The Life & Times of an Auteur.

Commentary on Pop Culture, and maybe creating some of my own.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Who Do You Trust

This was a very good episode. The best episode of the season so far, maybe the best episode of the series' entire run. Let me start by saying that I think Josh Fine, Chris Yost, and Frank Paur are doing a better "Secret Invasion" than Brian Michael Bendis did. Easily. This is definitely highlighting the benefit of being able to cherry pick through decades of continuity for the meat and discard the crap. At this point, I would trust "Civil War" in this crew's hands. I always thought that story was a good idea that was poorly executed too.

This episode brings back two characters I've been missing, Nick Fury and Black Widow. I'm glad Nick ditched his weird hybrid design of 616 and Ultimate for the Ultimate look, and I say this as a guy who hates Ultimate. Fury and Widow are two really cool characters, and I kind of wish Widow was an Avenger. But I am enjoying the role she is playing now.

This episode is a culmination of so much that has come before, and setting the stage for everything that will happen from this point onward. I loved the attention to detail when we went back and saw the events of "Widow's Sting" again. This is everything guys like me who love unfolding tapestries love, and everything Jeph Loeb despises. The revelation at the end that Mockingbird is a Skrull, and not just any Skrull, but the queen of the Skrulls (is she Queen Veranke?) took me by surprised, and in a good way. While I love figuring out mysteries, it is nice to be caught completely off guard. Yeah, it would have been fun to have Jessica Drew, but we'd all be watching her and waiting for the reveal, instead of being genuinely surprised.

The camaraderie of the Avengers was a lot of fun to watch, especially the hazing of Ms. Marvel. It made the climax of the episode all the more heartbreaking to see the team split, for the most part. I'm really enjoying Jennifer Hale's performance as Ms. Marvel, she really did sound pained. But the highlight of the episode was Captain America's speech to Hulk, Hawkeye, and Wasp (his kooky quartet). It was honest, noble, heroic, it was vintage Cap... and then you remember that this is actually Skrulltimate Cap and not the true Steve Rogers.

Great episode.

On another note, yes I did read this insider tell all, about life inside Marvel Animation (and it is legit, anyone who says it isn't is kidding themselves, and don't ask how I know). I also listened to this podcast where Man of Action pretty much said that Joe Quesada came to them about making "Ultimate Spider-Man" as a show to appeal to kids and kids alone, and not to "forty year old white men reading comics" and this is why Joe Quesada didn't care for "Spectacular Spider-Man" and why he and Jeph Loeb seem to want to burn Marvel Animation to the ground faster than Hank beating Jan senseless with the crap they are producing now (by the way, USM was getting so much negative feedback, Loeb took down his Facebook page).

Enjoy "Avengers - Earth's Mightiest Heroes," because after finally catching up to DC in terms of animation, they're going to go back to a pre-Batman TAS mindset as soon as this is done... and keep your fingers crossed that the A:EMH episodes produced after the upcoming "Along Came a Spider" don't suck. You'll never see Marvel produce an animated episode of anything like this until a regime change happens, that's for sure. And no, don't blame Disney, they're a lot more hands off with Marvel than most think. I know what I know.


  1. One thing Bruce Timm used to always say was he wanted to make a show he would enjoy watching. I'd love to hear Man of Action think of their own show.

    Prediction: Greg knows the insider is telling the truth because he is the insider.

    1. Considering that the link says that studio employees hate USM, I'd see that as another indicator for quality issues.

    2. If Greg was the insider he'd have been fired already for punching Loeb in the face shouting, "if you don't like continuity then why am I being fired?!" ;)

      But seriously I don't get the mindset of deliberately cutting off part of your audience. Even ignoring the "forty year old white men reading comics" idiocy what about the parents? Why ignore them as part of the audience? If they can get the parents to like the show and think it's a good show for their children to watch then the parents are more likely to approve the kids watching more and buying the merchandise.

      It just seems like they're chopping off one arm and saying they don't need it.

  2. Well, the leaked Spanish credits from a few months back, now taken down, listed Queen Veranke. So there's that.

  3. If Loeb just retired after his son died like he wanted to, he'd be remembered as the acclaimed writer of The Long Halloween. Now he's gonna be known as that prick who fucked up Spidey. Sad.

  4. This was a good episode of Avengers. In fact, I have really been enjoying season 2. Alas, my enjoyment will be short lived.

    As for the USM situation, its as if Jeph Loeb wanted a Brave and the Bold style show, but only watched Mitefall to get ideas, and only the street luge parts, and didn't get that it was satire.

  5. My God, after reading that article... can we just get someone who actually knows what they're doing to replace Loeb as head of Marvel TV? Please?

  6. I'm just going to say that relating to the USM, I didn't expect it to measure up to TSSM, and it certainly has nothing on Avengers EMH, but what really makes it said going with a similar cartoon is that even Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends (which is 1980s cheese) is much better.

    Chemistry between the trio feels more natural, and aside from the loner status being removed, the show still gets Spider-Man down much better than USM.

    Plus the male characters (Flash included) don't come off as unlikable jerks.

    When a cheesy 1980s cartoon looks better, that's saying a lot.

    1. Male characters? I think White Tiger is pretty unlikable as well, having a snotty, holier-than-thou attitude, nevermind that she makes the same screw ups the "boys" do.

      I wouldn't say Luke Cage was unlikable, but he is painfully bland. That's even worse.