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- Toy Product: G.I. Joe – DVD Battles: The Revenge of Cobra (Set 4 of 5)
- Toy Line: G.I. Joe
- Distributor: Hasbro
- Includes: Action figures (Lady Jaye, Destro, Roadblock) with weapons and gear, Weather Dominator, strangler vines (aka Vines of Death), The Revenge of Cobra DVD, M.A.S.S. Device piece no. 2 of 5 to build the M.A.S.S. Device (other pieces sold in other DVD Battles).
- Suggested Retail: $35.99
G.I. Joe - DVD Battles: The Revenge of Cobra Review
Hasbro unleashes DVD Battles of the Cobra
By Kurt Anthony Krug
July 20, 2009
G.I. Joe - DVD Battles: The Revenge of Cobra
The Revenge of Cobra is the second G.I. Joe mini-series that served as little better than a 2-hour toy commercial for Hasbro, introducing plenty of new characters and vehicles for the 1984-85 toy-line, and putting the Joes in unbelievable scenarios as Destro and Cobra Commander unleash (score dramatic music)… the Weather Dominator!
The Joes journeyed to the “roof of the world,” Zartan’s funhouse, the Island of No Return, and Washington, D.C. to gather up the five pieces of the Weather Dominator once it was broken into its component parts. The Weather Dominator was a (magical) device that defied all laws of science and controlled the weather. It’s something you’d expect a mad scientist from bad 1950s B-movies to come up with, or one of the super-villain super-smart scientists seen in the pages of Marvel and DC Comics (insert the villain you’re thinking of here).
What got annoying is how the Joes and Cobras would end a simple sentence with “Yo Joe!” and “Cobra!”, respectively. A Joe could say, “I need to go to the bathroom” and it’d be capped off with a “Yo Joe!” Ditto with a Cobra agent. Overkill, definitely.
Bad dialogue, overuse of the battle-cries, the Vines of Death, and unrealistic plot notwithstanding, it is fun to watch this DVD, especially if you grew up in the 1980s. Many characters made their on-screen debut in this mini-series, including Flint, Lady Jaye, Shipwreck, Blowtorch, Mutt & Junkyard (Mutt’s dog), Spirit, Storm Shadow, Firefly, Zartan, and the Dreadnoks. All the Joes introduced in the previous mini-series, such as Duke, Snake-Eyes, and Scarlett, take more of a backseat in an effort to promote the new characters and give ‘em more screen-time.
Oddly enough, Shipwreck is portrayed as a Han Solo-esque character, who’s in a Cobra-run watering hole, not getting involved in a bar fight involving Flint and Mutt, which got started because some Cobra agents wanted their guns that they had in plain sight. That makes plenty of sense. Why would you want to fight two big guys with big guys they’re not taking any steps to conceal?
As the bar fight erupts, not once did the two Joes use their weapons. Again, that also makes sense, but you must keep in mind it was a kid-friendly show (READ: no one gets killed, which the Cobras were probably aware of). The entire time, Shipwreck was reading the newspaper (which was run by Cobra, no less, as per the masthead).
The best part of the entire mini-series was the battle between Spirit, the Native-American tracker, and Storm Shadow, the Cobra ninja. It still holds up after 25 years! These two guys get into fisticuffs over a piece of the Weather Dominator, which ends in a draw. Spirit saves his life and Stormy returns the favor later on in the show, informing him that when they next they meet, it shall be as enemies.
It’s interesting to note that Storm Shadow’s rivalry with Snake-Eyes – the cornerstone of the Larry Hama-helmed comic book – did not occur in the cartoon. The two not once had a scene together as a matter of fact. Snake-Eyes was used more as comic relief.
Instead, Spirit was substituted for Snake-Eyes, and it was he and Storm Shadow – two men of honor – who had the rivalry… The same rivalry would be picked up again when G.I. Joe became a daily cartoon series. Yes, Storm Shadow sometimes fought Quick Kick – another martial artist for the Joes – but his relationship with Quick Kick was unlike that of his with Spirit, who was the surrogate Snake-Eyes as far as the cartoon was concerned.
So it boggles the mind why the action figures included in this DVD battle-set were NOT Storm Shadow and Spirit (let’s not forget his trusty pet bald eagle, Freedom) – which is why this review got the grade it did. Any kid who saw this DVD would love to reenact their battle, not to mention create a few more with their Spirit and Storm Shadow action figures.
Instead, there’s Roadblock (tangled up in those stupid Vines of Death, no less), Lady Jaye (whose TV incarnation had these unbelievable gimmicky javelins that would’ve been made complete if she had a boxing-glove javelin, which made make Green Arrow – dare I say it – green with envy), and Destro. In lieu of these three characters, a color-changing Zartan and another character (Duke or Flint, whoever) should’ve been included with Spirit and Storm Shadow.
Once again, you can relive your childhood for two hours and take it for what it is. Yo Joe!
Or should it be “Cobra!”