16 August 2011 | jimjo1216
A worthy introduction to the Marvel universe
"THE AVENGERS: EARTH'S MIGHTIEST HEROES" serves to introduce viewers to the expansive world of Marvel Comics heroes and villains. It blends very well the established comic book universe with aspects of the recent Marvel films (IRON MAN, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, IRON MAN 2, THOR, CAPTAIN_AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER). A portion of the show's audience will not be comics readers and will be unfamiliar with the characters beyond the blockbuster movies, so this cartoon makes sure not to confuse anyone. And by reconciling the two universes, the show is able to expand the familiar movie setup into bigger and better things that can only really be brought to life in cartoons. The cartoon is free to indulge in the greater Marvel mythology. More superheroes, more supervillains, bigger organizations, better technology, more colorful costumes. The live action films try to stay grounded in semi-reality, while this cartoon show can tap into all the fantasy and science fiction that makes the Marvel universe so much fun.
Each episode introduces new characters and builds up the Marvel world. The show brings together heroes Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Ant Man, and Wasp (and later Captain America) to form the superteam The Avengers. This is a great way to bring these superheroes to life for a new generation (Marvel produced several separate animated series in the 1990s, some more successful than others) and it also builds up to the all-star superhero blockbuster Avengers movie set for release in 2012. THE AVENGERS will unite the stars of the separate Marvel films against a common threat, and this show allows viewers to see the different heroes in action together and sets up their relationship with Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. (It also introduces Maria Hill, a character not yet established in the movieverse.) The show should raise excitement for the upcoming movie, especially among viewers who were unaware that the live action team-up was in the works.
I'm not an avid comics reader myself, but it seems like the cartoon is styled after the mainstream Marvel comic universe, with a few added touches from the movies (which were inspired, in part, by the alternative "Ultimate" comic universe). The Avengers lineup is like the original in the comics, and the character designs are faithful to the classic comics. (Nick Fury looks more like the original comics version, but is a black man like in the movies/Ultimate comics.) So I think the show strikes a good balance of bringing the comic book universe to life and keeping things compatible with the movies.
Needless to say "THE AVENGERS: EARTH'S MIGHTIEST HEROES" is action- packed. It should be a good time for superhero fans, particularly young ones hungry for all things Marvel. (Rival DC Comics had a comparable show, highlighting the various characters in its expansive stable: "JUSTICE LEAGUE".) It's a solid superhero cartoon, and faithful to the comics. It's not stylized beyond recognition or twisted from its inspiration. Marvel stays true to itself. And you get all of the heroes and villains populating the same world. (Except the X-Men and Spider-Man, maybe, but the Fantastic Four do make an appearance.) It is nice to see the comic book characters brought to life, in all their glory. This is shaping up to be a definitive Marvel Comics animated series. I'm just not sure I'm sold on the voice cast.