GI Joe, Part Two: Didn’t We Just See This?


Okay, I watched that first week’s worth of mini-serial last night.  It was cool, classic stuff.

Tonight I watched just the first of the next set of five.  And guess what?

  • Sinister terror device composed of three vital components?  Check.
  • Gladiator arena in giant hidden cobra temple in which Duke fights for his life (again)? Check.

I’m starting to see a pattern here…  Oh well, it’s still fun stuff!

I also didn’t realize how quickly so many characters came into the series.  I figured the first handful of relatively lame guys from week one were like the 20+ episodes of the first season.  Apparently not, ‘cuz now we have Flint, Lady Jay, Roadblock, etc, plus Snake-Eyes has a make over (looking much more badass), we have Storm Shadow, the Baroness got a makeover (much more badass as well—was I the only 8-year old with a crush on the Baroness??), Zartan and his motley crew are here, etc.

Makes me think the comic must have been running before the cartoon to provide all these guys?  Or was there a big gap between when these mini-series aired?  Or does this disc set just have a lot of missing episodes?  It claims to be the “complete first and second season.”

Oh, the mysteries of life…

Hey, I’d rather contemplate this juvenile shit than watch the juvenile shit on the news….



Yo Joe! GI Joe, a Real American Hero


Children of the ’80s unite!

I was ordering some Teen Titans videos for my son and came across a huge collection of the original GI Joe cartoon.  There’s like 96 episodes in this collection.  More than 2000 minutes!

(Not that I’m going to sit down and watch them all in a binge weekend.  It’ll take me years to see it all, I’m sure.)

Did you know (fellow old nerds) that the very first week of the show was the Mass Device storyline?  The one with the three elements needed to power the teleportation machine that nearly conquered the world??!!  The one where Duke was forced to fight in Cobra Commander’s arena against a Conan-like giant??  (Who was voiced, I’m absolutely certain, by the same guy who did the Hulk cartoon in the ’80s.)  The very mini-series that featured our beloved mute Snake-Eyes sacrificing himself by sealing himself in with radioactive gas??!

That’s one of the GI Joe moments that stands out to me and I was never sure how far back into reruns it went.  Snake-Eyes comes out glowing red and Major Blud and his goons just let him wander into the snow, assuming he’d die on his own.



Panthro, Bitches! Thundercats Are Loose!

thundercats_posterLookie what I got in the mail!  Ordered them on Amazon, in order to “raise my son right.”  Almost all the crap they make for kids these days is pure nonsense.  Very little story, just repetitious stupidity.  Unfortunately, when I started playing my iconic Thundercats on-screen, my son (who is only five) showed no interest.  He was far more interested in jumping up and down in front of me and disturbing my religious revival!  So Lion-o, Cheetara, and the gang had to wait until junior was in bed.

I could go into how impressive the cartoon is beyond pure nostalgia, but it’s like trying to describe a painting or a song; you just have to experience it.  From the high-detail animation to the iconic characters and character acting, to stories with actual, on-going plots and 80s rock themes.  They just don’t put that kind of work into cartoon shows anymore!

Okay, I might be a little bias.  The Thundercats were the foundation of my young reality for much of my formative years.

But if you’re an old nerd my age, than you already know what I’m talking about.  If not, pretend to be buying it for your kids–or your future kids–and see for yourself.

I remember matcatsking up my own cast of characters, but instead of calling them “Thundercats” I called it “Cat Attack.”  I had made one good drawing that I figured I could never top, so I just kept tracing that one as a template and giving them a slightly different look and unique weapons.  I also made a bad guy who was a hyena man.  He was my favorite!

Watching this also ties my stomach in knots thinking about how I had all those cool toys and then gave them away!  I used to save my allowance until I had $6.36 (that’s $5.99 with sales tax), then I’d ask my mom to take me down to Murphy Mart (or maybe it had become Ames by that time?) so I could buy me another awesome Thundercat.  I had all the figures!  My best friend Ben had the Thunder-Tank and I think the Cat’s Lair, as well as a cool Sword of Omens with light-up Eye of Thundara!

And then I had to go and do something stupid like give my big tub of toys away when I got older.  The boy’s parents were trying to say, “Oh, that’s okay, you keep them,” ’cause they didn’t want more junk on their son’s bedroom floor, but the kid was too eager to be denied.  (There were also some Visionaries in there, the guys with the holograms on them.  Remember that show?!  They were awesome!)  aaaad

That damn kid didn’t even know what he had, probably never even played with them!  Damn stupid me!  Why couldn’t I have been more selfish?  Then I’d still have them!

And my kid wouldn’t be allowed to touch them, either.  Oh, no!  Just me.  I’d wait until everyone else was in bed and then bust them out, Tigra jumping off the couch and disappearing, Panthro ninja-flipping up the stairs and fighting Ssslythe and Rataro and all the Mutants, maybe getting trapped in the Giant Microwave of Doom and riding the back of our War Dogs, strapped on by rubber-bands.  And I’d use aluminum foil to make a perfectly molded mask of one character, and then whoever put on that mask would become him!  (Used to use that trick all the time with my He-Man guys.)  Yeaaaah, that’d be great!

Hmm, had to wipe my lip there.  Foaming at the mouth a little.  Maybe, uh, maybe we should just pretend I didn’t write any of this…