These two volumes of Disney’s adaptation of the Mighty Marvel Avengers franchise complete the DVD distribution of the first season’s worth of episodes, all of which have aired on Disney DX. While fans await the second season (which one has to assume will premiere closer to the theatrical release of Joss Whedon’s Avengers film, due in May 2012), there is enough action, adventure and good humor from all four volumes (Vols. 1 & 2 were released back in April) to tide them over.
As any fan of this show will tell you, while this series is clearly aimed at young boys ages 6-11, it’s so well done that fanboys of any age or gender should have no problem enjoying it. The animation by Film Roman is sleek and modern, the voice acting- featuring many of the best voice over actors in the industry- is superb, and the storytelling allows for a great deal of character development. All of this is amazing for a half hour television series, animated or live action, considering the amount of action and plot in each episode, as well as the number of characters being juggled.
The roll call in Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes includes Iron Man (Eric Loomis), Captain America (Brian Blossom), Thor (Rick D. Wasserman), the Hulk (Fred Tatasciore- a role he’s owned for nearly ten years), Ant Man/Giant Man (Wally Wingert), the Wasp (Colleen O’Shaugnessey), Hawkeye (Chris Cox) and Black Panther (James C. Mathis III), as well as appearances by Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D (Alex Desert). That, my friends, is a lot of characters to deal with thirty minutes. However, the writers, directors and artists behind The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes seem to pull it off without any trouble.
Volume 3, Iron Man Unleashed, follows the 6 episode story arc of the Avengers facing off against Baron Zemo and his Masters of Evil, and then having to defend the earth from a full-scale alien invasion led by Kang the Conqueror, the time-traveling menace bent on destroying all humanity. Volume 4, Thor’s Last Stand, picks up where Volume 3 ends, with Hank Pym (aka Ant Man) building Ultron, the ultimate robot, and Pym’s creation trying to end all humanity (notice a trend here). After defeating Ultron, the Avengers then must battle Thor’s evil half-brother, Loki, who is trying to unleash Asgardian armies on Earth.
Volume 3 has six half hour episodes on a single disc, while Volume 4 has seven. Each comes with an animated in-episode comic book experience that has facts about the Avengers and the Villains that they battle. It stinks that there is no word when the second season of The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes will begin. However, together with the first two volumes, there is plenty of entertainment here to keep fans happy until the new episodes roll out.