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News Monopoly Montage: "Surrounded on all sides... the odds of survival are a million to one."
GI Joe Extreme!
News Monopoly Montage: "And with the collapse of the former superpower..." "...Several powerful factions now vie for control." "The threat is real." "An evil organization calling itself SKAR..." "...known only as SKAR..." "Their goal..." "...nothing short of total world domination." "Led by this man..." "...known only as Iron Klaw..."
Iron Klaw: "We will be victorious!"
Lt. Stone: "Not on my watch!"
News Monopoly Montage: "The odds are a million to one..."
Lt. Stone: "And that's the way WE LIKE IT!"
Take one of the most beloved toylines of the 1980s, "update" it to cash in on the Rob Liefeld craze of the 1990s, add several mind-altering drugs and puree the whole. You'll get G.I. Joe Extreme in a nutshell.
Another attempt at reviving the moribund G.I. Joe franchise after a quaint end of the original run and a failed spinoff (Sgt. Savage and His Screaming Eagles), the Extreme toyline was supported by both a 26-episode cartoon series (1995-1997) and a short-lived comic published by Dark Horse. However, due to a lack of ties to the older G.I. Joe series and the quality of both the toyline and its fictional supports, it failed and is mostly ignored by fans of the rest of the G.I. Joe universe.
Set in the far future of 2006, a terrorist organisation called S.K.A.R. led by the masked dictator Iron Klaw is emerging and threatening the Inter-Alliance. In response, a new G.I. Joe team is formed to counter the threat. However, they don't know that Iron Klaw disguises himself as Count Von Raini, the leader of a small European country that is part of the Inter-Alliance. Both the comics and the cartoons use the same basic set-up, but go in a different direction.
Though it wasn't especially successful or well liked, Extreme still has something of a lasting impact on the wider G.I. Joe universe. Some of its characters are referenced in Sigma Six and the concept of an effective, less silly Big Bad was adopted by the subsequent series.
G.I. Joe Extreme provides examples of:
- Action Girl: Mayday.
- Aerith and Bob: The intro has the characters shouting their fairly typical codenames (Quickstryke, Black Dragon) ... but one of them says Melvin. Even weirder is that the guy who says it is called "Metal Head" in the actual episodes.
- Given how close the sounds are, this may actually be a Mondegreen instead.
- And Knowing Is Half the Battle: The first season had "remakes" of the PSA of the old cartoon, complete with the infamous phrase.
- Big Bad: Iron Klaw.
- Bruce Wayne Held Hostage: Inverted, with Iron Klaw held hostage when Rampage attacked Von Raini's house during a party unauthourized. The Joes have to save him and the other guests, and he has to keep changing between himself and his alter ego to stay on top of the situation. The episode ends with a reporter discovering his secret identity and telling it to the Joes, which sets up for the season finale.
- Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: Lt. Stone and Sgt. Savage.
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Inferno is an important character in the first season but he doesn't appear at all in the second.
- Conspicuous CG: The live-action intros are full of this.
- Darker and Edgier: Or at least, attempted to be.
- The End - or Is It?: In the final episode of the first season, Lt. Stone has a battle with Iron Klaw and apparently kills him by throwing him into an explosion. Then Clancy appears and asks whether everything is all right, while Iron Klaw's mask is superimposed over his face.
- Enemy Mine: A variation is used in "To Extend An Helping Klaw". Iron Klaw is po'ed that Rampage disobeyed his order to not attack the Inter-Alliance meeting (and almost blew his disguise as Count Von Raini doing so) so he tell the G.I Joe team where his secret lab is located.
- Expository Theme Tune
- Expy: Most of the Joes are this one way or another, but it's especially noticeable with Lt. Stone, who is pretty much a more muscular Duke.
- To say nothing of Black Dragon, who's basically a more talkative and personable version of Snake Eyes. A much, much more talkative version.
- Genius Bruiser: Despite his appearance, Wreckage is actually quite cultivated and intelligent.
- Freudian Excuse: Inferno was bullied by two rich kids when he was a child.
- Hey, It's That Voice!: Lt. Stone's voice is identical to Optimus Primal. They're both voiced by Gary Chalk.
- Human Popsicle: Sgt. Savage, and in one episode, a (fictitious) general of Genghis Khan.
- Large Ham: Rampage, though Iron Klaw isn't bad either.
- Ham-to-Ham Combat: The beginning of the episode "Extend a Helping Klaw" has them arguing.
- Mecha-Mooks: The Zaps and Skyrenes.
- Mole in Charge: At least one season ended with Iron Klaw masquerading as the military official in charge of G.I. Joe itself.
- Musical Assassin: Metalhead has a gun that plays rock music as a weapon. It blows up the Mecha-Mooks with ease.
- Narm: The live-action intro of Episode 13.
- Ninja: Black Dragon.
- The Power of Rock: As noted above, Metalhead.
- Put on a Bus: Rampage is captured at the start of the second season.
- Qurac: The vague country of Kalistan, though not a lot of it is shown.
- The Smurfette Principle: Mayday is the only major female character in the first season. The second season adds Steel Raven, who is The Dragon to Iron Klaw.
- Toyless Toyline Character: A Mayday action figure was planned, but the toy line was canceled before it could be released.
- The Starscream: Rampage.
- Status Quo Is God: A rare Western aversion, the Status Quo is change at the end of the first season and many episodes of the second season have continuity between them.
- Swiss Bank Account: In one episode, Rampage mentions he'll transfer the money he got from a deal to his Swiss bank account.
- Title Theme Tune: The title sequence is basically the News Monopoly montage quoted above and GI JOE EXTREME!
- Tragic Monster: Wreckage, who's a downed Vietnam soldier turned into an hulking cyborg by Iron Klaw, and tricked into thinking that the Inter-Alliance is responsible for what happened to him.
- Totally Radical: As the theme song put it, this show is EXTREEEEEEEME.
- This show is so extreme, that "Extreme" called itself out in the roll call in the show's intro.
The comic book provides examples of:
- Cut Short: The last issue introduced a new plotline, but the comic was cancelled just after.
- Enemy Mine: S.K.A.R. and the G.I. Joe band together to destroy an activist group that wants to incriminate both.
- Mauve Shirt: Two members of the Joe team not seen anywhere else are killed in the first issue.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: Apparently, S.K.A.R stand for "Soldier for Kaos, Anarchy and Ruin".
The toyline provides examples of
- Freud Was Right: This essay argue that the toys promote "ideological mechanism inscribed by a hypermasculine sign system. One of the argument provided is that the missiles coming with the toys looks like "circumcised erect male penis".
- Rated "M" for Manly