Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow

CBM-05-Next-Avengers

So, this is a bit of a departure from the usual Cartoons and Cereal post.   Today, instead of looking at just a 20-30 minute TV show, I want to talk about a feature length movie.  It’s still a cartoon, of course.  My daughter and I love the Avengers, and so when Andrew the Giant told me about this movie, I thought it would be perfect for us.  So we watched it.  And now, my daughter just wants to watch it again and again.  She enjoyed it that much.  I enjoyed it as well, but probably not as much as she did.  Let’s look at what we had going on in it.

So it’s some time in the future, as you might have been able to guess by the title.  Ultron had attacked the planet years ago, and was successful in defeating the Avengers and taking over the world.  The children of some of the heroes were saved and hidden away in a bubble in the Artic Circle by Tony Stark, who survived and acted as a father figure.  Jocasta is there too, acting like a robot mother.  The children are familiar counterparts to those who know Avengers lore. Torin, the daughter of Thor, has a sword. Henry, the son of Giant-Man and the Wasp, is the youngest of the group, but very smart.  Azari is the son of Storm and the Black Panther, and has a tiny waist, like worse than Black Widow in that Captain America poster people complained about.  Which leads me to James, the son of Captain America and Black Widow, who wields a holo-shield.

Next-Avengers-Heroes-of-Tomorrow-2008-6

Look at that tiny waist! I guess they all have it, but it looks the worst on Azari.

I may be wrong, as I don’t have my comics with me to check, but I think that this team of Avengers kids appears in the Avengers vol. 4 during a battle with Ultron, which also has an old Iron Man.  I could be wrong, but they looked familiar.  If I remember, I’ll look that up in a month when I get back to the collection.

Anyways, one day the Vision comes a calling, badly beaten and seeking Tony to repair him.  This leads to the kids sneaking around, as kids do, and finding the Iron Avengers, something the Slim James had mentioned in one of his podcasts before. Maybe this one, or this one. They accidently launch them, which draws the attention of Ultron, who turns the robots to his side and attacks.  The kids and Vision’s head escape, while Tony is taken prisoner.   Of course they try to save him but end up ambushed by robots in the capital city.  But, they are saved by an archer, the son of Hawkeye, and someone?  I was thinking maybe the Scarlet Witch as the kid has white hair like Pietro, but I don’t think it actually mentions who it was.

Anyways, I’m not going to spell out the rest of the story, as there might be those of you who want to watch it and be surprised by what happens.  I will say that it full of nice little Easter eggs for serious fans.  I enjoyed seeing a certain green goliath as a Maestro.  There were also two scenes ripped straight from Avengers vol. 3, including “Ultron, we would have words with thee!” and a Hulk ripping a artificial intelligence in half over their head.  Those were cool.

The actual animation of the show is rather cheap.  It’s not nearly as good as that of Avengers Assemble or Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.  It is more like that from an earlier Avengers cartoon.  The voices are okay, I suppose.  Nothing great, but nothing that takes away from the story either.  If you have small kids, they’ll like it.  If you’re just an older fan, I think it’s safe to say you could skip it.

I do want to see some of the other straight-to-video Marvel movies, and will try to review some of them in the future.  Until next time, keep your inner child alive with a healthy dose of Cartoons and Cereal!

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Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. – Of Moles and Men

Cartoons!  And cereal!  It’s a great day for both.  My daughter and I finished Avengers Assemble, so we are working our way through Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.  It’s a fun show full of Hulks.  We have classic Hulk, Red Hulk, She-Hulk, A-Bomb (who is Rick Jones), and Skaar (who in the comics is the son of Hulk, I think).  Also, we must have missed an episode, because Devil Dinosaur is there, hanging out.  (note: we did miss an episode where the gang goes to the Savage Land and adopt DD)

But back to the show at hand.  The Agents of S.M.A.S.H. are centered in Vista Verde, which is the town in which Bruce Banner became the Hulk.  Hulk is a bit worried about the town, as things just keep attacking.  Mayor Stan Lee tries to convince him to stick around, but Hulk just doesn’t know what to do.  Luckily a huge maggot bursts up and attacks the town.  I say luckily, because at least in that situation, Hulk knows what he should do.  It starts with S and ends with H.  Give up?  SMOOSH.  Or smash I guess.

So Hulk and A-Bomb investigate where the maggot came from and end up falling deep, deep down into the Earth.  Where do they end up?  With the Moloids, who are very quick to crown Hulk their new king.  But all is not as it seems down there, and a certain Mole Man does make an appearance, but is he the bad guy?  (Spoiler: No.  No he isn’t.)

It’s a fun show.  I think it’s more light-hearted than the Avengers show, and is down in a very different way.  The whole premise of the show is that it is a reality TV show made by Jones.  So there are times when we cut away from the action to a “confession cam” where the team can put in their opinions of what is happening.  There are also cameras that follow around each member and record all the events.  All in all, an enjoyable watch, although Red Hulk will never be one of my favorites, but I don’t think he is supposed to be.

Marvel’s Avengers Assemble! Crimes and Circuses

marvel.wikia.com

marvel.wikia.com

It’s Saturday so obviously I’m watching cartoons.  Yesterday my daughter and I watched The Avengers, the movie, and today went back to try and finish up the season of cartoon Avengers.  We’re almost there.

Crimes and Circuses deals with (surprise, surprise) the Circus of Crime.  Ringmaster, Bruto, the Human Cannonball, the Gambonno Twins, and Trickshot.  Right away I noticed Princess Python was missing, (boy does that make me sounds nerdy) but she did show up later.  Hawkeye and Falcon were the star heroes of the episode, as the rest of the team got themselves brainwashed by Ringmaster.  I was a little disappointed that he didn’t use the spiral hat to do that, but it was okay.

marvel.wikia.com

marvel.wikia.com

The Circus was out for revenge against Hawkeye, since, as most of you will undoubtedly know, he used to be a part of their criminal team.  If you didn’t know that, sorry for the minor spoiler, but I’m sure you would have figured it out in the show.  He tries to hide this from Falcon, but the secrets come out, as they always do.

It was a pretty straight-forward episode, and consisted mainly of fights, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  A couple of things, though.  Princess Python didn’t have a real snake, but instead had a giant, robotic, cycloptic monstrosity.  There was never any mention of who the new Trickshot in the circus was.  I won’t post who it should have been, should anyone out there be unawares, but it was someone who was close to Clint.  Also, no Swordsman?  It would have been a perfect time for him to be put into cartoon form, but maybe they didn’t want that many mustachioed villains in one group.

I’m anxious to finish the season.  Although it’s been a good show, it’s slowed down a bit in the last couple episodes we watched.  I’m hoping the finale will be huge, and bring back the cabal, who are in possession of the Tesseract (aka cosmic cube, aka an infinity gem(probably the reality or power one)).

So check this one out if you like the show, but it’s not one that is needed.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (the original series)

It’s Saturday morning, which means it’s time to break out the Cereal and Cartoons!  This week we’re going to look at another episode of the classic turtle series.  Season 3, episode 41 – The Grybyx

If you watched this show growing up, you probably remember it fondly.  But do you remember how weird stuff got in the later seasons?  I mean, this show was on a lot.  There are hundreds of episodes.  So it’s no surprise that sometimes, they got a bit odd.  This is one of those weird episodes.

Like many episodes, Dimension X plays a crucial role.  A portal opens up, and a small, furry animal comes through.  The grybyx, which just so happens to be the Neutrino’s pet.  Any episode with the Neutrinos is bound to be weird, but I think the best was when they sent a baby through to the turtles, which, now that I think of it, isn’t too different from this one.

Well the turtles want to catch it, to give back to their weird, hitch-pitched friends, but Shredder and Krang need it to help levitate the techno-drome.  In case you feel like you missed something, this is back when the techno-drome was underground, not in Dimension X.  (Remember all those time that they sent the drilling vehicle back and forth to the surface?  That couldn’t have been good for the foundations of the city.)  In case you still feel like you’re missing something, the grybyx has psychic powers, because of course it does.  Why wouldn’t you want that sort of pet?

Anyways, the turtles and Shredder fight over the grybyx, but it’s back in the sewers that our heroes find out a horrible fact about the pet.  If it eats anything, it becomes a giant monster.  Every time it eats, it becomes a bigger monster.  This brings up a whole host of questions, like, how does it live? but that’s not our problem.  Good thing you can turn it back into the cuter little thing easily.  You just get it wet.  Overall, this felt like a Gremlin’s homage, but let’s not get into that.  Will the turtles triumph?  Will the grybyx be forced to raise the techno-drome?  All this, plus the amazing battle cries, “Go green machine!” and “Turtles fight with honor!” are waiting for you in the video above.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Welcome to a Sunday edition of Cartoons and Cereal.  Sunday morning cartoons when I was a kid were never as good as Saturday.  I don’t know why.  I guess people thought everyone was at church, so there was no point to put on the good stuff.  I remember seeing some real C-list stuff, such as a guy who did math equations to figure out how to fight trilobites.  I will have to try to find that when I have a bit of time.

Anyways, today we’re talking about Star Wars the Clone Wars the animated series, which I think is the full title, but I’m not 100% on that.  I know that this has been around a while, as I saw 6 seasons of it listed, but for me, it’s just beginning.  My daughter and I watched episode 1 on Star Wars Day, and recently watched numbers 2 an 3, which seemed to go together.

I’m really not sure about this.  I only recently read my first Star Wars novel and comic book, both of which were good, so I was excited to get a bit more into the extended universe.  I had heard really good things about The Clone Wars, so I went in with high expectations.

Let’s start with the art.  Very computer animated.  I’m not sure I like the angular looks of everything.  I mean, even Anakin’s Adam’s apple is rectangular, which I find a bit odd.  The voices are fine.  I like how all the clones do look like clones, but can be told apart by individual personalities and hair styles.

The story the empire’s new weapon, that was essentially an EMP, was pretty cool.  I’m a huge fan of EMPs in general and find that they are underused in a lot of comics/sci-fi.  Basically the 2nd and 3rd episode deal with trying to find and take out this weapon.So we see Grievous, Dooku, the emperor, Anakin, Obi Wan, Yoda, and a plethora of others, most I did not know before.  But it was there that I had a small problem.

In the movies, Anakin is told he will not be granted the title of master, which pushes him into becoming (SPOILER) Darth Vader.  However, here in the show, he has his own padawan who repeatedly calls him master.  What is up with that?  I’m confused.  Why isn’t he always with Obi Wan?  It’s a little weird.  But I guess I’ll get past that.

Anyways, it’s an interesting show.  I did like seeing some background characters get screen time, as I like to learn more about the universes of my favorite stories.  My daughter liked it, especially Anakin’s padawn, whose name escapes me, but she has some stripey hair and wears a tube top, which I’m pretty sure is against Jedi regulations.

I’ll watch more, but we sort of know where it is going, don’t we?  I mean, it must take place either during the movies or in between episode II and III.  So until next weekend, keep the cartoons on and the cereal flowing!

X-Men TAS – Days of Future Past (part 1)

Welcome to another exciting installment of Cartoons and Cereal, the best way to spend a Saturday.  We’ve been looking back at cartoons that are worth watching, even if they are about 20 years old.  With an apology to Andres (the Giant) I am going to talk about one of the greatest shows ever.  X-Men, the animated series.  This was THE show to watch growing up.  Out of all the Marvel superhero shows, this was the best, followed closely by Spider-Man.

I thought it was a little relevant to these days, as the new X-Men movie will be coming out soon.  Or is it out now?  I’m very behind on movies.  Anyways, there is time travel, and Bishop, and sentinels, so let’s get started.  It’s a rough ride.  Oh, one other note, although I loved this show, I was never a big X-Men comic fan, so I never actually read the Days of Future Past storyline.  Sorry, sorry, I know, it’s a horrible thing to admit.  Sorry.

Anyways, we start off in the future, how far? I don’t really know but it is past 2033.  We know that much because of some graves that are seen.  Jubilee died in 2010, Storm in 2021, Cyclops in 2032, and Rogue in 2033.  Wolverine, with the trademarked gray hair of the future, is out with some other rebels, including one guy who can do the Colossus thing with only his arms.  Kind of a rip off I’d think.  Bishop shows up, blasts them, and hauls them away to be processed.  This is why everyone always hates you, Bishop.  No matter what else you might do, you were that guy.  Never be that guy.

But he gets his, as the sentinels inform him he’s met his quota and will be taken out.  So, apparently you can be too good at your job, even if your job is hunting mutants.  So Bishop hightails it out with Wolverine, as Nimrod shows up.  They get to Forge’s place, (how is he still alive?) and talk about the mission to go back in time to stop the assassination of the 90s. Wolverine will kill the assassin, even if it is an X-Men, but Bishop takes his place when more sentinels show up, telling Wolverine that he is “too old.”  I’m glad someone finally said it.  Bishop goes through the time platform (that looks like a Doom time machine) but Nimrod follows him.  When Bishop wakes up, he originally thinks that the machine didn’t work but no worries Bishop, you’re just in a crappy part of the city.  With amnesia, because what story would be complete without some brain damage?

In his confusion, Bishop thinks all the X-Men are the assassins and so wants to kill them all.  He does so by stealing a city bus and crashing it through the mansion before opening fire on the team.  Of course, they stop him pretty quickly, no thanks to Jubilee being horrible at monitoring security.  Xavier stops Wolverine from killing him, and together they go off to find Nimrod, or as he’s called “Mr. Terminator.”  Oh the jokes.  The horribly, horribly cheesy jokes.

But the story continues until Gambit walks back in the mansion to find the new guest.  Bishop lunges at him, yelling “Traitor!” and everything goes black.

Literally.  That’s how the show ends.  It’s a cliffhanger to be sure.  I got to watch the rest before I get to the cinema.  Which probably won’t be for a while, so I got time.  I will even try to get the collected edition of the comics so I can do a big comparison review of all three versions.  So, there’s that to look forward to.

Come back next week for another cartoon.  What will it be?  Captain Planet?  The Animaniacs?  Who knows what wonders the internet will bring back?

Pokemon, season 1, episode 5

I recently started watching some old Pokémon shows with my daughter.  She loves them and it brings back fond memories of my own childhood.  I can actually remember watching this show in the afternoons after school, and also borrowing episodes from a friend who had taped them on VHS.  Good stuff.  I was into Pokémon back then, and collected the cards to play the game.  The cards might still be floating around my mom’s house somewhere.

Episode 5 is the Showdown in Pewter City where Ash first battles a gym leader, Brock.  It’s a compelling story and highlights the determination that Ash has in becoming a great Pokémon trainer.  Even though he loses the first time around, he is determined to come back and try again, still of course using his main Pokémon, Pikachu.  Of course, he could have listened to Misty for some help, but why would that happen?

This episode also introduced Brock, who goes on to become a major supporting character.  His goal is to become the world’s best breeder, which seems kind of weird, and a little creepy when you view it as an adult.  But how can he leave town, when he has to take care of all his brothers and sisters?  Well, that’s all part of the episode, so I won’t go ahead and spoil something from 1998 for you.

Overall, it’s a fun episode, and a fun series.  Yes, it has cringe-worthy moments, but what show doesn’t?  I never watched any of the ones beyond season 3, maybe, and am not sure I’ll get that far with my daughter either.  We only watch a few episodes of TV a week, and this is just one of many high quality programs that makes it into our rotations.

Either way, I’m happy to be back on the trail to the Pokémon championships.  Maybe this summer we’ll look for my cards and play a few rounds.

Marvel’s Avengers Assemble! (number 2)

This time around we look at another episode of Marvel’s Avengers Assemble (which clear needs the word Marvel’s in front, incase you thought it was someone else’s Avengers), titled The Ambassador.

Dr. Doom wants to speak at the UN, but has asked, nay demanded, that the Avengers act as his bodyguards.  Why does he need their help?  Because the Cabal (Red Skull, Dracula, Hyperion, MODOK, and Attuma) are out to get him for rejecting their invitation.  As it turns out, he only really wanted Captain America, but had to take the rest with him.

Hyperion strikes first, while Doom is giving his speech (which he does with the aid of a universal translator he invented).  (Wait, is it really universal?  Will any creature in the universe understand him? Sorry, got off a bit there).  MODOK, as the adaptoid, Dracula and Attuma come next and the Avengers find themselves split up and trying to get Doom back to the safety of their tower.

Cap takes the lead and tries to escort him back himself while the rest of the team plays defense.  Although how Hawkeye is able to take care of himself is a mystery to me.  The Red Skull ambushes Cap and Doom, and then, to everyone’s surprise, Doom saves Captain America’s life!  It’s a Christmas miracle.  With Doom on his back, Cap sprints the rest of the way to the tower.

But it’s then we discover that it has all been a ploy by Doom to get into the Tower.  What did he want?  And will the Avengers stop him?  all that happens in the last 5 minutes or so of the show, so I’ve basically told you the whole thing.  But I’m not going to give away the ending.  This show is still fairly recent, so go watch it yourself.  It’s a good one.

Spider-Man TAS (episode 2)

The Sting of the Scorpion!

Continuing from where we left off last time, episode 2 starts off with Felicia Hardy (aka the Black Cat to be) explaining how she would not want to date Peter, basically because he’s a nerd, but she’s ok with doing schoolwork with him.  If only he could tell her how exciting he really is.  #secretidentityproblems

Anyways, as Spidey, he stops some jewelry thieves and webs up a “Joey” (who could possibly be Joey Z, the man he was once framed for killing).  We see a lot more of Robbie Robertson and JJJ and learn that Jameson hired Mac Gargan to follow Peter in order to get close to Spider-Man.  Gargan is a whiney little thing, and easily cowers under Jameson’s taunts.  But not for long.  Professor Stillwell, (that name makes it seem like he won’t be well forever) uses the neogenetic recombulator (from Connors) to turn Mac into the Scorpion, which is the natural predator of the spider.  I’m not sure that is always true, but it sounds good.

Anyways, Scorpion goes out into the city to try and draw out Spider-Man and the battle ensues.  Gargan continues to mutate though, and becomes monstrously large and even has fangs.  But no worry, he can just head over to Oscorp and get it fixed with some healthy radiation.  (note to kids: rarely will breaking into a nuclear power plant to bathe in radiation result in anything besides death)  He is eventually captured and we are treated to a throwaway line about Aunt May trying to set up Peter with Mary Jane.  For some reason he doesn’t want this to happen, although why, I’m not sure.  It’s not like he has a line forming up for dates.

A good episode, although it was harder to find than the first one.  In fact, I’m having a lot of difficulty finding the next ones, or any others on youtube, but no worry, I will keep looking.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (part 2)

It’s time for another installment of Cartoons and Cereal, where we look at a great television show usually meant for kids, but that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.  Today, we are looking at another episode of TMNT, one of the best shows of my lifetime.

This episode was titled The Catwoman from Channel Six, and came from season two.

We open with Splinter meditating while the turtles watch some cheesy looking horror movie on tv.  Distracted by the noise, Splinter tells them that “Too much tv rots the mind, and promotes violence,” which is a funny thing to say on a show about ninjas.  Meanwhile, Shredder is working with his new matter transporter and sends his best henchmen, Bebop and Rocksteady, to the dump for some reason or another.  There, they somehow end up in the sewers, find the turtles’ lair and get into a minor altercation with them, which results in the television being broken.  Shredder brings them back to their hideout and becomes furious when they don’t remember how to get back to the turtles.

Anyways, I don’t want to give away the whole plot, so I’ll move along.  April investigates the matter transporter, and wouldn’t you know it, a stray cat gets zapped in it with her and the next thing you know, April’s turning catty.  There are some bad puns happening, but I feel there are a few things worth pointing out.  One, April’s investigation leads her to a Chinese restaurant, where people are sitting around eating in Sumo thongs.  Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never seen that happen in a Chinese food establishment that I’ve visited.  Seems a bit off.  Two, this episode is important because it is here that Irma finds out about the turtles, which comes into play in many other episodes. And three, the turtles still use their trench coat and hat disguises that somehow fool everyone, except Irma, who recognizes them instantly

So things happen, including Shredder capturing April and putting a control collar on her to track down and destroy Splinter, which she sets off to do with the help of a released zoo tiger.  In the end, things are restored of course, and there are a few heartwarmingly sexist moments, like Irma thinking Splinter “sounds like a cutie” and going a bit gaga over him, until she finds out he’s really a mutated rat, and April only being worried about the fact that her nails got ruined from walking around on all fours.  Oh boy.

Still, a worthwhile episode, even if a but predictable, even by TMNT standards.  Will this come into play in the new movie?  Probably not, but we can hope!