Exo League

Bring it back! What product or media property would you like to see revived, and how would you imagine it being different today?

This week’s assignment is simple enough, bring back something that you liked. While the limitations are few in this League assignment, I figure it would be best to limit this to television shows. I could go on about a ton of things I’d love to see brought back, but the most obvious choice for me is Exo-Squad. Yeah, it seems that the new trend is to spell it Exosquad. However you decide to spell it, the show was fantastic.

I’ve written about Exosquad before, but I didn’t touch on it all that much. It was arguably my favorite cartoon as a youngster and honestly if you pinned me down and made me live on an island with only one cartoon to watch, there’s no doubt I’d pick Exosquad. Although the show only ran for 52 episodes, it certainly seemed like it was a lot longer. Perhaps that was because each episode contained so much broad storytelling with big bold ideas and stories concerning life, death, racism and the overall human condition.

Sure, it also had aliens, mutants, space battles and of course giant robots, but it was really about the characters. I hesitate to say the “humans” because the Neo-Sapiens were a huge part of the show as well. The show dealt with some incredible sci-fi concepts like the clones of evil people and if they’re guilty just because they’re clones. There was also a great storyline where one of the main characters died, but he was brought back to life in a way. There was some serious debate on if this person was the same person, or a new person and what happens when you die. It was the kind of show that seriously got you thinking.

Exosquad was of course most focused on racism and the terror of war, but it had so many subtle touches that it’s easily the best American cartoon in terms of storytelling. The show had significant moments that even “great” science fiction often doesn’t. In the first episode, a character dies. She’s wholly unimportant to the plot it would seem, but although she never amounted to anything in the story on the surface (the characters don’t even learn her name), it has a profound effect on the captain of the team, J.T. Marsh. He keeps a photo of her in his E-Frame (the name of the robot suits they wear) for the rest of the show.

Politics played more a central role in Exosquad than did the normal aspects of cartoons. There was so much ground covered in such short time and even the less poignant episodes still managed to be packed full of action and adventure. Exosquad was never preachy, even though it gave you a lot to think about. It was in many ways, a perfect mix of so many incredible elements. The show had really cool action figures and while those toys were great, Exosquad was never about the toys to me. It was about the incredible stories that they managed to tell.

While the show did have a proper ending, at least in it’s overall story arc, it left a lot of unanswered questions. After the war has ended, we are left to wonder what became of many of these characters. Who all would be tried for war crimes? What would become of the programs that had been implemented? Would the two warring races finally be able to come together or would history repeat itself yet again? In addition to all these questions was a cliffhanger that was definitely frustrating.

You see, although the show ended all it’s major stories, it started a story for Season 3. A mysterious attack comes across the galaxy with unexplained genocide and an impending danger that’s never quite explained. We don’t know what happened, because there was no third season. Part of the reason was that this show was often syndicated and got bad time slots. Almost nobody even knows about Exosquad. So that’s why I’d LOVE to see it come back. I don’t need a dozen seasons. Just one more, to tell that final story arc and to let us see what would happen to all these characters with the war over and a new danger looming.

I remember being so frustrated when no new episodes of Exsquad came on. WHAT HAPPENED?! I’ve been left to wonder. Years now I’ve pondered the fate of these characters. I’d like to think that it could be done in a single season, or even some sort of series of specials. Maybe 4 Exosquad direct-to-DVD animated movies. That would be awesome. Exosquad deserves to get some attention. Unfortunately only the first season was ever put on DVD and I doubt Exosquad will ever get the respect it is due… But I can always hope.

Elsewhere in the League, Comixverse wants those mice back on their bikes, while Canadian Calvin wished for the return of the Star Fleet Academy and finally rounding us out is 3B who joins CM Punk in the call for WWE Ice Cream bars.

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