5 Ways to Bring G.I. Joe Back to Television

Post image for 5 Ways to Bring G.I. Joe Back to Television

by Howie Decker @HowardTheDeck

in G.I. Joe

A lot of us Joe fans were disappointed when G.I Joe: Renegades was cancelled. It was by no means perfect, but it was new G.I Joe content, and it had a fun “A-Team meets ARAH” feel to it. It’s a shame that we haven’t heard news of a planned animated special at the very least to support the 50th anniversary of the line, and it seems Comic Con would have been the forum for such an announcement.

It’s time we fans take matters into our own creative hands. Here are 5 ways to bring G.I. Joe back to television:

Extensive Enterprises

I’m picturing this as a FOX or CW show along the same lines as Gotham or Arrow. It would be primarily based on the cut-throat corporate dealings of twin brothers Tomax and Xamot, but could slowly incorporate other elements of the G.I. Joe universe as the series progressed.

extensive enterprises show_opt

Think of it this way: Extensive Enterprises is to G.I. Joe as Better Call Saul is to Breaking Bad. They exist as part of the larger universe, but we are mainly focused on their day-to-day dastardly deeds. Like Walter White, Cobra Commander is out there, but we’d probably only see him in the season finale.

tomax and xamot actors Twin actors James and Oliver Phelps have “Crimson Twins” written all over them

Just as Arrow has done for The Flash, EE could help spin certain cameo characters or groups into their own shows, such as The Dreadnoks, a particularly engaging Crimson Guardsman named Fred, or a Dr. Mindbender “freak of the week” type show chronicling his ghastly experiments gone wrong.


A G.I. Joe Kre-O show

LEGO has partnered with Cartoon Network in the past to develop shows based on their properties, such as Ninjago and Chima. How cool would an animated G.I. Joe Kre-O program be? I’d even settle for a stand-alone hour long special for starters.

kreo gijoe show

Since the G.I Joe Kreon figure designs are based on the retro look of the characters (as opposed to the modern movie redesigns), it could follow a Sunbow style of storytelling (complete with things like a Kre-O MASS DEVICE!). This would even give Hasbro the opportunity to develop more Kre-O toys based on things introduced on the show. We could even (gasp!) get a new G.I. Joe or Cobra character, existing only in the Kre-O realm! And just imagine the possibility of a Kre-O USS Flagg.


G.I. Joe: Recruits

Stay with me on this one. G.I. Joe: Recruits would capitalize on the relative popularity of shows like American Ninja Warrior and Broken Skull Challenge that run in the summer when network series are on hiatus.

Playing like an “America’s Next Action Star” type of reality competition, the show would feature athletic contestants who compete in a series of Joe-themed physical events. They could name obstacles and events after characters or G.I. Joe settings, and call the main event obstacle course “The Terrordrome”. Contestants who “infiltrate” The Terrordrome would be able to achieve “G.I. Joe Recruit” status, and get a codename of their choice.

kacy catanzaro

Continuing with the decades-old theme of incorporating real world role models into the G.I. Joe lore (Sgt. Slaughter, The Fridge), producers could make media-friendly American darling Kacy Catanzaro an honorary G.I. Joe (codename: Warrior) to endorse and promote G.I. Joe: Recruits. After dominating the American Ninja Warrior course and becoming a viral social media sensation, she would be the perfect ambassador for the show and the Joe television property. Get The Rock (AKA Roadblock) to intro the first episode, and then turn it over to a regular host for an 8-week summer run.


The Dreadnoks

Mentioned earlier as a potential spinoff of an Extensive Enterprises show, most G.I. Joe fans would LOVE to see the Dreadnoks in their own series, no matter what format or network. Picture an AMC or FX program with someone like Norman Reedus getting top billing.


The Dreadnoks wouldn’t even need to be too cartoony, just a motorcyle gang that carries out undesirable tasks for the highest bidder. Different “capers” each week with some kind of overarching theme, perhaps the intro of Zartan as the big bad looming toward the end of season one.


Bring Back G.I. Joe: Resolute

A commitment to something like Resolute would demonstrate that Hasbro is willing to skew toward the adult collector instead of trying to appeal to a new generation of younger fans, a path many of us feel they would be wise to take.

gi joe resolute

I loved the animation style and the retro-true design of the characters, but I’m sure there are some behind-the-scenes machinations at work here preventing the show from coming back, despite the fact that IMDb lists the show’s run as “2009 – ” implying it was never officially canned. Resolute has a lot of built in fans, so spinning the existing 11 episodes into an ongoing series seems like the most traditional route, although it would take a lot of buy-in from a studio and a network to get this back on the air.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

bmorin54 July 30, 2014 at 8:19 am

I would love to see any of these happen. All of them are great ideas.


HowardTheDeck July 30, 2014 at 8:31 am

thanks Brian! I’m picturing a heavy American Gladiators influence on G.I. Joe: Recruits – contestants would have to joust with a guy dressed as Big Boa, and “hack” into Cobra’s computers in the “Mainframe Challenge”.


bmorin54 July 30, 2014 at 1:01 pm

Wow, I hadn’t even considered that. It could test them in so many different areas. What if the contestants were ex-military? There used to be a show on the Military channel called Special Ops Mission I think where they had a former special forces guy complete specific missions woth paintball style weapons. I could see it being something like that.


Jason G July 30, 2014 at 9:52 am

Great ideas. Dreadnoks could be a Sons of Anarchy type show. Could definitely see that.

LOVE the Extensive Enterprises idea. That would be a great backdoor into the Joe world. Can’t remember if we got any flashbacks or origin stories in ARAH, but I would eat that up. THEN the natural progression would be a big screen movie that wouldn’t have to be big budget. I think that’s what the fans really want, not just name dropping characters but a little back story and character development.

Never watched Resolute but did watch most of the first season of Renegades. I liked it and it had that “what character is gonna show up next” feel which was great, but didn’t hold enough suspense I guess to get me through the 1st season.


doubledumbass July 31, 2014 at 1:41 pm

GI Joe: Resolute is tremendous and remains my favorite animated incarnation of GI Joe. IT definitely drew some inspiration from the darker story lines from Larry Hama’s epic run on the Marvel comic series. I would love to see more of this series.


Dex July 31, 2014 at 9:22 pm

I’d watch the Kre-O show. I’d love to see the old gang back together again.


Kevin Hellions July 31, 2014 at 11:59 pm

Never in a million years would have thought of the Extensive Enterprises show. That’s brilliant. I would love a Dreadnoks show. Hell, a comic devoted to them would rock as well.


Kent Otto Phillips September 30, 2014 at 2:42 pm

All good ideas. I’d like to see season two of G.I.*JOE: Renegades, but call it G.I.*JOE: Beginnings. At the end of Renegades, CC was outted as the criminal mastermind he is, so now he becomes a legit for. The Joes start off not only working on finding CC and trying to bring him down, but building up their team, going back and talking to all the characters that “guest starred” in the previous season and recruiting them. Each episode could be a stand alone story of the overall bigger story.


HowardTheDeck September 30, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Thanks! Yes, I love your idea. I would love to see the Joes seeking out recruits, Nick Fury style. And the idea of Cobra as an established and feared force is the only way to go. The “clandestine organization” thing is done. Needs to be an outward threat to society.


zandar July 2, 2015 at 11:09 am

I would love for a new gijoe cartoon just like gijoe resolute. It was more based on a adult version like when they killed off major bludd and bazooka


Blakeney June 13, 2016 at 4:21 pm

Resolute was a good shoot-em-up action film, but GI Joe Renegades actually made me care about the characters. Don’t care if it was based on the A-Team – it was interesting seeing them react to different situations and seeing them gel and care about each other as a team. Wish we could see a season 2 with them fighting Cobra out in the open as you suggest.


Isaias Ordoñez January 11, 2019 at 11:22 pm

I’d love to see G.I. Joe back on TV and action figures again in all toystores


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