The Avengers: Earthís Mightiest Heroes! - Volume 1
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 1 on DVD. Featuring the first 7 episodes of Season 1, this single disc package is making me wonder why I havenít seen this new Marvel show yet.
In these first episodes of The Avengers: Earthís Mightiest Heroes! we see the formation of the famed Marvel group that includes Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor and Captain America at its very foundation. As the very cool opening credits shows we will also be seeing Wasp, Ant-Man, Hawkeye and Panther amongst those ranks as well. In fact the first 5 episodes alone set the stage for most of the newly formed Avengers minus Cap, who is seen active in the group in the simultaneous Volume 2 release this week. In this review I will cover the couple of episodes that I liked the most, as covering them all will spoil all the fun if you havenít already watched season one when it aired.
The first episode, ďIron Man Is Born!Ē covers my favorite Avenger and self proclaimed leader, Iron Man. Iím a huge Iron Man fan and this animated version of Tony Stark is the best Iíve seen, ever. Itís also the first of my favorite episodes as it gets right to the point of introducing the character and the double persona of egotistical Stark and Iron Man and his personal mission to get his stolen tech back. This episode has a lot going for it including the introduction of both S.H.I.E.L.D. and HYDRA, both key players in the series as Iíve seen so far. You also get to see the animosity between Nick Fury and Stark which is a reoccurring theme throughout the show. Ultimately I just like this episode because Iron Man is in it.
My other favorite and this was a tough one, is ďThe Man In The Ant HillĒ, which brings both reluctant hero and scientist Ant-Man and his feisty partner The Wasp into the fray of things. You also get to see a see several key villains including mutant Whirlwind as well as the Black Widow and Panther. Ant-Man and Waspís ability to alter their size by the use of a special subatomic substance are why these two are my next favorites among the Avengers. The use of their unique abilities, though despite matter of opinions, to help save the world is what makes this duo and founding Avenger members an interesting addition to the team.
The Avengers: Earthís Mightiest Heroes! so far looks to be an interesting addition to the world of animated superhero shows. There is enough lightning-striking, 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 its many appeals to me is its 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 1 will run you around $15 dollars at retailers which isnít bad at all for seven episodes. This package offers no real special features about you can view a sneak peak at Season 2 of The Avengers: Earthís Mightiest Heroes! Viewers can get a look at the changes to a few character outfits and some of the evolving storylines that will shape the rest of the show. Who will stay, who will part ways and who will join the team? Only watching season two will give you those answers but this sneak peak will help you out.
Overall I was fairly impressed with the quality of the animation and story in The Avengers: Earthís Mightiest Heroes! Volume 1 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. This first volume had enough story and action to keep my undivided attention and I look forward to seeing what future release contain. This is a must buy for families and fans of superhero action.