Reviews: Avengers Earths Mightiest Heroes
Overall good stuff
Nothing incredible, but definitely worth a watch. I have a few complaints, mostly concerning the fact that I LOATHE half the team. Specifically Hulk, Black Panther and Janet/Wasp. Hulk for being Hulk. I've never really liked his character in any adaptation save the first Hulk movie and the Avengers movie, and this one is no exception. He's at his finest when he's just a big dumb green giant who hits things. When he has the ability to articulate thoughts more complicated than RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWRG!!!!! he starts going downhill fast because the writers feel the perverse need to make him a Deadpan Snarker or just as smart as Banner, or whatever else have you, and it's rarely even consistent for all that. Don't even get me started on Black Panther. God Mode Sue much? Janet for being utterly utterly utterly utterly utterly useless to mind boggling extremes. Of course it would have been better if Jeph Loeb were shot into space before being allowed to come within fifty miles of this show, because then it would still be going on but uh...what are you gonna do? The villains were interesting and reasonably complex (for the most part), and are not overly reliant on Exactly As Planned, unlike a certain other superhero show that shall remain nameless. Just too bad Surtur wont be expanded on. Overall I give the series 6/10. Maybe 7/10 on a good day. Definitely worth watching, even if Hulk, Black Panther and Wasp are there.
Earth's Mightiest Cartoon
I must admit, I'm rather fond of this series. I was still a relative newcomer to the world of comics when I first watched Avengers: EMH, and in hindsight it's probably what made me fall in love with Marvel. The characters, the theme song, the bad guys, the World Of Snark dialogue, the sheer amount of comics mythology packed into the episodes... It's all just brilliant. Sure there may have been the odd off episode, but EMH is tied with Batman: The Brave and the Bold as the best superhero cartoon I've ever seen. One of the things I loved most was the character depth. You had Cap struggling with his Fish Out Of Temporal Water status, Tony being more in touch with tech than people, Hank's initial idealism and growing disillusionment with superhero-ing, the relationship between Hulk and Banner... All of the Avengers had their own character arcs. Even the villains and guest characters had depth. The show managed to strike a balance between fun superhero action and characters who came across as real people without descending into the sort of gritty realism that can oftentimes ruin the fun of a cartoon. The humour was also a large part of why I enjoyed this show while it lasted. It ran the gamut from Panther's subtle snarking to Hawkeye's very vocal snark, from outright silly situations to funny background events. The whole point of a superhero cartoon is to be fun and entertaining and, although the stories got a bit darker in the second season, the series never lost that underlying humour and entertainment value. Lastly, this series was a great gateway into the whole Marvel mythos. The constant nods to classic storylines (which, admittedly, at first I only recognised thanks to the helpful people on this site) made the experience that much more enjoyable as eventually I was able to spot the references on my own, having done enough background reading. While not necessary for an enjoyment of the show, a decent knowledge base definitely adds to the pleasure. Overall, a wonderful series that hit all the right spots in terms of tone, content and characters. To me, it's a solid 9/10, if not higher. I just wish it could have lasted a bit longer...
Emperor Stark: The Best Filler Eva!
Warning: spoilers. The episode Emperor Stark was also AWESOME! Despite the new semi-stand alone format of the show, what I like most about this episode is that it takes an older concept like the Gamma World episode, and makes it seem fresh, with a villain problem, character drama, and a really great reintroduction to The Vision. In Emperor Stark, The Vision just finished autorepairs 30 days after he turned on Ultron. He wakes up to find that The Avengers have literally taken over the world, with individual members supervising different continents, and the side heroes such as Luke Cage or the Fantastic Four having apparently been forgotten or overpowered. With Iron Man building remote controlled armor, he took utter control of major global systems, and only Vision can save the team. Using an avenger's most cherished characteristic, Vison frees half the avengers, as this turns out to be far more than just a bad day for Tony Stark. Zebediah Killgrave AKA The Purple Man has been behind this all along, using a special satelite to help transmit his Mind Control powers around the world. It's actually very chilling to think that without Vision, there's a strong chance this would have been a clear case of The Bad Guy Wins. Try to reach that Loki! It's perhaps this Fridge Brilliance that makes this episode really stand out in my mind, as it's probably the closest a villain got to absolute victory in the whole series. Not bad for a one time villain. Yet there's also a ton of really funny moments as well. My favorite is probably the "Right behind you" moment with Captain America, or the moment where Hawkeye tells Vision, "You never say it was easy. EVER!" There even is a more meditative moment where Tony laments that he couldn't fight Purple Man's brainwashing. Captain America, in true hero fashion comforts Tony saying, "I know you believe in the future, but I believe in people, and I choose to believe in you, Iron Man." Truly a moment between Bash Brothers. Overall, while there are better series moments in the rest of Avengers Earths Mightiest Heroes, this is probably my favorite Filler episode in the whole of the two seasons.
Its good, and you should check it out, but there are few problems
The series as it stands so far is excellent, the characters are all well developed and interesting in their own rights and you don't need any background from the comics in order to enjoy the series, but a few things annoy me. The Worf Effect is used quite a bit, normally to Thor and Iron Man. Its kind of odd actually the series does a really good job of making the 'lesser' characters seem relevant and important (although exactly how powerful Wasp's blasts are fluctuates) in fact Ant Man and Hawkeye (Cap is also awesome, but that's not at all surprising) are both AWESOME, so much so that Hawkeye, a character I never really knew of became my favorite. But it has Thor and Iron man getting destroyed or overpowered in order to show how powerful the villain is and sometimes it seems like its better to not have powers. That said I still love Thor, because everything he says makes me grin. Black Panther seems borderline-sue. I know that this isn't really anything new, but he has few if any character flaws. He at one point defeats the entire team alone. He also disobeys orders on several occasions and it always turns out well when he does. Its not that bad because he never dominates the story but he is a master of several African Martial Arts, an unparalleled hacker, and a theoretical physicist, just saying. That said it also brings up one of my favorite parts of the series, Iron Man's almost inept leadership. A big theme in the show is not just putting the team together but getting them to work together, in the beginning they disagree on what to do, disobey orders, break up, etc. In fact it often seems like they would be more efficient on there own, but over the course of the series they start to work as a team well, and you also get to see Iron Man's evolution as a leader. It's also pretty subtle, so that's good to. The relationship between Ant Man and the Wasp is really cute and well done, also it's refreshing to seem Pym as the scientific messiah instead of a wife-beating monster (See never live it down). Also its nice that all the characters have really believable human flaws (except BP, natch), Iron Man is bad with people and often doesn't care enough to listen, even when others have a point, which hurts his leadership. Pym is idealistic to a fault. Janet can be selfish and cruel at times. Hawkeye is petty and puts the team in danger, etc.
Masters of Evil: breakdown and highlights
Warning: spoilers. The episode Masters of Evil was AWESOME! Coming off the good 2 parter Gamma World, this technically stand alone episode encapsulates the ups and downs of the episode format of Season 1. The episode itself is well contained with a villain problem the avengers fight, well used animation (especially in HD), characters interacting well, and ending on a cliffhanger. It is the cliffhanger ending that both frustrates and continues to draw viewers in, wondering what will happen next. In this case, there is foreshadowing that eventually leads all the way up to the season finale. I won't spoil that, but I will spoil the episode. In Masters of Evil, we finally see The Enchantress's plans with Baron Zemo come to a kind of fruition. Over the course of 5 episodes, The Enchantress had been gathering villains for a team: The Masters of Evil (who coincidentally don't name themselves this until episode 24). The team consists of Zemo, Enchantress, Executioner, Dynamo, Abomination (fresh from Gamma World), and Wonderman (who actually gives a small speech that cements his place as a Anti Villain of necessity rather than malice). Together, this evil team executes a "divide and conquer" method to beat 5 Avengers one by one, using a strength in numbers at their point of attack to overwhelm them when they were alone. Unfortunately for the masters though, after the events of Gamma World and Panther Quest, there were actually 8 avengers, and thanks to the timely intervention of Hawkeye, Black Panther and Ant-man (who was out studying vibranium), the others are rescued, and the Masters of Evil are driven back to their base. What sets this apart from other episodes is how we finally see a true Evil Counterpart to the Avengers in battle with them. True, it wasn't totally even, but just seeing an evil team be effective and actually take over Avengers Mansion up until one Ant-man showed up was pretty memorable. Yet what's even better is seeing the avengers fighting to drive the masters back. We even get our first ever group shot with all 8 members in both the credits and episode. And finally, there's the many character interactions, with Thor's concern for the Avengers, Hawkeye's snarky yet growing affection for the team, and the whole team coming together to face whatever confusing challenge awaits them. All in all, great episode in a superb show.