Monday, April 6, 2015

Review: Avengers: EMH "Living Legend"

What better way to describe this episode other than legen...

Wait for it...

....

Plot
The plot is loosely taken from Avengers issue 4,where the body of Captain America is discovered. But this episode continues the "blast from the past" theme by including Baron Zemo, Arnim Zola, and Doughboy (all classic Captain America villains) as the primary antagonists.

Now, you might say that it's a bit contrived to have the Avengers just so happen to stumble upon the good Capcicle, but it's better than the original comic. In that, some primitive... um...

...these guys...
...were worshiping Cap's frozen body as a god. Because those silly natives will worship anything, right? Wrong, 1960's. Very wrong. Go sit in the corner. Anyway, Namor the Sub-Mariner basically got angry and threw the false god into the ocean, whereupon he was discovered by the team.

Look, either way, it's going to be a bit contrived. I'm just glad this episode took the route with marginally less racism.

Marginally.

Themes
The big theme of the episode is "Some things never change."

The world will always need heroes to defend it. And while Captain America might not be very popular internationally (for obvious reasons), he's still seen by Americans as an example of what America should be. Ignore the fact that he's ironically the ideal Nazi ubermensch. He's kind. Courteous. Dutiful. And all those other things that Boy Scouts should be. While the world could use geniuses, pacifists, warriors, and upbeat young ladies, it will always need heroes.

Characters
Wasp
As I said in an earlier post, Wasp is truly the heart of the team. And even though it may seem like I hate the character, this episode shows why I really like her. While the rest of the Avengers go off to deal with the needs of the many, she stays behind to deal with the needs of the one.
 
Captain America
The classic stories of any superhero are always done to death. But this was a solid way to show Captain America regaining his stride in the modern day. He doesn't immediately snap out of it like he seems to in the movies, or the original comics. He's frickin' traumatized that the world has left him behind.

But when push comes to shove, even when he feels useless in this new age of heroes, he'll still wield his shield against evil without a second thought.

But that's not to say he's fully adjusted even now. Far from it. But the process is going to take a few episodes. And that's okay with me.

Baron Heinrich Zemo
First of all, this Baron is a composite character. In the comics, there was the Baron Zemo Cap fought in WWII and his modern successor, Helmut Zemo. Here, it's the same guy sans aging.

Second, I love how Zemo has his original costume in the flashback. Nice touch.

Third, he's kind of redundant. I mean, Baron Von Strucker kind of filled the niche for evil-Nazi-Baron-HYDRA-leading-bad-guys-with-weapons.

Fourth, I like Zemo better than Von Strucker. He's a better fighter, looks cooler, and I enjoy Robin Atkin Downes's performance immensely.

Enchantress
Call me crazy, but I think she might be up to something. Dun-dun dunnnnnnn!

Animation
Par for the course for this show. Though there were some highlights, like the gooey animation of Doughboy as well as Zemo's downfall in the 40's. That scream will haunt my nightmares.

All in all, despite my praise for this episode, it was merely okay. Despite a good story, great dialogue, and exploration of some interesting themes, it just doesn't really stand out when compared to other episodes of this season. It's not bad, it's just not spectacular.

Next episode, Tony Stark acts like Tony Stark. This leads to trouble. See you then!

...

...dary.

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