“And while all of those warriors so vainly defended Odin, they never considered the unthinkable. What if he never woke up again?”
While the first set of Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes episodes knocked my socks off, I have to be honest in saying that the seconds half of the first season has left me somewhat cold. Lackluster stories and a lack of momentum have kept these few installments from having the same impact as the previous ones. However, all of that is forgiven now that we have the finale to the first season upon us.
The Avengers cartoon debuted with a strong connection to the comic book source along with a few touches of inventiveness. While Iron Man battled a steady stream of super villains and evil organizations bent on world domination, Thor’s brother Loki wove a brilliant scheme. Upsetting the balance of power and stirring the tensions between Odin and Thor, Loki was exiled from Asgard just as his brother was sent to Midgard. Once on Earth, Thor was wrapped up in the task of rounding up the escaped criminals of the many super max prisons all over the world. Through the conflict a super team was assembled, dubbed the Avengers and devoted to defending the planet from threats that no single member could handle.
But Loki was never one to do anything without much forethought. Using the Enchantress to assemble a group of super powered villains, the newly founded Avengers found a suitable opposing force in the Masters of Evil. All the while, Loki’s plot to steal the power from his step-father Odin bore fruit. Thor and the Avengers attempted to travel to Asgard to wrest control from Loki, but far too late. Separated from his hammer Mjolnir, Thor is forced to watch as Loki achieves the unthinkable and mighty Asgard falls around them.
The first part of a two hour story, The Fall of Asgard is simply wonderful. Brimming over with action sequences, the brisk thirty minute episode separates the team into six distinct stories; Hawkeye fights the wolves of Loki, the Hulk battles trolls with a mystical axe, the Black Panther is threatened by unearthly spirits, Giant Man battles Frost Giants while Wasp lies wounded, Captain America finds himself confronted by ghosts from the past urging him to accept death and Iron Man faces Ulik with only a single malfunctioning repulsor blaster.
Like the best of the last set of episodes, The Fall of Asgard feels just like an epic comic book adventure a full year in the making. For the uninitiated, this is exactly how stories like Secret Invasion, Siege and Fear Itself are like for comic book readers. An adventure full of side stories, some great character moments (Cap’s confrontation with the dead of Hel along with Hawkeye’s determination against the wolves are good examples), over the top action, heroes out of their depth facing impossible odds (Tony Stark’s battle with Ulik is just epic)… it’s just great stuff.
All of the action comes to a head this Sunday, so set your DVR’s accordingly.
This Sunday, the first season of “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!” reaches its epic climax with a special 90-minute event! It’s all led to this as the Avengers face Loki for the fate of Earth in their biggest battle yet. Don’t miss the 90-minute “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!” event beginning at 10:00 a.m. ET on Disney XD this Sunday, June 26, and check back to Marvel.com every day this week for more Avengers goodies!
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