Thanks to my friend over at 0takusphere, I was able to see quite a handful of G.I. Joe cartoons recently. Now I'm surprised I have the mental faculties enough to type. These shows were of varying qualities, but I could feel myself getting dumber with each passing minute of watching some of these shows.
I started off with the five part "Pyramid of Darkness" mini. This kicked off the first full season, but was the third story. It kicks off with the Joes launching a space shuttle carrying payload to their space station. I guess I can buy that. This episode predated the release of the space shuttle toy, by a couple years, but that's no excuse for Dusty, the Joes dessert specialist, to be the one who was flying the shuttle. So Cobra attacks, of course, but their plan is actually to just sneak the Dreadnoks on board with another special surprise. Zartan is already on board posing as a Joe character that doesn't exist. And no other Joe stops him and asks him who he is. Once the Joes hit the weightlessness of space, they realize their ship is a little heavy so they must have something on there they're not supposed to. They quickly determine which box it is and they discover little Gizmo-like characters in the box. Zartan changes out of his Joe outfit and blows a special whistle that turns the little creatures into FIRE-BREATHING MINOTAURS!!!
I wanted to stop right there. I didn't. It got worse. Shipwreck and Snake Eyes go on a mini-adventure together that calls for them to dress up (Snake Eyes in a dress), dance, and ride cows. Lady Jaye shows that she has magical arrows that can create air bubbles that prevent her and Flint from having their skin burned off by lava. Alpine shows that he can stop Cobra with magical yodeling powers. Quick Kick is introduced in, where else, the arctic wearing nothing but pants and a sash. Absolutely absurd.
We watched a few more single episodes including one nonsensical episode where Tomax and Xamot were buying up fast food joints for a Cobra plot. One fast food place was owned by Roadblock's uncle. Craziness ensued.
If that wasn't enough, I continued to torture myself by watching the second mini-series, G.I. Joe: The Revenge of Cobra. While not great, it was nowhere near as awful as "Pyramid of Darkness."
Does it withstand the test of time? No, the G.I. Joe cartoon does not hold up to the test of time. Even my four-year-old daughter would call out points in the show where things didn't make sense. Although, she enjoyed it a great deal in spite of that.