It’s Halloween (yes, in April) on “Avengers: Ultron Revolution,” and Doctor Strange drops by to ask Earth’s mightiest heroes for help against his archenemy the dread Dormammu. Get ready for sorcery supreme and meet me after the jump for my thoughts on “Into the Dark Dimension.”
Avengers vs. Defenders
Now any time the dread Dormammu shows up in an Avengers story I am filled with nostalgia. It takes me right back to the summer of 1973 and the Avengers/Defenders clash, one of my favorites. Dormammu and Loki manipulated the two teams into combat over the magical weapon called the Evil Eye.
Once the Eye was in Dormammu’s possession he sought to merge his Dark Dimension with Earth’s plane. Monsters and demons ravaged the world as heroes united to fight them. Only two comics crossed over and there was no press blitz months before it, but it was amazing, and still stands as one of the best crossover events ever as far as I’m concerned.
It’s Halloween in this episode. This kinda threw me at first, but I rolled with it. If nothing else it puts Doctor Strange at the forefront of our minds while we wait for the movie and/or next trailer. What better time for magic, demons, and Mindless Ones than Halloween, right?
We begin with a Scooby-Doo-like bat fluttering opening followed by trick-or-treaters knocking on the door to Avengers Tower. They’re the same kids from the season’s first episode dressed as Iron Man, Hulk, Doctor Strange, and maybe Red Wolf, Black Knight, and the Living Mummy – or could be I’m just being hopeful. Was anyone else disturbed that Hulk was giving out candy canes from Christmas??
The Doctor Is In
Next thing you know, Doctor Strange shows up, looking a bit ragged. He apologizes for his appearance, which made me laugh out loud as this is the hipster hippie version of the Doctor from the Brian Michael Bendis New Avengers days. As seen in this week’s sneak preview, Strange is followed by Mindless Ones and flying demons.
Still following along Bendis lines, Iron Man gets snarky about magic and makes rude comments about Strange needing his help. Sometimes I have to wonder who is more full of regret and the inability to learn from his mistakes – the animated Tony Stark or Barry Allen from “The Flash“? The magic vs. science thing gets more annoying when Strange starts quipping back.
The Mindless Ones keep coming, so our heroic four (Stark, Strange, Hulk, and Thor) keep mindlessly fighting. In the midst of this, the Avengers are keeping a running tally of how many trick-or-treaters are dressed as them. As a few of her go by, Captain Marvel gets a name drop. It would absolutely rock to see her in this series.
I’m not quite sure of the exact logic of Dormammu’s plot, but when the Mindless Ones attack Stark’s main arc reactor, Dormammu pops through and steals Doctor Strange’s Eye of Agamotto. The Avengers must retrieve it from the Dark Dimension or Dormammu will rule all the universes. Don’t think about it too hard. Now I know why Tony doesn’t like magic…
Not So Mindless
The Hulk is surprisingly cognitive and thoughtful in this episode. It makes me harken back to the Avengers/Agents of SMASH team-up, here and here, where the Hulk talks about being what is needed when it’s needed. It was noteworthy that Stark actually asked Hulk’s opinion as a scientist once in this episode. Like Captain Marvel, I wouldn’t mind seeing Banner either.
I was stopped at one point when the Hulk referred to Doctor Strange as ‘the strange man.’ This was a lost opportunity for writer Danielle Wolff. The Hulk should have called Strange ‘stupid magician’ like back in the Defenders days. That would have made my day.
This was actually a pretty cool, if flawed, episode, highlighted by the trick-or-treated contest, and the Captain Marvel name drop. I also loved Thor at the end bragging he’d fought both the Midgard Serpent and Mangog on the same day. More Easter eggs! Hey, if they can do Halloween in April, I can do Easter late. And remember, kids, watch out for those ten month old candy canes…