Western Animation: G.I. Joe: Resolute

"All games end today."

A Darker and Edgier G.I. Joe miniseries written by Warren Ellis and directed by Joaquim Dos Santos, G.I. Joe: Resolute was first released in 10 5-minute installments on the [adult swim] website before finally airing on the channel itself - along with the 10-minute finale - on April 26, 2009.

In Washington, DC, Major Bludd is found dead at the Lincoln Memorial, his corpse left there as a warning to would-be Cobra traitors. In Alaska, Destro and the Baroness seize control of the HAARP array, using it to superheat the ionosphere and disrupt global communications. Somewhere in the Pacific, the G.I. Joe aircraft carrier USS Flagg is nearly sunk due to a sabotage attempt by Storm Shadow. Meanwhile, at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, Cobra Commander addresses the delegates with an ultimatum: give Cobra control of the world within 24 hours or the organization will launch devastating attacks against civilian targets. As a show of force, the Commander has Moscow destroyed with a particle beam weapon, instantly killing 10 million people.

Struggling to recover from the attack on the Flagg, and with Snake Eyes leaving to fight Storm Shadow in Japan, the rest of the Joes launch a desperate counterattack, hoping to thwart Cobra's plans and defeat the terrorist group once and for all.

Made for an adult audience who grew up on the original TV cartoon, rather than the children the TV cartoon was aimed at, Resolute is notable for being far more violent and bloody than any GI Joe production preceding it, reflecting both the way the franchise had become in the comic books, and leading into the live-action films.


  • Animesque
  • A-Team Firing: Duke and Scarlett stand smack in the middle of a crossfire against 20 Cobras and don't get hit once.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Duke and Scarlett! In Siberia!
  • Bloodier and Gorier
  • Chewing the Scenery: Cobra Commander, as usual.
  • Darker and Edgier
    • In the original series, while GI Joe was always depicted as a paramilitary team made up of soldiers (i.e. trained killers), thanks to A-Team Firing and stringent broadcast standards, rarely if ever did the good guys ever kill anyone. In Resolute, Snake Eyes is at his most deadly, Scarlett mercilessly snipes Cobra men and Duke is seen stabbing someone to death. The later live action movie continued this trope.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Cobra Commander has clearly been watching all his old episodes and taking notes (he even lampshades this on several occasions). Fortunately, he still manages to be incredibly entertaining since, despite being significantly more murderous, he's still completely bonkers.
  • Deus ex Machina: Duke manages to figure out everything there is to figure out about Cobra's direct-energy weapon and reprogram it to fire on the Cobra base...in under 20 seconds, with plenty of spare time to get out of the Cobra base himself.
  • Cool Boat: The aircraft carrier USS Flagg serves as the Joes' base of operations. It's where they make their battle plans, analyse technical data, and launch the aircraft that take them to their missions. It gets destroyed by Cobra near the end.
  • Gender Flip: Communications Officer Dial-Tone is female in this continuity. (This would also be the case in the IDW comic series and the live action film series, which both began around the same time that Resolute was released.)
  • Guns Akimbo: Duke and Scarlett like to fight this way.
  • Growing with the Audience: Warren Ellis wrote this a Darker and Edgier treatment of G.I. Joe, which premiered as a Web Original series. While hardcore current fans did not really appreciate the changes, It did receive positive reviews from casual fans who had grown up with the series.
  • It's Personal: The duel between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow is thoroughly rooted in their shared history.
  • Just Between You and Me: When Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes meet for their final duel, Storm Shadow reveals that his supposed honor was really all just a fašade to screw with Snake Eyes, out of jealousy.
  • Kill 'em All: Arguably subverted in Resolute, which promised a high body count and by all means delivered on that promise...with Cobra. While a pretty good amount of known named Cobra characters were killed (some more gruesomely than others) the G.I Joe team was for the most part pretty much intact. The only named G.I. Joe character who was killed is Bazooka, who died offscreen and his corpse is perfectly clean and intact (while some of the Cobras can't quite say the same thing about their fatalities).
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Cobra Commander, vaporizing Moscow just to prove a point, addresses a cadre of Cobra goons. He states that his General Failure tendencies were all Obfuscating Stupidity, designed to make his subordinates think outside the box to become more competent...and to weed out traitors. Now that it no longer suits him, he's no longer going to tolerate disobedience or failure.
    Cobra Commander: Work with me, and I will give you the world in less than twenty-four hours. Work against me, and I will gut you like a fish, right here.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: See above. Apparently, Cobra Commander's inept, cowardly persona as seen in the past was all an act.
  • Out of Focus / The Cameo: A number of Joes and two Cobra members only appear very briefly. The story is much more interested in portraying Duke, Scarlet, Tunnel Rat, Roadblock, Snake Eyes, Cobra Commander, Storm Shadow, Destro, and the Baroness than it is in Firefly, Major Bludd, Bazooka, Flint, Wild Bill, Cover Girl, Lady Jaye, Shipwreck, Stalker, and Gung-Ho.
  • Pin-Pulling Teeth: Duke during the Russia infiltration mission.
  • Prove I Am Not Bluffing: Cobra Commander vaporizes Moscow and its ten million people to prove what his weapon can do and what he's willing to do with it.
  • Race Lift: Ripcord, just like anywhere else.
  • Red Shirt: The unnamed Joes that Tunnel Rat brings along on his aerial mission. All of them die.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: Snake Eyes pulls off a textbook example on an armed Cobra mook.
    • What the showdown between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow ultimately resulted in. Subversion - neither one of them fell down dead afterwards.
  • Subverted Kids Show: A rare example of this trope not being used to parody the genre.
  • Take Over the World: Cobra attempts to do this by bullying the United Nations into surrendering control of their countries. Cobra Commander comments he thinks this is a much better Evil Plan than just trying to raise lots of money.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Cobra Commander comes off a lot more sinister than he has in the past.
    • The GI Joe operatives, compared to their earlier TV counterparts, anyway.
  • The Stinger: Storm Shadow's body is missing...
  • Toyless Toyline Character: Only a few of the Resolute versions of the characters were made.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Most of the story follows four missions the Joes carry out concurrently. Snake Eyes hunts for Storm Shadow on Cobra Island, Duke and Scarlett infiltrate a secret base in Siberia (where they meet Zartan), Tunnel Rat and some Red Shirts attack Cobra's strattelites, and Roadblock leads a team of his fellow The Big Guy types in rescuing captured HAARP array scientists from Destro and the Baroness.
  • Trope Codifier: For pretty much all G.I. Joe fiction from 2009 onward. Ripcord and Dial-Tone are black and female respectively, Cobra Commander is a competent, utterly ruthless leader (Resolute is not the first continuity with a scary Commander, but it is what cemented that as his definite modern characterization), entire cities can be destroyed, the Joes are quite lethal even to named Cobra characters, and there's a definite focus on the characters who have proven to be the more popular ones in the franchise.
  • Villain Exit Stage Left: Subverted; the Commander does have a contingency plan in the form of a safe room complete with its own life support and power supply, and he is Hoist by His Own Petard via GIANT CITY-DESTROYING LASER, but the Joes do follow up on him. True, they didn't find anything, but A+ for effort.
  • Villainous Breakdown: As his plan starts coming apart right at the very end, Cobra Commander—already a lot Darker and Edgier than most known incarnations—begins raving furiously, killing his own soldiers just for giving him bad news (and using their blood to paint a Cobra insignia on a nearby door), and arming his Kill Sat to fire directly on Washington D.C.

Alternative Title(s):

GI Joe Resolute