TV on DVD: “The Super Hero Squad Show: Quest for the Infinity Sword, Vol. 1”

Written by Television, TV on DVD

I know what you’re thinking: Why the heck is Malchus reviewing this Cartoon Network kiddie show on the great Popdose site? Cool your jets, true believer, because I’m here to say that The Super Hero Squad Show, is a fun show that parents can enjoy while hanging out with their kids. This new release from Shout! Factory, Quest for the Infinity Sword! Volume 1, brings together the first seven episodes of the popular animated series on one DVD. In it, you have a core group of Marvel Comics’ most durable characters- Iron Man, Wolverine, the Hulk, the Silver Surfer, Thor and the Falcon- teamed up as the Super Hero Squad. Together they are constantly battling the nefarious Dr. Doom and the team of super villains he has assembled to find all of the fragments of the Infinity Sword. With the fragments of this powerful, mystical object, Doom and his team would rule the world. If only they weren’t so incompetent.

Dr. Doom and his cronies are a bunch of bubbling boobs. Sure, they’re dangerous, but they keep tripping over their own two feet just as their about to obtain world domination. It’s as if they took lessons on being bad guys from the crooks that starred in the 1960’s Batman series. Actually, the tone of The Super Hero Squad Show most resembles that classic super hero spoof more than the loud, action packed explosion filled shows you’d expect from Marvel and is cadre of super hero titles. Oh, there’s plenty of action, but none of it’s taken too seriously. That’s what makes this show more fun than you’d expect from a show based on a line of tiny, disproportionate action figures.

That’s right, The Super Hero Squad Show’s roots come from a toy line rather than directly from the comic books. If there’s any complaint I have about the show it’s the fact that the characters bodies look ridiculous and that they all only have 3 fingers. To make up for the strange character designs, the artists and writers have decided to have fun with these creations rather than take itself too seriously, or seriously at all.

No character is a sacred cow; every one gets made fun of with equal zeal. Thor is a pretty boy jock; the Silver Surfer talks like Spicoli; and the Hulk is a blabbering idiot. Adding to the appeal is the sense of history the writers and artists have incorporated into the show. Comic book fans from many generations will appreciate little jokes that reference the long storied history of Marvel Comics. Moreover, the costumes they’ve chosen for all of the heroes harken back to the comic company’s heyday in the late 70’s and early 80’s.  There are also appearances by many of the secondary, yet just as exciting, characters from Marvel. Folks like Ms. Marvel, Luke Cage, Valkyrie and Black Widow show up for the fun (notable missing is Spider Man, but he may be holding out for more money).

Besides the bright artwork, a who’s who of voice over acting appear on The Super Hero Squad Show, including Tom Kenny (aka Spongebob) as Iron Man, Captain America and M.O.D.O.K., Grey DeLisle (Scooby Doo) as Ms. Marvel and the Enchantress, Alimi Ballard (NUMB3RS) as the Falcon, and Charlie Adler (Cow & Chicken, Transformers 1 & 2) as Dr. Doom. Additionally, superstar guests have lent their voices including LeVar Burton (Star Trek: The Next Generation) as Rhodey, Taye Diggs (Private Practice) as the Black Panther, Mark Hamill (Star Wars) as the Red Skull, Lena Headey (Sarah Connor Chronicles) as the Black Widow, Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica) as Sif, Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm) as Stardust, James Marsters (Buffy The Vampire Slayer) as Mr. Fantastic, George Takei (Star Trek) as Galactus and Michelle Trachtenberg (Gossip Girl) as the Valkyrie.

There are definitely more traditional super hero shows out there, ones with more action and one liners. But I don’t think there are any super hero shows that are as goofy and fun as The Super Hero Squad Show. This DVD is simple and sleek. It has few bonus features, such as a video for the catchy theme song and an interview with Stan Lee. But the reason to get this DVD is the pleasure you’ll have watching it with your kid and introducing them to some of the coolest comic book heroes ever created.