Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Recap: Avengers Assemble "Depth Charge"

Eric Roberts is hailed by some as a master of the B-movie, but we'll see if that holds up for this TV movie that came out the same year as The Dark Knight, featuring Roberts as....

Oh, wait, wrong "Depth Charge," this one's an Avengers Assemble episode.

My bad.
Our episode opens with a giant, green monster attacking New York City. No, it's not the Hulk. Or Godzilla, either. It appears to be Fin Fang Foom, the alien dragon, but I'm not sure. The same monster resembling Fin Fang Foom was shown attacking the Great Wall of China at the end of the second episode. Is this related? Doesn't matter; the writers didn't care, so neither will I.

You know, that might have been a bit harsh on this show. After all, there is at least some genuine effort and care going into it. Yeah, you know what? After giving the last episode a bit of a bashing, I'm going to wipe the slate clean before I look at this episode. I mean, I can live with the writers being less-than-clear on the identity of a random Kaiju.

I hereby declare that this show has another chance! You may proceed, Avengers Assemble.

Captain America: "We've got confirmation; the city's been evacuated." 
Iron Man: "Typical monster attack protocol."

Chance revoked.

That is the dumbest thing that this how has said yet. Do you know how many people live in New York? Somewhere around 8.337 million people, as of 2012. According to various internet sources, evacuation would probably take somewhere around a month, plus or minus a week. And "standard" protocol? According to a 2005 article I read by the New York Times (which I admit may be out of date), there is no single plan to evacuate New York. You could argue that one was put in place after the Chitauri invasion, but let's take a look at exactly why such a smooth, quick evacuation wouldn't be possible here.

Evacuating the city like this (let's say within two hours) would require....
  1. Getting the message out to everyone with no one panicking. (Impossible.)
  2. Keeping traffic from entering New York with a minimum of time and fuss. (Impossible.) 
  3. Rerouting all roads to lead out of the city while organizing the fleeing civilians onto these roads in an orderly fashion. (Impossible.)
  4. Providing adequate transportation out of the city  (Impossible.)
  5. Organizing the evacuation of a city before a significant number of casualties. (Impossible.)
  6. Keeping the monster confined to New York while also keeping it from hindering the evacuation efforts. (Impossible.)  
Having apparently accomplished these six impossible things, the Avengers are no doubt planning to celebrate their later victory at Milliways, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. Can you believe we're only thirty seconds in?

Anyway, Hulk is on board the Avenjet with the others, complaining that there's not enough smashing going on. Apparently, he missed breakfast today. He kicks his way out and starts punching the dragon in the face. After knocking it down, Hulk notices that the monster has a sad look on its face.

Awww, poor baby.
He jumps up and crashes the Avenjet to get his team to back off while Thor and Iron Man whoop the monster somethin' firece.

Hulk: "I know monsters. I know when they wanna make trouble." 
Hawkeye: "Takes one to know one, right?" 
Hulk: "This one was runnin' scared." 
Falcon: "Scared? What would scare a giant monster?"

To answer his question, an unrealistically large tidal wave begins to loom over New York, ending the teaser. When the episode resumes, Iron Man spots the culprit riding the wave: Attuma, Warlord of Atlantis. And he's got those warriors that he lords over with him.

Why is he wearing a cape underwater?
Falcon: "Atlantean? You mean like the lost underwater nation of Atlantis, Atlantean?" 
Captain America: "Yeah; that's the one."

So it's a standard "Atlantis Attacks!" plot. Nothing new here. Namor does this all the time in cartoons. Wait, there's a thought. What's King Namor doing while Attuma wages war against the surface world?

Sounds about right.
Anyway, NYC gets flooded, causing what probably amounts to millions in water damage. Iron Man flies over and tells Attuma to stand down, but Attuma refuses. He's spent years amassing his army (uh, where's King Namor in all of this?) and is going to use it, by Odin.

Fighting ensues, as per usual. During the fight, Hawkeye notices something odd. Attuma said he was looking for a fight, but the Atlanteans keep running into the subways. Attuma soon joins them, after knocking back Iron Man.

Iron Man: "JARVIS, deploy Rubber Ducky." 
Falcon: "Rubber Ducky?" 
Iron Man: "When you invent an undersea suit of armor, you can name it whatever you want."

He resuits and tracks Attuma into the subways.

Iron Man: "You're running away from me? Seriously? You're gonna be so embarrassed when I post that video online!"

I would give my spleen to live in such a world.
But Tony gets ambushed by Atlanteans, and calls for everyone but Thor. Thor's job is to fight all the fish guys above the ground. Hulk gets to be a part of this plan, too. He smashes the ground and drains New York.

Hulk loves this plan. He's excited to be a part of it.
Falcon, meanwhile, has been tracking the enemy tactics, and recognizes a pattern. Cap and Hawkeye, meanwhile, find things that Tony identifies as bad. Falcon flies Cap and Hawkeye out of the way as they activate, breaking the bedrock under Manhattan and slowly sinking it into the ocean.

Dun dun dunnnnnn!

The Avengers regroup topside and begin planning. Falcon, Thor, and Tony fly up to get a better view of yet another tidal wave while the others fight Attuma and his army. Thor summons some winds to blow back the ocean while Tony and Falcon overload their forcefield generators while pushing the ocean back.

Back on the ground, Cap and Hawkeye have a talk about how wild the Hulk is while fighting fish guys. Hulk gets joined by Thor in an attempt to keep him from going too nuts, and promptly gets decked by Attuma. Attuma challenges Hulk to a one-on-one fight. They trade punches for a bit, and Hulk's punches are forceful enough to give the forcefield some problems. After stalemating Attuma, Hulk does the unthinkable. He surrenders. Attuma takes this opportunity, and punches Hulk into the ocean, breaking the forcefield and letting the wave through. Falcon calculates that the island of Manhattan will slide all the way into the ocean in about 4 minutes. The new plan: split up and keep attacking Attuma. Surprise surprise, it doesn't work. But for some odd reason, Manhattan isn't sinking. In a shout out to the Secret Wars, Hulk is carrying all of Manhattan, as Tony discovers.

And... look, this episode's pacing is worse than the premiere of the Super Hero Squad Show. I'll summarize.

Attuma defeats Thor and Iron Man underwater, making Hulk angry enough to put Manhattan back, defeat Attuma, and save his friends. Attuma gets thrown aboveground and pummeled by the SUPERANGRYGLOWHULK, who calms down with a little help from his pals.

Hulk: "Under control."

Hey, Disney. You own Marvel and the Muppets. Crossover?
Back at Avengers Tower, Hulk gets made Avenger of the Month, don't judge a book by its cover, Hulk eats everything in the fridge, Newt starts reviewing.


  1. The Avengers later learned this was actually Attuma's wedding with the sea, needless to say everybody agreed this was the worst wedding they ever attended; except Black Widow and Hawkeye, they agreed Budapest was worse.

  2. Typical monster attack protocol from Avengers Assemble - What Lewis Carroll believed before breakfast apparently.

    (Was that intentional reference?)

    1. Of course it was intentional. As far as you know. ;)