too bad they couldn't have taken inspiration from the Marvel comic. i thought the story arcs in there were quite good. of course i was 9 years old at the time!
There is the good news.
The re-writes that happened after the last script I read came from the guidance of Larry Hama (the man that wrote almost every Marvel Joe comic). He corrected quite a few things that would upset old school fans.
I agree that the comics were good, but there are a couple of things that one needs to remember about them, when it comes to translation to the big screen.
1. The origins were all so incredibly, and impossibly intertwined, your average movie goer would get lost in translation.
2. Even though some of the origins based on the Vietnam conflict could have been updated to the Gulf, this film has to be sold internationally, so it is best if American aggression over seas is kinda glossed over.
3. Almost every Cobra plot from the comic was real estate based. We already have Lex Luthor from the Superman movies pulling that racket.
4. One third of the comics (at least) were based entirely around Snake Eyes. Even though he is the "Wolverine" of GI Joe, the rest of the team needs to be included, especially up front.
5. Every Cobra plot from the comic that was not based on real estate was internal power struggle based. Great for an ongoing comic, but in movie form, where is the need for the other team?
6. I think we are all a little guilty of romanticizing the comic a bit. After all, the comic did include such wonderful moment as:
a) The terrorist troops giving up to the good guys because Breaker popped his chewing gum bubble over a loud speaker to simulate a tank firing.
b) A guy defending the US Mint in a full wet suit and diving mask, armed only with a spear gun.
c) Killer Robots with super fast growing, strangling vines.
Need I go on?
All in all, the Sunbow mini formula is the way to go....
Big globe spanning plot.
Enemy in possession of a super weapon that is seemingly unbeatable.
A solid team, that picks up a couple of new guys out of nowhere.
Crazy plans to beat the bad guys that don't work, but in the end it is true grit and ingenuity that gets the job done.
Now, I say that it is based on the sunbow formula, but do not get me wrong. It is not as simplistic/silly as the old show. The plot just has similar features. This is about as much as I can say without giving anything important away.
As for character development, even though the stories are different than the comics, they give the characters rich histories in a similar format. So, you should not be too unhappy.