Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Review: Avengers Assemble "Super Adaptoid"

This episode is an odd one to review. My notes for the Review ended up being somewhat negative, and yet I have fond memories of this episode whenever I look back on it. What's the deal with that? Well, if I go point by point, I might be able to figure it out.

Judging by the scenes that bookend this episode, this episode is about Captain America and Iron Man learning the merits of each other's approach to what they do. Cap learns to be spontaneous, and Iron Man learns that sometimes, you can't just wing it. But as much as the episode seems to want to learn that to us, the actual events of the episode don't back it up.

It's hard to see the actual point where Iron Man learns his lesson. For Cap, he learns to be spontaneous after fighting the Adaptoid mano-a-mano. But when does Iron Man change? When does he decide that doing things the old-fashioned way isn't a bad thing? Why does he suddenly decide to take notes?

Near as I can figure out, Iron Man doesn't learn a darn thing. This lesson will be pretty much exactly repeated later in "In Deep." And Tony will be learning to trust his teammates and not his tech over and over. And over. And over. And over. ...and over.

A lesson so nice, he learns it... a whole buttload of times.
As for the rest of the episode, it's a standard villain rampage. And it's paced terribly. The first part was great. Everything up until Justin Hammer attacking the Avengers is perfect. But as soon as that fight starts, the rest of the episode is a fight scene. And it just gets boring after a while. But it does pick up at the end, where Cap's sneaking around the Avenjet. But the terrible pacing in the middle drags down the entire episode.

Black Widow is MIA, just as she was in "The Serpent of Doom." Here begins her string of sporadic appearances. There are no female characters in this episode.

You know, Avengers: EMH was pulling in a large crowd of male and female viewers. So maybe, Marvel, it's actually a bad idea to rarely include your only female character? Just saying.

Iron Man learns not to trust solely on his tech for the second time, possibly the third depending on your interpretation of the mortal in "The Serpent of Doom."

Super Adaptoid
Super-Adaptoid is a non-entity. He's a weapon; an item; a suit. A tool. Speaking of tools....

Justin Hammer
First of all, Jason Spisak (Kid Flash, Razer) does a great Sam Rockwell impersonation.

Second of all, I absolutely love the idea of him being a Cabal reject who's trying to curry their favor. I've often thought that if they bring in the Masters of Evil for the Avengers films, Justin Hammer should be the guy the Masters have on staff for his resources, and no other reason.

I mean, you could have him building himself an Iron Man suit, and the others are all like, "No, you just stay here and fix Wonder Man's containment suit. We saw the debacle at the Stark Expo." Sort of like the opposite of the Avengers' mutual respect and... what? The episode? Well, Justin Hammer doesn't have much beyond what I already said. He's a Cabal reject who really wants to join. There's little to the character beyond what Spisak puts in his performance. It's a real credit to that performance that Hammer is as memorable as he is.

All in all, this episode has a lot of really good parts, but they don't really mesh into a cohesive whole when put together. So while I do have fond memories of this episode, it's always worse than I remember. Still, I'd say it's worth a watch if you want to get into the series.

Next time, lawyers friendly Superman shows up. But since I already reviewed that, long-time followers will probably be more interested in the episode after that, where Ultimate Spider-Man takes a dark turn! What the heck do I mean by that? You'll just have to find out next time. See you then!

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