G.I. Joe: Resolute (originally on adultswim.com)
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This was originally a series of 11 webisodes on adultswim.com (ten were 5 minutes each, plus one 10 minute finale). But I watched it on TV, when it aired all at once on adult swim, so... it's a total of an hour long (not counting commercials), which made it more like a movie than a series. So I really wasn't sure where to put the review. I originally went with "TV specials," but when I eventually started a section in my TV reviews for microseries... I moved it to my animated webseries section (with a link to it in my TV microseries section).
Well. I used to collect G.I. Joes when I was a kid. And I know I saw the animated movie, though I don't remember it well enough, I should watch it again someday and write up a review. I may have seen some of the cartoon series, I forget. I read a few comics which I don't remember, I got a few issues of a magazine, which I also don't remember and I don't know that I have anymore. Maybe I do, somewhere. Anyway, G.I. Joe is a part of my childhood, though I certainly don't have most of the toys anymore. Sold them at flea markets or whatever. I've got a few, though. Hell, even have one of myself. Sort of. Anyway, I dunno how much you know about the toys or the cartoons or anything. Maybe more than me, maybe less. One thing you could generally count on, however, is that nobody actually dies. And that's the main difference with this new microseries. There's a whole lotta dying here, and killing, done by both the good guys and bad guys.
So, yeah, anyway. It was written by Warren freaking Ellis, so you know it has to be good. And a lot more serious and mature than G.I. Joe normally is. Of course, as with any G.I. Joe animation, it's ultimately about selling toys. Which I'm not going to buy. But whatever, it was reasonably cool. I didn't like it as much as I hoped I would, but that's mainly just because... it wasn't very long. Though it was definitely a big story. (Oh, and it had some of my favorite voice actors, Steve Blum and Grey DeLisle.) If this was a regular series with more stories, done in the same vein, and the same continuity, I might well give it a higher rating.
Anyway, just on the off chance that your knowledge of the franchise is virtually nil, there's this secret military group called G.I. Joe, which battles major threats, most notably the terrorist group known as Cobra. The current story starts with a Joe named Scarlett identifying the body of a former Cobra operative, Major Bludd. He had been killed by Cobra Commander (in this story, he's a hell of a lot more serious than we normally see him). And soon there's all kinds of shit going on, around the world. And Cobra Commander makes a demand to the United Nations that basically all the countries turn control over to him. He destroys Moscow using a new weapon, and says the world has 24 hours before he starts using it on other countries. Meanwhile, satellite communications are blocked.
Of course, G.I. Joe starts looking into all of this, from their command ship, the U.S.S. Flagg. Most of the stuff the team learns about how Cobra's doing everything is figured out by a Joe called Dial Tone. (That character is usually male, but in this series she's a woman.) Meanwhile, a Joe called Bazooka has been killed, by a Cobra ninja called Storm Shadow, who is the arch enemy of the Joe ninja Snake Eyes. So, Snake Eyes heads to Japan to face off against his old enemy, and we see flashbacks to their past together. This is a side story, and I never actually saw any connection to the main story.
There are a few things going on, though. The highest ranking Joe we see in Resolute is Duke, who flies with Scarlett to Siberia, to take out Cobra's new weapon. (The two of them clearly have a romantic relationship, which the plot touches on, though it isn't exactly integral; just one of the reasons I'd like to see more stories set in this continuity.) Another thing is, while Joe and most of the world has no communications because of the satellite blockage, Cobra is in communication with its various teams, via some technology called stratellites, located in the stratosphere. So Tunnel Rat leads a team to disable them. Meanwhile, there's a facility called HAARP, which has been taken over by Cobras Baroness and Destro. Joes Roadblock, Gung-Ho, and Stalker head to the facility to take it back, and restore satellite communications. And... I may be forgetting some things. Certainly there were several other characters. In the end, Duke leads a massive assault to try to kill Cobra Commander, though I won't say how that turns out....
So, anyway. Like I said, it's a serious story, and there's death, and destruction, and stuff. I'd like to see more, but I don't suppose they could keep things at this level for long without killing off every major character, so... maybe it's okay if this is all we get. I should probably say more, but I can't think what, right now... except that the story included some real world technology; stratellites and HAARP are both real, to name just two important reality-based plot points. So that's cool.