In the third episode of “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble,” we get more of the Falcon’s rookie perspective, and the appearance of one (some) of my favorite of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’ rogues gallery – the Space Phantom(s). The Avengers assemble, after the jump.
One thing this new vision of the Avengers has done is establish itself as a new entity. There is as much distance as possible put between this and the much loved “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes,” whether it is connected to it or not. It is almost as if we’re trying a gangster for tax evasion. Nobody mention the mob. Here, I doubt there will ever be a reference to the previous show.
The costumes, the personalities, the situations all push the point. This is not last year’s Avengers. There’s no fun back and forth with Hulk and Hawkeye. There’s no intelligent camaraderie with Iron Man and Captain America. And Black Widow, much like the Lee/Kirby Sue Storm, appears to simply be window dressing, as in “Hey, here’s our token girl!”
The Falcon is now a brat, and an Iron Man sidekick, as opposed to Cap’s adult partner. I don’t what it is with the animated version of SHIELD recruiting children, but it’s getting annoying. Falc also seems to be a technical whiz, an Iron Man in training, and his wings can do whatever the writers need them to do. I’d rather have Cap’s trusted equal with borrowed Wakandan wings than what we have here.
The episode begins predictably enough, first with Falcon and Iron behaving like children, then with the rest of the team fighting like children, over cookies. This would be both great, and welcome, if this was “Marvel Super Hero Squad.” But it’s not. This is the show that forced one of the best comics animations off the air – it has to do better.
Ironically, the only Avenger who is acting like a serious adult is the one who in the comics actually does have a sense of fun and humor. Hawkeye is characterized as deadly serious. Ready for more disappointment? Yeah, Hawkeye is a Space Phantom.
The Space Phantoms
The Space Phantom, one of a race of such creatures, first appeared way back in Avengers #2. His appearance was that of a Kirbyesque Boris Karloff as Frankenstein monster rather than how they are shown here in the show, and his power was to take the place of someone, while sending them temporarily into Limbo. The misunderstandings and harsh words of that adventure are what drove the Hulk from the Avengers.
When the Space Phantom returned, it was as part of a plot to steal the body of Captain America (a plot we saw in the first episode of this series) and give it to the Grim Reaper in one of the more twisted super-villain schemes against the Avengers. Later these creatures were pawns of both Immortus and Kang in some of the most controversial stories of these heroes. So much potential to link them to the rest of Avengers history is wasted here, as they only want to invade Earth.
Phineas and Ferb Get It Right?
On a side note, this episode featured a sneak peek at “Phineas and Ferb Mission Marvel,” coming in August. Sigh, and the crossovers finally begin after more than a few years. Honestly, I don’t mind it, but what really frustrated me was that Thor was more in character doing stand up in that brief preview than he was being serious in all three episodes of “Avengers Assemble” so far. Someone needs to tell the powers that be that Thor is not Hercules. Maybe we could get Phineas and Ferb to write this series?
There were things I liked, believe it or not. It was nice to see Falcon and Captain America train together, and the cooperation in the final battle was fun to see. I wish the colors were brighter. Even the “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” cartoon had washed out colors, but “Assemble” sometimes looks like it’s just been in the sun too long.
Here’s hoping Thor’s vocabulary gets better than Hulk’s in the next episode, and that we get to see more of the villain group assembled in the second episode. Come on, how long are they going to make us wait for Doctor Doom, Attuma, and …Dracula?