Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Review – Episodes 1-9 and 1-10

Since even Marvel’s website is calling the last two episodes 9 and 10, I am gonna go with that. These reviews are for the episodes “Living Legend” and “Everything is Wonderful” that first aired on November 3 and November 10, respectively.

Living Legend

Sad to say that the theme song is finally starting to grow on me. Still would have preferred something a little more upbeat or faster, but it does work well enough.

Hulk is no longer in the team shot at the end of the opening sequence (though he’s still featured heavily throughout the rest of the opening). It’s a nice touch that gives the show a bit more of a mystery on what’s going to happen next. Having Hulk quit, but still show up in the team picture would have been a bit ridiculous.

SPOILERS

The Avengers go looking for the Hulk, and at his last known location, they end up discovering Captain American frozen in the tundra. They thaw him out, and a confused Cap manages to kick some serious Avenger ass until they manage to help catch him up to what happened to him.

Meanwhile, Zemo returns to wrest HYDRA away from Baron Strucker. It seems that because of something called Virus X, Zemo has managed to survive since World War 2. When he finds out that Captain America is still alive, Zemo leaves HYDRA with Strucker and gets Arnim Zola to help him plan his revenge.

Arnim unleashes a massive Doughboy attack on “Ellis Island,” and the Avengers rush to respond. Meanwhile, Captain America is at the Avengers Mansion alone, trying to figure out his place in the new world. Zemo attacks the Mansion, and Captain America and Wasp manage to fight him off (with a last minute assist from the mysterious Black Panther).

Captain America and Wasp then go to “Ellis Island” to help the Avengers defeat Doughboy.

In the end, Zemo returns to his base to find Arnim Zola has been defeated, and he is recruited by Enchantress and Executioner into the Masters of Evil.

END SPOILERS

Once again, we see the animators for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes don’t know their New York. Doughboy supposed attacks Ellis Island, but instead all the action takes place on nearby Liberty Island. You can tell the difference because of the giant green lady with the torch!

The two fights between Captain America and Zemo were excellent! I especially loved when Black Panther steps in at the end, and Cap’s confusion about the “Avenger in the catsuit who saved my life,” who the rest of the team has never heard of.

I loved how easy Cap was able to beat down the Avengers. That’s always been Cap’s gimmick, taking down threats he should never be able to handle. I also liked how they showed Captain America’s doubts about how well he could fit in.

Once again, EMH manages to make a Z-List villain into a credible threat with Doughboy.

And while it was a little silly, I laughed when Tony yelled “Avengers Assemble” and Wasp said, “We’re all standing right here.” I thought that was a nice payback from the earlier scene where Wasp is so excited about flying the Quinjet until Tony points out, “It’s on auto pilot.”

Living Legend: 9/10


Everything is Wonderful

Once again, the team picture in the beginning is changed, adding Cap to the mix.

SPOILERS

The episode starts with Simon Williams confronting Tony Stark about the future of Williams Innovations. In this continuity, Simon isn’t an actor, he’s a brilliant inventor tired of always being in Stark’s shadow. He finds out that Stark has bought controlling interest of the company, and storms off vowing revenge. Simon talks with his estranged brother Eric, (Grim Reaper of HYDRA) and AIM and MODOC turn Simon into an Ionic being. He quickly is able to do some serious damage to Iron Man, tearing apart his armor with his bare hands.

The Avengers fight Wonder Man and MODOC, and it becomes clear that Wonder Man’s transformation is going to kill him. Stark tries to bring him to the ARC reactor to save his life, but he’s too late. Wonder Man ends up breaking apart entirely.

In the end, Enchantress puts him back together, and he’s recruited into the Masters of Evil. We also find out that Stark isn’t as big a douche as he seems, and that he bought Williams Innovations to allow Simon to keep the company going.

END SPOILERS

The changes to Wonder Man surprised me, but they were very well done. The character wasn’t quite as over the top as he was in the comics. I love that they kept Grim Reaper as his brother and involved MODOK (actually MODOC – Mental Organism Designed Only for Conquest) in his origin.

I also really liked seeing Simon in the old green and red outfit briefly before he’s transformed into the Ionic version. My only real complaint with this episode was that it didn’t move the Black Panther story at all, but it’s probably unreasonable to expect every story to move in every episode.

This episode gave us some interesting looks at the characters and their motivations. We finally find out why Hank seems to have issues with Stark, and how Stark is trying to make up for his past, but doing it in a rather clumsy way. Also, I can’t quite bring myself to trust Fury. He clearly has an agenda of his own.

And Thor’s reactions to MODOC were hilarious. When he first tries to describe MODOC, he ends up stumped before settling on the not-at-all-Thorlike “Look at the size of his head!” Later, he manages to regroup with a “It’s like a Frost Giant’s head on the body of an infant.”

Everything is Wonderful: 8.5/10

Both of these episodes were very good, no real surprise. This really is the first superhero cartoon I ever seen that really captures the comics so well. The pacing, the layered ongoing storylines, the deep characterization, the action, everything feels right out of the best Avengers’ runs.

Next week, it looks like we’ll get some resolution with the Black Panther storyline, and after that, the episodes are called Gamma World, so it’s safe to assume the Hulk will be back pretty soon.

Tags: , , , , , , ,