GI Joe Renegades Season One Volume One Review

Active ImageThe GI Joe: Renegades season 1, volume 1 DVD comes out June 5th and we had a chance to check it out. I’m not going to spend too much time on the series itself, which while isn’t terrible, it really never seems to rise above mediocre in terms of story, pacing and dialog. The series starts out with Scarlett recruiting a small squad of military soldiers to go on a mission to prove that the benevolent Cobra Corporation is hiding some pretty dirty secrets. Turns out, the mission wasn’t sanctioned and in the midst of gathering proof to bring Cobra down, the “Joes” accidently blow up one of their facilities. To add insult to injury, Cobra agents confiscate the only evidence they had to prove their story and clear their names. This setup is what puts the “Joes” into a position as the titular renegades who now have to evade both Cobra, who wants to silence them, and the US military, who wants to incarcerate them as terrorists.

They spend a lot of time trying to gather evidence that never seems to pan out, are always on the run and in memory of one of their fallen comrades refer to each other by the nicknames that were given to them in the most painful way possible. Their objectives are rarely clear and rarely make sense and each episode ends in the return to the status quo in this “A-Team” style narrative.

Snake Eyes is also shoehorned into the story and only seems to serve as a distraction to the overall premise (As well as his rival, Storm Shadow).

The show's horrible pacing and "A-Team" style plots aren’t even what's wrong with the DVD set as a whole, because it still has consistent art, good voice acting and I admire that it took GI Joe in a weird and new direction. The problem with the set is the DVDs themselves.

There are NO special features and NO commentary at all. This is 20 dollars for HALF a season and includes NOTHING extra, not even a pamphlet. There's a sticker on the front that says you can get 5 dollars off to see the new GI Joe movie when it comes out. (Note: In light of the movie’s delay, this may not be available on the final release.)

Transformers: Prime, also from SHOUT, had 4 discs, 3 featurettes and wonderful commentary. This just seems like a last minute cash grab to promote the new movie that was due out in July, but has since been pushed back until sometime in 2013.

Incidentally, the ENTIRE first season is streaming on Netflix right now. With a hit and miss (mostly miss) story, only half a season, no special features and a 20 dollar price tag, I really can't justify telling anyone to run out and buy this, or recommend it in any way.