Friday, March 26, 2010

Weekend Round-Up - March 26-28



Here is a list of new superhero cartoons debuting this weekend in the US:

Friday, March 26, 2010
Cartoon Network, 7:30pm (ET)
Batman: The Brave and the Bold - The Super Batman of Planet X!


Batman lands on this distant planet Zurr En Arrh and finds a doppleganger Batman, but more surprisingly, on this planet the Caped Crusader has super powers! Together they battle the mad genius Rhotul, who soon learns Batman's super weakness



Here is a list of new superhero cartoons debuting this weekend in the Canada:

Sunday, March 26, 2010
Teletoon, 8:30am (ET)
The Super Hero Squad Show - Tremble At The Might Of... M.O.D.O.K.!


MODOK and Loki conspire to overthrow Doctor Doom and take his place as leader of his allied villain group after MODOK eats one of the fractals. In order to stop MODOK and Loki, the Super Hero Squad and Storm must team up with Black Panther and an unlikely ally... Doctor Doom.

Sunday, March 28, 2010
Teletoon, 12:00pm (ET)
Iron Man: Armored Adventures - Tales of Suspense, Part One


Gene Khan wasn't always the Mandarin and leader of the Tong, his step-father Zhang once held that title. Now Zhang is back for the Makluan Rings, and he'll stop at nothing to get them all. Zhang captures Gene, Tony, and Pepper, and forces the location of the fifth ring from Tony. And while Rhodey struggles to find his friends, Tony and Gene are faced with the fifth guardian... an ancient dragon by the name of Fin Fang Foom. But without Tony's armor and Gene's rings... what can kids do against a dragon?

Sunday, March 28, 2010
Teletoon, 12:30pm (ET)
Iron Man: Armored Adventures - Tales of Suspense, Part Two


Secrets are revealed and friendships are destroyed forever as Rhodey dons the War Machine armor to save his friends from Zhang and Fin Fang Foom. With all five of the Makluan Rings now within Tony and Gene's reach, it's machine versus magic as Iron Man and War Machine fight against the dual threats of Fin Fang Foom and the Mandarin, in a battle that will change everything.

Please Note:
  • Still no word on the debut of Batman: the Brave and the Bold's second season.
  • Tuesday, March 23, 2010

    To Live Again




    Season: 1
    Episode Number: 5c
    Season Episode Number: 5c
    Production Number:
    Airdate:

    Writer:
    Director:

    Voices: Arthur Pierce (Captain America), Bernard Cowan (Narrator), Chris Wiggins (Thor), Peg Dixon (Wasp), John Vernon (Iron Man), (Giant Man), (Jarvis), (Bull), (Thugs).

    Plot: Captain America finds the one responsible for turning the Avengers to stone, but it's going to be a battle to make him change them back!

    Review (Warning! Spoilers!): This final chapter decides to forget about the third act of Avengers #4 and instead reworks the story told in Tales of Suspense #59. The man Cap is looking for is supposed to be an alien whose ship has been commandeered by the Sub-Mariner.

    I'm not sure why they didn't want to include the Sub-Mariner in this story, but I suspect that his avenging, anti-hero persona in Avengers #4 contradict the adventurer persona Grantray-Lawrence Animation has given Namor in his own segment.

    So instead, the baddie from TOS #59, Bull, is the one who turned the Avengers to stone. But the face of the alien (in his human disguise) is used rather than Bull's real face as it appears in the comics.

    Most of this chapter is a fight scene that recycles the same scenes over and over again. It almost made me mad because I felt way more cheated than usual with the amount of reused animation. It wasn't even creatively edited together. It was a big mess.

    Not really the stunning conclusion to this classic story, but oh well. At least we still have the comics.

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    The Search




    Season: 1
    Episode Number: 5b
    Season Episode Number: 5b
    Production Number:
    Airdate:

    Writer:
    Director:

    Voices: Arthur Pierce (Captain America), Bernard Cowan (Narrator), Paul Soles (Rick Jones), (Police Officer), (Bull).

    Plot: The Avengers have been turned into stone and Captain America, with the help of Teen Brigade leader Rick Jones, searches for the cause ...and the cure!

    Review (Warning! Spoilers!): Continuing the story told in Avengers #4, Captain America discovers that the Avengers have been turned to stone! There one major difference in this adaptation - the identity of the shooter!

    In the comic, the assailant is an D'Bari alien in the guise of a human, but this chapter has the assailant remain a human. More on his identity in part three.

    There is one scene in this episode in which Captain America speaks one of Rick Jones' lines. The image is Cap, but the voice is Rick. Oops! That is a pretty big mistake, not like miscolouring or forgetting to move the lips. I guess they had deadlines and couldn't go back and fix it, or maybe they didn't notice at all!

    The second act of these episode often has less action than the other two. Most of the action is left for the finale, and that is certainly the case in this episode!


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    Monday, March 22, 2010

    The Return of Captain America




    Season: 1
    Episode Number: 5a
    Season Episode Number: 5a
    Production Number:
    Airdate:

    Writer:
    Director:

    Voices: Arthur Pierce (Captain America), Bernard Cowan (Narrator), Chris Wiggins (Thor), Peg Dixon (Wasp), John Vernon (Iron Man), (Giant Man), (Reporter).

    Plot: The Avengers find Captain America float deep in the middle of the ocean. They rescue him and Cap recalls his last moments in WWII.

    Review (Warning! Spoilers!): This is a faithful adaptation of the classic issue, Avengers #4, in which Captain America is brought out of the Golden Age and joins the Modern Age.

    This is a monumental issue, and this episode does a pretty good job adapting it. However, some of the Jack Kirby art is just awful. I don't know if it was in the transition to animation cel, but some of the drawing look terrible.

    Other than that, there are some great moments in this chapter, especially once Cap wakes up and faces the Avengers. Almost the entire cast of the Marvel Super Heroes is in this episode since the Avengers are mostly made up of the heroes of the other segments of the show. Only Namor and the Hulk are missing. (Namor should be there since his is in Avengers #4, but I'll talk about that in part three.

    If you haven't read this issue but you have seen this episode, stop reading right now and pick up a copy of Essential Avengers, Volume One or something else that reprints Avengers #4. And you call yourself a Marvel fan. Tsk! Tsk!

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    Friday, March 19, 2010

    Weekend Round-Up - March 19-21



    Here is a list of new superhero cartoons debuting this weekend in the US:

    Sorry! Nothing new this week!

    Please note:
  • New episodes of Batman: The Brave and the Bold will return next week!



  • Here is a list of new superhero cartoons debuting this weekend in the Canada:

    Sunday, March 21, 2010
    Teletoon, 12:00pm (ET/PT)
    Iron Man: Armored Adventures - Best Served Cold


    Whitney Stane is very, very sick and Obadiah Stane calls the one person who may be able to save his daughter: Tony Stark. Tony realizes that a cure exists… but it’s in an abandoned Stark facility in the arctic—in the dead of winter.

    Please Note:
  • There has still been no word on the airing of new Super Hero Squad and Brave and the Bold episodes on Teletoon.
  • Rumours of a GL Animated DTV and Series




    Comics Continuum has a bit of news regarding a few upcoming Green Lantern projects:

    A Green Lantern animated project is in the works at Warner Bros. Animation, The Continuum has learned.

    According to sources, it will be part of a direct-to-video project that will be timed for release of the live-action Green Lantern movie in the summer of 2011.

    A representative of Warner Home Video said the studio will not comment on any film that hasn't been announced as in production.

    According to sources, the new Green Lantern animated project takes a look at the origins of the Green Lantern Corps, including the first ring wielders.

    At Emerald City Comic-Con last weekend, DC Comics' Geoff Johns hinted at a Green Lantern animated series, which would appear to be a different project.

    The Iron Idol of Infamy




    Season: 1
    Episode Number: 4c
    Season Episode Number: 4c
    Production Number:
    Airdate:

    Writer:
    Director:

    Voices: John Vernon (Namor), Peg Dixon (Lady Dorma), Bernard Cowan (Narrator, Vashti the Elder), (Attuma), (Warriors), (Guard).

    Plot: After rescuing Lady Dorma from the Quagmire of Doom, Namor's next task is taking back Atlantis from the clutches of Attuma before Lord Vashti is destroyed in the Iron Idol of Infamy!

    Review (Warning! Spoilers!): This final chapter concludes the epic tale of Attuma's attack on Atlantis. Basically, Namor pulls a "Trojan Horse" and sneaks into the throne room and one-two punches Attuma and reclaims his throne.

    Of course, there is more to the episode, including a scene in which Namor uses his telepathy to communicate with the fish, something that doesn't really happen much with modern Namor.

    I enjoyed this episode quite a bit. The pacing was great, the story was well told and the action was plenty! I am not usually a fan of the Sub-Mariner, but if the comics were written more like this I think I would enjoy his adventures a lot more!

    Back to Episode Guide

    The Sands of Terror




    Season: 1
    Episode Number: 4b
    Season Episode Number: 4b
    Production Number:
    Airdate:

    Writer:
    Director:

    Voices: John Vernon (Namor), Peg Dixon (Lady Dorma), Bernard Cowan (Narrator, Vashti the Elder), (Attuma), (Councilmen), (Underling), (Guard).

    Plot: Namor searches for Vashti the Elder, but that only serves as a distraction for Attuma who has begun his attack on Atlantis!

    Review (Warning! Spoilers!): If this episode really isn't based on any particular issue, the writer sure does a good job of mimicking Stan Lee's use of words. Everything from Namor's regal speak to the names given to creatures and places have that Stan "The Man" flair to it. The Quagmire of Doom? I would never have thought to have that be the name of a quicksand trap.

    There are three different storylines in this episode, which is a lot considering that each chapter is only six minutes long. The main storyline is Namor's, in which he leaves the kingdom. I find with this old show, that Namor must leave Atlantis in order to have some adventures. Otherwise he just sits on his throne and acts important.

    I could care less about Lady Dorma's storyline since I don't really care about her character. The only purpose she serves is to warn Namor that Attuma has taken over Atlantis before he finds out for himself. Namor could have easily come up with a plan if even if Lady Dorma wasn't there to warn him in advance.

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    Atlantis Under Attack




    Season: 1
    Episode Number: 4a
    Season Episode Number: 4a
    Production Number:
    Airdate:

    Writer:
    Director:

    Voices: John Vernon (Namor), Peg Dixon (Lady Dorma), Bernard Cowan (Narrator, Vashti the Elder), (Attuma), (Councilmen), (Guard).

    Plot: Attuma has taken Neptune's Trident and has framed Vashti the Elder to take the fall!

    Review (Warning! Spoilers!): I believe that this episode is a completely new story made by Grantray-Lawrence Animation. I'm not sure where the scenes were taken from or if they are all-new drawings. If anyone can correct me and tell me from which issue this episode is taken, please leave a comment!

    I wish Grantray-Lawrence Animation made more of these new stories, especially with the other segments of the Marvel Super Heroes. They do a great job coming up with ideas and the timing and directing is much better than their adaptation episodes.

    This episode marks the animation debut of Attuma who is one of those versatile villains who appears in the books of many different heroes, but it is Namor who is his main challenge. Attuma discovered a prophecy that said that Atlantis would be taken by force, and Attuma thought that he was the one to do it!

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    Tuesday, March 16, 2010

    Return to Earth




    Season: 1
    Episode Number: 4c
    Season Episode Number: 4c
    Production Number:
    Airdate:

    Writer:
    Director:

    Voices: Chris Wiggins (Thor), Len Carlson (Loki), Peg Dixon (Jane Foster), Bernard Cowan (Narrator, Odin), (Balder), (Executioner), (Enchantress).

    Plot: The race to Asgard continues, but Loki finds that it is easier to cheat his way to the finish line! Can Thor beat Loki in time to save the live of his love, Jane Foster?

    Review (Warning! Spoilers!): It is my opinion that Odin, being as wise as his is supposed to be, should have believed that Thor was telling the truth and not Loki. Didn't Odin learn his lesson when Loki tricked him into traveling to Earth so that Loki could take over Asgard? Shame, Odin!

    The trials wrap up in this episode, Journey Into Mystery #116 and #117, however the ending is a bit different.

    Keeping with the serial nature of the comics, the actually story has Thor looking for Loki's Nor stone in order to prove that Loki cheated the trials. His journey takes him to Vietnam where he is ambushed by the Vietnamese army. In this chapter, Thor finds the Nor stone without having to travel to the Orient, and clears his name of all wrongdoing. Nice and neat, which suits this series just fine.

    Back to Episode Guide

    Trial of the Gods




    Season: 1
    Episode Number: 4b
    Season Episode Number: 4b
    Production Number:
    Airdate:

    Writer:
    Director:

    Voices: Chris Wiggins (Thor), Len Carlson (Loki), Peg Dixon (Jane Foster), Bernard Cowan (Narrator, Odin), (Balder), (Executioner), (Man).

    Plot: Thor and Loki must undergo a series of trials in order to determine which one of them is telling the truth to Odin. Meanwhile, Loki has sent Enchantress and Executioner to pay a visit to Nurse Jane Foster!

    Review (Warning! Spoilers!): Now that we've gotten past the made-up chapter, this one takes its story from Journey Into Mystery #116. This comic was made quite a few years after the stories told in the earlier episode of this series, which accounts for the change in costumes. Artist Jack Kirby drew Loki, Odin and many other Asgardians in different outfits on a regular basis.

    Since this show takes the art directly from the panels, if they use panels from one issue in another story, the costume continuity would be way out of whack. This is painfully obvious in these Mighty Thor episodes and it drives me nuts.

    Otherwise, this is a fun episode in which Thor and Loki attempt to overcome great obstacles in the land of Skornheim, including the indestructible Yagg! Loki, of course, cheats using his mystical Nor stone, while Thor has to abandon his cape and helmet trying to get through prickle bushes! Modern Thor doesn't usually make battle with prickle bushes, so this is a real treat!

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    At the Mercy of Loki




    Season: 1
    Episode Number: 4a
    Season Episode Number: 4a
    Production Number:
    Airdate:

    Writer:
    Director:

    Voices: Chris Wiggins (Thor), Len Carlson (Loki), Peg Dixon (Jane Foster), Bernard Cowan (Narrator, Odin).

    Plot: Loki has kidnapped Jane and brought her to Asgard and has tricked Thor into following him. But what is the Trickster's master plan?

    Review (Warning! Spoilers!): This episode follows the adventures seen in Journey Into Mystery #116, in which Thor and Loki are on trial for lying to Odin. But the events that lead up to the trials are actually an entirely different story, one that Grantray-Lawrence Animation didn't want to tell.

    So in order to bring everyone up to speed, they create this completely new chapter using scenes found in past episodes. They do a good job crafting a new tail in order to make the other two chapters make sense.

    There are some things here that you won't see in the rest of the series since this is a made up episode. One of those things is one sequence of extremely fast cutting made up of stills from elsewhere in the chapter. I was quite surprised to see this as it doesn't fit in with anything else in the Marvel Super Heroes.


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    Monday, March 15, 2010

    No One Escapes the Mandarin!




    Season: 1
    Episode Number: 4c
    Season Episode Number: 4c
    Production Number:
    Airdate:

    Writer:
    Director:

    Voices: John Vernon (Iron Man), Bernard Cowan (Narrator, Mandarin), (Soldier).

    Plot: It's round two between Iron Man and the Mandarin, which Iron Man needs to win in order to stop the Mandarin from commandeering some military missiles.

    Review (Warning! Spoilers!): The Mandarin proves that he is more than just an inventor with magic rings, a master of various fighting techniques and a criminal mind, he also is an illusionist! This side of the Mandarin seems to come out of left field as he hasn't fought like this in the previous episodes. But it does make the Mandarin a bit more interesting.

    The ending of this episode is completely made up. The main reason for this change is that the subplot revolving around Pepper and Happy has been removed and the ending seen in the comics use those two to wrap things up.

    It's funny, because the second episode made a big deal about Happy becoming Tony's driver and the comics use him quite a bit, but this cartoon doesn't seem to care a great deal about poor old Happy Hogan, or Pepper Potts for that matter.

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    The Mandarin's Death Ray




    Season: 1
    Episode Number: 4b
    Season Episode Number: 4b
    Production Number:
    Airdate:

    Writer:
    Director:

    Voices: John Vernon (Iron Man), Bernard Cowan (Narrator, Mandarin), (General).

    Plot: Iron Man must find a way to escape the Mandarin's death ray and stop him from obtaining the American missiles.

    Review (Warning! Spoilers!): Bernard Cowan really turns on the faux-Asian accent in this episode. The Mandarin sounds even more stereotypically Asian than in the other episodes. The L's sound like R's and the R's sound like L's. Nowadays, you would only hear this type of accent on adult cartoons like Family Guy.

    In this chapter, Iron Man is trapped and uses Tony Stark, who the Mandarin thinks is wandering around his castle, as a distraction. I think that if the Mandarin put a little investigation into Iron Man's alter ego, he would easily find out who Iron Man is. The simple fact that in a previous episode he used a beam to bring Iron Man to his fortress but instead brought Tony Stark should have been a dead giveaway! But I guess the Mandarin isn't the genius he thought he was.

    This chapter is taken from the last half of Tales of Suspense #54 and the first half of #55.

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    The Mandarin's Revenge




    Season: 1
    Episode Number: 4a
    Season Episode Number: 4a
    Production Number:
    Airdate:

    Writer:
    Director:

    Voices: John Vernon (Iron Man), Peg Dixon (Pepper Potts), Bernard Cowan (Narrator, Mandarin), (Colonel), (General), (Guard).

    Plot: The Pentagon hired Tony Stark to determine why some of his missiles have gone wayward. The answer? The Mandarin!

    Review (Warning! Spoilers!): The Mandarin makes this third appearance in as many episodes, and this time isn't really any different than the last. The Mandarin lures Iron Man into a death trap which Iron Man finds is not so deadly.

    I don't know where the Mandarin gets all his money, but he seems to have enough to build a new death trap in every episode.

    This chapter is taken from the first half of Tales of Suspense #54 and follows the story very closely, except for removing the scene where Pepper tries to flirt with Tony and Tony doesn't respond at all and Happy watches from the sidelines wishing Pepper were flirting with him.

    I kind of wish that this subplot were still part of the story. Superhero cartoons can't be all about action. All the other segments acknowledge this: Bruce Banner has Betty Ross, Donald Blake has Jane Foster, Prince Namor has Lady Dorma (and Steve Rogers has... America?) but Tony has no one and Grantray-Lawrence has cut any chance Tony has at a love life out of the picture.

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