G.I. Joe Extreme
|Slogan||"Extreme times call for extreme heroes!"|
G.I. Joe Extreme is a line of military-themed toys that was sold in retail from 1995 to 1997. The toys were produced by Kenner following their acquisition by former competitor Hasbro and was intended to succeed the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero line, which was discontinued the previous year. It was supported by a syndicated animated series that ran for two seasons and a series of comics.
The line features a storyline quite similar to the A Real American Hero line. In a "near-future" continuity, a new G.I. Joe Team fights to stop a rising terrorist organization called "SKAR" (Soldiers of Khaos, Anarchy and Ruin) and their leader, a mysterious, shrewd, and incredibly powerful military leader only known as "Iron Klaw".
The title logo was reminiscent of the original G.I. Joe logo from the 1960s and 1970s. The 3.75" scale was discarded in favor of a new 5" scale, which allowed a greater level of detail especially in the facial and muscular features. However, the line was criticized by collectors for replacing articulation with "special feature" gimmicks compared to the Real American Hero line.
However, even with (or perhaps because of) a larger scale, the line never approached the success of the RAH line and was canceled after its second wave.
Seventeen figures were produced: 3 of Lt. Stone, 3 of Iron Klaw, 2 of Sgt. Savage, 2 of Metalhead, 2 of Ballistic, 2 of Inferno, 1 of Black Dragon, 1 of Freight and 1 of Harpoon. Mayday, the team's only female member, was never released.
|G.I. Joe Extreme|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||26 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||30 min.|
|Production company(s)||Sunbow Entertainment
|Original network||First-run syndication|
|Original release||September 23, 1995 – February 21, 1997|
The G.I. Joe Extreme series was produced by Sunbow Entertainment (who co-produced the first G.I. Joe TV series) and Gunther-Wahl Productions and distributed by Claster Television. Set in the (at the time) "near future" of 2006, the show's main threat is a new, emerging terrorist organization called SKAR led by Iron Klaw, the former count of an eastern European country.
According to the one-minute intro (which resembles a news flash), a "former super-power" has collapsed with several factions vying for control against a new global terrorist organization "known only as SKAR" whose goal is nothing less but total world domination. Iron Klaw claims: "We will be VICTORIOUS!" to which Lt. Stone replies "Not on MY watch!" followed by an introduction to the new Joe roster. The opening concludes with a news reporter giving odds of survival as "a million to 1" and Stone yelling: "...and that's the way we LIKE it!" Season 1 with a one-minute intro with all of the live-action segments during the beginning of all the episodes, Season 2 with a thirty-second intro during Friday's The Power Block.
The new Joe team operates in a post-Cold War world wracked by chaos and carnage, and battling against both SKAR and independent mercenaries, who seek to further destabilize an already unstable world. Unlike the previous series, the cartoon featured a pre-credits teaser featuring a mixture of both live actors and CGI. However, as with the previous series, the end of the episode featured new public service announcements in the same vein as the popular "Knowing is Half the Battle" PSAs.
Cover to G.I. Joe #1. Art by Frank Miller.
|Publisher||Dark Horse Comics|
|First appearance||G.I. Joe #1, Dec. 1995|
|Created by||Mike W. Barr, Hasbro|
|Type of organization||Military unit|
|Base(s)||G.I. Joe Headquarters|
|See: List of G.I. Joe Extreme characters|
Dark Horse Comics acquired the G.I. Joe comic license in 1996. The initial four issue mini-series, simply titled G.I. Joe (which featured the tagline "extreme times call for extreme heroes!" on the cover of each issue), was written by Mike W. Barr, with art by Tatsuya Ishida and Scott Reed. The cover to the first issue (The Hour of the Iron Claw) was done by Frank Miller, the second issue (Pawn of the Iron Klaw) by Norm Breyfogle, and issues three (The Gang's All Here) and four (The Ultimate Price) by Walter Simonson. The plot of the mini-series revealed events that occurred after the ones depicted in the television series, but also contradict them on several points, notably in that Iron Klaw is, at the very beginning, the second-in-command of the military wing of SKAR. The original leader was a woman named The Duchess of M'Klavia, who wanted her royal line to regain control of her country’s government through whatever means necessary. She was assassinated by Iron Klaw, when he became more ambitious and craved for world domination. At this point, the new Joe Team included two new members, Short Fuze (unrelated to the character of the same from the A Real American Hero series) and Tall Sally.
The mini-series led to an ongoing series following the same continuity, and beginning with a three-part story: (Red Scream: Hunted, Red Scream: Shakes Hands with Satan, Red Scream: Island Assault). The plot featured an anti-globalist group led by a woman called Red Scream, who sought to discredit (and eventually destroy) the Inter-Alliance, by using Joe impostors to commit acts of terrorism. The storyline concluded with both Red Scream's and Iron Klaw's capture. A fourth issue (All This and World War II and The Last Wild Heart: The Fourth Man) began a new story following the still-active remnants of the I.R.O.N. Army, but a fickle comic market coupled with the poor performance of the toy line led to the series going on indefinite "hiatus", and ultimately led to its cancellation.
G.I. Joe Team
- Mr. Clancy (voiced by Campbell Lane ) - He is the Joe Team's presidential liaison and the true team leader, very much like General Flagg in the original series. He dresses in a black suit and is always wearing sunglasses, resembling the men in black.
- Lt. Stone (voiced by Garry Chalk ) - Field commander. After foiling an attempted kidnapping by SKAR soldiers, both he and Sgt. Savage were approached by Mr. Clancy to form a new G.I. Joe Team.
- Sgt. Savage (voiced by Michael Dobson ) - Master Sergeant Robert S. Savage, Jr. He was the only character carried over from A Real American Hero, as he was part of the short-lived Sgt. Savage and his Screaming Eagles subline. Savage is the "oldest" member of the team; he once had a wife and child.
- Ballistic/Eagle Eye (voiced by Brian Drummond ) - Albert Salviatti (renamed Eagle Eye in the second season) is the team's sharp shooter. He has a strong rivalry with his former comrade-in-arms, the Silencer.
- Black Dragon (voiced by Tony Lung season 1  / Terry Klassen season 2 ) - Kang Chi Lee is the Joe Team's resident ninja and martial artist. He is from Hong Kong, (The Search for Clancy) and has a history with a crime family from that area.
- Freight (voiced by Blu Mankuma ) - Omar Diesel is a former professional football player and the team's demolitions expert. Freight served in the U.S. Army before becoming a football player. He left football when he heard about the reformation of the Joe Team (Crawling from the Wreckage, Winner Take All).
- Harpoon (voiced by Francisco Trujillo ) - Jose Montalvo is a former Navy SEAL and the team's nautical expert (Dawn's Oily Light). He provides comic relief for the G.I. Joe team.
- Mayday (voiced by Randall Carpenter ) - Mayday is the lone female of the reformed Joe Team. She is an aggressive and determined skilled fighter and pilot.
- Metalhead (voiced by Matt Hill ) - Matthew Hurley is the team's communications and computer expert and hacker. He was the first person recruited to join the new Joe Team (Summoning of Heroes).
- Quick Stryke (voiced by Blu Mankuma ) - A former SKAR operative who defected to the Joe Team after the death of his brother, Jonathan (Point of Honor).
- Red Mcknox (voiced by Dale Wilson ) - A scientist of Scottish descent who designed most of the equipment used by the Joe Team.
- Tracker - Tracker, along with his trained wolf Lakota, is an expert tracker recruited by Stone, in order to find Clancy. Tracker possesses extra-sensory perception (The Search for Clancy).
- Short-Fuze - A member of the Joe Team, appearing only in the comic series. He is an expert in demolitions, not related with the original one from A real American Hero series.
- Tall Sally - A second female character appearing only in the comic series.
SKAR (Soldiers of Khaos, Anarchy, and Ruin)
- Iron Klaw (voiced by Richard Newman ) - The leader of the military wing of SKAR. He has a fascination and deep respect for Genghis Khan (Relics, Rebellion, The Search for Clancy). Iron Klaw operates under the alias of Count von Rani, the ruler of a small Eastern European nation called Kalistan.
- Steel Raven (voiced by Elizabeth Carol Savenkoff ) - Iron Klaw's right-hand woman, Steel Raven becomes the main instrument of his will by the second season of the TV show.
- Inferno (voiced by Ian James Corlett )- Kidwell Pyre served Iron Klaw throughout the first season of the television series. Inferno grew up as the son of a poor single mother who worked as a maid. Refers to arms as his "Toys", and talks with a hissing voice.
- Wreckage (voiced by Dale Wilson ) - A soldier who fought alongside Freight in the American military. Wreckage was experimented upon in an early attempt by Iron Klaw to create a super soldier when he was captured during a major military conflict (Crawling from the Wreckage). The experiments made Wreckage extremely strong and resilient, but prone to fits of rage.
- Rampage (voiced by Colin Murdock ) - Rampage is an arms manufacturer who operates legitimate business fronts and black market deals. Rampage is SKAR's primary weapon supplier. However, he seeks to eliminate Iron Klaw and seize control of the organization. He possesses the ability to transform into a grotesque devilish green skinned creature (Crawling from the Wreckage, Extend a Helping Klaw).
- Duchess of Mklavia - The former leader of the military wing of SKAR, the Duchess appears only in the first comic series. Iron Klaw assassinated her to replace her as head of both Kalistan and SKAR.
- The Silencer (voiced by David Kaye ) - Although not technically a member of SKAR, the Silencer is often found in their employ. He is a freelance mercenary known for his marksmanship. The Silencer used to be a member of the U.S. Special Forces, serving with Ballistic (Eagle Eye). However, he was court-martialed and thrown out of the military.
- Red Scream - Appearing only in the comic series, Red Scream is an anti-globalist terrorist who sought to destroy the Inter-Alliance by discrediting the Joe Team through the use of imposters. Her identity was later revealed to be Commander Roston, an American military officer with access to the Joe Team's files.
- "Series overview at". Yojoe.com. Retrieved 2012-09-17.
- Ciolek, Todd (2011-08-26). "The 11 Most Insulting Cartoon Reboots | The Robot's Voice". Toplessrobot.com. Retrieved 2015-10-02.
- "G.I.Joe Extreme Episode Guide". Yojoe.Com. Retrieved 2012-09-17.
- TV.com. "G.I. Joe Extreme".
- "G.I. Joe Extreme". 1 January 2000 – via IMDb.
- "G.I. Joe Extreme (1995, Animated Series) Voice Cast".