If you’re starting to feel withdrawal effects from your AVENGERS high a few weeks ago, then here is a fix that will get you through the night, or the weekend, or whenever. THE AVENGERS: EARTH’S MIGHTIEST HEROES is an animated series that airs on Disney XD. Talk about a show for Avengers fans. This has it all.
Let me start with the setup of the show. In the beginning of the series The Avengers don’t exist. Over the first five episodes we get all the character introductions we need to know who the major players are. I feel like this show was a test bed for some of the storyline of the movie. Or it was a companion to the movie franchise. Either way, the show is a great fit.
Okay, so in the first episode we get some Ironman action (with a little cameo of Rhodes). He’s fighting against some Hydra dudes, but he gets interrupted by SHIELD, and gets a warning to stay out of things. Of course Stark doesn’t listen. Nick Fury argues with Stark, but you can see that, like the movie, Nick has something up his sleeve. By the end of episode one, there are some classic villains introduced into the story. Villains that, as an Avengers comic fan, I was ecstatic to see.
From that point, we get to see each pre-assembled Avenger get their own episode. Thor gets to meet Jane Foster for the first time, though unlike the movie, she’s a paramedic. Hulk is being chased as a monster, but starts to show his hero side. And there is a great Hawkeye / Black Widow spy vs. spy story that begins in the same episode. Then we Captain America on the scene in a WWII story with Bucky. Finally, in the fifth episode we get a ‘close-up’ look at Ant-Man / Giant Man and The Wasp, two heroes that they couldn’t fit into the film, but were in the very first Avengers Comic.
The first major storyline with all the Avengers fighting together was BREAK OUT Parts 1 and 2 – After 72 villains break out of their prisons, the heroes assemble to fight their first super-powerful foe – Gravaton. He’s from way back in the day in the comics, and he controls gravity on a major scale. Now I know this will sound like I’m exaggerating, but that first fight with Gravaton was so incredible, it was almost as exciting as some of the final battle scene in the Avengers movie, but in animated form. Of course The Avengers movie was incredible, but nobody lifted what Gravaton lifted in the cartoon. They took that scenario right out of the comics.
From that point, we get to dip in and out of several stories that have been set up. Hawkeye is framed as a traitor, villains are teaming up in various ways. Hydra and A.I.M. are building up alliances. And the team finds themselves taking on a new member – Black Panther. I think this is the coolest version of him I’ve seen yet.
The many saga that unfold deal with threats from all the major bad guys of the Avengers lore. The Leader, Masters of Evil, Kang the Conqueror, the Grimm Reaper, Loki, Ultron, Baron Striker, and a story about The Cosmic Cube, or the Tesseract as the film called it. Some of the stories had to be told in two or three parts, which was fine with me. And we get to see some cameos of heroes like Captain Marvel of the Kree.
The first season ends with a teaser mirroring a very recent and popular story from the comics about ‘An Invasion’.
One of the things I like the most about the show is the way they portray the Hulk. He’s a little more intelligent here than in the movie. More like the earlier versions of The Hulk comic. You can tell he’s torn between helping people who might hate or fear him, and just walking away. I think the writers did some great character development there. Actually, I think the writers have done a great job with the whole first season.
The only thing is that the animation isn’t as on point as other shows. Maybe that was a creative choice or a budget choice, but it doesn’t distract from the stories at all. The biggest complaint of all… the intro song is terrible. It’s probably why it took me so long to watch the show in the first place. Too happy they fixed that in season two.
THE AVENGERS: EARTH’S MIGHTIEST HEROES has all you need if you are new to the Avengers, or if you’re an old comic collecting fan like myself. Season 2 is already being aired, but you can catch up to the first season on streams like Netflix. This post falls under my Funky Q Review because it came out in 2010. I’m looking forward to seeing all of season two.