I seem to be the only person who remembers this odd little cartoon. I, and nobody else, used to watch it every day before school. Aside from generally being a lot of fun, it won me over with its rather unique look and animation style. The characters and various vehicles, locations, and occasional mecha are really unlike anything I've seen in any other cartoon.
C.O.P.S. (hereafter COPS) is the C
rganization of P
pecialists, formed to combat Big Boss and his gang of crooks.Characters
Most, but not all, of the COPS ...
B.P. Vess - bulletproof cyborg who runs the show
Longarm - the most traditional "cop" on the force and the most prominent member of the ensemble
Mace - the hothead who doesn't always follow orders
Hardtop - driving ace and the token rookie
Sundown - the cowboy cop, he's freaking HUGE
Bowser and Blitz - K9 handler and his robot dog, respectively
Mainframe - the computer expert
Mirage - mistress of disguise and closet lesbian
Bullseye - jet-copter pilot (he's also kind of a loser)
Highway - ace motorcycle cop and the office jerk
Barricade - non-violent solution specialistThe Crooks
Big Boss - huge, fat guy who runs the show, must have the same manicurist as Dr. Klaw
Berserko - stupid, insane, massively-muscled, all-around bad guy
Rock Krusher - stupider, less insane, more-massively-muscled Lenny-type dude
Turbo Tu-Tone - wears the coolest sunglasses ever and is usually the getaway driver
Dr. Badvibes - androgynous ... thing who creates Crime MachinesTM
Miss Demeanor (groan) - bull dyke, with a name like that she had little choice in her career path
Buttons McBoomBoom - this guy is great, he has a gatling gun in his chest
for cryin' out loud!
Nightshade - catburglar and token black chick
And I must mention ...
Johnny Yuma - guest villain in one episode who must have wandered in from a Go Nagai show. He's so "anime" that he clashes with everything else. He's also freaking awesome.
This show is extremely
80s. The synth-music, clothing, and hairstyles really take you back. After watching this, I felt like putting on some Duran Duran, doing coke, and finding my Miami Vice outfit.
Just to give you an idea of what we're dealing with here, the first two episodes are about a flying machine that steals entire buildings. During the course of these episodes, BP will be crushed against a building by a car, then the building will collapse on him, and he will later be revived as a cyborg because, hey, that takes less time than traditional recovery and he wants to get back to work. Later episodes give us the spectacle of men dressed in vegetable suits stealing a bridge with a giant balloon, midgets in diapers robbing banks with baby bottle bombs, the unforgettable Instant Justice Machine slaughter, a gang of thieving fleas, and other weirdness.
Some of the episodes are genuinely good, such as the one dealing with Dr. Badvibes creating a gizmo to control Blitz, raising the possibility that he'll have to be put down. It manages to have some real emotional impact, even viewed through adult eyes. The story of Blitz's creation is told and manages to not seem completely absurd, seeing as how the writer threw in a line about it being a test of cybernetic surgery ultimately intended to save human lives. There are more vehicle and foot chases than you can shake a stick at and they all
manage to be fairly exciting. The animators and writers did a good job of pitting vehicles and runners of different capabilities against each other. For example, police car vs. baby carriage, motorcycle cop vs. super-speed runner.
Another good thing about COPS is that it doesn't cram its morals down the audience's throat. The morals are there, and obvious, but they are not belabored and rarely are they spelled out directly for the benefit of the less bright kids.
But the real draw is the characters. This is one of those rare shows where the heroes are every bit as interesting and cool as the villains, and most of the credit for that goes to one of the best voice casts assembled in the 80s. (I'd give the nod to the cast of The Real Ghostbusters as the
best.) Everyone involved in the making of this show was obviously having a lot of fun, especially the voice cast, and it shows. The late, great Len Carlson (primarily as Sundown) and John Stocker (as Longarm) are especially good. Credit must also be given to Nick Nichols as Bowser and for making McBoomBoom as genuinely threatening as a villain could be on a show like this. Those are the standouts but, honestly, the whole cast is so good and so professional it really kicks the overall quality of the show up a notch.
The DVD set contains 22 random episodes, which is ok since there's no overarching storyline here. If you can find it, you won't regret adding it to your collection. So far as I know, there are no plans to release the rest of the episodes.