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Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes

I've been catching up on all kinds of comic book series with my kids. Most recently we saw all 26 episodes of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes which aired on Disney XD and just recently in April completed airing. 

I will definitely say this, for a show that is roughly translating a lot of comic book events into a 26 episode series I found it entertaining. You can definitely feel the young teenage level of the story (it is on Disney after all). 

But you can also feel a solid connection to the characters we are getting used to, specifically the Robert Downey Jr. voice we know from the film. Thor was a little more on the RPG side of things, it felt very British chivalry to be honest. Hulk spoke much more often but was interesting to see. 

I like how essentially in this series you see a general thread connecting all the episodes where it demonstrates more and more how they tend to create their own problems. It is also quite interesting to see how the season slowly progresses toward Secret War / Civil War as well as toward the Skrull/Kree wars. 

Granted there are a few issues, like with any interpretation of a comic book into a series, but most of it is small and of no circumstances.

I actually had a very early gripe with a character Thor was fighting in the second episode Thor the Mighty. The character name was Wrecker. Now, I find out later this was a normal thing as is intended, however the audience (which is mostly kids and teenagers, some of which never read the earlier comics) won't know the connection.

Funny thing is, while I caught it, I didn't know enough about this character that it forced me to look him up and see if he appeared in any of the comics I had, which he did - but those are from Silver Age and I haven't opened them since the early 1990's. 

Wrecker carries a crowbar...

Nothing fancy, just a crowbar, yet when Thor charges at him with Mjolnir and strikes him from above, wrecker blocks it with the crowbar...

At first thought, this also being episode two...I of course yelled out, "That's a load of Bull!" thinking to myself that the producers of the series created a gaping hole in their plot if Thor's hammer could not best a simple crowbar...

I found from reading a few of my older comics and from some research online (to find these comics) Wrecker's crowbar is bestowed with similar enchantments to Mjolnir...O_o

OK, that's a new WTF moment...

He also bestowed some of that power to him crew and lost some of his total power. Later being restored. So you can imagine I was blown away that something so simple was actually a lot more than it really was. I'm more amazed at the weirdness of the weapon and the character - He is essentially a lower level nobody. He does appear again later on in this series and given more power by the Leader with Gamma irradiated booster technology. 

However, any kid, teen or comic fan like myself getting a fix from this series will catch it right away and rage at the potential for a crowbar to actually stand against Mjolnir...Wrecker and his obviously whoa WTF awesome crowbar has no back end story or explanation (unless you know the comics). 

There are a lot of other cool little tidbits in the series what I like to call the "Thing's that make you go Hmm..." moments. 

While I couldn't help but slightly compare it to the higher production value of Iron Man: Armored Adventures it was a great show, even if the Iron Man series was a re-imagining as Tony Stark in his teenage years. the Art was cleaner and the CGI was well done.

The Avengers are rooted in the old interpretations of some of the comic characters and is true to the background of those characters, for the most part (which I liked a lot) - Specifically a scene that made me chuckle where Captain America is teaching Tony Stark how to fight. Tony completely getting his ass kicked. Wanting to rely solely on his armor as opposed to any skills. Where Rogers relies on training hard work and tactical skill. 

As the series carries on it introduces larger and more grandiose scenarios as they have to save the world more and more often. Keeping in mind with this as anyone watches it, and then sees a film like X-Men:First Class you will immediately notice a specific character plot hole in the Wasp...specifically her powers and abilities, and the fact that she was a wealthy socialite, not a penniless girl that needed to strip for money...Not to bash the film, I did like it as a film, not as an X-men film. 

My only other gripe is the same most comic books that share the earth normally face. The storylines are not in a vacuum. If the world is being taken over by a race of aliens, there are other mutants and super heroes that will pop up and give a lending hand. Excluding many of them is awkward sometimes. 

Again, this is just an animated series and is designed more toward a younger crowd. I recommend giving it a look, it certainly helps waiting out the eagerness to watch The Avengers coming out next year.

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