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Sterling's Garage
Whaddaya mean you don't know?

First thing first; Road Rovers are not ridiculously expensive, gas guzzling sport-utility vehicles. That would be a Land Rover, and that's that absolute last thing I'd want to talk about.

Anyway, before I go off on a tangent here...

The Master!Road Rovers is an animated show which first aired on Kids' WB in 1996. The premise of the show is a simple, but effective one... using an invention called the Transdogmafier, The Master (pictured on the right) has transformed ordinary dogs from all reaches of the planet into Cano-Sapiens, super-powered canines who work together to combat the forces of evil and keep peace within the world. Hey, it makes a lot more sense than a bunch of 25-year old "teenagers" running around in spandex and plastic helmets while fighting rubber monsters in a cardboard city.

Although The Master has Rovers stationed all over the world, ready to jump into action at any time, the show focuses on the adventures and exploits of a group of six Rovers in particular. Each one has their own special powers and distinct personality, all of which lead to some very interesting situations at times when they clash.

Hunter!First up is Hunter, the leader of the Road Rovers from the United States. Being the lucky dog that he is, Hunter has a whole slew of super powers; just to name a few, he's super fast, super loyal, super playful, super brave, super trusting, super lucky and super, super friendly! (Careful though, he'll wanna sniff ya... he says that it's part of what being super friendly is all about.)

With all those super-everythings, it's no surprise Hunter makes a great leader. Of course, he does have his interesting little quirks. Most noticably is the way he handles sarcasm... he doesn't. It just goes right over his head. He either doesn't catch on to it or accepts it as a compliment. Another thing is that he seems to constantly get tripped up by unexpected occurances, so much so that sometimes he comes across as being a bit clueless. And of course there's his addiction to tennis balls...

Blitz!From the autoyards of Germany comes Blitz, who has more sharp edges than a box of razor blades and enough attitude for ten Rovers. In Cano-Sapien form Blitz has super-sharp teeth and claws which can tear through solid steel plating as easily as they can tear through a 10-foot submarine sandwich.

Blitz is by far the oddball of the group... he's very jealous of Hunter and believes that he should be leader of the Rovers, unless the situation has turned bad of course. He continually tries to win the affections of Colleen, even though she's made it clear that she's not interested, and his bizarre obsession with "tooshie biting" has earned him the nickname Weird Boy. But don't get him wrong... when things are going in the Rovers' favor, Blitz can be very dangerous and heroic (albiet completely self-absorbed).

Colleen!Colleen joins the Rovers from Great Britain. Now don't let that innocent look fool you, fellas; she's super-agile and has martial arts skills that make Jet Li look like a rank amateur, so if you get her riled she'll kick you from here to Timbuktu before you know what hit ya. She won't even mess up her hair while doing it either... she's just that good.

Most of Colleen's problems can be summed up in five letters: B-L-I-T-Z. Time after time he hounds her (no pun intended), trying to win her over even though she clearly has affections for Hunter. Of course, she has ways of keeping him in line; most of the time she simply acts like she hasn't ever met him, driving poor Blitz near crazy in the process. Although once in a while, the only way for Colleen to get her point across is to give him a good old-fashioned kick in the head. Can't get much clearer than that, right?

Exile!The snowfields of Siberia is where Exile is from. Naturally you'd have to be pretty strong to survive in such a harsh climate, but Exile takes that one step further... he's got super strength! But that isn't all, he also has super vision; not only can he see pefectly in total darkness, but he can also fire freeze rays and heat rays from his eyes. Fortunately he's not affected by green glowing rocks, unlike a certain other superhero...

Being from Russia, English isn't Exile's native language. His sentences are often a bit choppy, and he has an, um, interesting method of randomly nailing parts of slang terms together. But he doesn't let the language differences get in his way... he loves being a Road Rover, and he loves his friends. Mostly. He has a couple problems with Blitz, the "Weird Boy", mainly with Blitz's tooshie-biting obsession and his habit of panicking when things start to go bad. But otherwise, Exile thinks he's alright. Mostly.

Shag!The neutral country of Switzerland is Shag's home country. Shag is big. No, I mean big. No no, you don't understand... I mean there's big, there's big, and then there's SHAG. He's like an 18-wheeler with fur. Speaking of which, did I mention that he can easily hide a weapon as large as a bazooka in his fur? I'm not exaggerating, folks. He really is big.

Surprisingly, even though Shag is so darned big he can be a terrible chicken at times. But then again, not everyone has the iron resolve to be shot at constantly, I guess. However, he does have a very important asset... since he looks virtually the same after being Transdogmafied (just a lot bigger), he can easily blend in with normal dogs, which is very useful for some covert operations. And as mentioned before, he can hide all sorts of weapons or other equipment in his fur, allowing the Rovers to give their enemy a surprise when they least expect it. Shag is also the resident cook, but don't ask what the ingredients in his recipes are. Let's just say it's something only a dog would enjoy.

Muzzle!And of course, we can't forget Muzzle (although many of the Rovers' enemies wish they could). What is Muzzle's super power? Well, he's SUPER INSANE. I mean 100 percent certifiable, violently insane. But then again, just looking at the picture of him trussed up like Hannibal Lechter over there probably tipped you off to that by now.

So how could Muzzle help the Rovers if he's dangerously nutso? Simple... once he's been set loose, he can do more damage to the enemy in thirty seconds than any amount of heavy weaponry could in a whole day. Often the carnage is so greusome that it's just too horrible to watch! Fortunately, when his best buddy Hunter is around Muzzle is much more calmed down and happy... but that doesn't make it any safer to let him loose.

General Parvo and The Groomer!Working together, the Road Rovers continually foil the plans of manaical villains like General Parvo and The Groomer (both pictured at left), Capt. Zachary Storm, Gustav Havoc, or just about anyone who has designs on conquest and destruction. And thanks to the help of some of the coolest vehicles ever designed, the Rovers can get right to where the action is, whether it's on land, in the air, on the water, or even in outer space!

So, what happened to the show? Well, it ran for one season of 13 episodes before it was pulled by the WB's high sheriffs. Why? That's what most people don't understand... at the time, Road Rovers was pulling in similar ratings as their other big show, Superman. (This was when it was an hour-long show, before they combined it with "Batman and Robin" as two half-hour episodes.)

Still, WB gave the Rovers the ax and its time slot was taken by Calamity Jane. It certainly lived up to its name... it was a total calamity. Seriously. It was pretty crummy, and I'm not speaking from a biased viewpoint here. It stank worse than a pile of burning tires next to a sewage treatment plant. Thankfully Calamity Jane was yanked off the air after three episodes, but still the damage had been done and many RR fans are still steamed at WB for the decision (especially because of the disappointing result of that decision).

Fortunately, the bad luck eventually reversed itself when Cartoon Network picked up Road Rovers in 1998 and added it to their lineup. This gave old fans a chance to replace their worn-out tapes of the episodes, new fans a chance to experience the show for the first time, and everyone else a very welcome reprieve from Cartoon Network's constant showing of just about every single blasted episode of Scooby-Doo ever made.

Don't you just love it when everyone gets a happy ending?

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