ROCKS 20D: GI Joe - Arise Serpentor Arise!

Discussion in 'Other Cartoons & Collectables' started by LiamABC, May 18, 2019.

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  1. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    WELCOME EVERYBODY TO THE FOURTH DISCUSSION IN THE TWENTIETH STRAND OF "R.O.C.K.S." - REWATCHING OLD CLASSIC KIDS SHOWS! A big thanks to everyone that are joining us through all of this.

    The next few weeks we're (finally!?) covering one of the biggest shows from the 80s, G. I. Joe

    For this show, owing to the sheer number of characters involved, we're doing something slightly different to the usual format. Instead of the usual "establishing episodes/highlights/feature-length adventure", we're going to cover all the 5-part storylines, including the movie. This week we're dealing with the 5-part opener to season 2, "Arise Serpentor, Arise!"

    Just a friendly reminder to everyone that, whilst fans are obviously welcome to passionately discuss and give their views on these episodes, please remember to keep things on a friendly footing and respect your fellow posters.
    Also, please do not post where or how to find the full episode online. And do not post asking others to PM it to you. You are however allowed to watch the show in whatever manner you want.
     
  2. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    The fourth 5 parter.
    And with it a load more characters and vehicles. Aside from this 5 parter and his picture in one episode this is Duke's last appearance until the movie.
    I really enjoyed the plot of this movie overall...although I am not a big fan of Serpentor.
    I do however like all the new Joes and Cobra/Drednoks they introduced.
    I guess my biggest issue with Serpentor is his look...he looks more like a villain more suited to be against costumed super heroes like Spider-Man and Batman etc. I always preferred Cobra Commander as leader of Cobra.

    The battle of Cobra leadership with Mindbender creating the perfect leader is very interesting, along with the quest of them going to obtain the various DNA to create Serpentor.
    I think though Serpentor would have worked better as a upper soldier/field leader for Cobra Forces rather than their new leader.

    As far as I know Lary Hamma wasn't too impressed with the Serpentor character in the comics. He was introduced more less very similar to the cartoon...but the storyline writing him out of the comic was very interesting with the Battle of Cobra with Cobra Commander's forces against Serpentor's, G.I. Joe and Destro's Iron Grenadiers.

    I liked the introduction of Sgt Slaughter to G.I. Joe but I wasn't too keen on how hey made him basically better than everyone else. But he was awesome. As a wrestling I really like the character. Although I was a fan of the character from seeing the movie very young before I got into wrestling and learned he was a wrestler. It's a shame during this time in the 80's he wasn't in the main event title picture scene with Hulk Hogan and Macho Man etc. I believe he left the WWF for AWA at the time. Of course he would go onto be WWF champion in 1991 beating Ultimate Warrior for the title before dropping the belt to Hogan a couple months later. It's equally a shame he was a heel Iraq sympathizer at this point with his title reign rather than being the patriotic hero from G.I. joe.

    General Hawk was a great addition to the team as the head commander of the team, someone that should have been in the cartoon from the start.
    I had a couple of the new characters introduced in this 5 parter, most notably Wet-suit Dialtone. The former being among my favourite Joes. I enjoyed his pairing with Leatherneck. The Seal and the Marine.
    Beachhead was another great character with great military/SAS look.
    I quite liked Cross Country, but his HAVOC vehicle was a bit odd, it looked cool except for the odd placement of the drivers chair on top of the vehicle with no protection.
    Slipstream was also very cool as was his Conquest jet.
    The best new vehicle introduced was the Tomahawk.

    The new Dreadnoks were also very cool along with Vipers and B.A.T.s. The new Stun vehicles were very cool and especially the Night Raven jet.

    My only real complaint though is that this is when the show when a bit too far with the more Star Wars/Futuristic designs. There was still some characters and vehicles that worked well but with the older figures but for the most part this took away from the standard military believability of the show....we will get into the Cobra La stuff on the movie discussion.

    My favourite scene is probably the fight between Sgt Slaughter and Serpentor.

    I really enjoyed this 5 parter, possibly may favourite of the 5 parters.
     
  3. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    The season 2 opener that introduced yet another wave of new characters to the franchise. At least this lot were a bit more memorable than the previous lot.

    Serpentor is the main focus of this story despite not technically making his big entrance until the end of part 4. Now, the first thing of GI Joe I ever saw was the movie, back in about 2003, so didn't really know about anything of the show's history at that point, I was seeing a whole set of established villains, most of whom I liked. I saw Serpentor with those snakes on his back that he could pull out and hurl as weapons, and thought, "that's a cool power, the toy must have been great" - but then I saw his creation here, and he doesn't have that power in the series, the snake heads are just decorative to his costume here, and it was never explained in the movie where this power suddenly came from. As such, I can't help but wonder if Serpentor would have been better suited to being in a different show, like He-Man or even Thundercats. GI Joe is a little too grounded in reality for this character to make sense.

    The other main villain introduced is Dr Mindbender - although first time I saw it I thought Scrap-Iron was new too, I'd forgotten about his having a small part in one of the earlier 5-parters (the second one I think). But Dr Mindbender - again, he seems out of place in this show, I can picture him in He-Man, or maybe Defenders Of The Earth. Sounds like a character who could have the power of hypnosis. Also there's the new Dreadnoks, although only Zarana got any major airtime. Monkeywrench had some comic value with his fear of spiders, (and he absolutely looked like one of the gang already so that helped), but Zandar and Thrasher got no development at all.

    On the heroes front, we get Hawk, Beach Head, Sgt Slaughter, Lifeline, Leatherneck & Wetsuit, and plenty more who don't stand out here like Lowlite and Lift-Ticket. But the ones that do, well, Hawk is the sort of character that they should have had there from the start, a permanent boss deploying the right Joes for the right mission, like Bulletproof in COPS. Actually, speaking of COPS, there's a character in that called Checkpoint who is supposedly the son of Beach Head, introduced here.

    This brings me onto Beach Head and Sgt Slaughter. The way Beach Head is moaning at the start of the story, it would have made more sense for him to be the one whipping the Joes into shape after the first attack, with Hawk admitting to him that he was right. As it is, we get Sgt Slaughter introduced as the comedy bastard, very gratuitously, he turns up in the middle of the battle and single-handedly turns the tide. It's just not right. And the way Hawk just licks the wrestler's boots after this, it's ridiculous. Sgt Slaughter could have been introduced in a manner similar to that of Quick Kick in the previous 5-parter, and indeed it would have worked much better than Quick Kick's introduction too! But as it is, I can't help but be reminded of the time Chris Martin of Coldplay appeared on Extras.

    The rivalry between Leatherneck and Wetsuit is good comedy, they'll diss each other until the cows come home but if anyone else says anything bad about one of them, the other will come down on them like a ton of bricks, "nobody disses this guy but me!" mentality. Actually there's a Garfield strip where we see he's like that about Odie, when some creature hits Odie, Garfield picks him up and flings him away (probably the most effort that notoriously lazy cat has ever gone to in his life!), and says "nobody beats up on Odie but me." Leatherneck incidentally is very much the new Gung-Ho.

    And finally Lifeline, the medical guy who's so anti-violence that he won't even touch a weapon to save his life - that literally happens in one episode, when he's in a pit full of nasties, and one of the other characters stretches his rifle down and Lifeline refuses to grab it! Another ridiculous comedy extreme, and what was wrong with Doc as their main medical guy anyway?

    As for the story itself, well, it follows a similar pattern to the previous three, Cobra have a plan and need to go to lots of different locations around the world to get the plan into operation, and have a fight with the Joes at each one. The Frankenstein concept of just creating a new leader from DNA of a bunch of dead military leaders is a very dodgy one, especially given that it's not explained why they will combine into a living soul - I'd be a bit happier with it if Mindbender was putting all this DNA into a living person already, but it's not explained how he's creating life from nowhere. And then at the end they just charge in and attack Washington. Given how long they spent in the whole setup process, the end seems rather hurried. This was a 5-part storyline, but it could have easily been cut to 3 parts, maybe trim down a few characters too. Oh well, that's the first time I've said that about a GI Joe 5-parter so they must have been doing something right in the others.
     
  4. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    @LiamABC there was also a Joe called Bullet-Proof, leader of the Drug Elimination Force. While he is similar to Bullet-Proof from C.O.P.S. he is a different characters. It would have been cool if they had done a cross over with G.I. Joe.
     

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