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DVD Review: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero – Season 1.3

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G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Season 1.3 continues Shout Factory’s release of the popular Hasbro toy line’s animated series. This release brings us the final 24 episodes from season one.

G.I.Joe and Transformers form the basis of many memories for a lot of boys who grew up in the 1980s. The shows were there to sell the toys and it worked. My room was littered with toys from both franchises, along with He-Man and Star Wars toys. Some episodes were little more than a 30-minute commercial for the toys, but there were some good episodes and it was nice to sit back and watch episodes I haven’t seen in more than 20 years.

Highlights from this batch of episodes include villain Storm Shadow discovering the legendary sword of King Arthur and becoming an unstoppable force. One of my favorite characters, Shipwreck, meets a genetically enhanced woman named Mara who’s half woman, half fish due to experiments done by Cobra to allow humans to remain underwater indefinitely.

There’s also some great two-parters in this set. One sees a group of Joes getting transported to an alternate universe where Cobra has taken over the world. Another deals with the Joe "Dusty," who may or may not be a traitor, but only Duke knows the truth and when he’s injured putting him in a coma, Dusty may not survive the trial.

Finally there’s the two-part season finale which sees Shipwreck getting injured, only to wake up and find it’s five years later, GI Joe has defeated Cobra, and he’s married to Mara (who’s been cured) and has a family. But Shipwreck can’t remember anything after the injury and isn’t convinced he’s awake. Did they defeat Cobra, or is this another plot by Cobra to learn the Joes' secrets?

There are also some clunkers in this set including Cobra cloning dinosaurs and programming them to attack the Joes, the Joe Bazooka thinking he saw a sea serpent and going on a search for it, and a couple more. You need to take the good with the bad; but at least today there’s the option to skip episodes you don’t want to view.

There are a few extras which include “Archival Hasbro Toy Commercials.” These are fun to watch, but also strange since all the kids' faces are blurred out (for whatever reason, which is most likely legal). Then there’s “Knowing Is Half The Battle PSAs” which are very cheesy, but then again a portion of nostalgia is.

But the best extra is “Men and Women of Action: Creating The G.I. Joe Animated Series.” This extra features producers, writers, and the voice-over actors, who discuss their time on the series, stories include how the casting took place, the writing process, fun during recording sessions, and more.

In April the complete second season with all 30 episodes will be released and with the exception of G.I. Joe: The Movie, all adventures of this series will be out. There are a few other series that came after this one, but this series is the one most remembered.

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