Anyone worth their salt as an Avengers comics fan knows what happened to Bucky. He was believed killed for decades in the incident that led to Captain America being frozen and revived in the present day. Then he pulled off a resurrection of his own, emerging as the Winter Soldier. See what happens when he tangles with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in this week’s episode of “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble.” Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on “Ghosts of the Past.”
One of the biggest differences between Disney XD’s first, and still far superior, Avengers animated series “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” and this one is that the former was solidly based on the comics, and “Avengers Assemble” is based more on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I do however like when they try to blend the two. Witness Captain America and the Falcon.
They are a peerless team and best friends in the comics, and to an extent in the second Cap movie. The cartoon Falcon is a bit different comics and movie but so far this season, the writers have trying to remedy that. In the opening we see the duo taking on some leftover Hydra insurgents and working fairly well as a team. And with the Avengers: Age of Ultron movie trailer breaking this past week, believe me, the other movie similarity of Iron Man leading remotely did not escape my eyes either.
When Falcon is nearly killed falling to his death, just like the way Bucky ‘died,’ it doesn’t escape Captain America’s notice either. He is noticeably bugged. And when Falcon suggests that Cap mentor him later the cold shoulder gets even icier. And did I mention Winter Soldier watching the whole Hydra incident from afar?
In the meantime, it’s business as usual in Avengers Tower. Iron Man is trying get his pal Arsenal back online so he can turn into Ultron (yeah, I called it weeks ago, where’s my steak dinner?). Black Widow is interrogating the Red Skull. Thor, Hulk, and Hawkeye are horsing around. And Falcon asks Widow about Cap’s old partner Bucky. What better time for the Winter Soldier to break in?
The Winter Soldier Redux
As much as this animated series wants to sync up with the movies, it keeps the death of Bucky and the origins of the Winter Soldier vague. Apparently in this continuity the Red Skull was responsible for turning Bucky into Winter Soldier. Winter Soldier has come to Avengers Tower to kidnap him, for the sad excuse of revenge. And so we can see Captain America and Winter Soldier fight. Again.
And it’s not so much as saving a life in stopping Winter Soldier from taking the Skull as it is that the Avengers need his information on Thanos. We’re talking about some twisted morality here. It was this kind of mangled logic that really made me hate so-called classic Avengers stories like “Civil War” and “Operation: Galactic Storm.”
All the problems I might have with this episode, I have to say the fights on top of the train, and especially on top of a subspace missile to Belarus, were super cool. Definitely there were steps up in this episode for characterization, pacing, and the fights were less mindless slugfest and more meaningful character driven combat.
It’s not all good however. The Avenjet? Really? The Avenjet?? When your team has its own cool mode of transportation that has its own real sounding name like quinjet, you don’t have to go all Batman ’66 on it and name it after your codename. Quinjets are cool. Please don’t ever let me hear the term ‘Avenjet’ again, please!