Thursday, November 27, 2014

Recap: Avengers: EMH "Breakout, Part 1"

Today, here in the United States, we're be celebrating Thanksgiving. We'll all gather round the table with food, family, and appreciate all that we have. So today, I'm going to treat you all with something I was definitely thankful for while it lasted.

It's finally time to start looking at Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. You're welcome.
The series opens up in space from Iron Man’s orbital perspective as his computer, JARVIS, tracks some kind of signal to a mountain range in Slovakia.

Iron Man: “Got ‘em.”

“’Em” seems to be comprised of the Advanced Idea Mechanics, a group of evil scientists who do evil science. Currently, they seem to be negotiating a weapons trade between them and the country of Latveria, represented here by Doctor Doom’s roboticized ambassador, Lucia von Bardas. But before any weapons can be traded, Iron Man swoops in to ruin AIM’s day. He’s more than a bit upset that AIM was about to sell some of his most dangerous inventions to a dictatorship, and proceeds to knock out the AIM troops with his EMPs.

Iron Man: “Give your master a message for me. ‘Buyer beware.’ You steal my tech, you answer to me. Even him.”

Lucia quietly leaves with her Doombot escorts, and Iron Man has JARVIS contact S.H.I.E.L.D. to let them know that he’s rounding up a few more AIM scientists for the Vault, despite the fact that Iron Man is not affiliated with S.H.I.E.L.D. and, being a private citizen of another country, may have just broken international laws, treaties, agreements, etc. But I guess if Batman can go to Hong Kong to bring a mob accountant back to the States….

JARVIS: “Also, Miss Potts called.”

Man, Marvel's crossing over with the Disney movies already? Thor should arm wrestle Gaston while Iron Man meets up with the little teapot.

JARVIS: “She wished to know if you were still out ‘playing superhero’ or if you were going to come into the office to do some ‘actual work.’”

Never change, JARVIS. Never change.

Iron Man gets ready to head off, and the theme plays. “Fight as One,” by Bad City. Heck. Yes.

As my longtime readers will no doubt know, I love a good theme song. And you know what? This one’s somewhere up in my top five. The music itself is top notch and gets the blood pumping, and the lyrics are inspired genius. At first, they sound like generic rock lyrics, but if you listen to them, they refer to the Avengers.

"Our world’s about to break, tormented and attacked." (Hulk, aka the “Worldbreaker.”)
"Lost from when we wake, with no way to go back." (Captain America, a man from the past and Thor, Asgard’s missing son.)
"I’m standing on my own, but now I’m not alone." (Iron Man, the antisocial loner.)

Unfortunately, the other Avengers’ verses are in the extended theme, which was apparently never recorded.

"Too small to turn the tide," (Ant-Man and Wasp. ‘Nuff said.)
"Too stubborn to give in." (Hawkeye. ‘Nuff said.)
"Pushed by pain and pride/to face these fears and win." (Black Panther, the true king of Wakanda.)
"There’s no one left to trust. It all comes down to us." (Black Widow, the apparent traitor.)

She will only be in this episode for one second, so enjoy this gif instead.
Like I said, it’s really subtle stuff. I love it. What a shame that Season 2 replaced it with a voiceover  talking about only the Avengers that got their own movies, even if they weren’t in that particular episode. But enough about that, let’s talk about what came before that. Before the dark times. Before Man of Action. …Anyone else hearing the Imperial March?

Anyway, the episode resumes at the Cube. We see Doc Samson… Okay, I hate to stop the Recap here, but I’ve got something important to bring up. Even though this is the series premiere, this is not where you should be starting these Recaps. You see, before this series aired, Marvel went ahead and released a bunch of Micro-Episodes that not only tell short tales of the pre-assembly Avengers, but they also fill you in on need-to-know information for the series premiere. So if you haven’t done so already, I’d recommend that you read my Recaps of episodes 3 through 7, which are just Micro-Episode compilations.

Here’s some links. Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Ant-Man.

Trust me, it’ll be worth it. Because not only is there already a traitorous Avenger, there’s a lot of important details from the Micro-Episodes that I’m not going to re-explain. For crying out loud, I’m already over seven-hundred words. So if you don’t already know by this point that the Cube is full of Gamma-mutates like Absorbing Man and the Wrecker, then go ahead and click those links.

Anyway, at the Cube, Doctor Leonard Samson meets with the incarcerated Bruce Banner for their usual appointment.

Bruce: “This is a disaster waiting to happen, Leonard.”

Not yet. The disaster comes later.

Doc Samson: “I’ve told you again and again, Bruce; we’ll find a cure for the Hulk.”

He namedrops a few prisoners like Sterns (the Leader) and Blonsky (the Abomination) when talking about the work they’ve been doing, but Bruce insists that S.H.I.E.L.D. isn’t looking for cures. They’re looking for ways to control them.

Bruce: “You wanna know what the Cube is, really? It’s a Gamma bomb waiting to go off.”

On that note, we shift to New York, where Thor watches over the city like Batman. Behind him, his brother-in-arms, Baldur the Brave, exits a portal from Asgard. They hail each other, and Baldur informs Thor that his dad, Odin, taking a nap for a few days to get some energy back. Or as they call it, the “Odinsleep.” Because saying “Odin’s napping” is less epic. Maybe I should start calling my naps the “Newtsleep.” Before Odin nodded off, though, he asked Baldur to get Thor to look after things in Asgard.

Thor: “Nay.”

Your horse impression needs work.

Thor tells Baldur that he’s sick of the endless fighting in Asgard. Trolls invade, the Asgardians fight back, they win, rinse and repeat. Asgard can survive without Thor there. I mean, it’s got the Warriors Three, Lady Sif, Baldur, the Valkyries, Heimdall, Tyr, Freyja, Hermod, Hlín, Hœnir, etc. And I’ll bet even Andhrímnir would be willing to stop hunting that boar for a bit if he were ever needed to fight. Asgard is not short on fighters, basically. But Earth is. And on Earth, Thor finally believes like he’s changing the world for the better. Wandering free, he wishes he could be... part of their world.

So maybe he'll be having a heart-to-heart with Ariel instead. I'm sure Hulk would be up for arm-wrestling Gaston.

Thor meets back up with paramedic Jane Foster for a bit, saving her from a flying car.

Jane: “Hey, have you been following me?”
Thor: “Uhm… perhaps?”

Paraphrasing the New York Penal Code, stalking in the fourth degree (the least severe form) occurs when someone follows or harasses you, your family, or place of work in a manner that makes you feel unsafe, or causes harm to physical/mental health. Unfortunately, the New York Penal Code says nothing about saving people from harm repeatedly, so I guess Thor would be off on a technicality. Luckily for Thor, Jane just wants to know why this rippling mass of muscles with a head attached to it is interested in her. He tells her that humans are weak and fragile, but Jane’s dedicated her own weak and fragile life to help others’ last longer. I would like to add, because Thor doesn’t, that Jane Foster is also pretty hot. I’m just saying that there are probably much less attractive paramedics doing the same thing, and Thor doesn’t seem to have noticed any of them.

"So, dost thou wish to, like, wend on a date?"
Meanwhile, continuing Iron Man’s story, he drops off a pod full of AIM troops to the Vault.

Agent Woo: “Thanks. AIM’s been a thorn in S.H.I.E.L.D’s side for a long time.”

But Iron Man lets him know that he’s only doing this because they had his tech. Speaking of tech, Woo wants to talk to Iron Man about Vault security, what with last week’s incident. Tony tells him to schedule something with Pepper Potts.

Iron Man: “Whatever it is, I’m sure it can wait a day.”

Unaware of the impending irony, Iron Man takes off as we cut to the rather tiny Big House on the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier. Dr. Henry Pym is paying the Mad Thinker a visit, having listened to a recording of his conversation with Whirlwind where he mentioned that a breakout was inevitable.

Mad Thinker: “The better question is not ‘what,’ but ‘when’.”

Meanwhile, Wasp is bust talking with her S.H.I.E.L.D. pal, Maria Hill about Nick Fury’s offer to join up. They pass the Black Widow suspiciously going the other way, and the lights flicker. They also flicker in Hawkeye’s cell at the Vault… shortly before all the cells open up. And it’s not just the Vault, all the cells in the Cube open up, realeasing all the Gamma-inmates. And the Big House is no different.

Mad Thinker: “Boom.”

You've got to find a way. Say what you want to say.
Of course, the fluctuation in power means that the Big House is quickly returning to its normal size. Which means we’ve basically got a normally sized building sticking out of the helicarrier. Doc Samson’s got it bad over at the Cube, too. Apparently, all these Gamma-mutates are leaking Gamma radiation. A green explosion doesn’t help the good doctor much, either. Fury yells at the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to keep the carrier flying, and Agent Quartermain informs him that the Vault and the Cube and the Big House are all offline. And, unbeknownst to all the agents, the Big House villains are loose. And they’re taking no prisoners. In fact, Grey Gargoyle just up and kills a guy by turning him to stone and letting him fall. Luckily, Wasp and Agent Hill are on the scene, heading down to rescue Ant-Man. Meanwhile, Iron Man gets a call from Pepper.

Iron Man: “Pepper. Guess who I ticked off this morning. Here’s a hint. His name rhymes with ‘boom.’”

So, are the writers not allowed to officially use Doctor Doom? I know the movie rights were still at Fox. Does it have something to do with Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes?

She tells him about the helicarrier incident, and JARVIS tells him about the Vault incident. He heads off to the Vault because it’s closer and asks Pepper to keep him updated on the helicarrier. While all this mayhem goes on, Thor is eating with Jane Foster at a café. As he does. Oddly enough, this isn't causing a scene. You’d think someone would at least be taking pictures.

Will Facebook actually let her tag him as "Thor"?
They talk about his dad, Odin, and why he doesn’t want to go back.

Jane: “Really. Because it sounds like you’re just mad at your dad.”

Lemme tell you something, Jane. The Asgardians pretend to be all high and mighty, but they argue like bilgesnipe. They just like to give fancy names to everything to make trivial matters sound epic. Taking a nap? No, it’s Odinsleep. An old cooking pot? Nope. Eldhrímnir. Somebody ate the last cookie? Ragnarök.

Jane: “You know, we have managed to survive okay. We’ve got police, firemen, paramedics… even a few superheroes of our own.”

Like the one frozen in the ice, the one who only fights people who steal his technology, the uncontrollable green one, the pacifist, the pacifist’s girlfriend, the pheasant-plucker, and the pheasant-plucker's son.

But as she tries to convince him that they’ll be fine if he goes back to Asgard for a week, Thor notices some smoke rising from the center of New York and flies off to investigate. Over at the Cube, Bruce Banner is trying to escape from the rubble as he sees Doc Samson emerge from the radioactive halls of the building. He tells his friend to get out, but Doc is a bit busy freaking out and turning superstrong. After he manages to save Bruce, Zzzax, an energy monster, attacks. Over at the Vault, the villains break into the storage area to get their equipment back, including Hawkeye. Over at the Big House, Ant-Man is being used as a punching bag by Mandrill and King Cobra. This happens while the Red Ghost and his Super-Apes take out a few of the Ultron drones.

Dr. Pym: “This is really disappointing, Mandrill! And you’ve come so far in counseling.”

Ant-Man fights back before getting knocked into the lower levels of the Big House. Luckily, falling debris saves him. Back at the Vault, Hawkeye gets mistaken for a villain by Iron Man, and gets hit by Iron Man’s repulsor. Iron Man then gets sucker punched by Blizzard, who goes to take revenge alongside other Iron Man villains Living Laser, Crimson Dynamo, and Whiplash. JARVIS sends out a distress signal, and things are looking bad over at the helicarrier, too. Oddly enough, Fury’s ignoring the Big House, the Vault, and the Cube. His priority is the secret jail that no one knows about: the Raft. Disguised as a barge, the above-sea part covers up a tube that goes to the bottom of the harbor, where the really dangerous guys are.

Griffon? Mandrill? Abomination? Mad Thinker? Living Laser? Amateurs.

At the Raft, we’re talking Nazi swordsmen, mind controllers, and a guy who has complete mastery over gravity. And that last guy’s waking up after a very long sleep.

At the Cube, Bruce Banner hulks out. It’s slow, painful, and absolutely horrific. Naturally, this makes Hulk a bit miffed, and he starts whaling on Zzzax while the Leader watches the situation over the facility’s computer system. He notes that whatever happened is also happening at the other prisons, and takes the opportunity to take over the place. He commands the Abomination and the Absorbing Man to take care of the Hulk, once and for all.

Iron Man gets permission to leave the Vault because S.H.I.E.L.D. backup arrived. Unfortunately, Crimson Dynamo really doesn’t want him to leave. Ever. Blizzard begins freezing Stark, but a well-timed arrow from Hawkeye saves him.

Hawkeye just took out four Iron Man villains at once. Without armor. Just saying.
Iron Man hacks the systems and sets the place to blow, barely escaping before the villains are all buried in rubble.

Ant-Man, meanwhile, is getting his butt kicked by Whirlwind before getting rescued by Wasp. Hulk escapes the Cube, only to be met by Abomination and Absorbing Man. Why, yes, they do start fighting. Hulk manages to fend them off long enough to escape with Doc Samson, and Leader tells them to let Hulk go so they can begin their evil plan.

"Call Joe Quesada. Tell him that he should hire Jeph Loeb and Man of Action to oversee Marvel's cartoons."
Fury puts Maria Hill in charge as he goes to stop the Raft breakout. After he lands, the fake barge over the Raft rises into the air as a flying man appears in the sky. Fury orders evacuation, but gets lifted into the sky and disarmed.
Nick Fury: “Graviton….”

"I see your hair is almost as grey as mine."
To be continued! Dun-dun-dunnn!

1 comment:

  1. Doctor Doom is best Disney Princess.

    - That One Anon