematically tracks down many family members to use against the Joes. A pretty insidious plot, and it follows the trend of the Synthoid Conspiracy...a definite "event" 2-parter.

You know, I was so conflicted when I was a kid...every Sunbow episode made me shake my head from a realism standpoint, yet I sat captivated every school day afternoon for twenty-two minutes and would watch it every single time it was on, regardless of whether or not I'd seen the episode before. That's gotta say something, right? If anything, I've only learned to appreciate this series more as the years have gone on.

Continued tomorrow in Part 3...