Change just for the sake of change. I hate it. I’ll counter it with another cliché. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This is why “Avengers Assemble” irritates me so much. The source material is terrific. The source material produced a bestselling comic book franchise, and a billion dollar movie blockbuster – why muck with it? Those were my very thoughts when I first saw the teenaged Molecule Man in this newest episode of “Avengers Assemble,” but things are not always what they seem, as you’ll see in my review of “Molecule Kid,” after the jump.
The Molecule Man
In the comics, the Molecule Man (a Fantastic Four foe, don’t get me started on how the creators of this show hate the Avengers rogues gallery) was a walking example of how the meek shall inherit the Earth. Owen Reece was bathed in weird radiation and gained the ability to control and transform all matter. In theory he was the most powerful being ever, and therefore dangerous enough for The Watcher to sic the Fantastic Four on him.
Over the years, the Molecule Man has wavered between being all-powerful and having mental blocks of needing a wand to use his powers, from being romantic to being megalomaniac, from being an arch-super-villain to being a reluctant hero. It all depends on what the story required. As many writers have found in writing Superman, near omnipotence is hard to write.
Here in the “Avengers Assemble” Marvel Animated Universe, the Molecule Man is a foe fought long ago by the Avengers, proof of a past not really referenced until now. We had been promised that “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” was still in continuity, and that “Avengers Assemble” was a sequel, but really, this is the first proof we have really been provided.
So the Avengers have fought the Molecule Man before, and the best part of the flashback? Hawkeye is in his purple togs. I’m pretty sure Iron Man might’ve had different armor as well, but it was the purple costume that rocked my world. Please, can we have it back? And as long as we’re in a giving mood, maybe the costume with the skirt as well? That was always my favorite.
Son of the Molecule Man
In tracking down MM’s tech, specifically his power-giving wand, Hawkeye and the Black Widow come across a kid who looks suspiciously like their quarry. He has not only got an outfit and a wand like his Dad’s, he’s on the run from AIM. And he seems as fond of AIM’s company as he is the Avengers’. Aaron Reece doesn’t want anyone’s ‘help.’
The arrivals of Captain America and the Super-Adaptoid do little to calm the kid, and the Avengers (all notably non-super-powered) are in a bit of a fix. SHIELD has given Widow orders that Iron Man not be involved – they don’t want that tech in Stark’s hands. Talk about paranoid.
There are of course worse things than Stark having that technology – MODOK having that technology. Chills all around when MODOK’s face sprouts from the chest of the Super-Adaptoid. Brrrr…
And even though Iron Man says, “All’s well that ends well,” we’re still not sure what the real status of MODOK and the Super-Adaptoid are at the end. It does look like the powers that be are consolidating the MAU a bit as it seems ‘Molecule Kid’ is headed for the SHIELD training program from “Ultimate Spider-Man.” See, barely any Molecule Man in this episode and things turned out all right anyway, very little change.
Odds and Ends
Good interaction between Hawkeye and the Black Widow, so nice to see her being used as something more than the token female. Lets face it, Natasha has never been Sue Storm or the Wasp, especially the 1960s versions.
I also liked the animation redesigns of the AIM scientists/terrorists. It’s hard to make beekeeper suits look cool or menacing, but they do it here. I still wish the colors weren’t so muted, and it would be nice if the Widow was a redhead.
There was also no sign of Thor or Hulk in this episode. One could assume Thor is busy promoting his new movie and Hulk is busy with the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., but I just hope the latter doesn’t mean the Avengers have lost the Hulk.
Next week – there doesn’t seem to be a preview for the Avengers, but it looks like Iron Man will be visiting “Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.”