|He'll give you a war you won't believe|
John J. Rambo. Green Beret. Vietnam vet. One man army. What you call hell, he calls home. In 1982, First Blood hit theaters. It depicted a man who, when pushed far enough, could single-handedly take out an entire town. Even Rambo's old unit commander, Colonel Trautman, has to show up to ease the situation. Though, in reality, Trautman does little more than to warn everyone that they'll need more body-bags and that God didn't make Rambo, he did. Imagine having a guy like Trautman at your side before a bar fight? He'd clear the entire place out.
|God would have mercy. Rambo won't.|
|No man, no law, no war can stop him|
|Rambo and The Force of Freedom|
|Redefining the meaning of O.M.A. (one-many-army) since 1982|
Like G.I. Joe's enemy, Cobra, Rambo had to combat S.A.V.A.G.E., led by the evil General Warhawk. What was 'S.A.V.A.G.E.' an acronym for? Who knows. That was never explained and who was going to ask. Along with General Warhawk, there was an interesting selection of villains: Gripper, Sgt. Havoc, Mad Dog, and Nomad, a Middle Eastern terrorist! Of course, no one ever really dies in a kids cartoon but, unlike in G.I. Joe, it looks like Rambo is shooting actual bullets instead of lasers!
|Rambo may have become more child-friendly, but he still hated rats|
Whatever the case, it seemed Rambo calmed down some from the films and didn't spend his time anymore in the woods building traps, killing dogs, and hiding in mud. Instead, he received the aid of Kat, a master of disguise, and the tech-savvy Turbo. Together they formed this so-called Force of Freedom.
|Rambo's foe, The Black Dragon|
Rambo no longer fought against the Soviets, though a few of Warhawk's henchmen did have Russian accents. In their place Rambo opted to confront other threats to American soil. Like what, you ask? Well, aside from S.A.V.A.G.E., he confronted pirates, voodoo priests, and ninjas. That's right. Ninjas. What 80s cartoon didn't feature some sort of ninja? There was even a robot ninja in an episode of Transformers.
Another simple equation: produce a cartoon = get a toyline. Rambo and The Force of Freedom proved to be no different.
|Figure-sized body-bags not included|
The toyline had some neat figures and accessories - but one stood out as a complete abomination to all things Rambo: the power cycle. It resembled a kids tri-cycle, complete with training wheels. This was the best vehicle they could come up with? Why not a helicopter?
|The power-cycle? More like the power tri-cycle|
Check back soon for Part II, when we look at Marvel Comics' Robocop cartoon!