The Avengers: Earthís Mightiest Heroes! - Volume 2
Written by Jason Flick
May 2, 2011
The summer blockbuster season is fast approaching with not one but two super hero powered silver screen presentations. To tide the multitude of family and fan movie goers, people can get a taste of some of their favorite Marvel superheroes in animated form with the release of The Avengers: Earthís Mightiest Heroes! Volume 2 on DVD. Featuring the next 7 episodes of Season 1, this single disc package is where things start to get interesting.
In this DVD release, we get to see a few of Asgardís villains playing trick on the Avengers, the unseen motives and outward appearing cruelty of Tony Stark as well as the return of the legendary super soldier Steve Rogers aka Captain America. The Panther makes his presence known as well as Cupid, I mean Hawkeye as well as a gamma powered nightmare in this DVDís two-part finale. Iíll cover a few of my favorites from Volume 2 though most of these episodes are all favorites to me so the choices were hard.
The first is an episode called ďEverything is WonderfulĒ that to no surprise features Iron Man and more importantly Tony Stark as well as Wasp, Thor and the villain MODOC. This episode starts out with Tony in a meeting with fellow industrialist Simon Williams who is begging Tony not to buy out his company. Tony at first comes off rather uncaring to both Simon and the listening Ant-Man. This causes Simon to go off and do something rash as he listens to the villain Grim Reaper, also Simonís brother, and ends up agreeing to an experiment that turns him into an ionic energy being bent on taking out Stark. Only Tonyís true and noble intentions come light as things turn bad for Simon now Wonder Man. The final minutes of this episodes is one reason I like Stark and Iron Man so much and itís awesome to see this kind of content in this show.
My second favorite, though a close second to the two-part episode, is called ďLiving LegendĒ where the Avengers on their search for The Hulk come across the alive but frozen body of Captain America. After a brief fight where Cap kicks some but, he learns that he has been gone for the world of heroes for a long time. Through most of the episode, he starts to doubt his place amongst the new heroes but quickly finds his place after his is attacked by old rival Baron Zemo. This episode is interesting because they show how all these modern heroes looked up to the work that Cap did before his presumed death including things that impact Stark and Furyís lives greatly.
The Avengers: Earthís Mightiest Heroes! so far looks to be an interesting addition to the world of animated superhero shows. There is enough lightning stricking, repulsor firing, and good old fashioned brawling action to make any young boy or girl want more. As someone who has grown up watching many of these characters across different series or movies, this one has potential to last a while, or at least until the allure of the Avengers wears off after the much anticipated big screen version hits theaters. One of it's many appeals to me is it's great assembly of heroes as well as an equally impressive rogue's gallery.
While this is an animated show that has more than one director or producer, I really like the direction that they took with creating each episode. Each of the core character episodes are actually several small episodes put together seamlessly to highlight their back stories and shows each heroes motivations and personalities. I found that I really enjoyed the sheer number of classic enemies from all the various supervillains and the different prisons that they put into the show as well. This DVD ends with an awesome action packed two-part episode that will lead to the rest of the show where these newly teamed up heroes will have to find and put behind bars once again. That is if their differences donít ruin the team first.
The Avengers: Earthís Mightiest Heroes! features some very cool animation styles that definitely show how far animation has come. Presented in 1.78:1 the show features clean animation as well as excellent explosions, energy blasts, special effects and even a cool old war movie style in the first Captain America episode. Iím also a fan of the new animated takes on The Hulk and Iron Man. Iron Man and Tony Stark both receive and more modern look and I absolutely love the in helmet display that you see from time to time. Itís almost 3D at times. Tony receives a new cyber looking under suit that he wears under his clothes that the armor goes on top off similar to the new comic books. Hulk on the other hand receives a slick intelligent yet still muscular powerhouse design. Iím also a huge fan of the opening intro which features an amazing slow motion camera spin that highlights the major characters in action.
You canít have a good animated show without good voice actors and The Avengers: Earthís Mightiest Heroes! has them in spades. Presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and featuring industry veterans such as John DiMaggio, Scott Menville, Mark Hamill, Lance Henriksen, Nolan North, and Fred Tatasciore. Eric Loomis who has taken up the mantle of the modern voice of Iron Man does a fantastic job portraying the ego-centered but caring billionaire. All of the voice actors bring this show to life brilliantly amongst the equally fantastic sound effects. The theme song ďFight as OneĒ by the rock band Bad City really sets the mood for the show and will be a hit with the young ones.
The single disc DVD of The Avengers: Earthís Mightiest Heroes! Volume 2 will run you around $15 dollars at retailers which isnít bad at all for seven episodes though this volume runs about 24 shorter than Volume 1. This package also offers no real special features but you can view a sneak peak at Season 2 of The Avengers: Earthís Mightiest Heroes! Viewers can get a look at how The Avengers must defend their home from an outside attack and must find out who the real threat is. A few big villains will come to light and I for one canít wait.
Overall I was fairly impressed with the quality of the animation and story in the The Avengers: Earthís Mightiest Heroes! Volume 2 DVD. From what Iíve seen, I can guarantee that this will be a show that young children will enjoy as well as older Marvel fans like me. The Avengers: Earthís Mightiest Heroes! Volume 2 definitely shows more character motivations as they set out to save the world one villain and impending disasters at a time. This second volume definitely brings the action that the last volume started and this is a must buy for families and fans of superhero action.