Like the Pyramids of Darkness, this mini-series pushed things a lot further into the science fiction realm, but I still found it fairly enjoyable. Granted, it was probably the one I liked the least of the 4 mini-series, but it still had it’s share of moments. I’ve never been a Sgt. Slaughter fan, I really disliked how the cartoon portrayed Serpentor, and the second season altogether just didn’t work well for me. In spite of that, though, I have to appreciate the mini-series itself, and there are a few great moments I want to talk about.
5: On the brink of victory, Serpentor has made himself at home in Washington, demanding the unconditional surrender of the American political class. And it would appear he is getting his wish…
Why I like it: As somewhat silly as it is that Serpentor can just sort of march in and take over Washington, DC, I kind of dig the Joe’s undercover mission and the firefight that ensues. We get Vipers, B.A.T.s, Leatherneck and Wet Suit, lots of firefighting. Nothing really over the top, but it sort of signified the downfall of COBRA in the mini-series.
4: In the jungle, neal Montezuma’s Tomb, the Joes are searching for COBRA, but Zartan and the Dreadnoks are one step ahead of them.
Why I like it: I love Zartan and Zandar, and they’re both featured here pretty heavily. I’m also a huge Recondo, Low Light, and general jungle operations fan, and this is almost the perfect storm. Some really cool characters, some good battle, and it features the infamous “skeleton” that we got in the DVD set.
3: We get a brief rundown during the opening of this fourth mini-series and introduced to a lot of characters. Beachhead, and the Joe leadership team walks the firing range and comments on how the Joes are performing.
Why I like it: We get an early look at Beachhead’s attitude problem (as well as a rundown of the G.I. Joe command structure), and we see the Leatherneck/Wet Suit relationship featured briefly as well. Hawk is obviously the man in charge and it’s always cool seeing all the new recruits.
2: Following closely after the introductions, COBRA launches their attack with their new Battle Android Troopers. Just when all seems lost, a “one man wrecking crew” arrives just in time to save the day.
Why I like it: This one was a tough call, considering I’ve never been a huge fan of Sgt. Slaughter, especially how he was portrayed as almost being superhuman. The fact that he can single handedly dismantle dozens of B.A.T.s while the entire Joe team was struggling against them just seemed a bit far-fetched. Still, you cannot argue the impact of Slaughter on the G.I. Joe mythos back then, and you have to give him some props, considering how important he was to the brand for a few critical years. Plus, I figured the introduction of the B.A.T.s deserved some screen time.
1: Serpentor has been born, and has a declaration for COBRA…and the World.
Why I like it: This is the culmination of the entire mini-series…Serpentor has arrived! I still remember how fired up I was as a kid when Serpentor finally made his first dramatic appearence. It was VERY cool. Of course, after the fourteen-thousandth time he said “This I Command!” things got a bit old, but at this point Serpentor was the MAN, and the way he finally appeared was done extremely well. Somewhat eerie, very dramatic, and the way he pushes Slaughter around was great.
As I said Arise, Serpentor, Arise was not my favorite mini-series, but it had its share of cool moments and there are characters that are pretty immortal within the G.I. Joe universe. Serpentor got really old really fast (at least in my opinion) but he started out very cool, and this is where the character dynamic really started firing in. From Leatherneck, Wet Suit, pacifist Lifeline, Low Light, Dial Tone, Cross Country, Beachhead, and many others, it seemed as if the characters really were given life in this series (and season), which is always good.
The action was a bit off compared to some earlier series, but it had it’s own “personality” that made it pretty fun regardless.