Avengers assemble -- again! Marvel's animated team of super heroes wraps up its first season with the release of Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! volumes 3 and 4. These two dvds introduce characters familiar to fans of The Avengers comic book series, wrap up some ongoing storylines, and lay the groundwork for the next season's stories.

These dvds feature the Avengers at full strength: Iron Man (Eric Loomis), Thor (Rick Wasserman), Captain America (Brian Bloom), the Hulk (Fred Tatasciore), Black Panther (James C. Mathis III), Hawkeye (Chris Cox), the Wasp (Colleen O'Shaughnessey), and Hank Pym (Wally Wingert), who alternates between Ant-Man and Giant Man. The team faces off against old enemies from earlier in the series (the Masters of Evil, Hydra, A.I.M.) and also faces new threats. Volume 3 features a multiple-episode arc where the team battles Kang the Conquerer (Jonathan Adams), the warlord from the 41st century who says he must conquer the Earth to save it. Volume 4 has two multiple-episode storylines: Ultron-5 (Tom Kane), Hank Pym's robot gone rogue; and as Asgardian tale that reveals the villain behind many of the previous episodes. There are also arguments about science vs. magic, the (sort of) betrayal by Hank Pym, and two bits of foreshadowing for the next enemies.

As with the earlier episodes, Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes 3 and 4 maintain a high degree of faithfulness to the original material. While not retelling the original stories, these episodes manage to bring the basics of them to life, through nice character development and very good action. There are some corny and unsubtle parts to the episodes, but these dvds wrap up the first season of this cartoon quite nicely. Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes 3 and 4 are worth checking out by any comic book fan!

Overall grade: B+

Reviewed by James Lynch

No comments: