Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes - Volume 1

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
7 out of 10
Extras Rating:
7 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: TV-Y7

Starring:
Eric Loomis as Iron Man
Colleen O'Shaughnessey as Janet Van Dyne
Rick D. Wasserman as Thor
Wally Wingert as Ant-Man
Fred Tatasciore as The Hulk
Brian Bloom as Captain America
Chris Cox as Clint Barton
James C. Mathis III as Black Panther
Phil LaMarr as Jarvis
Alex Désert as Nick Fury
Kari Wahlgren as Amora

Special Features:
New Looks, New Heroes - Supervising Producer Joshua Fine and Story Editor Christopher Yost Give You an Exclusive Look At the Evolving Characters and Storylines of Season Two

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.78:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 161 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is the official description of the film:

"Join the best of the Marvel Universe for the first seven episodes from season one of the electrifying new animated series, The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! Get ready for nonstop action as Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, The Hulk, Ant-Man, The Wasp, Hawkeye and The Black Panther join forces to battle a legion of villains bent on the total destruction of humanity.

Experience The Avengers at their very best in this spectacular collection, complete with an exclusive sneak peek at the secrets of season two. It's a must-have for Marvel fans of all ages!"

"The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes" is rated TV-Y7.

Mini-Review:
As a long time Marvel Zombie, I was very happy to see "The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes" come along. Not only is it a great way for Marvel to hype their upcoming "Thor," "Captain America," and "Avengers" movies, but it introduces a lot of younger fans to the characters and their epic stories. And since it originally aired on Disney XD, it represents one of the first collaborations with Marvel's new owner, Disney.

This first season is, in large part, about the building of the team. For example, Captain America isn't on the team from the very beginning. Another episode introduces the Avengers Mansion. Another episode involves the origin of Iron Man. It isn't until farther in the series that the team as we know it is established. As a fan of the comic books, I was interested to see that they took bits and pieces from a variety of Avengers stories. Iron Man is more like his movie incarnation and he has a computerized Jarvis. Nick Fury is black like in the Ultimates comics. Thor, on the other hand, is very much like his Silver Age version from the comic books. Then they base another couple of episodes on the very recent Hulk-related "Gamma World" storyline. So the creators got to pull from some of the best parts of the Avengers world and mix it together into something new.

You can't help but compare "The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes" to the excellent "Justice League" TV series. The DC cartoon proved that you could do a good team series that showcased both A-list characters and D-List characters and make them equally interesting. The Avengers cartoon does that, too. You get notable characters like Hulk and Iron Man but you also get less familiar heroes and villains like Ant-Man, Baron Zemo, Mandril, and Kang the Conqueror. Both series also have epic action scenes that would cost over $100 million if they were live action. Where the two series diverge is that "Justice League" told stories that were equally interesting to adults and children. In-between the action scenes, the quiet scenes were not 'dumbed down' for younger audiences. "The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes," on the other hand, is geared towards a younger audience. You see video games being played in the Avengers Mansion, Wasp geeking out about flying the Quinjet, and other stuff aimed and the younger mindset. But I have absolutely no problem with that. While the Marvel comics are becoming so filled with language and adult themes to the point that they aren't appropriate for children anymore, this cartoon gives them something they can enjoy.

If you're a Marvel fan, then "The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes" is worth checking out. It's fun to see the reinterpretations of the characters alongside the familiar characters and storylines from the comics. The action and animation is pretty cool, too. But remember that the series is geared towards a pre-teen target audience. Also remember that a full "Season One" set will probably be coming along later, so you may want to wait and get the entire season all in one purchase.

The Volume 1 DVD set contains seven episodes. They are:

Iron Man Is Born!
Thor The Mighty
Hulk Versus The World
Meet Captain America
The Man In The Ant Hill
Breakout, Part 1
Breakout, Part 2

There's also a lone bonus feature entitled "New Looks, New Heroes." Producer Joshua Fine and Story Editor Christopher Yost discuss the upcoming Season Two and a lot of what you can expect. Look for cameos by the Fantastic Four, the addition of Vision, the addition of Ms. Marvel to the team, and a lot more. They also revealed that Thor will get a costume change more like his movie version, and Captain America will as well.

Also note that Volume 2 is released on the same date. It has a Season 2 related bonus feature as well and features the following episodes:

Some Assembly Required
Living Legend
Everything Is Wonderful
Panther's Quest
Gamma World, Part 1
Gamma World, Part 2

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