The Avengers get their due at long last in animated form. Oh, and in their first episode they have to face a threat greater than Baron Zemo, the Leader, A.I.M., and Hydra put together. Wow this series didn't last long.
Credits & Solicit Info:
It surprises me that we've had numerous Spider-Man and X-Men series but when you really think about it, we've only had one series based on the Avengers and save for a scant few episodes (Zemo and the Masters of Evil). Even then, the classic series didn't have the iconic members or even the originals in it (though hinted, it was Iron Man and Hulk-less). Even then, the series was utterly disappointing given they focused too much on one villain (Ultron appeared in half their episodes). Suffice to say, the series didn't last long at all. So here we are almost ten years after that attempt and at another Avengers series. This time, it seems they've corrected all the major problems the previous series had.
The members? The classic line-up is formed in this two-part episode (Thor, Iron Man, Hulk, Wasp, and Ant-Man) with more future members to follow (Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Black Panther). We also get just about every S.H.I.E.L.D. Member save for one (where is DUM DUM?!) and a possible shared universe with others (did I hear M.R.D. Mention? Plus Wendigo? I wonder if that means a future showing of the Scarlet Witch and Quicksliver, perhaps?).
Stir in the fact we've got a who's who of villains (Baron Zemo, the Leader, Baron Von Strucker, Loki, the Wrecking Crew, Absorbing Man, Mad Thinker, Red Ghost, and a TON of others- let's say EVERY villain in the Marvel Universe). This show has it made in the shade when it comes to who'll be involved and even more. I cannot wait for a Baron Zemo to get his due at long last in animated form but more on that later. Oh, I haven't even mentioned that even greatest rogue of all is hinted at in the series in the opening thirty seconds of the show. Yes, it appears they have access to using HIM on this show which means if this series lasts more than a season, you know he'll be showing up eventually (his name rhymes with soon).
As hinted greatly in the mini-episodes that precede the series, S.H.I.E.L.D. Has just about every supervillain locked up in four prisons: the Raft (housing the A-listers), the Cube (Gamma Powered and beings who could be used as weapons), the Vault (technology based villains), and the Big House (supervillains who are unique). At the end, the Mad Thinker predicted rounding up so many chaotic elements could lead to only one end: the freedom of them all.
And so it happens in this episode with all the heroes of the show caught up within it. We get some plot elements from the micro-episodes picked up here as well but those who haven't watched them won't miss a thing. You'll get the basics of what's going on. So yeah, in these first two parts we get the original Avengers assembled and dealing with the chaos but, really, in part 2 their efforts turn into fighting the big bad of this two parter, Graviton.
So does Iron Man or Thor hog the spotlight? Surprisingly, everyone gets their moment to shine in these two part episodes. I would have thought Ant-Man or Wasp would be pushed to the way side for the bigger heroes but, nope, they get the lion's share of the entertainment along with the rest. Everyone important gets their moment even Maria Hill and Hawkeye who are barely on the screen for but a scant few minutes. Comic book fans will eat this up.
Still, for a pair of episodes, this story lays a whole ton of groundwork. I cannot wait to see where this show can go. Even more, I do believe this could finally give Marvel fans what DC fans have had all these years: an animated program for Marvel where we get all the goods we've read in their comics. I mean, seriously, this show finally gives the villain baton to some rogues we haven't seen with important roles in comics for years. For the show to even hint at there being episodes focusing on them plus whatever Baron Zemo and the Leader do with their respective groups will be truly fun to watch. And again. that's not even the tip of the villain iceberg. I, for one, cannot wait for the inevitability of the Masters of Evil done to perfection.
Everything about this show is top notch. From the voice talent (Jeffery Combs as the Leader?! Not to mention several of the non-mutant heroes who appeared in Wolverine and the X-Men reprising their roles here), to the choreography of the fights (and there is an epic one to be had here), and the writing rules as well (though it helps when you have Christopher Yost of X-Force and Red Robin fame being part of this episode). I mean, seriously, the only major nit pick I have with this series so far is the possibility that Iron Man might have killed (but this is cartoons so everybody lives). Plus the opening intro is alright, not perfect. But seriously that's me just being utterly picky.
There's just so much potential being shown in these first two episodes and even then this show hasn't even cracked the gooey goodness of the Marvel Universe. That said I cannot wait for the next episode. Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes just might live up to being the best adaptation of the Avengers yet. Of course I wonder if this means it'll last one season or two. Because guess the last Marvel animated show that lasted more than three seasons? X-Men Evolution. Yikes. Here's hoping that cycle ends here.
Breakout Part 1: 4 out of 5
Breakout Part 2: 5 out of 5
Review by: Zechs