by Chad Denton
Growing up I never really got into G.I. Joe, but instead was a Transformers kid. I realize now that was a mistake. After all, the fact that it was a kids’ show in a country that tolerates little or no anime-style violence or Doctor Who-style bleakness in its mainstream children’s entertainment meat that G.I. Joe couldn’t do a lot of the things you’d expect from a show about an American paramilitary organization. No storylines about Cobra supporting the Lord’s Resistance Army in order to create a power vacuum in the Central African Republic, and no episodes that show G.I. Joe storming Pyongyang to rescue a group of tortured hostages. This meant that instead the writers of G.I. Joe had to eschew the obvious and aim for the creative – and by “creative” I mean “drug-trippingly insane.”
The challenge of taking a potentially very serious topic and making it mostly toothless also meant that Cobra had to be the most bizarre, non-threatening terrorist organization ever, sort of what Al Qaeda would be if you took away their death toll and left them with nothing but their attempts at corporate branding and hip-hop. This episode more than most really reveals why that makes Cobra one of the more memorable villains to come out of Saturday mornings. Who else would steal a bunch of satellites in order to launch their own TV network? Not the Decepticons!
Feel free to make your own FOX News jokes.
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