Finding Nemo vs. Shark’s Tale
Monsters Inc. vs. Shrek
The Dark Knight vs. Iron Man
Cop Out vs. The Other Guys
The Simpsons vs. Family Guy
Angry Video Game Nerd vs. Nostalgia Critic
Today, I’m going to look at the other half of the “Child-Friendly Super Hero Cartoon with Nods to Classic Comics for Fans” battle.
Batman: the Brave and the Bold vs. The Super Hero Squad Show.
While both shows fit that bill, B:TBATB focused on the “Nods to Classic Comics for Fans” part while today’s show, The Super Hero Squad Show focused on the “Child-Friendly” part. Let’s see how that worked out as I take a look at the first episode of The Super Hero Squad Show, “And Lo… A Pilot Shall Come!”
|It'd be funny if the title actually referred to Falcon piloting the helicarrier.|
Suddenly, a roar is heard and the wall starts to crumble, so an oddly mustache-less Tony Stark gets ready to call in his crew.
|What, did he lose a bet?|
A gigantic dragon bursts through the gate, but trips over the uncut ceremony ribbon. And with that, we get to the opening intro.
This is kind of weird for an intro. It quickly tells the backstory of how Doctor Doom almost took over the world with the omnipotent Infinity Sword, but it was destroyed by Iron Man. Now, Doctor Doom and his flunkies are trying to find all the pieces (called “Infinity Fractals”) while the SHS tries to find them to lock them away. Personally, not only would I much rather watch a show where Doctor Doom tried to take over the world with an omnipotent sword, but that would answer the question of HOW DID HE GET THE SWORD? Seriously, plot holes, people! This show is actively insulting the intelligence of anyone above the age of eight.
Anyway, the annoyingly catchy theme song plays, and we see the running gag for the series. In the intro, the Hulk grabs a fractal, and it transforms him into something different each time. This time, he becomes a baby. Along with the title of the episode, each episode shows a title card with artwork referencing a classic comic cover. This episode, it’s Fantastic Four #1. I’ve gotta say, against my will, I’m actually excited for the episode, thanks to the theme. I can’t wait to see what happens next!
|I wonder how quickly my enthusiasm will die.|
…and then Hulk says that the monster on the TV’s little….
...because the screen’s little…
...and my hopes are dropping.
We cut to Captain America, evacuating what he can as a three-headed dragon starts attacking. Iron Man exposits that his super computer will tell him what team members are needed for what jobs. Well, he tries. Silver Surfer (complete with California accent in an admittedly amusing touch) translates the technobabble.
Silver Surfer: “That is so cosmic….”
The computer tells him that they need to bring… the whole team. Iron Man, Hulk, Falcon, Wolverine, Silver Surfer, and Thor. Captain America comes in on the monitor and tells the Squad that the creatures are Mole Man’s, and exposits that every supervillain (including Mole Man) is now working for Doctor Doom since the Infinity Sword shattered. Yes, everybody team up with Doctor Doom right after his big plan fails, that’s a good strategy. They further exposit that anyone who touches an Infinity Fractal instantly gains superpowers. Boy, I hate “As you know” dialogue. Apparently, so does Iron Man, and he sets the Squad to work.
Iron Man: “It’s time to HERO UP!”
And with that, the theme song kicks in, and we see all the heroes pose individually in front of the letters SHS. Why? My guess is to keep kids distracted and fill up time. This show is actively insulting the intelligence of anyone above the age of seven. Still, it does look nice, I’ll give them that. The squaddies soar down to the ground, and Hulk sees that the monsters are huge, but calls Falcon puny.
Falcon: “Hey! I’m five-eleven!”
No, you’re not. Every character in this show looks like a 3’6” kid. Sorry, thanks for playing, Falcon. They try to teach Hulk that size and strength isn’t everything, and they all go off to fight.
Meanwhile, at the Legion of Doom’s headquarters… you know, that name may be taken by DC, but it really fits here. Anyway, at Doom’s Castle, Doom sits on his throne and monologues in a shrill, annoying voice. He yells at Mole Man, who tries to assure Doom that the monsters will do their job. Mole Man sounds like Stitch if he had a cold, and keeps hacking up gunk and burping… and worse.
|Hey, guys? GROSS =/= FUNNY! |
How many times do I have to tell Marvel this?
Meanwhile, the heroes keep fighting the monsters. The fight scene’s… pretty good. I especially like the fact that they don't defeat the three-header by “braiding its necks.” Wolverine even points out that nothing can be that stupid.
|You get one point, episode.|
After commercial, we cut to Iron Man at Stark Industries. He, Falcon, and Wolverine enter a deep-Earth probe to go fight the Mole Man. As they descend, Falcon psychically commands his pet Falcon to scope out the city. It does. More fighting between squaddies and monsters ensues. Falcon sends the bird back to base, and more fighting. Falcon tells IM that there’s no sight of the fight slowing down, topside. I agree, the whole episode's dragging on with no end in sight. Below ground, the three finally emerge underground, spotting Mole man and the fractal.
Wolverine jumps into the fray against Moloid henchmen, as Iron Man puts the fractal in a specimen jar.
|Truly, the battle of the ages.|
|Kill it! Kill it with fire!|
Well, the heroes escape in a disgustingly easy way, and they head back to the surface. Meanwhile, more fighting on the surface. My God, HALF OF THIS EPISODE IS FILLER! Suddenly, Mole Man appears and commands his creatures. The others… continue fighting. Mole Man squees for a while, and the entire city starts burning. But it’ll probably be fixed in no time. The underground squaddies resurface and... join the fighting. Dang it! I thought plot might actually happen.
Falcon heads back to the Helicarrier and pilots it around to the city, knocks over Fin Fang Foom into Mole Man. After more toilet humor, Mole Man drops the fractal, which Silver Surfer recaptures. IM tells the team that there’s still four more monsters in the city. STOP FIGHTING!
Actually, Thor gets a plan. He cooks a pile of meat with lightning, and they toss it down to the center of the Earth, and the monsters follow. Mole Man is taken away as the giant hole’s filled in, and the city is rebuilt.
|"More than half of us did nothing to advance the plot!"|
I don't think I have to tell you that this was an unpleasant half-hour. Toilet humor, bad designs, little plot.
Despite all my rage, I will give the show this: it’s perfect for one audience.
That audience consists of little kids who love Super Heroes, but don’t know anything about the characters past their names and powers to the point where they wonder why Spider-Man isn’t in LEGO Batman 2, and find Super Hero cartoons meant for all-ages to be inaccessible.
So, basically, my little cousins. You know what? That’s fine with me.
And if you like this show for whatever reason, go right ahead.
It’s got a few good things; I always like to see the classic-Marvel references.
It’s the parts in between those bits that I don’t like.
In fact, I hate those parts.
In fact, overall, I hate this show.
Oh, well, not everything can be Batman: the Brave and the Bold.
See you next time!