The FFOW! series takes a look at that vast library created by the proud and the passionate: fan films. Whether the budget and talent is astronomical or amateur, FFOW! celebrates the filmmakers whose love of comics, books, movies, video games, and TV shows inspires them to join the great conversation with their own homemade masterpieces.
By Jake Thomas, Guest Contributor to Fanboy Comics
This weekend, as we all “Assemble!” at our local multiplexes to witness the super team-up of the century, FFOW! highlights an original fan series based on The Avengers.
In August of 2010, Avengers Assemble! The Series premiered at DragonCon as a parody that aped the original Marvel characters. While the real Avengers have battled the Secret Invasion and the Marvel Civil War, this Avengers team faces more immediate and realistic threats: which healthcare plan best covers every alternate dimension and all of the seven realms? Whose powers are the most cost effective in the current economic downturn? And, what’s the best route for the morning carpool?
Created by Brian Godleski and Chris Burns, Avengers Assemble! The Series charts the everyday meetings and office interactions between not only the core Avengers — Iron Man (Godleski), Hawkeye (Burns), Ms. Marvel (Miracole Walker), Thor (Matt Cornwell), Captain America (Kevin Spooner), Hulk (Casey Edwards), and Scarlet Witch (Lara Leigh Stevenson) — but also features many cameos from the Marvel-verse, including everyone from the X-Men to Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four.
WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH IT
In a 2010 interview with ScreenGrab, the movie and TV blog for Creative Loafing Atlanta, Burns reveals that the series originally started as a sketch idea that developed into a full-fledged series based on the creative talent they were able to pool together:
“We’ve tried to craft the series in a manner where it not only appeals to comic book fans, which we are huge fans ourselves,” Burns is quoted, “but anyone who likes political humor and sketch comedy, as well.”
They’ve succeeded. Each episode is an assemblage of instant quotes about the topical issues of the day, like immigration:
Captain America: (talking to monitor screen) Thor, are you in Asgard?
Thor: Aye. My work visa doth expired…
To simpler topics, like farts:
Captain America: It smells like a sumo wrestler took a dump on a burning tire!
The characters make a great group dynamic similar to The Office. Some of the standouts include Burns as Hawkeye, who makes the archer an ultimate quiver-inducing man-whore who can’t help but hook up with chicks. On the opposite spectrum, Walker makes Ms. Marvel a frustrated voice-of-reason who gets cornered into tidying up the office and picking up dry-cleaning at the behest of the un-PC Captain America.
Most of the fantastic costumes were designed by Walker, a professional costumer whose credits coincidentally include X-Men: First Class. The designs faithfully translate the literal comic artwork and poke fun at them at the same time. The only full suit missing is Iron Man’s Mark III armor — Tony Stark appears in a suit and tie, but we assume he hasn’t actually put down the Scotch and gone on a mission in a long time. In one funny moment, he reveals why his helmet is always on the conference table — it’s his liquor cozy. A disappointed Thor can’t say the same for himself.
There are plenty of inside jokes to comic readers. Poor little Wasp (Jen Richards) attends every meeting with a brand new injury from “falling on the door.” The big laughs and cameo surprises come in the Season Two finale, “The Future!” I do not want to post any spoilers, so I will tell you to watch that episode and laugh at the perfect season finale to a great fan series.
New episodes go up July 29th.
WHERE YOU CAN SEE IT
Avengers Assemble! The Series has regular episodes, behind-the-scenes videos, news articles, photos, and contests on their website at avengersassembletheseries.com.
Caution: Episodes are adult-themed and NSFW for language. Excelsior!