Its only 30-minute animated special titled "Old Soldiers Never Die" starring Robert Savage, a World War II soldier given superhuman abilities and awakened in modern times to fight alongside the Joes. Hawk puts Savage in charge of an undisciplined unit known as the "Screaming Eagles" that the Sergeant turns into an useful squad, but then Savage finds out that scientist Garret Stromm actually is his traitorous WWII second-in-command, Garrison "Blitz" Krieger.
A corresponding toyline (with figures in the 4.5" scale rather than the traditional 3.75" scale) was made by Hasbro, but very short-lived. Sgt. Savage was the last G.I Joe line to have the involvement of Kirk Bozigian, who had worked on the franchise since the inception of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero in 1982.
After Sgt. Savage's cancellation, the Sarge himself was made a core character on G.I. Joe Extreme, and both its tie-in cartoon and comic had installments dealing with Savage's past with the IRON army. Additionally, some of the G.I. Joe's franchises' crossovers with Transformers have made reference to some of the concepts from Sgt. Savage, including certain characters featured in Revolutionaries, a part of the new Hasbro Comic Universe.
Sgt. Savage and His Screaming Tropes:
- Action Figure File Card: As noted below, sometimes they provide more information on the characters than the animated episode.
- Awesome Mc Coolname: Robert S. Savage.
- Break Out the Museum Piece: Some of the Screaming Eagles' vehicles (among them the Sarge's Warhawk and the "Blitz" tank) were reactivated World War II vehicles with an additional amount of Retro Upgrade (like giving a Sherman Tank (the aforementioned Blitz) a plasma cannon as a main gun).
- The Cameo: While Hawk and Lady Jaye have recurring roles throughout the episode, Doc and Cobra Commander’s appearances amount to this.
- Captain Ersatz: More like Sergeant Expy, considering how much Savage's Origin Story takes from Captain America. Sgt. Savage's profile in Hasbro Heroes Sourcebook 3 makes a meta-joke about it by adding new details to his backstory ripped off from Captain America: The First Avenger.
- Cool Bike: One of the figures, Urban Assault Dynamite, comes packaged with a "Speed Burnin' Attack Cycle!"
- Cool Plane: The P-40 Warhawk. Already awesome because of being a World War II plane, the toy line gave it a Retro Upgrade with full-blown self-piloting autopilot, VTOL capabilities and on the toy proper a ginormous Gatling Gun underneath its nose.
- Flat Character: Due to being a single episode, most of the Screaming Eagles get no characterization, with the exceptions of Mouse who gets a bit of focus, and D-Day and Dynamite who got toys and therefore filecards,
- Fun with Acronyms: IRON stands for International Robotic Operations Network.
- Gatling Good: Savage uses a gatling gun during the war and in the battle against Krieger.
- Human Popsicle: Sgt Savage is found cryogenically frozen.
- Karma Houdini: Krieger doesn't get his comeuppance at the end of the special, since it was intended to be the start of a series. At least his plan was stopped.
- Mecha-Mooks: The IRON Stormtroopers.
- Merchandise-Driven: In this case, the episode came packaged with one of the Sgt. Savage figures, but still served as advertising for the other figures and accessories.
- Putting on the Reich: Krieger’s uniform as General Blitz gives vibes of this, which is not surprising since he aided the Nazis during the war.
- Sergeant Rock: Savage, of course. When the Eagles slack around, he tears their basketball with his bare hands, but when they learn to behave, he becomes nicer towards them.
- Shout-Out: Savage compares his situation to Buck Rogers, and the series name is one to Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos.
- Stupid Jetpack Hitler: In this version of the story, the Nazis were working on genetic and cybernetic enhancements.
- Super Soldier: Savage is a variation since his strength comes and goes.
- Toyless Toyline Character: Due to the short life of the toyline, a few Screaming Eagles were unreleased as figures.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Krieger under his Garret Stromm identity.
- World of Muscle Men: All the male characters are muscular, even Doc.
- You Don't Look Like You: Of the four “old” characters appearing, Lady Jaye is the most different to her conventional design, appearing here as a blonde with a bobcut.