If Hasbro were to come to you to create a saga for GI Joe to culminate in three movies, a live action television show, cartoons, Comic, and a multiplayer gaming platform that had a distinct story that ties all the media properties together and tells one story what would you come up with... Oh, yeah- they give you one catch-> You have to use ALL the GI Joe Properties. That means the original GI Joes- America's movable Fighting Man, Adventure Team, Super Joes Defenders vs Intruders, A Real American Hero, Action Force, International Heroes, Argen 7, Star Brigade, Ninja Force, Tiger Force, VvV, JvC, SpyTroops ROC, Retaliation figures/designs HAVE to be worked into the story and visuals at some point.
For me, I would start off prehistorically with a created story about Atlantis/Mythology (in particular the Gorgan Armies- creating a new back story for "Cobra La" the way MARVEL has done for Thor) and a battle that "sinks" the lost Continent when the crystal powering the advanced civilization overloads and explodes sending the fragments into the stratosphere to fall back in different remote locations around the globe. The tale would tell of how the losing side retreated to "Shangri La" and were never heard of from again. That myth had many of the creatures of folklore attributed to them searching at night to retrieve the lost pieces to rebuild. Then it would cut to a Professor/Archaeologist and some scientists in a presentation to a Pentagon/CIA/ National Security panel during the Korean War discussing how the Germans were, and now Russians are, searching for the shards of this crystal. (Yes, Indiana Jones inspired). This would be the introduction into the first Joes. Joe Colton would be a Private out of this group of "America's Moveable Fighting Men" , From Here the movie would turn back the Russians only to come up empty handed, but indications that a third party got their first. Transition to VietNam, and The older group being in charge of 18 year olds like Stalker, Storm Shadow, and Snake Eyes. ( live action show would follow the recruits as a spin off from the Movie), the original group after Vietnam becomes disillusioned and Joe Colton and a few of the others are recruited by the CIA to go on special "missions" for them and the Adventure Team is formed. Here I would combine the AT/Super Joe and Defenders into one story. Maybe change their origins a little and in the end mission recover another piece of the "lost crystal of Atlantis". At this point I would identify the third party that stole the first Crystal as a James Bond like enemy army known as the Red Shadows. I would introduce the Action Man/Red Shadows/ and lay the ground work for the Action Force forming. GI Joe -Action Force would be a spinoff cartoon from the end of the movie. The Second Movie would be to show the formation of GI Joe and the Action force in the past tense tying into the end of the live series and cartoon storyline. It would show the weakening of the Red Shadows and the escape of Baron IronBlood to the US hiding in a small town in Colorado. There he befriends a used car salesman... I would highlight the Rise of Cobra in a get rich quick type pyramid scheme, with tests of ultimate loyalty and the taking over an area in two states which is called "Springfield" after the first town to fall under Cobra. Cobra's big plan will be to build the MASS DEVICE as a way to "raise Atlantis" the future Cobra Island, but world domination demands as a slight of hand... The comics would tell stories of the individual characters rounding them out, and in between missions that would be referenced in the shows and movies.
To tie in the lines- I would have the Night Force on a nighttime covert ops mission, Tiger Force as participation in a Tiger Meet to stop an Arms deal, etc, etc. Some of the regular Joes "unique" original and colorful uniforms" would either show up in scenes on a "day off relaxing", or carefully placed dream sequences (Ninja Force, and day glow neon uniforms) that don't really exist. This way Cobra La may only be a myth/legend with something real behind it, the space stuff could be revisited or buried with the Adventure Team. Just thinking of ways to connect it all together. Anyone else?