Karen: The new Avengers cartoon, Avengers Assemble, has been on the air for about 4 weeks or so now. Not sure if any of you have noticed. We've been watching it sort of half-heartedly in my house. We're trying to give it a chance, but it just lacks the smarts and style of its predecessor, Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
Karen: It's quite obvious that Marvel is doing everything they can to make this animated show resemble the movie version of Avengers as much as possible. As far as I know, that's the main reason they cancelled A:EMH and started up this new show, to try to present some sort of 'unified front' in their entertainment I suppose. The costumes look more like the movies outfits, and at least for Iron Man, the actor doing the voice seems to be trying to sound like Robert Downey Jr.
Karen: There's also the jokes. I don't think a line of dialogue can end without a joke, unless it's Captain America talking. He's the only one who gets an exemption it seems. And there's little to no character development. I think the only character who has seen any actual time devoted to understanding who he is would be the Falcon, and that's because he's used as a viewpoint character. Of course, they've also completely changed him from the comics, but I guess that doesn't matter, because the cartoon doesn't appear to really be referencing the comics.
Karen: So far I believe I've seen five episodes (including the two-part premiere) and it's pretty much been wall to wall action, with characters crashing and smashing across the screen but little in the way of plot or motivation. It's obviously geared to keep the kids interested and ready to buy toys. I know I had read that Jeph Loeb said they were going with "done in one" stories because the multi-episode stories of A:EMH were basically too much for little kids to handle. I guess good plotting and character development are too.
Karen: They do a segment at the end of the show comparing an Avenger's powers to a real life athlete and they use clips from A:EMH and it just reminds me every time how much better that show was than this new show. I'm hoping we'll see improvement but I doubt it. I think, for me, a big part of the problem is that this show seems so removed from the comics, whereas A:EMH embraced the 40+ years of history Marvel has and drew upon it. They had episodes with the Kree Sentry, for Pete's sake! Now we have seen some old- time villains in the new show too, but they keep having to tie them into the movies somehow and it just feels weird: the Super-Adaptoid created by Justin Hammer?
Karen: I haven't even touched on the animation. While I never thought A:EMH was fantastic, it looks far better than AA, which sometimes makes me think I am watching an old episode of GI Joe. Seriously, who is drawing this thing?
Karen: While there's nothing inherently wrong with Marvel wanting to promote their movie line, it's a shame they had to take off a really well-made show like A:EMH and replace it with pablum like AA to do it.
Jim Steranko bio
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