Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes - Season One Review


Tony Stark has finally realized that he can't save the world by himself, and when a gigantic amount of rogues escape from the high security prisons in the Marvel Universe, it's up to him and his new found allies to rally together to try and bring them down. With the help of Thor, Ant Man, Wasp, The Hulk, and later members Captain America, Hawkeye, and Black Panther, they hope to return the villains to their holding cells before any real damage can be done. However, deep in the shadows of the other realms, Loki has a plan stirring that only he could orchestrate. A plan so well crafted that even the newly formed Avengers couldn't do anything to stop him. Throw in the constant attacks from HYDRA and a slew of new super villains and you've got one busy team of superheroes.

Written and produced by Christopher Yost, The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes is an animated show following the early stages of the team's creation. It has an interesting mix of continuity from the movies and from the comic books, but mostly follows the original characters and art influences of Jack Kirby. In fact, there are some beautiful art pieces with signature Kirby style dots and lines that made me want to freeze frame the episodes and put them as desktop images on my computer.

The stories, though they might not seem like it at first, are always connected to other things going on in the Marvel universe. There's wonderful cameos by many fan favorites like The Fantastic Four and Wolverine, but the way that the whole series ties together is its strength. And those story lines help build the characters and make them both real and cheer-worthy. In fact the character that I found myself rooting for the most in the show as The Hulk, who is just trying to prove that he's not the monster that the US Military has made him out to be. There are some great moments when he's reassured by Cap that he's the true definition of a hero, and often gets annoyed with how Thor is always acting like they're old buddies.

If you were a fan of shows like Justice League or Justice League: Unlimited, then you'll love the ensemble cast and cameos in this show. It has the same level of maturity that the Bruce Timm DC Universe TV shows and films have, and just like those pieces is both kid friendly while appealing to all audiences. A second season is in the works, and the last episode leaves it open for a very popular story line to take place once it returns. The movie may not be coming out until next summer, but you can watch The Avengers assemble right now on DVD or Netflix.

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