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Monday, October 8, 2012

The Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow (2008)

In this latest animated movie from Marvel we get a story aimed strictly for the kiddies as I can’t see any other audience clamoring to see tween superheroes battling the forces of evil…well maybe if they gave us a Power Pack animated movie I could get behind that, but I certainly could have lived without seeing the twelve year old son of Captain America going up against the likes of Ultron.

The story takes place after The Avengers have been defeated the powerful robot Ultron, and by defeated I mean killed. Captain America, Wasp, Giant Man, and Black Panther are among the deceased while Hawkeye is missing in action and Iron Man fled the battlefield with the children of the world’s mightiest mortals. Right there I’ve got a major problem as the idea of Tony Stark exiting the battle for any reason is just idiotic as he created Ultron in the first place and would surely be one of the best bets on defeating him. What is a real crime is we never see the battle that brings down The Avengers; I mean they’ve defeated Ultron scores of times in the past so it’d sure be nice to see how he defeated them so absolutely this time. Anyway Iron Man flees with the kiddies and takes them to a hidden base up in the Arctic where for twelve years he raises them on stories of their parents.

Kiddie Roll Call:
James Rogers son of Captain America and Black Widow. He’s got some kind of armored bracer that can generate a Captain America shield type force field. He’s the moody angst filled one of the group.
Torrun is the daughter of Thor and wields a magical sword. Now Thor didn’t die with The Avengers as he left Earth to take over the rule of Asgard after Odin passed on (Ragnarök is not mentioned). Why he left his daughter behind is poorly explained at the end, and really comes across as dick move by anyone’s standards.
Pym is the son of Giant Man and The Wasp, he has the ability to turn into a winged pixie like his mom, with Wasp Sting, and to turn into a giant like his dad. He’s the youngest of the group and resident comic relief.
Azari is the son of The Black Panther and if we were told who is mom is maybe it would explain why he has electricity powers as well as cat powers.
Francis Barton is the son of Hawkeye and was left behind and presumed dead along with his father by Tony Stark, later he is found leading the human underground movement against Ultron.

Now comes the hard part to swallow, how can the children of the heroes that DIED fighting Ultron have any chance of defeating him when their more experience parents couldn't? Will their sense of wonder and naiveté help them find the weakness that their parents were too jaded to see? Will their mere appearance cause Ultron to laugh so hard he’ll fry his circuits? *Spoiler Ahead* What do our stalwart little heroes do? They lead him to Banner who has been hiding out in the desert. Enter Hulk vs. Ultron fight. Well you’ve got to give the writers credit for coming up with the only plausible way these kids could win this fight and that is by not fighting it. Sure we get to see them take out Ultron’s robot minions (they also defeat Robot Avengers that Stark had built as some kind half-assed back up plan, and that Ultron immediately compromised. Way to fail Tony), and it’s Pym’s job to get Banner angry, but the heavy lifting at the end lies in the Hulks enraged hands. I really enjoyed Marvel’s Invincible Iron Man and Doctor Strange animated features, and even their take on The Ultimate Avengers wasn’t too bad, but this seems like a step back towards Saturday morning cartoons.

Bonus: Also on the disc is a look at the next two animate features from Marvel; Hulk vs. Wolverine which takes place before Logan joined the X-Men and kind of looks like a re-telling of his first appearance in The Incredible Hulk issues #180-181 only with special appearance by Deadpool. The second one is another versus movie and this time it’s Hulk vs. Thor and looks basically Hulk having a good rampage through Asgard. If these two films are a success can Marvel Team-Up movies be far behind?

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