REVIEW: NEXT AVENGERS: HEROES OF TOMORROW

CAST (VOICES)

Noah Crawford (My Name Is Earl)
Brenna O’Brien (X-men: The Last Stand)
Aidan Drummond (The Collector)
Dempsey Pappion (La La Land)
Adrian Petriw (Iron Man: Armored Adventures)
Tom Kane (Star wars: The Clone Wars)
Fred Tatasciore (9)
Shawn Macdonald (Grave Encounters)
Michael Adamthwaite (Stargate SG.1)
Nicole Olvier (Sausage Party)
Ken Kramer (Little Man)

A battle with Ultron leaves the Avengers defeated, as most of the heroes were killed during the fight, and the world at the mercy of Ultron’s machine army. Captain America tells Iron Man to take the Avengers’ children to a fortified refuge hidden above the Arctic Circle so they’ll be safe from Ultron. The children are James Rogers, the son of Black Widow and Captain America; Henry Pym Jr., the son of Giant-Man and Wasp; Azari, the son of Black Panther and Storm; and Torunn, the daughter of the absent Thor and Sif.
Stark secretly raises and trains the children for over twelve years. One day, The Vision arrives at the refuge after hiding for over a decade from Ultron. He has come to inform Stark that Clint Barton’s son is alive. while the curious children are eavesdropping on Stark and the Vision, James accidentally activates a series of Iron Man-style robots, called the Iron Avengers, that mimic the looks and abilities of Captain America, Hawkeye, Black Panther, Thor, Black Widow and Giant Man. Because they are programmed to defeat Ultron upon activation, they take off to do so, whereupon they are detected by Ultron’s worldwide sensors, revealing the location of the refuge. Ultron then reprograms the Iron Avenger robots to follow his commands, proceeds to the refuge and invades it. Stark, now suited up as Iron Man, stalls Ultron long enough for the children to escape on the Quinjet, but he is eventually subdued and captured. The Vision has them set on a course to the Savage Land, but while the robot is recharging, Pym changes their course to go to Ultra City to rescue Stark, the four young Avengers fight off the city’s security robots and the Iron Avengers. Francis Barton, son of Hawkeye and Mockingbird, helps the kids escape from the Iron Avengers. They decide to team up with the new Hawkeye, and his group of resistance fighters, called the Scavengers, to rescue their guardian. The four infiltrate Ultron’s citadel to save Stark and discover Ultron’s “trophy room”, showcasing his defeat of the original Avengers and countless heroes. The young Avengers locate Stark, but discover that is actually one of Ultron’s traps. After battling the Iron Avengers, the young Avengers and Stark manage to escape. They, along with an older Betty Ross, head to find Bruce Banner. In an effort to submerge the Hulk, Banner has decided to hide out in the desert and keep away from other people for their own safety. After Banner refuses to help them, James comes up a plan to lure Ultron there so he can cause the Hulk to appear and destroy the robot. Torrun recovers her sword after calling for her father for strength. The Iron Avengers arrive and target their younger counterparts. Francis disarms Iron Hawkeye, but the robot simply makes another bow. Iron Giant Man makes Tony fall down a cliff, and James catches him. Pym battles Iron Giant Man while Azari battles the Iron Black Panther. James Rogers’ energy shield device gets destroyed during the battle, so he takes the star shield from Iron Captain America. When Pym knocks down Iron Giant Man, the robot releases Iron Wasps to attack him. James tells to try to awaken the Hulk by somehow making Banner angry. Pym escapes the Iron Wasps and apologetically starts attacking Banner, finally turns into the Hulk and defeats Iron Giant Man and the Iron Wasps. While the young Avengers finish off the Iron Avengers, Ultron attacks the Hulk and defeats him. Ultron attacks the young Avengers, nearly killing them. However, Pym revives the Hulk by making him even angrier against Ultron. The Hulk destroys Ultron, ripping him in two. Then, in a fit of rage, the Hulk begins to turn on Pym, but is subdued by Betty. Finally, to stop Ultron from rebuilding himself, Torrun takes the two halves into space and throws away. She nearly suffocates and freezes in the process, but she is rescued when her father, Thor arrives and explains why he left her on Earth. Thor invites Torunn to join him in Asgard, but Torunn chooses instead to return to her family on Earth. As a parting gift, Thor sends her back to Earth in full Asgardian armor.  With Ultron finally defeated, the five young Avengers prepare to return to Ultra City, to deal with Ultron’s remaining forces and rescue the populace.Next Avengers was an enjoyable movie with themes that are easy to relate to and can be watched by anyone. One of the best Marvel animated films.

 

 

 

 

 

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REVIEW: LEGO MARVEL SUPER HEROES: AVENGERS REASSEMBLED

CAST

Laura Bailey (Justice League vs teen Titans)
Troy Baker (Batman Unlimited)
Eric Bauza (Lego Star Wars)
Benjamin Diskin (Sailor Moon)
Grant George (Bleach)
Jim Meskimen (Apollo 13)
Bumper Robinson (Sabrina: TTW)
Roger Craig Smith (Sonic Boom)
Fred Tatasciore (Hulk Vs)
Travis Willingham (Superhero Squad)
Mick Wingert (Arrow)

lego-marvel-super-heroes-maximum-overload-post-6Ultron is somehow able to infect Tony Stark and turns Iron Man into his puppet, causing all sorts of trouble in Avengers Tower before he takes off. The Avengers follow close, and find out that Yellow Jacket, Hydra, and Ultron are working together to destroy Marvel’s greatest heroes which officially includes Hulk, Cap, Vision, Hawkeye, Ant-Man, Thor, Black Widow, and minus Iron Man whom is still under Ultron’s control. Vision gets in Iron Man’s head and finds out that Thor has to shock Stark to relinquish Ultron’s control. The God of Thunder does just that, and the Avengers are reunited. Spider-Man and Iron Spidey capture Yellow Jacket and get some answers to some plans going down, and a battle seems apparent. When the Avengers show up to their tower, Ultron is doing a fair amount of damage, and things get worse when he creates a robot of himself out of his minions to destroy the team once and for all. Fortunately, Ant-Man is able to get inside of Ultron’s head and make dis-assembly requred leaving the Avengers to welcome their newest member…Falcon!
screen-shot-2015-11-12-at-4-07-06-pmSimilar to the Droid Tales mini-series, Disney premieres a Marvel parody of an Avengers: Age of Ultron spin-off. Unlike Droid Tales, this isn’t nearly as funny nor gag-heavy. The dialogue was rife with ingredients that was supposed to make you remember the actors from the movie, but instead it just causes headaches. However, fans of cameos should be ecstatic as some of our fabled Web Warriors show up along with Falcon at the end. Moreover, we get a decent amount of the most recent Avenger’s lineup Ant-Man and his nemesis Yellow Jacket, though it’s unclear how Von Strucker came back to life. If you are a fan of Marvel or Lego it’s worth checking out.

REVIEW: CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR

CAST

Chris Evans (The Losers)
Robert Downey, Jr (Sherlock Holmes)
Scarlett Johansson (Lucy)
Sebastian Stan (The Covenant)
Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker)
Don Cheadle (Traffic)
Jeremy Renner (The Bourne Legacy)
Chadwick Boseman (Gods of Egypt)
Paul Bettany (Legion)
Elizabeth Olsen (Silent House)
Paul Rudd (Role Models)
Emily VanCamp (Revenge)
Tom Holland (The Impossible)
Frank Grillo (The Purge 2 & 3)
William Hurt (A.I.)
Daniel Brühl (Inglourious Basterds)
John Slattery (Mad Men)
Martin Freeman (The Hobbit)
Marisa Tomei (The Fighter)
John Kani (Coriolanus)
Hope Davis (About Schmidt)
Alfre Woodard (Star Trek: First Contact)
Jim Rash (That 70s Show)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)

In 1991, the brainwashed super-soldier James “Bucky” Barnes is dispatched from a Hydra base in Siberia to intercept an automobile carrying a case of super-soldier serum. In the present day, approximately one year after Ultron’s defeat in the nation of Sokovia at the hands of the Avengers, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanoff, Sam Wilson, and Wanda Maximoff stop Brock Rumlow from stealing a biological weapon from a lab in Lagos. Rumlow blows himself up, hoping to kill Rogers. When Maximoff tries to displace the blast into the sky with telekinesis, it destroys a nearby building, killing several Wakandan humanitarian workers.
U.S. Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross informs the Avengers that the United Nations (UN) is preparing to pass the Sokovia Accords, which will establish a UN panel to oversee and control the team. The team is divided: Tony Stark supports oversight because of his role in Ultron’s creation and Sokovia’s devastation, while Rogers has more faith in his own judgment than that of the government. At a conference in Vienna where the accords are to be ratified, a bomb kills King T’Chaka of Wakanda. Security footage indicates the bomber is Barnes, whom T’Chaka’s son, T’Challa, vows to kill. Informed by Sharon Carter of Barnes’ whereabouts and the government’s intentions to kill him, Rogers intends to bring in Barnes—his childhood friend and war comrade—himself. Rogers and Wilson track Barnes to Bucharest and attempt to protect him from T’Challa and the authorities, but all four including T’Challa are apprehended.
Helmut Zemo tracks down and kills Barnes’ old Hydra handler, stealing a book containing the trigger words that activate Barnes’ brainwashing. Infiltrating the facility where Barnes is held, Zemo recites the words to make Barnes obey him. He questions Barnes, then sends him on a rampage to cover his own escape. Rogers stops Barnes and sneaks him away. When Barnes regains his senses, he explains that Zemo is the real Vienna bomber and wanted the location of the Siberian Hydra base, where other brainwashed “Winter Soldiers” are kept in cryogenic stasis. Unwilling to wait for authorization to apprehend Zemo, Rogers and Wilson go rogue, and recruit Maximoff, Clint Barton, and Scott Lang to their cause. With Ross’ permission, Stark assembles a team composed of Romanoff, T’Challa, James Rhodes, Vision, and Peter Parker to capture the renegades. Stark’s team intercepts Rogers’ team at Leipzig/Halle Airport, where they fight until Romanoff allows Rogers and Barnes to escape. The rest of Rogers’ team is captured and detained at the Raft prison, while Rhodes is partially paralyzed after being inadvertently shot down by Vision, and Romanoff goes into exile.

Stark discovers evidence that Barnes was framed by Zemo and convinces Wilson to give him Rogers’ destination. Without informing Ross, Stark goes to the Siberian Hydra facility and strikes a truce with Rogers and Barnes, unaware they were secretly followed by T’Challa. They discover that the other super-soldiers have been killed by Zemo, who shows them footage from Hydra’s archives; it reveals that Barnes killed Stark’s parents during his mission in 1991. Enraged that Rogers kept this from him, Stark turns on them both, dismembering Barnes’ robotic arm. Rogers disables Stark’s armor and departs with Barnes, leaving his shield behind. Satisfied that he has avenged his family’s death in Sokovia by irreparably fracturing the Avengers, Zemo attempts suicide, but T’Challa stops him and he is taken to the authorities.

In the aftermath, Stark provides Rhodes with exoskeletal leg braces that allow him to walk again, while Rogers breaks his allies out of the Raft. In a mid-credits scene, Barnes, granted asylum in Wakanda, chooses to return to cryogenic sleep until a cure for his brainwashing is found. In a post-credits scene, Parker tests a new gadget.

The best Marvel film to date: great, charisma from the leads delivered through fantastic action that’s actually driven, for once, by a tight, believable and interesting storyline.

REVIEW: AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

CAST

Robert Downey Jr. (Sherlock Holmes)
Chris Evans (The Losers)
Scarlett Johansson (Lucy)
Chris Hemsworth (The Huntsman: Winter’s War)
Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight)
Jeremy Renner (The Bourne Legacy)
James Spader (Stargate)
Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother)
Samuel L. Jackson (Snakes On A Plane)
Paul Bettany (Legion)
Don Cheadle (Traffic)
Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass)
Elizabeth Olsen (Silent House)
Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker)
Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter)
Idris Elba (Pacific Rim)
Linda Cardellini (Scooby-Doo)
Stellan Skarsgard (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)
Thomas Kretschmann (Dracula)
Andy Serkis (The Hobbit)
Julie Delpy (Before Sunset)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)
Josh Brolin (Jonah Hex)
Lou Ferrigno (The Incredible Hulk)In the Eastern European country of Sokovia, the Avengers – Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Thor, Bruce Banner, Natasha Romanoff, and Clint Barton – raid a Hydra facility commanded by Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, who has been experimenting on humans using the scepter previously wielded by Loki. They encounter two of Strucker’s experiments – twins Pietro, who has superhuman speed, and Wanda Maximoff, who can manipulate minds and project energy – and apprehend Strucker, while Stark retrieves Loki’s scepter.
Stark and Banner discover an artificial intelligence within the scepter’s gem, and secretly use it to complete Stark’s “Ultron” global defense program. The unexpectedly sentient Ultron, believing he must eradicate humanity to save Earth, eliminates Stark’s A.I. J.A.R.V.I.S. and attacks the Avengers at their headquarters. Escaping with the scepter, Ultron uses the resources in Strucker’s Sokovia base to upgrade his rudimentary body and build an army of robot drones. Having killed Strucker, he recruits the Maximoffs, who hold Stark responsible for their parents’ deaths by his weapons, and go to the base of arms dealer Ulysses Klaue to obtain Wakandan vibranium. The Avengers attack Ultron and the Maximoffs, but Wanda subdues them with haunting visions, causing the Hulk (Banner) to rampage until Stark stops him with his anti-Hulk armor.1

A worldwide backlash over the resulting destruction, and the fears Wanda’s hallucinations incited, send the team into hiding at a safehouse. Thor departs to consult with Dr. Erik Selvig on the meaning of the apocalyptic future he saw in his hallucination, while Romanoff and Banner plan to flee together after realizing a mutual attraction. However, Nick Fury arrives and encourages the team to form a plan to stop Ultron. In Seoul, Ultron forces the team’s friend Dr. Helen Cho to use her synthetic-tissue technology, together with vibranium and the scepter’s gem, to perfect a new body for him. As Ultron uploads himself into the body, Wanda is able to read his mind; discovering his plan for human extinction, the Maximoffs turn against Ultron. Rogers, Romanoff, and Barton find Ultron and retrieve the synthetic body, but Ultron captures Romanoff.

The Avengers fight amongst themselves when Stark secretly uploads J.A.R.V.I.S. – who is still operational after hiding from Ultron inside the Internet – into the synthetic body. Thor returns to help activate the body, explaining that the gem on its brow – one of the six Infinity Stones, the most powerful objects in existence – was part of his vision. This “Vision” and the Maximoffs accompany the Avengers to Sokovia, where Ultron has used the remaining vibranium to build a machine to lift a large part of the capital city skyward, intending to crash it into the ground to cause global extinction. Banner rescues Romanoff, who awakens the Hulk for the battle. The Avengers fight Ultron’s army while Fury arrives in a Helicarrier with Maria Hill, James Rhodes and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to evacuate civilians. Pietro dies when he shields Barton from gunfire, and a vengeful Wanda abandons her post to destroy Ultron’s primary body, which allows one of his drones to activate the machine. The city plummets, but Stark and Thor overload the machine and shatter the landmass. In the aftermath, the Hulk, unwilling to endanger Romanoff by being with her, departs in a Quinjet, while the Vision confronts Ultron’s last remaining body.
Later, with the Avengers having established a new base run by Fury, Hill, Cho, and Selvig, Thor returns to Asgard to learn more about the forces he suspects have manipulated recent events. As Stark leaves and Barton retires, Rogers and Romanoff prepare to train new Avengers: Rhodes, the Vision, Sam Wilson, and Wanda.
In a mid-credits scene, Thanos, dissatisfied by the failures of his pawns, dons a gauntlet2 and vows to retrieve the Infinity Stones himself.The Avengers: Age of Ultron is solid entertainment and best experienced on the big screen. Long-running trappings of shared movie universe storytelling remain, and the novelty of seeing iconic comic book characters together onscreen is just as impressive as it was in The Avengers.

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)

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)

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!

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: AVENGERS: UNITED THEY STAND

 

CAST (VOICES)

Linda Ballantyne (Sailor Moon)
Tony Daniels (The BLack Mirror)
Graham Harley (The Cutting Edge)
Roy Landry (The Little Bear Movie)
Hamish McEwan (Amelia)
Ron Rubin (Flying Rhino Junior High)
Martin Roach (Cube Zero)
John Stocker (Babar)
Rod Wilson (Chloe)
Lenore Zann (X-Men: TAS)

Although set in New York, this cartoon is loosely based on the Marvel comic entitled ‘Avengers West Coast’. The team roster includes founding Avengers Ant-Man and the Wasp alongside long-term members Scarlet Witch and the Vision, newer members Tigra and Falcon, plus best friends Wonder Man and Hawkeye, the latter seen in the recent film ‘Avengers Assemble’. Fellow characters and founding members Captain America and Iron Man make guest-appearances in one episode each, as does Sub-Mariner himself, Prince Namor.

Although the costume changes weren’t popular with everyone, I really enjoyed team-leader Ant-Man’s new suit which featured a miniature rocket-ship worn as a backpack; when Ant-Man shrunk, he could go aboard the backpack and fly it on missions!

 

The stories, as you’d expect, are very child-friendly, but the relationships between the characters are subtle enough for adults to enjoy. In this series, Ant-Man and the Wasp’s marriage is portrayed as a very strong one with lots of teamwork, there’s a bit of a love triangle between Wonder Man, Scarlet Witch, and the Vision, and when Captain America shows up, there’s a bit of friction between he and the team’s leader, Ant-Man.

All in all, I feel it’s a shame that the loose ends concerning Wonder Man’s ailments, and the evil alien gang, the Zodiac, were never resolved before the series was cancelled.