Monday, May 26, 2014

Review: Avengers Assemble "The Avengers Protocol: Parts 1 and 2"

Well, I'm pretty sure by now you all know that I don't like this series as much as its predecessor. But does this mean the premiere is terrible?

Let's go through the issues subject by subject.

Voice Cast
Overall, they do a good job. Hawkeye and Black Widow in particular get often-awful dialogue, but that's the fault of the writers. On the flipside, the dialogue works very well at times, and Hawkeye gets some good one-liners to make up for the "Hate you more" exchange.

My biggest criticism would be Adrian Pasdar as Iron Man. He does a good job, but I just don't like him as Iron Man. Nothing against Pasdar himself (I've been a fan of his since he portrayed Nathan Petrelli on Heroes); just not my cup of tea.

Animation
The designs are fine, but the quality of the actual animation suffers from the same bouts of laziness that Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. suffers from. Still images, shortcuts, sudden letterboxing, etc. Thankfully, not to the same degree.

I do have to criticize the animation on one point. The Avengers go to the Red Skull's base, hidden in a place that should be well below zero. And no one wears any arctic gear? The reason is simple and obvious: they wanted the team to wear their colorful, recognizable costumes the whole time. Easier to animate, and it keeps the characters recognizable. And it should have killed Black Widow and Hawkeye from exposure.

Characters

Iron Man
I really don't want to keep comparing him to his Avengers: EMH counterpart... but I can't ignore the similarities. His introduction is a pale imitation of the one he had in EMH, his story arc is a pale imitation, his voice actor is a pale imitation.... and he'll be repeatedly learning the same lessons over and over.

Don't rely on technology; learn to trust teammates. Over and over.

It's not a bad version of the character, but I've seen him done better. 

Captain America
He had little time to shine so far, but this is a good interpretation of Cap; a straight-laced nice-guy.

Falcon
Sucks. I know, I know, I should give the character a fair chance, but bear with me. He's a Mary Sue. But a male one. A Marty Stu.

He's just too perfect. He's a genius protegé of Tony Stark, he's in S.H.I.E.L.D., he's the rookie who saves the day several times, and he has no flaws, other than his wide-eyed newbie-ness. Oh, and it will be revealed in a later episode that he's a minor, so it's the Mary Sue grand slam. He's exactly the character that a crappy fanfic would add, and a far cry from the character in either the comics or the latest Captain America film.

Hulk
I wish Bruce Banner would show up, but other than that, I have few complaints. The Hulk is adapted faithfully (though the Hulk's personality has changed enough times that a "faithful" adaptation is a bit of an oxymoron), but he's not as multi-layered as in EMH, and a bit too smash-happy for my tastes. Speaking of....

Thor
Gone is the lovable, honorable Prince of Asgard. In his place, we have a stupid oaf who only wants to fight. I have nothing else to say, because Thor has no other personality than that.

Hawkeye
Apparently, S.H.I.E.L.D.'s finest marksman is a childish idiot. In other adaptations, Hawkeye's cockiness masks his hidden depths. Here, there is no depth. There is only cockiness. To be fair, he gets good one-liners, but it shouldn't be at the expense of his personality.

Black Widow
Another Mary Sue. Not only is she a Mary Sue, but the way she treats her teammates like crap through her sardonic "wit" makes her seem unprofessional, childish, and reminds me of She-Hulk from Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. in the worst possible way.

Red Skull
Not a bad villain at all. In fact, Red Skull brings a few moments of truly inspired genius to these episodes. First, he has multiple schemes all running at once, just in case. Second, he learns his lesson. The lesson from the various Avengers adaptations has always been "teamwork." The fact that Red Skull learns the same lesson as the heroes is deceptively brilliant, in its way.

MODOK
Um... he's MODOK? Not really sure why I listed him. It's like trying to review a chair; it serves its purpose, but isn't something you're going to be paying attention to when it's doing its job correctly.

All in all, it's "meh." I wish I could say something better, but the good bits and the bad bits even out for the most part. See you next time, when we get to the episode that I thought was the premiere at first. I'll explain then.

4 comments:

  1. Falcon is less a Marty Stu and more a kid-appeal character done poorly. The other Avengers don't think he's amazing and his story arc is supposed to be about him learning and growing as an Avenger. Unfortunately, as you say the writers forgot to give him meaningful character flaws and don't really highlight his inexperience. Instead, he just comes as more mature and levelheaded than the other characters. I cringe a little typing this, but A-Bomb may in fact be a better kid-appeal character than he is.

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  2. My god, Iron Man gets annoying real quick in this show. Lets learn the same lesson dozens of times only to forget it tomorrow. I know he is supposed to be a bit of a jerk but this versions pushing it, and he has no charm at all. everyone else is meh...

    Is it bad that I already like the crazy digimon Avengers more than this one. At least that one has an odd messed up charm

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  3. The "meh" levels are off the charts! Quick, somebody replace MODOK with the Marvel vs Capcom version! SCIENCE!

    - That One Anon

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    1. Or the Avengers: EMH version. Heck, I'd even take the one from the Iron Man 3 iPad game.

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