I think it’s fairly well publicized that I’m a G.I. Joe fan who has found elements to like about pretty much every iteration of the brand since 1982. I love A Real American Hero, I loved the collectors reissues since 1998, I enjoyed the new sculpt era, Sigma 6 rocked my world, and I’ve been pretty happy with the Anniversary stuff as well. Where my interest wanes is in those middle years, with Sgt. Savage and G.I. Joe Extreme. Those were such departures from the articulation and design style that we’d gotten used to over the years, I just couldn’t overcome the differences and pretty much wrote them out of my mind. Sgt. Savage has remained out of my mind, and from a toy perspective, G.I. Joe Extreme has been the worst that Hasbro has produced for the brand since it first arrived. However, the G.I. Joe Extreme universe itself has plenty of merits, and if you spend enough time on YouTube, you’ll find some nice hidden gems in the episodes and you’ll find a story that’s actually decent, especially for a toy-based cartoon.
I’ve had an article on Extreme in the back of my mind for a while, but what kicked it into gear was yesterday’s revalation that perhaps the Red Shadows aren’t part of the Convention Set this year. I still strongly believe that the Action Force is part of it, but I started thinking about who else could be conflicting against Action Force? That’s when G.I. Joe Extreme clicked in my head. According to the excellent WikiPedia entry on G.I. Joe Extreme (as well as the animated series) Iron Klaw started out as a leader of a European Country. There’s an even more detailed write up of the different characters here. This has almost convinced me that if the Red Shadows are not part of this Con set, there’s a good chance that maybe Action Force will end up going against an early version of SKAR and Iron Klaw. I think this is a cool curveball, and as someone who has grown to have a new appreciation for the animated series, this is pretty cool news to me.
Anyone who hasn’t checked out the G.I. Joe Extreme cartoon, you should definitely hit up YouTube. Do a search for G.I. Joe Extreme and there are a ton of videos, many of them complete episodes broken up into separate parts. Check out the rockin’ 90’s intro here:
Season One was a bit slow to get rolling, but I think when viewed as a whole, G.I. Joe Extreme was a worthy participant in the G.I. Joe universe. Granted the toys were absolutely awful, but the animated series at least proved entertaining and pretty mature for its day. Give it a shot, you won’t regret it.