Rated: Not Rated
$19.95 (DVD only)
Available December 6
Grade: 2 stars (out of 4)
Out of the ’80s comes this latest animated release from the Warner Archive collection featuring the manly and technologically enhanced (but not cybernetic) trio of Max Ray, Jake Rockwell, and Ace McCloud. When these gents need a super-heroic dose of pep in short order, they yell “Power extreme!” And then big things happen. Which is to say, high-tech, butt-whooping, robotic equipment is teleported to and onto them, changing them into a wide variety of weaponry and/or transportation.
The concept behind this five-episode 1986 series seems perfect for a line of action figures and for appeal to kids, especially those who like their imaginary games with lots of sci-fi, slam-bang, action hoo-rah. The cartoon is very ’80s Saturday morning, very cheesy, and likely entertaining to adolescents and those adults who remember watching it years ago.
What to watch for? Well, first there are the main characters, all of whom have that chiseled, macho look so popular in the hardbody-wannabe decade of decadence. (Look closely: is that Tom Selleck?) As for the robo-gadgetry, some of it’s kind of cool, but some of it leaves you talking to your TV with such comments as “Uhhh, what?” and “Really?” Also, while most of the episodes strike a decent balance with the number of times the heroes transform with their “Power extreme!” power-utterance, there are times when it seems to happen every couple minutes (especially in the second episode).
What makes it a little surprising that the series isn’t better is that it was created in part by Doug Wildey, Gil Kane, and Jack Kirby. Nonetheless, it is what it is, and there certainly is an audience out there for this. Perhaps the show will catch on with the current generation of younger cartoon and sci-fi fans. (Please note: This title is available only through the Warner Archive website.)
Ray Sidman is a former associate editor and longtime reviewer for Comics Buyer’s Guide. Read his reviews in CBG each month.
(Image (c)2011 Warner Bros. Home Video)