Thursday, June 5, 2014

Review: Avengers Assemble "Ghost of a Chance"

Well, like most other episodes of Avengers Assemble, this episode is a compilation of some good ideas, and a lot of bad ones. Let's go over those in turn.

The Good
The plot is not the most creative one, but it's a standard body-snatchers plot executed well. No complaints there.

The Avengers' roles are well defined in this episode. In fact, this episode is a better introduction to the characters than the premiere is. In this episode we learn...
  • Falcon has genuine talent, but is often underestimated.
  • Hulk may love smashing, but he has a calmer, almost zen side to him.
  • Captain America is the consummate professional and a born leader.
  • Iron Man is a snarky genius with little respect for things like "authority" and "professionalism." But he gets the job done.
  • Thor comes from a rich culture. But he's not cultured at all.
  • Black Widow is a Mary Sue who can stand up to even the Hulk.
  • Hawkeye tells one-liners.
I didn't say that all their characters were necessarily good, just that we understand them better in this episode. And that (along with the fact that this was the first episode I saw) was why I originally thought this was the premiere. And also why I think it works better as a premiere.

Speaking of the Hulk, his room was an absolutely brilliant addition. While many episodes portray him as a smash-happy moron, we do get to see a few glimpses of, for lack of a better term, his humanity. There's a delicious irony in the Hulk collecting fragile figurines, and it gives him more character in a single episode than Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. gives him in a single series. Kudos.

Hulk's room is the best thing in this episode. I'm not kidding.
The Bad
Hawkeye and Black Widow are barely defined. Hawkeye gets little screen time because he got swapped first (coughAvengersfilmcough), and Black Widow gets little screen time because of those ovaries, I guess. Seriously, why will Black Widow keep getting the shaft? Get your mind out of the gutter.

This is the point where Falcon stops just being a terrible audience viewpoint character and becomes a Marty Stu. This episode is all about how Tony Stark's 17-year-old S.H.I.E.L.D. agent pal joins the Avengers, and saves the whole planet all by himself with the super-cool technology he invented himself. And all the Avengers like him because he brought cookies! To be fair, there are a few parts that humanize him, like when he makes fun of Hulk's figurines and geeks out to Captain America while sparring, but it doesn't make up for the rest of the Marty Stu-ness.

The design of the Space Phantoms is... okay. But I've always thought that ghosts from space were terrifying.

I honestly had nightmares.
And I've seen the idea executed so much better. By a webcomic, even. The NASAghast takes the nightmares granted to me by the Space Koo and amps it up.

The Ugly
The design of the Space Phantoms from the comics.

Um, ew.
No wonder they changed it for this episode.

Now go read Dr. McNinja.


  1. It's official, if I ever become a marvel writer, I'm revamping the Space Phantoms into Vashta Nerada.

    - That One Anon

    1. I had a similar idea. Hopefully, I can beat you to it.

  2. In fact, one thing this cartoon got wrong about the Space Phantom is that he can't replace Thor because the Asgardian already switches himself with Donald Blake with an enchantment. That, and the phantom has almost never replaced a woman with his powers before. They didn't even reference the creatures' connection to Kang the Conqueror or Immortus.