Now I know what you’re thinking – “How could that rascally old Dragon get an advance copy of Avengers Assemble?”
The answer is simple – Marvel/Disney put the first episode (part one of the series premiere, debuting this coming Sunday, May 26) up on ITunes, for free! So I jumped at the chance before they changed their mind.
First off, I was a big fan of Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. It was well written, and it looked GREAT! Nice clean lines, good solid colors, crisp animation. The facial expressions were great as well. I was among those who vocally lamented its cancellation, especially considering its critical and ratings successes. But now we know the real reasons as to why it was done.
They wanted a show to:
A) connect to the movies more
B) fit into the Marvel Animated Universe as seen in Ultimate Spider-Man
C) Sell more toys. (Well, maybe not ‘officially’.)
We were told that Assemble was going to ‘pick up’ where Mightiest left off.
There is (so far) no sign, let alone a mention of Ant-Man/Giant-Man/Yellowjacket & The Wasp, Black Panther, The Vision or Ms. Marvel.
Further proof that the new show is NOT connected, comes in the form of the Red Skull, who is (without giving too much away) the first villain they face. As we all know, the Skull was the villain behind a multi episode arc on Mightiest. Yet when viewing him, Iron Man comments, “The Red Skull? But he’s long dead!”
The animation is VERY different from Mightiest. It’s a more ‘cartoony style’, much closer to the look/feel of Ultimate Spider-Man.
Hawkeye is in the movie outfit (which I HATE)…
…as is Captain America. This is, however identical to the costume worn by the Skrull Cap during the Skrull Invasion story arc on Mightiest.
Thor is practically in the same costume as the second season of Mightiest, which is close to the movie outfit.
Hulk is the MOST visually different, though, as he looks more “toonish”, similar in look to his new show, HULK & THE AGENTS OF SMASH, which supposedly does NOT tie into Assemble.
Further tying it more to the Movie Universe is the fact that Avengers Tower (as opposed to the Mansion, used in Mightiest) is the HQ. At the end of the movie, Stark’s tower only had the stylized ‘A’ hanging on it, in a major case of foreshadowing, as seen here during Assemble.
With the exception of Fred Tatasciore as Hulk, the voice cast is COMPLETELY different .
Roger Craig Smith’s Cap does sound fairly close to Mightiest‘s Cap, Brian Bloom. Smith HAS voiced Cap already, however for his appearance on Ultimate Spider-Man. He also did the voice for Captain Mar-Vell on Mightiest.
A nice (if not unexpected) choice of voice casting is Adrian Pasdar as Tony Stark/Iron Man. He’s played Stark before, for the Iron Man Anime series, as well as on USM. He also voiced Hawkeye for the kid-oriented SUPER HERO SQUAD SHOW. He’ll also be providing Stark’s voice for the new Hulk show, as well as the forthcoming Lego Marvel Super Heroes video game. Further ‘Geek’ points – he of course played Nathan on HEROES.
Thor’s voice is now provided by Travis Willingham. As with the previous voice artists, he’s previously played the character on USM. (Anyone else seeing a pattern?) He also voiced Hulk & Human Torch for the Squad Show.
Troy Baker voices Hawkeye, as he has previously on (all together now) USM, as well as for the video game, Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth and the direct-to-video movie IRON MAN: RISE OF TECHNIVORE. On Mightiest, he gave voice to SHIELD Agent Clay Quartermain.
Bumper Robinson voices Falcon for the first time, though he voiced War Machine on Mightiest. There’s a War Machine gag that I’ll let you all discover. Hey NIGHT COURT fans – as a kid, Bumper played Leon, the feisty orphan that Harry wanted to adopt.
Rounding out the regular cast is Laura Bailey, who voices Natasha/Black Widow. In the past, she’s given voice to Firestar for the Squad Show, as well as to Scarlet Witch & Phoenix in the Avengers BFE video game.
Chi McBride appears as Nick Fury, as viewers of (again) Ultimate Spider-Man will recognize. I’m sure he’ll be a recurring character. This further shows the connection between the two current series. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to find Clark Gregg voicing Agent Phil Coulson at some point, as he does on USM.
There’s also more humor along the lines of USM but fortunately, (at least not yet) there’s no breaking of the 4th wall. A sign of this is shown in one of the commercials, where Falcon asks Iron Man to say, “Avengers Assemble!” so he can make it his ring tone. UGH!
There’s also a LOT of ‘fun’ fights/skirmishes between Hulk, Thor & Hawkeye, much more ‘frat boy’ like than previously.
Overall, I’m not yet very impressed and feel somewhat disappointed, but this may be no more than lamenting the changes.
I’m willing to give it a bit of a chance, but they have some ‘Mighty’ big shoes to fill.
-Please note –
All Avengers images are used strictly for the purpose of this review and no other. No rights are inferred whatsoever.