Just off the Hub media event yesterday, ToyFare #159 hit comic shops and featured a very cool and in depth interview with Hasbro Studios president Steven Davis, who spent some time talking about G.I. Joe: Renegades and Transformers: Prime.
Featured in the article is also some of the character art we’ve seen before, but in some better quality. There are some interesting topics brought up, though not much in the way of revolutionary information. Some of the quotes I found most intriguing were:
“We really look at what the DNA of the characters are, that allowed them to become what we now know as “the Joes”. So it’s very much a hero’s journey, very much about teamwork. It’s a very accessible show; there’s a lot in there for kids, for adults like myself who grew up with it, for fanboys.”
This focus on characters is great, I think. While I’m right in line with the other older fans who loved Resolute, you can’t argue that the character depth was shallow to be kind, and at least with Renegades, some thought and effort is being put into what really makes these characters tick. Without the characters, these are just guys in fatigues shooting at each other.
“…we introduced a number of new characters to the Joe team, which allows us to explore lots of different personalities [and] motivations. And the idea is that this is a group of heroes who have been wrongly accused of something, they’re on the run from Cobra, but they’re trying to expose the wrongs of Cobra while at the same time clearing their name.”
I’ve heard so many complaints about the parallels with the “A-Team” but personally, I’m willing to give the cartoon a shot before just casting it off. Throughout the three decade history of G.I. Joe, they’ve been on the run from the law a number of times, I can see it happening, and I think it makes for great entertainment, and a good re-introduction to the G.I. Joe mythos.
“I think that you will find there are a number of surprises, both in terms of characters and the storylines, as well as what actually propels them forward. And we’ve really tried to keep it exciting and interesting and on the edge of your seat. And we’ve planted some pretty cool plot twists. And although each of the stories are closed in, there is a continuing B-story throughout the series which allows us to offer up some pretty cool twists and turns…”
So, yes. The character designs are not hard-edged military as many of us 30-something fans would like to see. Yes, this “origin” story is a pretty different backstory than what we’re used to. But it already appears to me that they’re putting a strong focus on quality storytelling, which to me, is far more important than what the character is wearing and whether they are seven-and-a-half heads tall like they’re supposed to be. I can forgive bullets for lasers if the character depth and story keeps me captivated. I’m keeping an open mind, and I cannot wait to see what happens.
Big thanks to Jeff Bohn for directing me to this information, and if you want to read more, pickup ToyFare #159 on store shelves today!