Review: Avengers Assemble

CAPTAIN AMERICA, BLACK WIDOW, IRON MAN, FALCOLN, HAWKEYE, HULK, THORI’ll admit some bias before I go much further in this review. “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” was one of the best comic book based cartoon shows I’ve ever seen as it packed decades of the best Avengers stories into 52 fantastic episodes and did so in a manner that was immensely enjoyable for kids and adults alike.

I wasn’t ecstatic upon learning it was being canceled and replaced with “Avengers Assemble,” which puts a greater emphasis on being the animated companion to the “Marvel’s The Avengers” movie, but I figured I’d give it a shot.

If the first two episodes — “The Avengers Protocol Part 1 and Part 2” — are any indication, I’ll need to start tracking down the full series of “The Avengers: EMH” on DVD real soon.  

Red Skull and M.O.D.O.K.For some reason, Tony Stark/Iron Man has disbanded the Avengers, but he stalks keeps an eye on his pals via drones. After The Red Skull and M.O.D.O.K. kill an Avenger, Stark decides to bring the band back together.

Adrian Pasdar (“Heroes”) replaces Eric Loomis who’d mastered Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark tone and dialogue delivery perfectly. I’m mixed on the switch as Pasdar commendably doesn’t just try to mimic RDJ, but Stark/Iron Man is fully the center of the “Assemble” universe like the films so channeling RDJ makes sense in this case.BLACK WIDOW, IRON MAN

I get that most people’s favorite Avenger these days is Iron Man, but writing team Man of Action make the show so much about him that they may as well have called it “Iron Man and his Amazing Avenger Friends” as they do little to justify why Stark needs anyone’s assistance.

Answering Stark’s call is The Hulk (Fred Tatasciore, “EMH”), Thor (Travis Willingham) Hawkeye (Troy Baker, “Iron Man: Rise of Technovore”), Black Widow (Laura Bailey) and newcomer Falcon (Bumper Robinson, “Justice League Doom”).marvels-avengers-assemble Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye and Hulk

The shift in the team roster means that major “EMH” cast members Giant-Man/Yellowjacket and Black Panther aren’t around and more disappointing is the lack of females, particularly the fun Wasp and Ms. Marvel.

Besides Captain America and Thor — who are written stiff and rigid to a fault — the rest of the team are written overly snarky. The “too kewl for all of this” attitude goes from unwelcome shift in tone to outright annoying. Black Widow complains about Iron Man not installing a women’s bathroom in the new headquarters while Hulk smashes through a wall presumably because it was in his way.

Avengers Assemble Falcon, Hulk and HawkeyeFalcon is especially grating as he acts like a star struck fanboy around his new teammates, making me miss the regal demeanor of Black Panther even more.

The animation is really inconsistent with some scenes looking very polished and a marked improvement over “EMH,” while others look like something you’d find in a 1980s cartoon.

I guess this could be entertaining to a 6-year-old, but “EMH” worked so well because the writers (including Man of Action) didn’t dumb the material down. What’s most frustrating here is that there was a perfectly great Avengers show that was scrapped for a vastly inferior successor.Hawkeye, Hulk, Iron Man and Thor in Avengers Assemble

I’ll give it a few more episodes, but this isn’t off to a very promising start.

Rating: 3 out of 10

  • Yeah I don’t know exactly where Marvel is going with this either, because EMH was fantatstic. And i’m not too crazy about seeing ‘Falcon’ as opposed to a far superior character like ‘Black Panther’, but being i’m a big Marvel and Avengers fan I will definitely be giving this a chance to impress me.

  • Hwarriorcat88

    Well, maybe they’ll realize that some people don’t like where they’re going with AA and bring in other EMH characters or make the current characters more tolerable. I miss EMH as a break from most of the pointless shows on today. (I apologize if you are a fan of one of those shows, they’re just not for me)

  • I hope they do something. I’m not enjoying what they’ve done so far. No apologies needed. Haven’t gotten into an animated show since Young Justice and EMH were canceled. Thanks for commenting!

  • I was not thrilled at all when they cancelled EMH, which was a fantastic show. This show so far has been alright, but it’s definitely a big drop from EMH so far. Stern warning, Marvel had better stop letting them Disney-fy their animated movies and shows too much, or Marvel & Disney will start to feel the wrath. Now I have been more impressed with recent shows, so we’ll see where it goes. But they better plan on adding members like Black Panther, Ms. Marvel, Antman/Giant Man, Wasp, Sentry, Spider-Woman as the show progresses. I’m pretty sure Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver will enter soon enough.

  • We were over my cousin’s today and I caught the one with Ulric and Dr. Doom and the Space Phantom. I’m still not quite there with it yet.

  • I’ll admit that the ‘Doom’ & ‘Space Phantom’ episodes we’re pretty good, and definitely a step up from the first few shows. Even though Avengers Assemble has not blown me away like EMH, I see potential as long as Marvel can keep shows engaging and try not to Disney kiddy it up, time will truly tell.

  • I don’t know man. They definitely felt Disney-ed up to me! 😉

  • I just thought those shows we’re an improvement, but they have a long ways to go man. I understand there’s a need for Market their animated shows, but like you I don’t need to seem their shows Disney-ed. Thank goodness we don’t have to worry about that with the live action movies and “Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D” by the looks of it.

  • Jeff i’m definitely not there yet either, but i’m going to give them time to see how much they can impress me. As the show progresses I definitely want to see the inclusions of other Avengers members like I mentioned before and guess appearances by Namor, FF, Inhumans, X-Men, Dr. Strange, Blade, Silver Surfer, netc would be real cool too.

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