The Avengers, Phineas and Ferb, and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.

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There was no new episode of “Avengers Assemble” this week, just a rerun of the clash with the Space Phantoms in the “Ghost of a Chance” episode, but that doesn’t mean that Disney XD and The Disney Channel had a lack of animated Avengers this weekend. Join me after the jump for my reviews of “Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel” and this week’s “Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.” guest-starring Iron Man.

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Graboids from the Negative Zone

On “Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.,” the SMASHers are on their way to NYC to intercept an incursion from the Negative Zone before the Avengers get there. Why these guys are dealing with stuff from the Negative Zone rather that the expert, Reed Richards, is beyond me but the show has been slow on explanation but high on fun and character, so I can let it ride.

It’s Blastaar the Living Bomb-Burst. You can tell because they blasted the name at you in case you didn’t know. And like Annihilus before him, Hulk seems to know exactly who he is. Blastaar also has apparently got the Graboids from Tremors working for him. Iron Man shows up to help.

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Hulk Busted

Long story short, the baddie, a very big-headed Leader, gets control over Iron Man’s Hulkbuster armors and send them after the SMASHers. Yeah, I said armors, plural, for the sake of the show, Stark built a set to oppose each of the SMASHers. There’s a lot of smashing and, of course, the Stan Lee brand of misunderstanding that always accompanied such slugfests back in the day.

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As I said in my initial review of the pilot for this series, the voice cast is impressive, and continues to be so. And after so many episodes of seeing the Black Widow being treated as a second-class citizen and team member in “Avengers Assemble,” it was refreshing to see the more progressive way She-Hulk was presented here. Maybe when “Smash” is over, the Avengers can have She-Hulk?

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The Set Up

I’m a latecomer to Phineas and Ferb, mostly because I don’t have kids, but through the nephew, I have absorbed quite a bit. Phineas and Ferb are just two kids, with irregularly shaped heads, nerdy dispositions, and incredible tinkering skills to match their imaginations, who just want to have fun over the summer. Like most good cartoons, this comedy musical works on two different levels – humor for the kids, and humor for the adults. It’s always fun and never takes itself seriously.

The kids usually run across their pet platypus Perry, who is also a crime fighting secret agent, fighting his arch-nemesis, Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz, Doof for short. If you think about it, the set up for a crossover with the Marvel superheroes is almost staring us in the face. Who wouldn’t want to see Perry team with Nick Fury to take on Doof and the Red Skull?

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Crossing the Streams

Remember when Marvel Comics were fun? When every other day wasn’t about the destruction of all time and space and another superhero death? The folks at Phineas and Ferb do. And they present it wonderfully, and without breaking character on anyone’s part. This is what crossovers are supposed to be like.

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The story has a Doof weapon gone awry stealing the powers of Iron Man, Thor, Spider-Man, and the Hulk. They go to Phineas and Ferb to get them back. Meanwhile, the Red Skull, Venom, MODOK, and decidedly cinematic version of Whiplash go to Doof for the device with the powers. Hilarity ensues, but never at the sacrifice of character.

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Highlights

There are so many good things to see here. When first see the heroes and villains in action it’s a great slice of what I always imagined Marvel New York to be like when I was a kid. I loved the song where Doof and the villains go out on the town. We also get “The Lonely Man Theme” from the old “Incredible Hulk” show, and a Howard the Duck reference. There’s even a Stan Lee cameo.

My favorite part however is the color. I have complained before about the faded hues used in the “Hulk” and “Avengers Assemble” cartoons, but here, the colors are bright and vibrant. It is so nice to see Spider-Man in blue and red instead of grey and maroon. This show was a lot of fun, I loved it.

What’s Next?

Up next, Phineas and Ferb will be invading the Star Wars universe, while Hulk’s new series, only three episodes in, is dead in the water, already canceled. After thirteen episodes, “Hulk and Agents of Smash” are kaput. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is up to you.

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