Friday was the debut of the G.I. Joe animated project entitled, “G.I. Joe Resolute”. The premier consisted of two short episodes on Adult Swim’s website and quite frankly, they seriously rocked socks. Before I get to my impressions, I need to go on a bit of a rant. The very idea behind Resolute is one that I demand more of, that is, cartoons made for a more adult audience without sacrificing adult story elements for the sake of children. I know that anime has serious story lines and adult themes, but there’s something about 99% of anime that I can’t connect with. Inevitably when trying to watch any anime, I can’t connect with something, be it plot, characterization, or dialogue. I’ve always wanted to see the kinds of themes and stories found in anime, but with western style stories that weren’t dumbed down for kids. Shows like Justice League Unlimited have been a big step forward along with some of the direct to DVD stuff out there, but it has taken us a very long time to even get close to destroying the misconception that cartoons equal children’s entertainment. I want to thank Hasbro for at least trying something like this.
Resolute starts off with a bang when a body found at the Lincoln Memorial is revealed be a fairly high profile character. Then there are a crap load of explosions, followed by a lot of Cobra brand shenanigans including another death of a highish profile character. After watching the first episode, you know that this ain’t any G.I. Joe you’ve ever seen in animated form. The second episode features the buildup to a showdown between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow, which has happened a million times, but has never had the same kind of weight behind it outside of a comic book version of the story. If the second episode confirms anything it’s that Snake Eyes sure is someone you don’t want to cross if you’re on guard duty.
The animation is great and the writing provided by comics veteran Warren Ellis is top notch. The voice acting was great as well; I particularly enjoyed the new voice of Cobra Commander. While not being as high pitched as the classic version of the cartoon character, it’s different enough to sound menacing.
I really look forward to seeing the rest of Resolute. As a Joe fan, I think it’s one of the coolest things to happen to the franchise in some time and perhaps will turn out much better than the upcoming film. As a fan of awesome nerdy things, I really have to recommend checking it out even if you’re not a huge fan of G.I. Joe. There’s a lot to like in the couple of episodes currently available.
*Please note that this was written before parts 3 through 5 were available. While 3 and 4 are mostly story-building episodes, 5 gets it right back on track with a flashback that puts a new spin on the Stormshadow vs. Snake Eyes mythos. Storm Shadow doesn’t seem to be the bad guy with the heart of gold here like in previous G.I. Joe incarnations, and as the world’s biggest Storm Shadow fan, I can say that I unabashedly love this jerk-hole version of the character.