REVIEW: THE AVENGERS: EARTH’S MIGHTIEST HEROES

MAIN CAST (VOICES)

Brian Bloom (Vampirella)
Chris Cox (All Star Superman)
Jennifer Hale (The Rick)
Peter Jessop (Jla Adventures)
Phil LaMarr (Free Enterprise)
Eric Loomis (Shin Chan)
James C. Mathis III (Undercover Brother)
Colleen Villard (Duel Masters)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)
Rick D. Wasserman (Planet Hulk)
Wally Wingert (American Dad)

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RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST COICES

Gabriel Mann (Cherry Falls)
Drake Bell (The Reef 2)
Bumper Robinson (Sabrina: The Teenage Witch)
Steven Blum (Wolverine and Teh X-men)
Alex Desert (The Flash 90s)
Vanessa Marshall (Duck Dodgers)
Kari Wuhrer (Eight Legged Freaks)
Elizabeth Daily (Valley Girl)
Troy Baker (Lego Batman)
Nolan North (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Crispin Freeman (Hellsing)
Scott Menville (Teen Titans)
Grey DeLisle (Danny Phantom)
Cam Clarke (He-Man)
Lance Reddick (Lost)
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Nika Futterman (Hey Arnold!)
Lance Henriksen (The Terminator)
Jonathan Adams (Bones)
Jeffrey Combs (Gotham)
Graham McTavish (The Hobbit)
Dawn Olivieri (The Vampire Diaries)
Clancy Brown (Highlander)
Dwight Schultz (The A-Team)
Keith Szarabajka (The Dark Knight)
Lacey Chabert (Mean Girls)
Dee Bradley Baker (American Dad)
David Kaufman (Superman: TAS)

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Both Marvel and DC have to an astonishing degree started to pick up these last few years, with several well-appreciated shows that I really enjoy: Young Justice, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Iron Man: Armored Adventures, Green Lantern TAS, and now this; The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. It’s very rare indeed for a superhero cartoon of this magnitude to be  great from start-to-finish, but that’s what Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is, right from Episode 1 `Iron Man is Born’ to the finale `Avengers Assemble!’. There are literally no dud episodes whatsoever! The whole series is infused with tremendous intrigue, exceptional plotting and some of the tightest continuity I’ve ever seen in a TV series. The number of sub-plots and story-arcs that are juggled here is staggering, but the creative team handled it all with such precision. The coherency, intricacies and pacing is nothing short of exemplary overall. This isn’t just essential for kids; adult Marvel fans will get bags of satisfaction from watching this cartoon!MV5BMTgxOTA1Nzk3OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNDk0MzY2MjE@._V1_So what exactly can folk expect? Well, as I said, the choicest pieces of Marvel history (be it in comics or on film) have been successfully adapted and utilized here. From how the Avengers banded together to life-changing events like the Civil War threat and the Skrulls’ Secret Invasion (adapted beautifully here!). Iron Man, the Hulk, Captain America, Thor, Ant-Man/Yellowjacket, the Wasp and Black Panther are all superbly established before `Assembling’ for the first time, members come-and-go, characters undergo changes, Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel and the Vision join the ranks, and all-manner of superb guests join the party, such as Spider-Man, Wolverine, the Fantastic Four and even those Guardians of the Galaxy!

And on the villains-front, you can be subjected to a cracking-bunch of dastardly rogues, such as Loki, the Red Skull, Hydra, A.I.M., Baron Zemo, the Enchantress, the Masters of Evil, Kang the Conqueror, Doctor Doom and (of course!) chief arch-nemesis Ultron. And it’s not all just for window-dressing. The depictions of all these characters (hero, villain and otherwise) and their worlds is just pure gold. It’s perhaps the most faithful animated portrayal of the Marvel Universe.
Really, The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes could (and should) have gone on for more seasons. Instead, Marvel pulled the plug in favor of the replacement show Avengers Assemble. Thus in the last batch episodes, you DO get the feel that the writers were trying to wrap things up and give the show a grand swansong to make way for the next-cartoon-in-line. Admittedly, there are a few loose ends left over, but the series is mostly wrapped-up in winning style with a very acceptable conclusion. And in an age where too many shows are cancelled prematurely/end on a sour note, it makes that final moment of `Avengers Assemble!’ all the more of a triumph, just like the entire series itself.

REVIEW: LEGO: JUSTICE LEAGUE VS BIZARRO LEAGUE

CAST (VOICES)

Troy Baker (Dragon Ball Z)
Nolan North (Hulk Vs)
Diedrich Bader (Batman: The Brave and The Bold)
Tom Kenny (Spongebob)
Khary Payton (Teen Titans)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
James Arnold Taylor (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns)
Tony Todd (The Flash)
Kari Wahlgren (Star Wars: The Clone Wars)
April Winchell (Extreme Ghostbusters)
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After a Bizarro makes a disastrous attempt to save kids on a playground who don’t need saving, Superman decides to take Bizarro to a new world he’s discovered which he has named Bizarro World. Flash forward one year and an attack on Lex Corp brings the Justice League to investigate, only to discover that Bizarro has stolen the duplicate ray and makes twins of the entire League. Now the heroes and their twisted twins must team up to defeat Darkseid and save Bizarro World.

While this short film follows LEGO Batman: The Movie , it’s not a direct sequel to those and doesn’t include anything related to the Brainiac tease that ended that film. It is more of a sequel to the Batman Be-Leagured TV special (more on that in the special features.) Between that first Lego Batman movie and The Lego Movie, there are some pretty big shoes to fill and this film does an admirable job. The voice work is good, with Troy Baker returning to play Batman and Tony Todd as Darkseid. While Lex Luthor is a minor character, I did miss Clancy Brown’s take on the character.

The rest of the cast rounds out the heroes and villains nicely so it’s a small gripe. The animation is once again very well done and we get a good mix of heroes and villains in bit parts. While the main cast is comprised of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg and Guy Gardner’s Green Lantern as well as their bizarro counterparts, we’re treated to Hawkman, Flash, Green Arrow, Plastic Man, Gorilla Grodd, Penguin, Deathstoke, Captain Cold and Giganta. It’s one of my favorite parts when all the characters keep popping in, making me wonder who else they might include, but at that point it’s off to Bizarro World and there aren’t any more surprise guests (well, I won’t spoil the end for you).

The special features are pretty decent, with a large selection of audio and subtitle languages, the usual trailer they squeeze on for other releases and three short pieces. Me Am Bizarro: The League of Opposites is a behind the scenes with some of the principles behind the film and a history of Bizarro and some insights into the production. Batman: Be-Leagured is the TV special that the main feature follows. It’s inclusion is important, it’s seems like it’s been relegated to a bonus when you should watch it first if you haven’t seen it. The final short is Be-Leagured Bloopers, which is just some goofy “out-takes from the TV special.


Overall it’s a pretty good release with the film being solid and thankfully keeping it brief at 49 minutes. Any longer and it would have overstayed it’s welcome. It’s a good addition if you’ve enjoyed the other Lego movies and the Batzarro mini-fig pack in is a cool extra.