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The Real Life Adventures of Jon StrippoliThe Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
POSTED BY JON STRIPPOLI, August 16, 2013    Share

For as long as I can remember I've been interested in superheroes. Comics, movies, books, games, and, of cousre, cartoon shows. I've watched many a different animated comic character on the small screen (Spiderman, Batman, Superman, Fantastic Four, Savage Dragon, The Maxx, and several others) and, with my years of viewing experience, feel like I've become a good judge of which iterations are worth watching and which ones can be ignored. I mention this because I have recently finished watching Disney XD's The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes .
Let's start with the first thing anyone will notice about the show; the art. The art style was, admittedly, offputing at first. I just want every superhero cartoon to look as sharp and clean as the original Batman: The Animated Series. This prejudice aside, I quickly changed my tune. After a few minutes of watching the first episode I got a feel for the art and started to appreciate the design choices. The characters are fluid and their costumes come from a blend of classic and contemperary Marvel. The animation stays consistently smooth through the entire run of the show (two seasons total). Though not as sexy as Bruce Timm's art, the style is unique and pleasing. It's classic 2-D animation (my favorite!) with the exception of some FX and vehicles being computer generated.
The stories told throughout the show's run are a tip of the hat to classic Marvel blended with the intrigue of more modern stories. I'll give you an example: there are guest appearences from characters like Wonder Man (in his original purple ion form [Kirby-Dots for the win!]) while the Avengers are fighting off the Skrull invasion (one of the main stories from season two). As a fan of comics history (and older, sometimes unloved characters) I thought it was both bold and awesome that the writers threw in characters like Ulysses Klaw, The Wrecking Crew, and MODOK (!) pretty early on in the series' run. Hell, they were even able to fit Zzzax in! Dusting off and including such iconic villains made the fanboy in me leap for joy and spill popcorn all over my metaphorical living room. But the contemporary fan isn't left out. Winter Soldier appears as badass as ever as well as the new Gaurdians of the Galaxy ("I am Groot"). It's a great mix of past and present that both old and new fans can appreciate.
One of the most important parts of making a cartoon is the voice work. Amazing animation and engaging stories can be brought low by terrible voice acting. Any anime fan could tell you that. The first few words out of the mouths of most of the characters made me nod my head and say, "Yes, that is a good choice for that character's voice. This works," with the exception of Iron Man. I don't know who's decision it was, but for some reason the actor portraying Iron Man (Eric Loomis) does an impression of Robert Downey Jr. the entire series. Don't get me wrong, I can understand that Disney wants to keep their properties somewhat in sync, and eventually I grew to appreciate the homage, but right out of the gate he sounds cheap. Almost gimmicky. Especially next to industry greats like Jennifer Hale, Phil LaMarr, Steven Blum, Elizabeh Daily, and Mark Hamill.
The question to be asked is, "Is this show worth watching?" In my opinion, yes it is. If you're looking for a fun, action packed cartoon that's appropriate for the whole family (or a 20 something alone in his/her house) to watch, then give The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes a try. The cartoon world is filled with great stuff for DC fans and now Marvel fans have a show that can hold up against that stiff competition.

"The Real Life Adventures of Jon Strippoli" is ©2013 by Jon Strippoli. All contents of Crazed Fanboy are ©2013 by Nolan B. Canova and Terence Nuzum.

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