Thursday, May 14, 2015

Review: Avengers Assemble "All-Father's Day"

Before you ask, yes. I have been on a Final Fantasy kick lately. I've been slowly reworking my way through the series, starting with 7. I'm on 9. Then I'll do Tactics, then 10 and 10-2, then... oh, yeah. The episode.

This was Avengers Assemble's take on the whole "the other Gods don't understand why Thor loves Earth" deal. Now, "Planet Doom" already touched on this, but didn't give that part of the episode much in the way of resolution. One could almost call it foreshadowing... if foreshadowing didn't go against one of the basic tenants of the Marvel Animation Universe, which is to have as little in the way of ongoing stories as possible.

The argument basically boils down to whether or not Earth has mighty warriors. Which means that the episode is centered around fighting. See my spiel in the Recap for my thoughts on that.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm getting a little tired of Asgardians and their relics causing havoc in this show. "Serpent of Doom," "The Doomstroyer," "Planet Doom".... At least Doctor Doom wasn't here again.

Odin is an old man and a fool.

He unintentionally created a monster through completely intentional genocide and he revealed his location to it while fighting his son's friends.

(Edit: In the absence of any contradictory evidence, I am assuming that Mangog's origin is the same as his comic counterpart. Even if Odin didn't kill a billion billion Vanir to create Mangog, he forcibly amalgamated them into one being and locked it away. It might not technically be "genocide," but it's as close as you can get without killing anyone.)

I don't know what the intended theme of the episode was. Probably hubris. But all I see are the mistakes of a genocidal tyrant who would rather claim innocent lives than see his son do his own thing.

Thor is Thor. He argues for something he knows is right, and what do you know, he wins the argument.

A generic demon-of-the-week. And JB Blanc's voice is wasted through all the pitch-shifting it went through.

Again, old man. Fool.

Odin is a tyrant who escapes any and all karma. I mean, the man defeated a demon that only exists because he killed more people than Hitler and he gets rewarded with a trip to Coney Island.

That is, without exaggeration, literally what happens.

"It's the women and children who make the most enjoyable death rattles, you know."
I'm not too big on the voice acting, either.

And yes, I am aware I'm saying this about Frank "Fred Jones/Abu/Oswald the Lucky Rabbit/Everything Else" Welker. Mel Blanc may be the Man of 1000 Voices, but Frank Welker does the rest of them.

Hear me out.

Frank Welker is an icon of voice acting. He's amazingly talented and I will fight tooth and nail at anyone who says otherwise. Unfortunately, that means that when you hear one of his many voices, you might already associate it with another role.

Frank Welker's Odin voice isn't really one of his more unique voices, and when you couple that with all his talk about going to eat... well, all I hear is this.

"Let the Feast of a Thousand Hams begin!"
Like I said, the man's a living legend. But I think a less-distinctive voice would have improved things a bit.

Mangog's design is terrible. Just in general.

Let's face it, Jack Kirby drew tons of monsters that look like Mangog.

Derpy face, three fingers. Standard Jack Kirby monster design.
And this episode translated his look accurately, but didn't really try too hard to make him look visually interesting. He looks like a less-interesting version of Final Fantasy 7's Ifrit.

Seriously, guys. Step up your game.
And Odin's design was just lifted from the films. Like every design but Falcon's. Nothing new here.

Final Thoughts
When you take away Odin's war crimes, Odin's voice, and Mangog's design, this episode's average. And I mean that. Perfectly average. Minimal Black Widow, a plot involving Asgard, lots of fighting. This is what you get when you boil the episodes so far down into their essence.

Not great, not terrible. Just average.

Next time... well, there might not be a next time. I just criticized both Frank Welker and Jack Kirby in the same post. I'm pretty much a dead man.

But if there is a next time, I'll see you then.


  1. Mangog looked much cooler on the Thor: God of Thunder videogame that everyone hated

    1. Yeah, but even then he just looked like the destroyer armor grew spikes.

    2. Makes kind of sense to me, isn't the Destroyer armor designed to hold the soul? If so, isn't Mangog basically a bigger scale Destroyer armor?

    3. Perhaps a Mangog redesign could be in the near future? Hmm?

      - That One Anon

  2. You know, in the hands of a better writer, Mangog could be a really cool villain. An agent of vengeance for Odin's past mistakes, creating conflict not only as a direct threat, but straining Thor and Odin's relationship when the skeletons in the All-Father's closet come to light.

    Also, while FF references are the order of the day, with Mangog's "fusion of souls" gimmick I can't help but be reminded of Ermac from Mortal Kombat.

    - That One Anon

    1. "We are Many. U are but 1. We are not in MK1. Stop asking"

  3. I didn't like this episode either because it made both Odin and Thor out to be idiots when they are supposed to be ancient beings who have won difficult battles for millenia.

    However, I do think one problem with your review is you are associating this version of Mangog with other versions. We do not know where this Mangog comes from. All we know is he is some creature who stirred up trouble and Odin banned from entering Asgard. We do not know if he was created from souls like other versions.

    So while Odin is a prideful fool in this episode we have no indication of genocide or anything like it. And even then the original Mangog was no an example of genocide. Back in the Silver Age Odin had only trapped that species in the form of Mangog and restored the entire race to their previous state after they had learned their lesson. Mangog only showed up later because he was such a good villain other writers wanted to use him. Even Mangog admitted the race that restored him was alive and doing well.

    1. I see your point, though I do offer the following rebuttal.

      1. I generally operate under the assumption that these characters are like their comic counterparts in the absence of any implications/evidence to the contrary. And since nothing in this episode contradicted (and in some cases SUPPORTED) Mangog's comic origin, I found no reason to disregard the established origin.

      For example, in Ultimate Spider-Man, I'm assume that Wolverine was given adamantium claws by Weapon X, because even though it's not mentioned, there's nothing contradicting the established information. But I WON'T talk about Luke Cage's real name being Carl Lucas, because that detail was obviously changed.

      And in this particular case....

      Odin: “A cast-off. A mistake. Mangog sought to make war with many. So I banished him to the dark realm.”

      He's not denying that Mangog was created from the hatred of his enemies. In fact, by calling it "a mistake," this seems to confirm Magog's origin, if only by implication.

      2. I'll concede that my information on Mangog was a little inaccurate. After redoing my research, I noticed that the Marvel Wiki even says that it isn't really clear what Mangog is; a soul amalgamation, a demon, an extradimensional being...

      So while my exact information might not be 100% accurate, I will still stand by my overall argument that not only is Mangog's existence Odin's fault, but whatever Odin did to create Mangog was wrong, and I don't sympathize with him for paying the price.

    2. At least we can agree that this wasn't a good episode, right? ;)