Blu-ray Review: G.I. Joe: Renegades (The Complete First Season)

After 40 years, it’s good to shake things up to keep the audience from getting bored. What could be done to G.I. Joe to make the viewers open their eyes wider? How about accusing the Joes as being evil and enemies of the state? How about making Cobra pursue marketplace domination? How about making the public upset that the Joes are attacking Cobra. That’s the through the looking glass premise of G.I. Joe: Renegades. The Joes aren’t really the bad guys. Cobra Industries isn’t as indifferent as a major corporation. Can the public buy such a change? G.I. Joe: Renegades, The Complete First Season contains the complete struggle for good and evil to right themselves.

“The Descent, Part 1” gets straight to the Bizarro world with a peaceful ad for Cobra Industries. They only want the best for the world. Naturally members of the Joe team aren’t too trusting in the happy face of Cobra. Duke, Rip Cord, Tunnel Rat, Roadblock and Scarlett sneak into Cobra Pharmaceuticals to get a close look at their upcoming product line. Turns out the facility isn’t make the next cure for baldness. The product about to be launched at Bio-Vipers. Before they can gather proof, the mission must be aborted and the factory destroyed. “The Descent, Part 2” makes the five Joes into bad guys via the media. They’re painted as renegades. They have no time to fight on the TV News. They have to stop the Bio Viper about to be unleashed on a town. Things get tricky when another military team is sent after them. The military is now doing Cobra’s bidding. “Dreadnoks Rising” has the Joes becoming more and more like the A-Team. The must rescue a small town from a menacing gang. Even though they’ve got the law on their tail, they can’t leave people in jeopardy. “The Package” reminds folks that Cobra Industries retirement benefits including being hunted down and killed. “Busted” puts Duke behind bars when he goes car part shopping in a chop shop. Can the others bust him out before his identity is revealed. Even more pressing is the fact that the prison hosts gladiator games with the inmates. Duke looks like the next big star.

“The Enemy of My Enemy” updates us how Cobra Commander and Destro evolved in this new universe. “Fire Fight” shows the extremes Cobra Industries will go when a local planning ground gets in their way. “Homecoming, Part 1” and “Homecoming, Part 2” sneaks the team into Corba’s Corporate Christmas party. Are they looking for Destro’s bun prints on the Xerox machine?

“Shipwrecked” transports the Joes’ proof of the evil plans of Cobra. Their evidence is in jeopardy when the ship hits a bad stretch of water. “Castle Destro” provides diabolical plans in Scotland. “The Anaconda Strain” is the next new toxic bio product line from Cobra. They plan on introducing the antidote just in time to save the world and turns a tidy profit. for a missing biochemist in Mexico. They also learn of Cobra’s plan to profit from the sale of its antidote. “Cutting Edge” exposes Cobra Commander’s secret hiding place. “Cousins” gets too personal when Flint hires Roadblock’s cousin to capture the Joes. “Going Underground” pulls back the plans on Cobra’s earthquakes. “Revelations, Part 1” and “Revelations, Part 2” wrap up the series.

While this is called G.I. Joe: Renegades, The Complete First Season, these appear to be the only 26 episodes. The finale doesn’t leave us dangling with a cliffhanger. The end merely lets us know that the battle between Cobra and the Joes will continue. The gambit of making the Joes pursued pays off. It helps boost the tension with them worrying about Cobra and the government coming down on them. This is fine for people who want more than the usual formula.

The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The higher resolution brings out the sharp angles in the characters. For those with a large HDTV, the 1080p image is worth the upgrade. The audio is DTS-HD Master 5.1 and PCM Stereo. The sound mix is better than the usual animated TV show.

Audio Commentary
on “Revelations, Part 2” features Marty Isenberg, Ginny McSwain, Chalie Schlatter and Natalia Cigliuti.

Original Featurette
(11:02) is the promo for when the series first ran on The Hub.

A Tribute to Clement Sauve (4:01) remembers the contributions of the artist that designed the characters for the series. He passed away during production.

G.I. Joe: Renegades, The Complete First Season succeeds in flipping around the usual G.I. Joe premise. Clancy Brown (Highlander and Lost) gets the right tone for Destro. This is more than just moving around action figures to fake an adventure.

Shout! Factory presents G.I. Joe: Renegades, The Complete First Season. Starring: Charlie Adler, Clancy Brown, Natalia Cigliuti, Nika Futterman, Matthew Yang King and Jason Marsden. Boxset Contents: 26 episodes on 3 Blu-ray discs. Released: September 25, 2012. Available at

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