Monday, July 30, 2012

Daytime Heroes: Rambo (1986)

Figure this one out, if you can.

David Morrell's Vietnam veteran turned anti-hero, John Rambo, transitioned into a kid-friendly-for-the-purpose-of-selling-toys cartoon hero in a short-lived syndicated series from Ruby-Spears which first started as a 1-week, 5-part miniseries in the winter of 1986. Rambo then graduated to an "ongoing" series that fall, but lasted just the one season, with the last original episodes airing before Christmas.

Rambo (Neil Ross) still answers to General Trautman (Alan Oppenheimer), but now has a support team that includes a mistress of disguise, Kat, and a mechanical whiz, Turbo (James Avery, ex-Hulk Hogan's Rock & Wrestling), among others, characters that were created for a toy line. No surprise there, eh?

Considering it was from Ruby-Spears, it should come as no shock, then, that the creative personnel on the show included comics veterans Gil Kane and Jack Kirby, who were on staff at R-S at the time.

Rambo's Force of Freedom team fought daily against the machinations of General Warhawk (Michael Ansara), whose very name implied his intentions. To me, he was a perennial loser who should've taken his medicine like a man, if you get my drift.

Anyway, here's the series opener, "First Strike":

Lionsgate now owns the rights to the series, which has been released on DVD in volume format, which might not be so bad.

Rating: B.


magicdog said...

I remember this series. I didn't watch regularly but I was curious as to how Sylvester Stallone's character would be portrayed in a kid's toon.

It reminded me of "GI Joe" or any other "military team" type of show.

It wasn't bad, but not particularly memorable for me.

hobbyfan said...

The GI Joe reference is accurate, Magicdog, because that was the whole idea. Ruby-Spears wanted their own version of GI Joe, but this just didn't have the staying power.