G.I. Joe Renegades

Vincent   October 18, 2010   20 Comments on G.I. Joe Renegades

For those not in the know, there’s going to be a new G.I. Joe cartoon called G.I. Joe Renegades. Unlike the awesome G.I. Joe Resolute, which was aimed at an older crowd, Renegades looks like it’s meant for kids. That doesn’t mean we can’t judge it as 20 to 30 something year old geeks and dweebs! Our friend Chris Piers of Television Zombies requested my judgment on the character designs of G.I. Joe Renegades, so here we go!

Snake Eyes

newsnakeeyesgijoehubcartoon1Just look at them pants. I’ve always thought that a ninja/commando like Snake Eyes would do his job better if he looked like an English fox hunter.



You don’t often see really fat guys in the military.


This just pisses me off. The only reason why this Ripcord is a black dude is because of G.I. Joe:  Rise of Cobra, the shitty live action G.I. Joe movie. This is just a reminder of the terrible Ripord from that abortion. The Wesley Snipes haircut from Demolition Man, I can’t explain.

Scarlettnewscarlettgijoehubcartoon1What is up with Scarlett’s eyes? Is she supposed to be Asian?


I can’t imagine that I’m saying this, but Flint here is pretty good. The only negative is the pants that have pockets next to the ankles. How impractical and highly annoying. “Hang on, I have to reach down my shoes to get my keys.”

Tunnel Rat

newtunnelratgijoehubcartoon1It’s incredibly disappointing that Tunnel Rat’s defining characteristics is that he stinks. Maybe it’s because I have a little reverence for Tunnel Rat because his original likeness is based on the the father of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Larry Hama. Tunnel Rat is  also one of the few Asians in G.I. Joe (or in a lot of media) that doesn’t know martial arts. It’s a refreshing change. But instead of making a positive Asian character in Renegades, he smells like shit. That’s awesome.


Duke’s not that bad, except for the Fox Racing haircut, the super squinty eyes for no reason, and the boot treads that are impractically huge.

Lady Jaye

newladyjayegijoehubcartoon1I have an unnatural crush on Lady Jaye, so it’s nice to see her on this show, yet she’s another character that’s got a case of huge pantsitus.

General Abernathynewgeneralhawkgeneralabernathygijoehubcartoon1

This is a joke right? That horrifically ugly face and stupid tiny hat do not a cool character make. It is also troublesome that it’s General Abernathy and not Hawk. I also hate that ever since Hawk got hurt in the comics, he then had to become partially disabled in the film, so now he’s got a cane in the cartoons.

Storm Shadow

newstormshadowgijoehubcartoon1The problem with ninjas is that you can’t see their face. They’re too mysterious!

Cobra Commander

newcobracommandergijoehubcartoon1Is Cobra Commander’s head stuck in a pipe? Is this supposed to be a cool spin on Cobra Commander’s classic look? I have to ask, because it’s not really working for me.

The Baroness


Not entirely terrible. Though I do wonder why her skin is so pale.


Not bad, not bad at all. I kind of like the metal hinged jaw, which would make a little  more sense than a solid metal face that somehow allows him to talk and eat and make facial expressions.

Dr. Mindbendernewdrmindbendergijoehubcartoon1

Now I know there’s a lot of haters of the crazy ass look of the original Dr. Mindbender, but what the fuck is going on with these boots? It’s hard to believe that the defining visual characteristic is oversize work boots. It’s like they weren’t even trying.

  • Interesting takes on the visuals, Captain Robots PJs. Did you read their descriptions, though? There’s a LOT of big changes to each of those character’s stories. For instance, Gen. Abernathy and Flint are the only actual U.S. military and they’re tasked with hunting down the Joes because the Joes are… renegades!

  • So far I haven’t been impressed with the character designs and art style of Renegades. Granted I haven’t seen it in motion yet (except for that 2 second clip in the Hub preview fluff video) so it could look better when things are actually moving. Standing still however, these character designs are mostly pretty damn terrible. It looks like Hasbro was using their D-grade artists for this. I do like the Destro though; it’s a nice little change. And at least Lady Jaye and Flint look somewhat normal, compared to the rest of the characters.

  • Wow, I thought the early artwork looked like turds, but I assumed it would get better.

    I was wrong. This looks like the worst incarnation of GI Joe yet.

    The Sigma Six designs were generally pretty bad, but you could see that they at least we doing their own thing. This just reeks of generic and bad.

    So maybe once this show bombs, Hasbro will try to do a GI Joe that is something, even remotely like the only GI Joe that’s ever been a hit and people keep asking for?

  • I SO want to curse, but I can’t my kid and stepdad is in the next room. Flint & Lady Jaye are the best looking ones out of this. That’s the only good thing I can say. Everything else looks like a piece of crap the neighborhood cat left in my yard and I went cooked on the grill for my brother’s dog only to have that said dog to throw it up in my dead ex girlfriend’s decomposed face.

  • MFJayman

    Check out the Images section on the Hub site, they show some stills from the show itself which actually look quite a bit better than these character images. The faces in particular look better, IMO. If you recall, the 80s show came out years after the ARAH toy line appeared, and was in large part an elaborate commercial for the toys. Hey, I loved it as a kid, but really, a lot of ridiculous characters and story lines appeared on that show. Its high time that they provide some real character development, and by focusing on a core cast of characters with contrasting personalities, Renegades seems to be intent on doing this. I also read that they want many of the characters to appear young, like new recruits, allowing them to age, develop (physically and psychologically), and basically fill out their baggy pants, as the show goes on. If that’s true, much of their looks makes much better sense. Anyway, check out the show’s stills on the Hub site, I think your vehemence for the artwork will be at least somewhat reduced.

  • jeff johnson

    While I disagree with all most everything you say about the designs I think your points would probably be best illustrated by illustrations of your own. Clement Suave is a great artist and along with the rest of the design crew, was asked to design a G.I. Joe team that had all the same names but were actually all different characters. You seem to have a lot of opinions about how that job was accomplished but I don’t really see how you would have done it any better. And besides, the still character designs are not the actual show and anyone who’s opinion had any merit would know that. I didn’t work on Joe myself but I’ve worked on several other action cartoons including, Spectacular Spider-man, Avengers and Brave and the Bold and I’m pretty tired of people on the internet telling hard working artist that they suck without an iota of consideration or understanding for the conditions they create that work under. Lamarthervenger can turn a pretty nice insulting phrase but I doubt he can draw his way out of a paper bag and I bet the last artistic thing he did was to color code his comics and redecorate his room in his mother’s basement.

  • Hey Jeff, thanks for the comment. First of all, you lose the argument for using a cliche like “in your mom’s basement.” Come on, how many nerds actually live in their mothers’ basements? If you’re going to insult other readers, please bring your A game. I don’t go for that bush league kind of insult.

    Secondly, by that retarded logic one could never criticize anything he or she didn’t make themselves. Books, movies, television shows, your mom’s apple pie, most people wouldn’t be allowed to have an opinion on anything that they can’t make for themselves. That is one of the cheapest and false arguments ever constructed.

    I’m sure the artist is a nice person. I’m sure he meant well and I’m sure he works very hard. Great. I don’t like it. Someone ASKED ME TO COMMENT ON IT, so I did. I commented on what was presented, not what struggles the artist had to go through, what they had to deal with from a studio, or why he drew such huge fucking pants. I didn’t say he was a bad person or insult his family, I basically just said I didn’t like these designs and why.

    Finally, I actually praise stuff all the time and try to refrain from dumping on things I haven’t seen or read. I hate whiny nerds. On the other hand, I’m not going to say that I like something when I don’t.

    I’m sure you do great work Jeff. I love Brave and the Bold. I’m sorry that this is your exposure to the site.

  • Keith

    I’m surprised that Jeff didn’t expect visceral responses to changing characters that people have a deep connection with.

    also this quote, “..and anyone who’s opinion had any merit..”, those people are also called ‘your audience’.

  • Jerry Whitworth

    Well put, Vincent. Could have not said it better. Simply put, most of this show looks terrible. If you want good character designs, just look at Specatacular Spider-Man. Simple, elegant, stays true to its origins. Renegades screams of a cheaply assembled money grab at the live action film in an attempt to sell more action figures. Resolute, despite certain liberties I take issue with in the story, looked fantastic and had an involving story. Renegades is down in the mud with Sigma 6, imho.

  • I would also like to know why most of the characters have such huge pants (or maybe it’s really tiny ankles). If the still character designs are not the actual show then maybe stills that are the actual show should have been presented, no? There are plenty of other shots of them that would have made better promo material. Well, the characters do look like the above designs because the art/animation in the show is very inconsistent at times. Sometimes it looks great, other times it’s very amateur looking. Here’s an example for inconsistency: I’ve seen every episode and I still can’t figure out if Scarlett is supposed to be Asian or part-Asian or not.

    I’ve watched every previous GI Joe cartoon, read all the comics, and collect many of the figures. I’ve been a fan of GI Joe nearly my entire life, so I hope that somehow gives me merit for an opinion on anything GI Joe related.

    That said, I thought I was going to hate the show, but I’m actually enjoying it. I’ve gotten used to most of the character designs, but there are a few (Cobra Commander, Storm Shadow’s weird face mask, Dr. Mindbender, and General Abernathy) that are still and will remain atrocious.

    I also enjoy Brave and the Bold. Does Jeff work on the new Avengers cartoon on Disney? That show is pretty great, too, so “good job” if Jeff does. I hope his working conditions don’t involve being whipped by a giant one-eyed rat with a peg-leg, but it would be easier to understand his anger if it did.

  • Why is Snake Eyes wearing Hammer Pants? Can U not touch him?

  • I really dig the Renegades designs, baggy pants and all, and I love the series. The creators are obviously committed to character development and quality, arc-based storytelling, even within stand-alone episodes. That’s far more important to me than whether or not I approve of the JOEs’ fashion choices.

  • jeff johnson

    I agree with your everyone’s right to their own opinion, including my right to have an opinion about someone’s opinion. Many “fans” feel that they have the right to demean and insult the art and the artist just because they have a relationship to the fictional character or the beloved property in question. But that’s insane. Separating the creation from the creator like that is one of the reasons most artist end up in a paupers grave. If you don’t like the work don’t buy the work. If you think the art should have been done differently then do it differently. But going online and comparing something to puke thrown on a corpse is cowardly and rude. And while my comment about lamartherevenger was sadly cliche’, I only made in regards to him, not to everyone, and then only after following his link to is own page which clearly shows him living underground.

    Everyone seems to like G.I.Joe Resolute, which I happened to work designing some characters and doing turns over others. But do you see any toys from that cartoon? No? Did most people watch it on-line instead of buying the DVD? Yes? So even though it was a critical success it made no money. And since it made no money Hasbro decided to go in a totally different direction and so you get a Joe show that is totally aimed at kids. Who by the seem to like the new show and will probably buy the toys in just the same way we all did as kids. So if fans don’t like the new show or the new designs then they have no one to blame but themselves.

    But in all honesty, your critiques of the designs aren’t completely off base and your opinion has merit in regards to what you like or don’t like. My main objections was to some of the comments made after your critiques. And my biggest beef is how nonchalantly some “fans” slander the artist and their work without having any understanding of how that art is created. I’m not being a tree hugging hippy when I say if you like something that an artist has created then you are probably liking something about that artist and if you dislike something an artist has done then you are probably disliking something about that artist. These characters don’t exist in a vacuum and they didn’t exist before someone put pencil to paper.

    So sure, everyone is entitled to their opinion whether they know what they are talking about or not. That is the beauty of the first amendment. And the internet allows everyone to spout whatever uninformed, uneducated and insensitive crap they feel like without fear of reprisal.

    But just for the record. None of us are rich. We work ridiculously long hours to bring shows to air on time and often there is a giant one-eyed rat with a peg-leg hitting us with the proverbial whip.

  • Hey Jeff, thanks for coming back. I understand what you’re saying.

    I try to run a more positive blog than other ones that are our there. Mostly because I love things that most other people crap on. There’s too many sites that will shit on anything and everything as a knee jerk reaction. I hope that this post didn’t make you think that I’m one of those people. Like I said before though, if I don’t like something I will say something about it. Unfortunately I do realize there’s someone on the other end who made that work and probably meant well. And I also realize that while it might not be more me, if others like it good for them!

    And to be fair, there were Resolute toys. I thought that Resolute wasn’t kept going was that it was hard to sustain a G.I. Joe cartoon universe were beloved characters would die. I mean, how would they keep it going with a dead Storm Shadow? Sorry, but I am a huge nerd after all.

  • I haven’t seen Renegades yet, but I would like to. I dig the new designs. They’re not the GI Joe of my childhood, but I like that.

    In the same vein, the Transformers: Prime designs I was not too crazy about at first, but after watching the 5-part miniseries they grew on me. I don’t know if I’ll be a regular viewer of the show, but its an interesting take on the bots.

  • Kam Beezy

    I enjoyed this blog tremendously. Jeff came and vented but our opinion is our opinion. If it hurts then get out of the business. Don’t look at sites like this. We love GI Joe and to see revamped characters who do not resemble what we are familiar with we will give NEGATIVE feedback unless the character is done right. I actually like the designs more than Vince but there are some issues with a few. Will I take into consideration what a designer goes through while designing said characters? Unless its under the character bio in a few sentences then absolutely not. Who would. I’m sure YOU didn’t care about the deadline the crew was up against when they came out with Rise of Cobra. Awful is awful take it for what it is and move on….

    I actually like the show so far. The character development is great. I don’t know why Ripcord is nicknaming everybody but who cares.

  • FryShyGuy

    I’m amused that only a year later, this article is irrelevant because

    1) The show’s dead, dead, dead and

    2) So’s the character designer.

    Me, I liked the new look, but ymmv.

  • montewilliams

    Forgive me if you posted something and I missed it, but…

    Did you end up watching the show? I’d be curious to hear your thoughts. I for one thought it was much better than Resolute.

  • RobotsPJs

    Nope! Never saw it. Thought about it. Then didn’t.

  • montewilliams

    It’s worth a look, man. Kid-friendly but intelligent, with TONS of clever easter eggs for old-school fans.

    Here’s an essay I wrote about it:


    It’s on Netflix Watch It Now.