Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Recap: Avengers Assemble "Head to Head"

It's good to be back in the swing of things here at the NewtCave. Sure, it was fun to look at Goosebumps for a month, but I'm sure you're all itching for me to tackle my usual fare. And the long-awaited celebratory Recap commemorating 250,000 views, no doubt.

Well, because of an issue or two with the latter, I've written this Recap well in advance to free up time in November, though I doubt that should be too noticeable.

Anyway, it's time for a mindswap episode, coming right after a de-age-ing episode.

And I'm sure that the next episode we'll have something like... I don't know, some kind of evil parallel universe, or some equally stock of a plot.
The episode begins in the middle of the desert, where AIM troops drive heavily armored vehicles with big ol' weapons around. Suddenly, the Hulk drops out of the sky to ruin their day.


Let me double check something.

Okay. I just had to make sure that this wasn't actually an episode of Agents of S.M.A.S.H.
As the Hulk attacks, the order is given for AIM to fall back and keep their missile out of the Avengers' hands. Because this show really seems to like using missiles as a generic threat for our heroes to stop. What's wrong with good ol' fashioned germ warfare? Feel free to mix it up, bad guys!

Speaking of our heroes, they're discussing a very important topic as they fight.

Hulk: "Thor, you serious? Everyone knows capes stupid."

Huh. Usually, the lack of linking verbs shows that the Hulk is absolutely furious. But the Hulk doesn't actually seem particularly angry here. By his standards. Though I'd love to see a furious Hulk discuss superhero chic.

"Capes are affectation that provide neither warmth nor protection!"
Although... think about this. How many heroes in the Marvel Animation Universe have capes?

Anyway, Thor rebuts by insulting Hulk's short pants while the AIM troops grab their guns and begin their assault on the two Avengers... only to get taken out by the shield of a third Avenger they didn't know was there.

Captain America: "This competition has no winner, guys."

"We'll never be able to keep people from complaining about some aspect of our costumes, if the response to Falcon's change is any indication."
Hawkeye: "Of course there's a winner. The one with the coolest sunglasses."

90s superhero costumes in a nutshell. That's why so many superheroes had those weird, rectangular sunglasses.

Seriously, is this a real thing people ever wore?
As they debate, Falcon drops in Hawkeye, who uses an admittedly cool shot (I'm referring to both the arrow and the camerawork) to take out an AIM vehicle's gas tank.

Black Widow joins the fight and the argument on her hoverbike before jumping off to beat up some goons. When one of them threatens to launch the missile if she keeps it up, Falcon throws his flechettes into the control panel.

Falcon: "By the way, any Avengers gear is better than those AIM uniforms. Blinding yellow?"

Hey, I like AIM's look in this show.

They wear half-combat gear, half-hazmat uniforms.
Which is fitting for an evil conglomerate of scientists who make weapons.
And yellow is a criminally underused color in costumes these days. I mean, when you look at the Reverse-Flash...

Sorry. I have strong opinions regarding the color yellow.

But one of the AIM guys manages to launch the missile, presumably on track to some kind of highly-populated target.

"Single jeopardy."
This is Iron Man's cue to compliment his own outfit while knocking the missile off course with a micro-missile of his own.

Iron Man: "Nice try, AIM. Another Advanced Idiotic Mistake."

Really, Tony? You're not going to go for the joke about how you just threw off AIM's aim? It was practically gift-wrapped for you.

Iron Man flies back to meet up with the other Avengers, who are finishing up both the fight and the argument.

Hulk: "Love short pants. Airy."

Thanks, show. I really needed to think about the airflow around the Hulk's junk.

According to Iron Man's instruments, the team is working at 100% efficiency.

Hawkeye: "I knew you had video games in that armor."

"What gives you that idea?"
Hawkeye: "Tell the truth: When you're talking to Fury, you're mostly playing games."
Iron Man: "No. ...Sometimes. But this isn't a video game, it's a performance monitor."

I'd imagine that this is a repurposing of the Stark Probability Engine from last season; instead of using it to predict what they should do next, he's using it to see if there were better alternatives to the choices they did make. And I have to admit, that's actually a neat idea, as well as a nice little nod to continuity to something from last season... even if I didn't like how it was handled last season. Just like how athletes have trainers monitoring their form and technique, the Avengers are measuring their battle tactics to look for improvement.

And it seems to solve the problem Tony had last season, where he put his blind faith into the SPE instead of reassessing the situation on the fly to adapt to unforeseen variables. By assessing their performance after the fact, Tony is instead judging how the Avengers reacted to those very variables he wouldn't be able to account for in his calculations, thus solving the problem of not being able to account for every variable.

Seriously, I really like this idea.

According to Tony's readings, the Avengers are operating at "maximum capacity."

Hawkeye: "Maximum? We can always do better."

Hawkeye has a point. And not just on his arrows.

...Please don't laugh at that joke.

But if Black Widow and Falcon were just a bit quicker, they could have kept the missile from being launched. I mean, Widow tackled the guy less than a second after he pressed the launch button. Heck, I'd imagine Hawkeye has an EMP arrow that could have done wonders against AIM's technology.

Actually, let's think about that. Hawkeye has a buttload of trick arrows that he likes to use. In order for this "performance monitor" to accurately work, it would have to know exactly which arrows he brought (whether it be five net arrows and a glue arrow, or five glue arrows and a net arrow) in order to figure out if he's using his gear at maximum efficiency.

I'm just saying that there are a lot of variables that this thing probably can't account for. After all, the main reason Stark stopped using the Stark Probability Engine to guide their fights was because something would always pop up that his calculations couldn't account for.

Yes, this seems to go against the praise I heaped on this idea a few paragraphs back, but I'm saying that while I like the idea of monitoring the Avengers' performance, the idea that it can give them a score of 100% efficiency is utterly ludicrous.

Iron Man: "You're mathematically challenged, Hawkeye. 100% is 100%."

By what metrics are you basing this "100% efficiency" thing? Is it because you defeated AIM within a certain time limit? Because you achieved certain goals within that time limit? Then Hawkeye's absolutely right; you are playing a video game.

It seems to me that Iron Man could have joined the fray sooner, or that Thor could have stopped the missile himself if he didn't literally stop to argue with the Hulk, too. Heck, when Black Widow turned her hoverbike all the way around to take out more AIM goons, I'm sure she could have done that slightly faster depending on random variables in wind speed, how fast she was driving, and how much of her concentration was taken up by arguing about costumes.

Did the Avengers do a good job taking down AIM? Absolutely.

Did they do a great job? Sure.

But what if the Avengers had defeated AIM even two seconds faster? Which, if they hadn't been stopping the fight to talk about costumes this whole time, they easily could have. Would that have registered as 101% efficiency?

Of course, this is all moot. Tony, no doubt, is taking all this with a grain of salt because he finally learned not to overrely on technology last season.


Hawkeye: "You and your math. Mind over matter, Tony. There are variables a program can't determine."
Iron Man: "My program can."

...Dang it.


We're really doing this plot again?

Didn't I just say that Iron Man stopped using this program last season because he realized that there were variables it couldn't account for? Because he did.

Even if Tony Stark never outright says "I stopped using the SPE because there are variables it can't account for," Tony stopped using the SPE once the Red Skull was able to use Tony's dependence on it to his advantage, gaining the Cosmic Cube in the process.

Even if that wasn't the intent of the writers, I'm counting it as character development because dang it, some of us want to see characters grow and change as individuals!

But not only has Tony forgotten that specific lesson, but he's forgotten once again that it's not good to put blind faith into the infallibility of his own technology.

I mean, that's the big overused lesson of Season 1, right? I spent all my time talking about it.

Well, here's the thing. The guy who decided to reuse the lesson here wasn't around for Season 1.

Let's go over the new writing staff. I've talked about them before, but... well, I think I made the writing staff change sound more substantial than it really was.

I described the writing staff for Season 2 as being largely made up of veterans of Avengers: EMH. This is true. What I didn't say was that a few of these EMH writers also wrote for the first season of Avengers Assemble at least once, such as Paul Giacoppo (who wrote EMH's "Panther'sQuest" and AA's "The Doomstroyer").

But on the other hand, several writers for Seasons 1 and 2 of AA never worked on EMH. So it's not the total overhaul I may have implied it was.

The biggest change for the second season was the inclusion of Kevin Burke and Chris "Doc" Wyatt. On Avengers: EMH, they collaborated on some solid episodes. On Avengers Assemble, they've replaced Man of Action.

Man of Action have been kicked upstairs into the role of producers, while Burke and Wyatt have more direct creative control (though Man of Action and Jeph Loeb still have final say on things).

This is pretty ironic. After checking the writing credits for Avengers: EMH, I noticed that Burke and Wyatt stopped writing episodes about halfway through Season 2, which is about when Jeph Loeb was brought in. And who has a writing credit on EMH after the apparent departure of Burke and Wyatt? Man of Action, whom I'd imagine Jeph Loeb was already working with at that point to develop Avengers Assemble, but I digress.

The reason I wiped the slate clean at the beginning of the season is because... well, even though the writing staff wasn't exactly "new," for all intents and purposes, it sort of was.

Man of Action has a writing credit on each and every episode of the first season. This is not true for their replacements for the second season. This seems to indicate a less hands-on approach by the new head writers (though head writers giving episodes an uncredited rewrite is not unheard-of in the TV business).

So I feel as though many of these writers are free to think outside the box Man of Action stuck them in during Season 1.

Today's writer, on the other hand, was never put inside the Man of Action box in the first place.

This episode was written by Michael Ryan. This may be his only episode of Avengers Assemble to date, but the man has proven his stuff on such shows as Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated, Dexter's Laboratory, Phineas and Ferb, a few episodes of Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes... and a single episode of Teen Titans Go!, as well, but we won't hold that against him.

So... I'm actually going to forgive Michael Ryan for writing yet another "Tony Stark learns a lesson about relying on technology" episode. I mean, it's entirely possible that the guy didn't realize this was an overused plot hook, and none of the returning writers from the first season have used it yet.

So let's see if this version of the Tony-Stark-relies-too-much-on-his-technology plot can avoid the pitfalls of last season with a fresh take on it.

Anyway, Thor asks the most pertinent question regarding the performance monitor.

Thor: "Can your program determine the best uniform?"

But before the argument can heat up again, S.H.I.E.L.D. arrives to hunt down their quarry and take them away. Not AIM, but the Avengers. And to prove they're serious, they fire a warning shot into Iron Man's chest.

Iron Man: "Well, that was 100% completely unexpected."

Black Widow tries to radio Director Nick Fury, discovering that comms are down, so Hulk goes to do what he does best. Unfortunately for him, S.H.I.E.L.D. has Hulkbusters besides the ones monitoring the Vault. And unlike the ones at the Vault, this one doesn't seem to be a joke, since it manages to hold its own against the Hulk.

As AIM just kind of chills and watches, Falcon protects Widow and Hawkeye with his wings as they try to assess the situation.

Falcon: "What did we do to make them so mad?"
Black Widow: "I don't know. But I blame Hawkeye."
Hawkeye: "Yeah, 'cause they're really ticked that I ate all their S.H.I.E.L.D. pizza bagels."

"I wouldn't be surprised. Most of our infighting is caused by food."
The Avengers go to regroup at the Avenjet, but they're quickly met by the Tri-Carrier. I can only hope that that Spider-Man, Danny, Luke, Ava, and Sam don't need to use the secret passage that leads from Midtown High detention to the Tri-Carrier's docking bay.

The Tri-Carrier launches its jets, giving the Avengers a new target for a bit. As Iron Man reboots, Falcon dodges some jets using Iron Man's air-brake trick from Iron Man.

Falcon: "Guys, remember me? Sam Wilson! Used to be a S.H.I.E.L.D. trainee?"

"I was the teenager who wasn't part of Fury's child soldier team? Ringing any bells?"
Black Widow hijacks a jet and flies most of the Avengers to the Tri-Carrier while Thor, Falcon, and Hulk continue to distract the jets. Once the Avengers land, some agents rush into the landing bay, demanding them to identify themselves.

Black Widow: "We're here to see Fury. Not you!"

She says while kicking an agent.

After they make a quick exit, Black Widow hacks into the S.H.I.E.L.D. systems using a keypad composed entirely of random symbols. Including the same symbol on there twice.

Which means that Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. once featured "alien gibberish" in the form of normal Earth numerals, and Avengers Assemble used alien gibberish symbols on a standard Earth keypad.

I simply don't know how to respond to this.
It's like some elaborate joke on the audience has come full circle.
Anyway, our heroes round a corner to find Nick Fury and two armed agents waiting for them.

Nick Fury: "Your operations have defied more than enough international laws. I'm shutting the Avengers down and taking you in."

Cap convinces the team to hear Fury out, and Fury takes them to the bridge while informing them that public sentiment regarding the Avengers has changed, what with all those reckless fights with the Cabal.

There are actually some solid points to be raised here. These are the same arguments brought up in Captain America: Civil War, which actually made the "Civil War" storyline from the comics make more sense.

The Avengers are wild cards that act without oversight or monitoring. But on the other hand, whose oversight? Whose monitoring?

Unfortunately, as Fury opens the door to the bridge, all these points get thrown out the window, and not because Iron Man points out the the Avengers have the habit of saving the world, but because just like in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, S.H.I.E.L.D. has been compromised.

Nick Fury: "That's not how S.H.I.E.L.D. sees it. But more importantly...."
MODOK: "That's not how MODOK sees it!"
Iron Man: "Knew it. Looks like Cap owes me a shawarma sandwich."
Hawkeye: "You two had a bet?"
Captain America: "I swore it'd be Red Skull behind this."

Right. The guy who, last we saw, was thrown out of a tower across a city. Possibly shortly before he reverted to being a babbling nut in a time wave.

"I mean, aren't we still dealing with his subplot?"
"In what way? We got all the information we needed out of him. He's superfluous to the plot at this point."
"So we just abandon and forget him?"
"That's what Hulk says he does all the time with his other team."
"His what?"
"I don't know, he says a lot of things I don't pay much attention to."
Anyway, MODOK finally clues us in as to why he dissolved the Cabal offscreen after making a point of taking it over at the end of Season 1.

MODOK: "Red Skull was a fool who thought teamwork was the only way to defeat the Avengers."

Well, to be fair, that was only because teamwork consistently got results. I mean, using teamwork DID allow you and the rest of the Cabal to help defeat a cosmically-powered Red Skull when he went mad with power at the end of last season. But why bother with those pesky facts, right?

MODOK: "Teamwork is for the weak. An army with a hive mind, controlled by MODOK, is the only way to destroy the Avengers and control the world!"

Ah, yes, an army thinking as one, the ultimate in... teamwork.

...I think I may have just found a bit of a contradiction in MODOK's plan, here.

But MODOK has a shiny new bit of bling in the middle of his forehead to help him with that: the Mind Stone.

Hmmm, mind control on a large scale? I think that could explain how President-Elect INSERT WINNER HERE got voted in. Man, that election, huh? I can't believe how INSERT WINNER HERE was able to win by such a LANDSLIDE/NARROW MARGIN.

While MODOK brags about his newfound ability to control organic minds as well as technology, we're treated to one of the most glaring animation errors I've seen in a major cartoon in recent history. As MODOK talks in close up, his mouth freezes on his face. This wouldn't be so bad... were it not for the second mouth that materializes over his first mouth to continue moving over his original, frozen mouth.

This is an animation error that is obvious even when the episode isn't paused, it's one the screen for about a second (which is longer than you'd think), and it literally fills nearly half the screen.

It's an easy fix, guys.
Luckily, we cut away from MODOK as he starts zapping the brains of all the Avengers.

This is why Magneto wears a helmet.
Iron Man: "One problem... we're not all here!"
MODOK: "What?"

Did MODOK simply forget about Thor, Falcon, and Hulk?

Thor's hammer smashes into the Tri-Carrier, followed by its owner, Falcon, and Hulk. A full-on fight breaks out as MODOK zaps the minds of the assembled Avengers while Thor brings the thunder.

When the smoke clears, Thor asks whether or not they won... from Black Widow's body.

Yeah, well, he'll get used to it by the time Season 4 rolls around, from what I've been hearing.
Yes, all the Avengers' minds have been set to shuffle. Here's a handy little chart I whipped up to quickly illustrate exactly who's been put where.

Handcrafted in the finest MS Paint.
So, body swap episodes are very difficult to recap, since "Hulk" could refer to Black Widow in Hulk's body or Hulk in Falcon's body, making terminology confusing.

For the sake of simplicity, I'm just going to refer to the mind. So "Hulk" will refer to Hulk's mind inside Falcon's body, "Thor" will refer to Thor inside Black Widow's body, and so on.

Anyway, MODOK is MIA, so the Avengers can discuss costumes again, now that they're wearing each other's outfits.

Thor: "Black Widow, how do you achieve such acrobatic feats in this preposterously uncomfortable outfit?"

Hawkeye, on the other hand, is ecstatic that he gets to lift Thor's hammer... except he can't. Thor's still the worthy one, even if he's in Black Widow's body.

At least he's lifting with his knees.
Thor: "Mjolnir knows you're an imposter. It returns to Asgard to await its true owner."

Thor does not, however, summon his hammer. The only thing that would make this make sense were if Mjolnir couldn't recognize him in Black Widow's body, either. Fine, I'll buy it. But if Thor goes for most of this episode without his hammer, only to summon it at the last second and save the day, I'm going to be very disappointed.

Hawkeye: "Thor without the hammer? It's like Tony without his money!"

I never thought I'd say this... but this gag was done better in Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel. In fact, as much as I had problems with that special (such as why Hulk still had his muscles, but no super-strength), Mission Marvel's conversation about why Iron Man can't lift Thor's hammer even with Thor's powers is better than most of what this episode can do with a similar setup. Heck, all the jokes in this episode are blown away by one line from Mission Marvel when Tony Stark's lack-of-superpowers was transferred to the Hulk.

Hulk: "I am feeling entrepreneurial."

Anyway, S.H.I.E.L.D. wakes up and starts firing at the mixed-up heroes, who retreat through the corridors. Cap blasts a portion of the ceiling onto their pursuers through a bit of luck, and a blast door closes in front of them, leading to a gag that only works when written out if I refer to each character by their body and not their minds. So I'm breaking my rule already.

Hawkeye: "Hulk!"
Falcon: "Here!"
Hawkeye: "No, I m- I mean Widow!"
Black Widow: "I am Thor."
Hawkeye: "Whoever's in Hulk's body, smash that blast door!"

Okay, this episode has no longer been overshadowed by Mission Marvel. And now I'll be referring to them by their minds again. I'm sure flip-flopping on this has confused absolutely nobody.

Anyway, Widow (in Hulk's body), bashes through the door with her head. It works, but not before she gets her head momentarily stuck.

Hulk: "Always lead with the shoulder, never the head."

Which raises the question of why she led with her head in the first place. Whether you are or aren't a Hulk, bashing things with your head isn't ever really a Plan A. Not even Mario, the poster boy for hitting things with his head, actually bashes things with his head.

Unless he has a Shellmet, that is.
Once inside the other room, Falcon punches in a code on the gibberish keypad to lock the door behind them. But the Avengers discover that the Tri-Carrier seems to be acting strange....

Hawkeye: "Hey, Iron Man, can your video game compensate for a mind switch? What are we operating at, huh? 0%?"

Good question, actually.

Tony Stark: "It's not a video game, Hawkeye, it's a program. An efficiency program."
Captain America: "17%. This armor really is intuitive."

"Geez, Tony, how many Pokecoins did you buy?"
"Team Instinct keeps on taking over Stark Tower. Dang Vaporeons. I wish the Rainer Trick worked more than once."
Captain America: "It's like a second skin."
Black Widow: "Like the second skin on Hulk's teeth? It's like I'm wearing sweaters on them. When was the last time you brushed?"
Hulk: "Uhh.... brushed?"

That's gross.

Anyway, Tony's eager to get the Mind Stone back to reverse the effects, so he has "the Falcon that's Cap" hack into S.H.I.E.L.D.'s computers to locate the Mind Stone's energy signature.

Heh. "The Falcon that's Cap" indeed.
Falcon pinpoints the stone, and therefore MODOK, to the cargo hold as some Hulkbusters bust in to start attacking. Hulk learns the hard way that smashing isn't exactly doable in his new body, and Tony learns that archery is harder than it looks.

Don't worry, Tony. Oliver Queen couldn't get it at first, either.
Similarly, Falcon learns that Cap's shield doesn't return to his hand like Thor's hammer.

"How do I threw shield?"
And Black Widow... does just fine in the Hulk's body, beating up a hulkbuster with Cap's wayward shield.

Kind of makes me wonder why Falcon can't just toss the shield to the guy who knows how to use it. Is there a law against wielding the shield without patriotic spandex? Because if so, Black Widow just broke it.

Speaking of her, she continues to dominate the fight, even smashing open a way for the Avengers to escape the Hulkbusters. Cap's attempt to use his chest unibeam blasts a hole in the side of the Tri-Carrier, which starts getting rid of the Hulkbusters, but also threatens to get rid of the Avengers. Luckily, Tony plugs the hole with an oil arrow that crams a Hulkbuster into the hole, blocking it up.

Tony Stark: "Careful observation and mental agility."
Hawkeye: "You were going for the explosive arrow, weren't you?"
Tony Stark: "...Cargo hold."

"I don't have a cargo hold arrow."
Once there, they discover MODOK's unconscious body. They wonder how exactly he got there, but they're more preoccupied with getting the Mind Stone. Cap, the only one with armor protecting him from the Stone's effects, reaches out to it, only for the entire Tri-Carrier to shudder. This knocks the Avengers away while MODOK rolls away behind a blast door.

As it turns out, MODOK's mind is no longer inside his body. It's in the Tri-Carrier.

Which accounts for the worst-looking CGI face since Ego threatened the Earth, full of clipping, pixelization, and what barely qualifies as lip-syncing.
Hawkeye attempts to stab MODOK in the "head" with some spikes that MODOK was using to try and impale the Avengers, but only gets shocked for his troubles.

Falcon searches for the Mind Stone's signature again, but MODOK is onto him and is hiding the energy signature. So the Avengers split up to look for MODOK's body, with Hawkeye, Falcon, and Tony heading in one direction, and the others heading in the opposite direction.

Team Tony finds some S.H.I.E.L.D. agents taking some power couplings somewhere, but find it difficult to follow them when MODOK resumes his new hobby of shoving random metal beams through the walls in an attempt to kill the Avengers.

I'd question why MODOK even can shove what I presume are inert, structurally-important metal beams through Tri-Carrier walls, but I've gone on more than enough tangents for now.
Over with Team Cap, Black Widow grabs her old body in order to operate another gibberish keypad. She knows the layout of the Tri-Carrier, and she's brought the team to the most-likely location of MODOK's body. And wouldn't you know it, she's right on the money. Until MODOK decides it would be fun to make the Avengers fall through the floor, playing keep-away with his body.

As MODOK attempts to crush Team Tony... he suddenly stops trying to crush Team Tony.

Tony Stark: "Only one reason MODOK would stop his attack."

Narrative convenience?

Falcon: "He got his body exactly where he wants it."

Which apparently means he doesn't want to kill his helpless, most-hated foes all of a sudden? Kill the Avengers then work on putting your mind back in your body, MODOK.

And yeah, that's what his brainwashed agents are doing. Even though having his mind in the Tri-Carrier has brought him closer to winning than ever before.

With few alternatives, Tony asks Hawkeye for archery tips... only for Hawkeye to finally bring some common sense to the party.

Hawkeye: "We're failing because we're trying to be something we're not. You're Tony Stark, not Hawkeye. You can take a yo-yo and turn it into a time bomb. If we're gonna win, we need to think outside the box. Or outside the body."

That's right. The big mind-swap problem is going to be solved by our heroes realizing that they're still allowed to do all those things they know how to do.

As MODOK's download begins, the Avengers begin the final fight against MODOK's agents as well as giant blades and fists formed by the Tri-Carrier's walls.

Hawkeye rips the circles off of Thor's armor to use them as lethal frisbees...

Which you'd think would result in Thor's beloved cape falling off.
Hulk uses his flechettes, Falcon... continues to use Cap's shield, and Cap continues to blast some unibeams around.

So, hey, all of one Avenger is actually following Tony's advice. And Black Widow simply continues to dominate the fight like she did earlier, only now she's adding more flips into her smashing.

Tony zaps MODOK with a power cable, and Thor... summons Mjolnir to land the final blow. Which he could have summoned at any time. Sure, you could argue that Thor had to remember that no matter what body he was in, he was still the worthy Son of Odin...

...But you're telling me that he didn't even try to summon Mjolnir?
I mean, yeah, having Thor use Mjolnir while in Black Widow's body would have been a major game-breaker, but you know what? Putting Black Widow in Hulk's body is also  major game-breaker, since she never once breaks a sweat with the actual fighting, and easily overcomes her inability to press buttons. Barring the smashing of a single door with her head, being in Hulk's body never poses any problems for her beyond one headache, one stomachache, and his plaque-encrusted teeth.

Yeah, I skipped over her tummy issues.
So, yeah. Thor uses his Limit Break, and everyone's back where they belong. The S.H.I.E.L.D. agents get un-brainwashed, and the Mind Stone is off MODOK's head.

And the Avengers have learned a thing or two. Hulk wants to know how to do a flip, and Thor marvels (no pun intended) over the fact that those little circles on his armor can serve a purpose beyond looking cool when Odin strips them away in Thor.

And as a final insult to MODOK, Falcon kicks him into the air over Hawkeye's arms in the shape of a goalpost.

Ignoring how exactly Falcon was strong enough to kick a head the size of a chair and the metal chair it's in ten feet in the air, Iron Man checks his efficiency readouts.

Iron Man: "115%"

So the moral of the story... is that the Avengers are better heroes in each other's bodies?

Later that night, the Mind Stone is safe and sound at Stark Tower, even though Nick Fury (on the other end of a Skype call with Iron Man) would prefer if S.H.I.E.L.D. kept an eye on it.

Iron Man: "Public sentiment about S.H.I.E.L.D. has been changing in recent times, Fury."

"So maybe you should do something about J. Jonah Jameson continually slandering one of your top operatives."
Iron Man: "MODOK's invasion alone..."
Nick Fury: "Was an anomaly."

"Really? What about the time Mesmero took over your mind, was that an anomaly too?"
"And what about the time Zodiac took over the helicarrier and started downloading all your files?"
"Also an anomaly."
"What about the time the Goblin venomized the Tri-Carrier?"
"Look, there have been a lot of anomalies."
Nick Fury: "Security's been reestablished."

"Would this be the same security that allowed Nighthawk to join S.H.I.E.L.D., despite an entirely falsified background?"
"Good, because I'd hate to see Spider-Man steal self-replicating nanotech for his science fair again."
Iron Man refuses to hand the Time Stone over and hangs up.

Hawkeye: "You were totally playing video games the whole time, weren't you?"
Iron Man: "New high score."

And with that, the episode ends.

1 comment:

  1. Hulk: "Always lead with the shoulder, never the head."

    ...This seems familiar from somewhere...