Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes

Avengers:EMH opening theme & closing credits.

The new Avengers cartoon, story edited by Marvel writer Chris Yost, has begun. I recommend starting with the 20 5-minute mini-episodes that were done as prequels to the premiere. They’re not essential in the sense that you can certainly enjoy and understand the series without them – with one exception: the explanation of why Hawkeye’s in The Vault in ep. 1 – but they’re very good and they flesh out the background of the story. The Captain America shorts, set in WWII, are the best ones (look for the cameo in the Howling Commandos scene) but even the Ant-Man eps are pretty cool. You can view the mini-episodes on Disney XD's Avengers page, which for some reason wants to show you the last episode first. To view them in order, you have to scroll down and watch them from the bottom up. (I think the mini-eps are available in Comcast and Verizon’s “On Demand” too, but I haven’t verified that.)

The initial two-part story in the full episodes is loosely based on the premise of Brian Bendis’ “New Avengers”, where a massive supervillain prison breakout brings the heroes together. It goes in some surprising directions, however, and the threat level is high enough that I honestly wasn’t sure how the heroes were going to win. The character designs are great – I especially like how big Thor and the Hulk are compared to the other characters – and there are tons of supervillain cameos during the prison breaks. (My only quibbles: Whiplash is a woman for some reason, and the Living Laser has an odd costume that I initially mistook for Vector of the U-Foes.) I really enjoyed the way the show is faithful to the source material but still modern and interesting. I loved the interpretation of the Hulk they’re using, and I’m not ashamed to admit that this old fan got a bit of a chill when the Wasp named the team at the end of episode 2.

“Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” airs Wednesday nights at 8:30pm on Disney XD. For you Captain America fans, I think the episode where they pull him out of the ice is scheduled to air the first week in November. The clip above is the cheesy (but catchy) theme song for the show. I like the animation in it, and I thought it would be less likely to get pulled off YouTube than any story material.

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