Some tasty tidbits from What’s on Joe Mind interview of Jason Marsden

Folks who follow myself or the rest of the What’s on Joe Mind crew on Twitter discovered last night that we had a very cool guest during that recording.  We had a chance to speak with Jason Marsden, who is none other than Duke in G.I. Joe: Renegades!

To say this was a pleasure for me would be a drastic understatement, and as Gary deals with the editing process there were some neat details that I wanted to reveal to some folks, just because I think they’re cool talking points, and also because they add some interesting insight.

First and foremost, Jason Marsden actually found out that G.I. Joe: Renegades would be going on “hiatus” before the show even began airing.  This is pretty stunning to me, and is a perfect example of the mismanagement of this property on Hasbro’s part.  Mr. Marsden did confirm that the show was pulled in order to bring something more in line with the G.I. Joe: Retaliation film, and he actually sited Duke’s “removal” as a component of that.  Is this confirmation of Duke’s death in the film?  Not necessarily, but an interesting point of discussion.

Marsden also revealed that G.I. Joe: Renegades actually had terrific ratings and it was one of The Hub’s top rated shows during it’s run.  He suspects that they weren’t sure it would be so well-received, but by the time it began receiving critical and audience acclaim, the ship had sailed.  He believes there are still some very strong supporters of G.I. Joe: Renegades at The Hub who are fighting to bring it back in some form, but wasn’t sure where it stood currently, and he hadn’t heard anything specific about it.

One of the coolest things he did share with us was that he had read some early stuff about Season 2, and apparently Duke was going to go to “a pretty dark place”, and seemed to have a personal vendetta against Cobra Commander.  This sounds like an awesome twist, and only served to make me more depressed that we’ve seen all of what we’re likely to see from the series.

For the record, he was lukewarm on the treatment of Duke from Channing Tatum in the Rise of Cobra film, but he is extremely excited to see G.I. Joe: Retaliation.  He immediately recognized the ties to the Renegades series and can understand (to a degree) what motivated Hasbro to rethink things a bit.

All things told, it was a fantastic interview.  I loved every minute of recording it, and I think you guys will love listening to it.  It should be posted later this week, so keep your eyes peeled here and at our Podbean Page to listen to the entire interview in it’s 60 minute glory.  You won’t be disappointed.

14 thoughts on “Some tasty tidbits from What’s on Joe Mind interview of Jason Marsden

  1. Damn. That dark turn for Duke sounds very intriguing.

    Here’s a question for you, Justin: ignoring which would be better for the brand and focusing instead only on what you personally get out of the two options, which would you prefer to have: Retaliation… or Season 2 of Renegades?

  2. I don’t understand the mentality that it’s an either/or situation between the cartoon and the movie. My kid is 6, no way can he go see the movie which will no doubt get a PG-13 rating again. But he loved the cartoon. Now that it isn’t on, he’s lost quite a bit of interest in GI Joe. He still plays with the toys we already have, but he doesn’t visit the GI Joe aisle when we go to the store. It’s LEGO, Matchbox/Hot Wheels, and Squinkies instead.

    When we were growing up, there was little in common between the Cartoon and the Comics… even today the comic isn’t the same as the Cartoon or the Movies. So why do the Cartoon (aimed at kids) and the movie (aimed at teens/adults) have to be in synch?

    This is why I’ve basically stopped collecting GI Joe as well. If I see Lifeline or Law and Order in a store I’ll pick them up, but I’ve already passed up on numerous other offerings that two years ago I would have purchased. Hasbro just does such a horrible job with the GI Joe property that collecting just isn’t worth the frustration any more. I found myself so mad at their decisions (case packs, cancelled waves, cancelled cartoons…), that I wasn’t enjoying the hobby any more.

  3. I like Renegades for what it is. But it just isn’t GI Joe to me. The whole A-Team riff is not what I want to see.

    I couldn’t even watch it while it was on… the art style was just so minimal it was disturbing to me. And I absolutely HATE what they did to so many of the character designs. The main cast look spretty good to me. But nearly all the guest characters they brought on are just so unrecognizable that I think they stepped way over the line. Thinking of characters like Zartan and Major Bludd. Just yuck. If the new designs were the slightest bit cool it would be more forgiveable… but they are not. They are incredibly boring and lame looking characters. (I should note I have only made it through the first 8 eps or so, have the rest on dvr and am working through them at a slow pace).

    I really hope they can find a way to bring it back a bit more to what I love about GI Joe. A government sponsered team fighting against a terrorist organization. Renegades just feel like mildly enjoyable stories that are distinctly not GI Joe, with a few familiar characters.

    That said, given the choice between more Renegades or no animated series at all, I would definitely want more. But it’s very hard to get behind it even 75%.

    As for the figures… I love them! They pretty much made only the characters that had nice character designs. And I thought they handled the style perfectly… they fit in well enough, but also look like their cartoon counterparts. Well done Hasbro!

  4. More specifically, Marvel has proven that a supplemental but unconnected animated series can thrive and maintain interest in the movie property with Avengers. Even more to the point, they’ve shown that similar but unconnected plots are synergistic.

  5. I’d like to have seen where they take the connection to the other series. After I downloaded the season and watched the making of featurette there seemed to be an intention, loose attempt to make this a “soft” prequel to other Joe animations. A lot of stuff doesn’t align, but there are threads like the development of a SnakeEyes/Scarlett/Duke triangle we saw in Resolute. It reminded me a great deal of Justice Leagues first season, which was written as if it was a different universe from B:TAS and S:TAS but with a framework that would allow them to reconnect them in Season 2, which they did.

  6. There are times where Hasbro makes some awesome decisions (Renegades) and times where I think there heads are where the sun doesn’t shine. In my opinion the Renegades Duke is the best Duke figure to date and the most interesting version of him. The possibility of a “darker” Duke only makes the character more interesting. The decided to shelve all of that to let the Rock prance around the screen. Not in the comics nor the toon was Roadblock ever a leader. Hawk, Duke, Flint and even Stalker were all seen as leaders in various media. My vote would definitely be for season 2 of Renegades.

  7. Chris I agree with you. As much as I love the Joe property in many ways it has been poorly handled. For the TF and SW fans out there, does this kind of crap happen to those properties?

  8. That’s such a tough question…ultimately? Probably Season 2. If only because it would potentially provide 13 hours of entertainment spread out over several weeks (or months) and could much more effectively build a new “world” for G.I. Joe.

    But as you said, that’s ignoring what it would do for the brand, etc… hell, if given my ultimate choice, I’d like to see Hasbro take the Sigma 6 concepts and put the effort into an animated series that Renegades got. I think that would be the best combination. Imagine the story and animation of G.I. Joe: Renegades with the design concepts and some of the plot elements of Sigma 6.

    Now THAT would be amazing.

  9. “Imagine the story and animation of G.I. Joe: Renegades with the design concepts and some of the plot elements of Sigma 6.”

    I think I just fainted.

  10. Please tell me you guys asked him about working with Suzanne “Thigh-master” Somers and Patrick “it was all a dream” Duffy.

  11. I’m disappointed to admit I didn’t make the Step by Step connection until post interview. Missed a golden opportunity there.

  12. I agree with you about Renegades. The A-Team rip-off and bland designs were a turn off. I mean, those Dreadnoks just sucked! It wasn’t even that fun, just kind of dour. I don’t know why the couldn’t have just made it GI Joe vs Cobra like it should have been.

  13. lol he looks the exact same as he was young when he smiles, i hope i look as good as him when i hit mid 35s

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