As Avengers: Ultron Revolution seeks to stack the deck with new characters to replace the Avengers when the originals go missing in next season’s Secret Wars, this week we check in on an old friend and former Avenger, Ant-Man, as he tries to make it big in Hollywood. Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on this week’s episode.
As we open on this episode we get something, just a small tidbit, that made me smile. It’s a Los Angeles radio traffic report mentioning a robot invasion, like it’s nothing, just casual, happens everyday, but then again, in the Marvel Universe, it probably does. Luckily the Avengers are there to handle it. Curiously Thor mentions this is his first time in LA, while last week he kinda implied he’d pretty much been everywhere except Wakanda.
At first glance, the robots don’t look familiar. As it turns out they are the property of Marvelous Studios, the very place that Thor, Hawkeye, and the Black Widow are there to visit. Curious that these three Avengers are the ones coming to see Ant-Man. Wasn’t he more friendly with Falcon and Iron Man?
Tony Stark had better get a lawyer because Ant-Man’s latest gig is as a consultant on a film called Human-Ant and the Revengers. It features characters like Iron Guy, Colonel America, Viking King, the Bulk, Eyehawk, the Dark Spider, and led by the Human-Ant. The opponents in the movie are the traffic robots, the Lava Men (I guess the Mole Man must have signed a release), and it features a cameo of a certain clone-like spider-man.
Viking King, who is enamored of Thor and obsessed with being like him, wears a variation of Thor’s original costume with its brighter colors, and he even has yellow hair. The clever designers also had fun with the costumes on Eyehawk and the Human-Ant, as they wear approximations of Hawkeye and Ant-Man’s looks from the Fox animated series Avengers: United They Stand.
Just like the Revengers movie, this episode is more than a bit cheesy itself. Recycling a plot that could have very easily been lifted from the 1970s Fantastic Four or Spider-Man cartoons, Egghead is revealed as the mastermind behind the robots, and a disgruntled ex-employee trying to ruin the production. Not only is Egghead stealing Mysterio’s usual gig, it appears he’s walked into a bad Scooby-Doo episode.
Before Hawkeye can mutter “rut-roh,” I’d better clue you in on who Egghead really is. Elihas Starr is not in the movie biz, but a rather mad scientist who throughout the Silver and Bronze Ages was a continual foe of Henry Pym in his various identities, and the Wasp. Later, his grudges came to include all of the Avengers, as he formed villain groups, even his own Masters of Evil, to oppose them. He’s no Hollywood clown.
The Lava Men
The Lava Men (the real ones, not the special effects robots/actors seen here) are old school Avengers villains. These subterraneans first fought Thor in the Silver Age, then battled the Avengers in a rare adventure where the Hulk fought alongside (albeit unwillingly) the team after he left. One would never know it from the movies and the cartoons, but more often than not, the Hulk usually fought against the Avengers.
The battle against these Lava Men is rather pedestrian, doing all the gags one would expect of a melee in a movie studio. Between Hawkeye running past numerous green screen backdrops to a real working miniature sub, it got old very quickly. While I would have had the real thing (and that goes for Egghead too), it was still nice to see the Lava Men.
The cheese is relentless this episode. While the other Avengers pursue Egghead in a giant chicken robot (I could not make that up) and thwart his ridiculous plot to destroy Los Angeles, Thor is saddled with the short actor who plays Viking King in the movie. A twisted method actor, he wants to see what it’s like to be Thor, by watching the real thing close up.
After the actor, Tad, tries to pick a fight with a motorcycle gang called the Phantom Riders (nice call out to Ghost Rider), Thor tires of his nonsense and takes him to Asgard to see what it’s really like. Sadly this is done completely for laughs, and off-screen. This missing scene would have been one of the few in this episode worth seeing.
Once an Avenger…
As I mentioned in the intro, the Avengers seem to be collecting potential new members – Inferno, Ms. Marvel, the Vision, Captain Marvel, the Black Panther, and now the returning Ant-Man. It’s interesting that when Hawkeye suggested he come back, Black Widow was so adamant that he not. She calls Ant-Man a traitor for leaving to go solo. Hmmm… what did we miss off-screen between seasons?
As the saying goes, “Once an Avenger, always an Avenger,” and for no apparent reason the Black Widow changes her mind, just like that. Whenever he’s ready – assumedly next season – the Avengers will be there for him. Sooo… now that we have everyone else, isn’t it about time we got the Wasp too?
This was not a good episode. I seriously might rate several episodes of the aforementioned Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends or the H.E.R.B.I.E. the Robot Fantastic Four higher than this. Yes, I was happy to see Ant-Man, but sheesh. Also based on the title, surely I’m not the only one who expected Ant-Man to have some Giant-Man action, right? Better luck next time, I guess.
Next: The House of Zemo!