View Full Version : Sailor_Joe's (Unilateral) Review of Renegades Ep. 1-7

12-30-2010, 08:44 PM
The purpose of this is to give an overall review of the series up to Episode 7.

When Hasbro announced that they were producing a new animated series called Renegades featuring an essential pre-history of the Real American Heroes I was happy and excited. As a fan of the toys, cartoons, and comics from my childhood I was greatly disappointed by the live action movie that was released and anticipating with great endeavor what was to come in this evolution of the franchise. But as certain things leaked out to the public, my excitement had dwindled. I didn't like the idea of the Joes being "on the run" from government that they were supposed to be protecting. When the character profiles were released, there were things I liked and things I wish they wouldn't have messed with. But overall, my outlook was optimistic. I knew that the franchise needed to evolve and attract a new set of fans. And it is in this that will determine the success or failure of the series.

Animation -
The details are amazing and in all honesty, I'm glad that they didn't take the CGI route that they did with the debut of partner franchise Transformers. The background and effects create a scene around the characters, which is what this series is about. The character animations though, are not as visually appealing as I'd like.

Sure, they took the traditional route of Joe lore by keeping Duke's hair blonde and giving Tunnel Rat a bandanna but the faces seem scrunched together giving the Joes a constipated look most of the time. Another pet peeve with the character designs is the overly large feet. Apparently to be a "Joe" means having a size 14 boot size. Lastly, is that I noticed very little character shadowing. While the background and surrounding scenes are amazing. The character and vehicle seem to be just overlaying the background and giving it a very 2 dimensional feel.

Characters -
One of the things that I like about the Joe roster is it's diversity. You had a Joe for every type of job from any various part of the country. Tunnel Rat has a Brooklyn accent still and Scarlett is a combination of beauty and strength. The Baroness is still the sexy, tech-savvy liaison for Cobra and despite a complete character overhaul, Dr. Mindbender is still a maniacal mad professor of science. And while I can accept giving Scarlett a promotion from enlisted to commissioned officer in this story, I don't like that they took away Flint's enlisted-to-officer rank of Chief Warrant Officer and made him West Point graduate with the rank of Lieutenant.

Early talk sparked of the transitioning of the character profile of Lady Jaye. Now obviously of Hispanic descent, fans were afraid that this would impact her character role. I can honestly say that it did not. She's still the "tough chick" in the group who knows how to put her male counterparts in check. This includes Flint, whom she is tasked to aide despite her friendship with Duke and his team.

Story -
When I heard that the Joes were going to be on the run and essentially split into two groups, I didn't like it at all. And I still don't, but I think this is actually part of the big picture and not the complete story. Cobra is a large company with it's ties in just about ever facet of the American lifestyle. This includes the United States government and its facilities. When one of its members (Scarlett) goes on an all out campaign to expose Cobra's facade, it makes her and anybody she is involved with a suspect. She acted on her own and while the titling screams of "crimes they didn't commit" the reality is that they did commit crimes by going rouge. And only time will tell how long the Joes will be two separate factions.

On the surface, this sounds horrible to the fan. But for the sake of character development and story plot, I think that this is what is needed and is actually a good thing for the franchise. If you look at some of the most successful fan favorites of the original cartoon series, you'll see that the mini-series episodes are what most fans hold most dear to them. In Renegades, Hasbro is taking this concept further by building a show around the story rather than the other way around.

Overall -
While subtle introductions to characters like Major Bludd, Stalker (as Stalker 1), and Dr. Mindbender have been brief, I'd like to see more of them and other characters. Cameo appearances from characters like Clutch (who could have been driving Flint's Jeep) or Wild Bill piloting the transport helicopter are a nice detailed touch that will give the long-time fan a sense of attachment. I'd also like to see ALOT more vehicles. Because while I think the Coyote is an awesome vehicle, there's only so much you can do with an big ass SUV transport.

I realize the necessity of having a core group of characters. It helps sell toys and by pummeling regular faces down on the viewers, it builds a sense of familiarity. I enjoyed seeing Duke go on his own and while I feel the whole Ninja thing is completely played out, watching the Jinx side story was a nice detachment from the core story. These stories have me waiting in anticipation for the introduction of characters like Zartan and The Dreadnoks (which was leaked at SDCC 2010 were supposed to part of the Renegades lineup) or even the Crimson Twins and the Crimson Guard.

Overall, I enjoyed Renegades and for the flaws I see in it I can accept for the great storyline and direction this series is going. Episodes 1-7 were not great by any standard but palatable. I have my DVR set to record the episodes and watch them not because I'm a fan, but I want to find out what happens next.

12-30-2010, 10:27 PM
Glad you liked it, Man. Welcome back. I've been loving it so far.

12-31-2010, 05:54 AM
Wow. You noticed a lot of specifics about the animations... like lack of shadowing and big feet. LOL. Honestly... with how animation is these days... I'm just happy the Joes look relatively human shaped. LOL.

I'm glad they didn't go the Transformers Prime CGI route too, because that might work for robots, but for fast human animation like SE fighting SS; I doubt it would look as nice as with a more traditional animation format.

As for me... I don't really think about Renegades too much... I just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show for what it is.

I have my DVR set to record the episodes and watch them not because I'm a fan, but I want to find out what happens next.
I think that is good enough for Hasbro... they'll take it. LOL.