One of the summer “blockbuster” theatrical releases of the year was the live action G.I. Joe film. This garnered an initial amount of glee from fans who had been waiting a long time for said movie… which quickly turned to trepidation when it was discovered that it was a “reimagining” of the franchise, in much the same way as one might reimagine a Rolls Royce as a Hummer. I didn’t take the opportunity to see it myself, but sources I tend to trust in such matters found it to be fun and entertaining, if not a “good” movie.
Far and away the best result of the film’s existence was the creation of a limited animated series as a marketing tie-in, G.I. JOE: Resolute. This aired on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim segment throughout April, and is currently available both for viewing on Youtube (see below) and for sale on DVD. Produced in an anime style and scripted by the excellent Warren Ellis, Resolute is the most mature (and frankly, interesting) take on the franchise to date. As Ellis himself describes:
It’s a weird sort of telepod fusion of the cartoons and the comics, filtered through whatever I found interesting about the franchise. I altered a fair amount of stuff, including characters, to amuse myself and to meet the brief of producing a slightly more adult-oriented piece that used the franchise without being beholden to its other iterations (including the recent live-action film, completed and released after I finished writing this). Lots of people hated the changes I made, and many didn’t understand that I’d actually specifically made changes and moaned that I’d got the characters wrong. Hasbro, the client, have told me that they were very happy with RESOLUTE. So screw those other people. Heh.
The end result is a series that captures the universal awesome of the original cartoon, mixed with a more adult-oriented script. In the first episode alone, we have the deaths of two “name” characters, as well as Cobra Commander overcoming the perception that he and his organization are bumbling incompetents actually succeeding at a massive global-level terrorist event. While some of the episodes are hit or miss, the overall series is simply excellent, and represents the best thing to come out of the live-action movie.
All ten of the episodes are embedded below for your viewing pleasure: