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Western Animation / Marvel Rising: Playing with Fire

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Marvel Rising: Playing with Fire is a 2019 animated special. It is part of the cross-platform Marvel Rising franchise, following Marvel Rising: Operation Shuri.

Inferno has to deal with his past catching up to him, America Chavez laments what she's lost, and the powerless daughter of two villains finds a way to take the powers of others.

The special was released on the Marvel HQ YouTube channel on December 18, 2019. It can be viewed here.

Contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Zayla's parents are neglectful and dismissive of her for having no superpowers and thus being useless to their plans in a heist.
  • All Your Powers Combined: In the climactic battle, Zayla steals the whole team's powers and uses them simultaneously.
  • Brick Joke: Kamala claims to her mother that she's on a team of bowlers, the same cover story she used with Daisy when Karl overheard them in Heart of Iron.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Dante has their powers stolen by Zayla, and Kamala, Doreen, Gwen, and America have their powers stolen as well in the climactic battle. Zayla also briefly steals her parents' powers after she first gets the necklace, but releases them shortly.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Kamala and Dante mention checking out the vegan donut shop from Heart of Iron.
    • Kamala claims to her mother that she's on a team of bowlers, the same cover story she used with Daisy when Karl overheard them in Heart of Iron.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Riri and Rayshaun are absent; the climactic battle with Zayla stealing all the team's powers couldn't have happened otherwise, since they don't have powers to steal.
  • Innocently Insensitive: The team complaining about how overbearing their parents or relatives are around America, who lost her family.
  • Instant Expert: Zayla gets the hang of her stolen powers almost immediately. She has a bit of trouble with Dante's powers at first, but she masters them by the end of the day.
  • Invisibility: Zayla's father can render himself invisible.
  • Muggle Born of Mages: Zayla's parents both have powers, and she laments she didn't wind up with any. When she obtains the necklace and gains the ability to steal powers, she quickly becomes obsessed with gaining more.
  • Not Now, Kiddo: Zayla tries to show the stolen necklace to her parents, but they're absorbed in planning and dismiss her attempts to tell them.
  • Plot Threads:
    • The A plot is about Dante and Zayla. There's Dante having his powers stolen by Zayla, Dante's feelings about his powers and reluctance to return home, and Zayla's desire to prove herself to her parents.
    • The B plot is about America and her feelings about family.
    • The C plot is about Tippy-Toe trying to nurse Lockjaw back to health.
  • Power Parasite: Zayla's necklace allows her to steal the powers of those she touches and store them in the gems on the necklace, letting her use the powers whenever she wants. If the gems are knocked off, the powers return to their original owners.
  • Relative Error: Kamala sees Dante with Gabriella and is jealous. She's relieved when she finds out that she's his sister.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: Kamala repeatedly fails to notice America's sarcastic retorts about her overbearing parents. It takes America spelling out her grievances for Kamala to catch on. Gwen, by comparison, notices immediately and the only reason things don't get resolved there is because superhero business interrupts.
  • Ship Tease: Kamala and Dante get quite a bit of this. Early on, she blushes in front of him. There's also a scene later where he calls her "amazing" before correcting himself. And lastly, she gets jealous that he's getting close to Gabriella and is relieved when it turns out she's just his sister.
  • Shock and Awe: Zayla's mother can generate and shoot electricity.
  • So Proud of You: Zayla's parents are proud of her for her museum rampage, promising to go on more heists once Zayla is released.
  • Written-In Absence: Riri is mentioned to be away at a science festival and Daisy and Rayshaun busy with SHIELD work.
  • Zerg Rush: As soon as Doreen gets her powers back, she pulls her Signature Move, summoning a horde of squirrels, which almost immediately knocks Zayla back down to where she was at the start of the battle.