Finally, after far too long a hiatus, “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble” is back, and it’s back with a vengeance. In this episode Earth’s Mightiest Heroes try to take down their enemies in The Cabal once and for all, or do they? Meet me after the jump for my review of “Bring On the Bad Guys!”
What’s in a Name?
The title of this episode brings back memories for me. Back in the seventies when I was growing up, comic books had been around for a long time. You couldn’t just use Google or Wikipedia to look up who characters were or what their origins or backgrounds were because the internet didn’t exist yet. If there wasn’t a flashback or a reprint, you didn’t know how your favorite heroes and villains came to be.
In the 1970s, Marvel Comics (and DC did one as well), in conjunction with Simon & Schuster, published several volumes, in large trade paperback book form, of the reprinted origins of their characters. Origins of Marvel Comics was followed by Son of Origins, and then there was also The Superhero Women, and focusing on the villains – Bring On the Bad Guys. Good times.
A Team of Villains
The Cabal – Attuma, Dracula, MODOK, the Super-Adaptoid, along with A.I.M., various vampire and Atlantean minions, and led by the Red Skull – have been delivered defeat at the hands of the Avengers more than a couple times so far in this series. The bad guys lose, just as they always do. But now, the Red Skull finds out why.
The Skull has accessed, with MODOK’s help, Tony Stark’s computer, the aptly named J.A.R.V.I.S. (after the much loved Avengers butler, Edwin Jarvis, of the comics), and through computer simulations figured out what The Cabal needs to win – teamwork. With J.A.R.V.I.S. at his disposal, the Skull seeks to beat the Avengers at their own game.
We are a full eleven minutes in, with The Cabal launching a full assault on Washington DC and wasting SHIELD and the military, before the Avengers even show up. Our heroes have the upper hand right away, and the Black Widow (hey, she’s actually in this one) comments that The Cabal usually aren’t this coordinated. But are they?
What strikes me as odd is that the baddies still are playing by the old rules, facing the heroes one on one. The Avengers themselves – save for Hawkeye, Widow, and Falcon on Super-Adaptoid – really aren’t working as a team either. Except for radio communication and Iron Man barking orders, they’re barely a team here. Nevertheless The Cabal falls and the Skull is captured.
Captain America thinks it was too easy. At he’s in character. It’s true, it’s all part of the plan, and to quote Admiral Ackbar, “It’s a trap!” The Cabal wanted the Tricarrier. Not the Helicarrier, but the Tricarrier, because it inexplicably breaks into three parts. Anyway, they were after who was being held there, their newest member, Hyperion.
So the bad guys win, and live to win again. And while I enjoyed this brief insight into their point of view, I think I would have rather had that time devoted to the Avengers, and their point of view. Let’s face it, the most intriguing characters in an Avengers cartoon should not be Dracula, MODOK, or the Red Skull.
I liked the episode, predictable as it was, but at least its cliffhanger ending indicates we’ll have more. Hopefully we won’t have so long a wait for the next one.