Sometimes things get lost in the shuffle and fall through the cracks. While it’s true I’ve reviewed most of the two seasons of the “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble” animated series at Biff Bam Pop!, I haven’t done them all. Here, we set the wayback machine for the second episode, and the conclusion of “The Avengers Protocol” story, after the jump.
The Status Quo
The Avengers have broken up for whatever reasons, and have been apart for some time. However the return of the Red Skull from the dead, and the defeat of Captain America by the villain and the hordes of Hydra, cause Tony Stark to activate the Avengers Protocol, re-forming the team, along with new hero the Falcon.
With the help of M.O.D.O.K., the Red Skull has hatched a devious plan that would make Dan Slott of Superior Spider-Man proud. Captain America and the Red Skull have switched minds – Cap in the Skull’s dying body, and the Skull in Cap’s super-soldier bod. They’re switched back, but it turns out it wasn’t Cap the Skull was after, it was Stark’s armor.
Friends and Foes
There’s a scramble to get Stark home from the Skull’s arctic headquarters, and the team heads curiously to the Mansion as opposed to the Tower. After recovering, Stark breaks up the band again and tells everyone to get lost. They pair off, not quite leaving. There’s a sense of times past and nostalgia as Hawkeye and the Black Widow browse a gallery of indiscernible statues, presumably of former Avengers, and as Hulk and Thor have one last brawl in the training room for old times’ sake.
How long was this team together anyway? I would love to see the series bible. Most times these characters behave like newbies, but then there are things like this, the numerous statues, or the inexplicable past battles with Ultron. Ultimately however the nostalgia turns to hostility with M.O.D.O.K.’s Puppeteer nanotech. These pairs fight, just as Cap and the Falcon do later. Friend against friend.
In hindsight after almost two seasons, watching this fledgling Avengers team ‘work together’ almost makes sense. I have often complained and dismissed this series because of its treatment and misunderstanding of how teamwork operates in the Avengers of the comics, but perhaps I have been looking at it all wrong.
Here in only the second episode of the series – there is no trust, no cooperation, no planning, and Iron Man is the worst leader possible. But then it dawns on me, they had to learn to become the team that so flawlessly takes down Hyperion in a recent episode. It was a long road to get it right, apparently about a two season road.
Even though this team has been together before, no matter how nebulous that may be, this is still an origin story. The Mansion is destroyed, so the team moves to the Tower, subtle that. Cap takes the lead in explaining the pros of the Avengers as a team – living and training together, and especially being on guard for the threat that now faces them. We’re getting set up, it’s an origin story.
On the other side of the fence, having seen how the Avengers work, the Iron Skull intends to form his own team, the Cabal. He invites a few others to join him and M.O.D.O.K. in destroying the Avengers. Among those invited are Attuma, Doctor Doom, and Dracula. And so it begins. Bringing us up to date, there are still two episodes left in the second season, I’ll see you when they air. Thanks for coming back for this lost episode recap and review.