Warren Ellis Talks Smartassedly About G.I. Joe Resolute

As you might recall, comics maestro Warren Ellis is writing the script for G.I. Joe Resolute, a determinedly PG-13 Joe cartoon aimed for older fans, which is mathematically nine kinds of awesome. Well, Ellis blogged about making Resolute on his website recently, and ENewsI was there to copy and paste it, and now I’m here to give you the highlights version:

It went like this. Sam Register phoned me up and said, we?d really like you to write a GI JOE animation, at a PG-13 rating, aimed at an older viewer. I said, I?ve never seen a GI JOE cartoon in my life. The closest I got to a GI JOE comic was drinking with Larry Hama. I?ve never even seen a GI JOE. Couldn?t tell you what they look like if you paid me. I know nothing about GI JOE. It is meaningless in my world.

Excellent, Sam said. Just the guy we need.

It was hard not to notice, at this point, that Sam Register is crazier than a shithouse rat. Therefore I decided to take the job.

I didn’t realize Register, the guy behind the awesome Teen Titans cartoon as well as Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi, was doing Resolute as well. That’s groovy. After realizing G.I. Joe was basically a carbon copy of his beloved Action Man, Ellis got excited for the job.

So my brief was to produce a non-tiny-child-oriented GI JOE. Which necessitated reading just a toxic amount of research, leading me to birth an odd, lumpy, normal-for-Norfolk-looking hybrid of the comic and the cartoon. The idea was, as I understand it, that bringing in a writer with absolutely no nostalgia for the property would give them the tone they were looking for. I think they were happy when I presented them with the initial list of characters I was going to just kill. And then the list of things I was going to blow up.

The people at Hasbro were actually remarkably supportive. And I did apologise after shouting at them those times. And they did give me one of those conversations that you never really expect to have when growing up:

HASBRO: No, Warren, you cannot wipe Beijing from the face of the earth.

ME: Sh*t. (pause) What about Moscow?

HASBRO: Wiping Moscow from the face of the earth would be fine.

Hee hee! Now, in case you were thinking Ellis was going to get his hands on G.I. Joe and not seriously fuck around with them, you could not be more wrong:

Two probably-beloved characters die in the first five minutes. Snake-Eyes gets to impale someone while traveling at a hundred miles an hour. Cobra Commander isn?t very funny any more. Although, really, given that his uniform includes wearing a bag over his head, there are limits to how unfunny he can be at any given time.

I’m trying to quantify how much more excited I am by Resolute than the live-action movie, but I’m having a rough time. I think it’s because I’m dealing with infinity.