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.
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.