Previously on Avengers Assemble: Covering episodes #1 - #4
When Iron Man attempts to come to Captain America’s aid and witnesses the iconic hero’s demise, he decides to band together the Avengers once again to take out the Red Skull’s Hydra. After failing to accurately lead Earth’s Mightiest Heroes into a successful battle, Iron Man sacrifices his own suit’s capabilities so that Falcon can come in to save the day. The Avengers discover that Captain America is not dead, but instead the prisoner of the Red Skull and M.O.D.O.K., a combination that proves to nearly be the team’s undoing when Iron Man loses his armor and the ARC power source that keeps his heart going. Rushing back to NYC to keep Iron Man alive, the Avengers find themselves fighting one another due to an evil influence by the Red Skull’s forces. Eventually, the team is successful and decide to live together in Stark Tower to train together to be a better fighting force than previous.
Sam Wilson, the newest and youngest of the heroes, finds himself struggling to fit in with the rest of the Avengers. He finds himself amazed by the different personalities of his new teammates, fearful that his skills will prove not to be as sufficient as the rest, but is quickly made to realize that he is a true hero when he alone is able to save his comrades from extra-dimensional forces, as well as aiding Thor in the fulfillment of prophecy that threatened to destroy the Asgardian god.
Tony Stark (Iron Man): Industrialist and engineer, Tony Stark is a hero by his own creation thanks to the ARC reactor in his heart. A playboy and an irresponsible man most of the time, he has done his best to put others first, so that he may prove to the world he’s more than just a suit (of armor).
Steve Rogers (Captain America): The preeminent Avenger of World War II, Captain Steve Rogers believes in not just the ideal of America, but of the execution of it. Straight-laced, idealistic, and a power to encounter, he is the soul of the team if no longer the leader.
Clint Barton (Hawkeye): A marksman of the highest caliber, Clint Barton sees a target as just something he hasn’t shot at yet. Brash, abrasive, and egotistical, he believes that he’s outstanding at what he does despite being taught many a lesson by his fellow heroes.
Bruce Banner (The Hulk): A great scientist trapped in the body of a rampaging monster, Bruce Banner understands the power he has at his fingertips. Ever aware of the anger inside of him, he does his best to find tranquility in life, so as not to smash his fellow teammates into oblivion.
Natalia Romanova (Black Widow): An expert spy who has worked both sides of the game, Natalia Romanova is the spook that makes other spooks jump. Deadly with her skills, she is able to take apart a cell of terrorists with nothing but herself.
Sam Wilson (Falcon): A former S.H.I.E.L.D. trainee with something to prove, Sam Wilson is the young kid who idolizes the others. Strong, intelligent, and capable, he goes to great lengths to show he belongs on the team even at the expense of his own safety.
Thor Odinson (Thor): The God of Thunder and savior of Asgard, Thor is the heavy hitter who aspires to be more than the “Viking deity.” Heedful of prophecy and magics, he sees the world as his to protect for the sake of humanity.
Much like in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the ever-present and personality A.I. companion of Tony—J.A.R.V.I.S.—is a nice, grounding affect to the outlandish characteristics of Iron Man. While a part of me would like to see the old human version of this Avengers staple, it is good to see that he still exists in some form even in this animated show; however, without the human version, it is a real wonder how Stark Tower is able to be kept clean. These people are not the most sanitary at times.
The animation of the show itself is top-notch, a clear indication that this isn’t a low priority in the budget pool. There are moments when the CGI/3D aspect of the animation is clear, but as with other Man of Action shows, it is done is such a way that there’s a seamless connection between the two.
Much like the Ultimate Spider-Man series that I reviewed last year, I find the character portrayal and writing to not be what I would consider a good match for these Marvel heroes. Unlike the previous Avengers show (Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes) which seemed to focus a lot on detailed plot and storytelling, the character interaction between these heroes is rather juvenile and simplistic, giving no measure to the intricate and detailed adventures that have made the comics (and the film) so popular. While small quips and side-jokes are great to see in the comics, too much of it in the show makes it a low enjoyment on my part; I mean, the Avengers fighting over cookies is a bit out of hand.
The pacing of the show also seems to be too fast at times, especially in the first two episodes. Almost immediately there is action without any real exposition to go along with it, and even when it becomes apparent that Iron Man needs to bring in others to help him, he does it really fast paced. Getting to the point is good and all, but there needs to be time for an in-depth look at what goes on beyond the action.
It appears as though the Red Skull will continue to be a thorn in the side of the Avengers, especially given how he has Iron Man’s armor, but what other classic and iconic Marvel villains will appear to rattle our heroes? Regardless of who and what these heroes will face, my feeling is that the show’s somewhat juvenile and simplistic style won’t endear it to many of the previous Avengers series, but, it’s out there now, bringing in a new breed of fans. Will these fans understand the differences between this interpretation and the ones in the comics if they ever decide to read them? Only time will tell.