The Avengers and Agents of S.M.A.S.H. Assemble!

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When last we left the “Agents of S.M.A.S.H.” and the “Avengers Assemble” teams, they were confronted by a Kree Supreme Intelligence who had absorbed the mind of the Hulk. Can the heroes stop a Kree invasion and save their friend too? Find out after the gamma-irradiated jump.

Is This The End?

Despite the episodes being run apparently out of order (most sites list two previously broadcast episodes as the final ones), the “Planet Monster” two-parter is the season finale of “Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.” And what better way to end a season than a team-up with the Avengers, and a lot of the rest of the Marvel Animated Universe too, right?

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Whether the series will return for a third season is up in the air. I am hearing that it has been canceled, but it should be remembered that this is the show that was canceled before it even aired, and yet we got a second season, so who really knows, right? I disliked this series quite a bit at first, but it’s grown on me, and has certainly featured more of the Marvel Universe than my regular go-to, “Avengers Assemble.”

av3The Beast Within

As we open, the Avengers and the Smashers have to deal with a raging Supreme Intelligence, unable to keep the Hulk contained, he savagely attacks our heroes. These are heroes, who working together finally, have a new respect for each other. In a desperate attempt to save the Hulk, A-Bomb enters the mind of the Supreme Intelligence, while the assembled Avengers and Smashers attack from outside.

It should be remembered that before his gamma transformation, A-Bomb was Rick Jones, sidekick to both the Hulk and Captain America, alternate identity to Captain Marvel, and an honorary Avenger. The boy has been around. During the classic Kree/Skrull War, Rick encountered the Supreme Intelligence under similar circumstances, and he created an army of Golden Age superheroes from his youth to stop the Kree.

av4The Kree/Skrull War, Sans Skrulls

As I said, a lot of what we’re seeing here in this episode is homage to perhaps one of the greatest Avengers stories ever, the Kree/Skrull War. A freeze frame in the what-has-gone-before opening is even a direct restaging of the cover of Avengers #92. There are even echoes of the story’s sequels here as well, including “Operation: Galactic Storm.” Clearly, creator/writer Paul Dini wanted to go out with a bang.

And bang it is, as Hulk goes into battle against Ronan personally with Captain America’s shield. As the Supreme Intelligence takes matters into his own hands, erm, um, tentacles, the Smashers call upon Earth’s other heroes for help. Spider-Man, Ghost Rider, Doctor Strange, the Inhumans, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Hercules, the Howling Commandos, Devil Dinosaur, and the monsters of Monster Island among others, are all there to join the fight. Not Golden Age heroes, but still good.

In Conclusion

I was very resistant to this show at first, thinking the concept juvenile, the characters unlikable, and the situations out of continuity, but I have to admit that “Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.” has grown on me. While the concept might not be from the comics, the adventures of the team and the characters encountered certainly are. It has become the travelogue of the Marvel Universe that by all rights its companion series “Avengers Assemble” should have been.

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Again, I don’t know if it will be back, but we should have the reruns for a little bit at least, check it out. And don’t forget to tune into Disney X-D this coming US holiday weekend for Marvel’s Super Hero Slam Marathon, featuring episodes from “Ultimate Spider-Man,” “Avengers Assemble,” and the mini-sodes of “Marvel Maximum Overload.”

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