nate_studio

ReWatching The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes

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Welcome to ReWatching The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! As we wait for Season Two, we'll be rewatching the amazing first season of this show together, discussing everything from EMH episode by episode and since we're REwatching it THERE WILL BE SPOILERS AND THEY WILL NOT BE HIDDEN. So make sure you've seen the episode before you read about it here because we won't be holding back. EMH is available on Netflix Instant or probably lots of places on the interwebs, so please watch it with us and join the discussion! We'll try to keep this as structured as possible with an Index in this first post, but since the main point of this is to have fun, I'm not going to stress if conversations about Episode 4 carry over into Episode 5 or 6 or whatever. Based on the poll results, we'll be watching 2 episodes a week every Monday and Thursday. That should give us plenty of time to disect each episode here in this thread. Let's get started!

INDEX

Episode 1 - Iron Man is Born! Discussion starts on page 1... actually in this first post, believe it or not

Episode 2 - Thor the Mighty! Discussion starts here

Episode 3 - Hulk vs the World. Discussion starts here

Episode 4 - Meet Captain America! Discussion starts here

Episode 5 - The Man in the Ant Hill. Discussion starts here

Episode 6 - Breakout. Discussion starts here

Episode 7 - Breakout (part II). Discussion starts here

Episode 8 - Some Assembly Required. Discussion starts here

Episode 9 - Living Legend. Discussion starts here

Episode 10 - Everything is Wonderful. Discussion starts here

Episode 11 - Panther's Quest. Discussion starts here

Episode 12 - Gamma World: Part 1. Discussion starts here

Episode 13 - Gamma World: Part 2. Discussion starts here

Episode 14 - Masters of Evil. Discussion starts here

Episode 15 - 459. Discussion starts here

Episode 16 - Widow's Sting. Discussion starts here

Episode 17 - The Man Who Stole Tomorrow. Discussion starts here

Episode 18 - Come the Conqueror. Discussion starts here

Episode 19 - The Kang Dynasty. Discussion starts here

Episode 20 - The Casket of Ancient Winters. Discussion starts here

Episode 21 - Hail, HYDRA! Discussion starts here

Episode 22 - Ultron-5. Discussion starts here

Episode 23 - The Ultron Imperative. Discussion starts here

Episode 24 - This Hostage Earth, Episode 25 - The Fall of Asgard, and Episode 26 - A Day Unlike Any Other. Discussions starts here

S1:E1 - Iron Man is Born!

When the villainous organization known as HYDRA attacks the United Nations, the fate of the world's leaders is in the hands of Iron Man!

The first few episodes are a lot of setting up characters and backstories before getting in to the meat of the series. First up, due to the success of his movies and therefore his recognizability, we get introduced to Iron Man and to the world in which this show takes place. The majority of my Iron Man knowledge comes from his movies and the little bit I remember from his cartoon show back in the 90s, which is probably on par with the average intended audience for this show. This version of Tony/Iron man is in line with people like me expect from him. I feel like his voice actor even tries to sound as much like Robert Downey Jr as he can and for the most part he succeeds. In Tony's inner circle, we're introduced to Rhodey, Pepper and Jarvis, who are also recognizable from just having watched the Iron Man movies. Actually, they're probably more like their movie universe counterparts than their comic counterparts (Jarvis, especially), but someone with more Iron Man knowledge could probably speak more to that than me. One thing that is pretty different than what we've seen on the silver screen is SHIELD. They went with a mixed approach version of Nick Fury - he's black, but he's not quite the Samuel L. Jackson version. More importantly, SHIELD is shown as a big organization with advanced tech, Helicarrier, and more comic inspired costumes instead of suits and trench coats. We're also shown a few baddies, Reaper, Von Strucker, Crimson Dynamo, MODOK, etc but HYDRA is the main focus. I'm not too familiar with any of these guys really. This show was my main introduction to most of them so I don't know what's up with Von Strucker's crazy youth-stealing hand or whatever, but the villains were pretty cool.

We're also shown some hints of what's to come here. Most obvious is how everyone keeps mentioning that there is too much for Iron Man to handle by himself, but we already know this show is about a team of super heroes so we know he'll get some friends soon. Also there's the issue of everyone using Stark technology and the fact that someone from SHIELD leaked info. You apparently can't have SHIELD without a double-agent. There's also the reference at the very end of the episode to there being four super prisons which will be a big part of Episode 6.

The visual style of this show is awesome. I love the character design - stylized, very sharp, clean, lots of great shapes, perfect for animation. If I was going to complain about the way any of the characters introduced here look, it would just be that Pepper is too mousy, but she's a very minor character so I won't make a stink about it. The animation is also great and the action pieces are fun and well staged. I really like the way Reaper was handled (again - I have no previous knowledge of how this character acts, but he was awesome here). Also, the opening theme is pretty cool. Song's a little cheesy, but there are some nice little vignettes to some of the heavy hitters (aka Avengers with solo movies) and some cool action. Ant-Man even looks useful!

So what did you guys think of Episode 1?

Edited by nate_studio

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I personally love the theme song. Especially without the voice-over that happens in the secondhalf of the season. I for one cannot stand the voice acting for Iron Man. The guy sounds like he needs a sudafed.

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I, too, hate that Iron Man voice. I know they were trying to ape Downey, Jr.'s voice, but it just comes off as whiney and unheroic in the cartoon to me. I guess that's Downey's personality in a way, but it works better when it's actually him trying to pull it off.

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I like the approach they have used as far as making the characters and story a bit more modern but still leaving a classic marvel flavor to it. I guess it boils down to a classic visual style for the characters and more of a writing style suited to today's audience. Love all the fore shadowing, after watching this first episode I remember clearly how charged up these micro's got me for the new series.

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Any clue when season 2 starts?

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season 2 was originally scheduled for October 2011, but was delayed to early 2012, i dont think a release date has been issued,

also im rewatching this episode now, so my thoughts will be added to this post soon :)

ok so we start the show with not only a great action scene, but a scene that also gets a great classic villain cameo (the giant robot: Ultimo), next we get to see tony out of the armor, which shows that this show will focus on both the heroes and their civilian lives. We get a movie/comic version of rhodey and a more movie version of pepper, which i feel work as Tony's supporting cast.

Then we get the attack at the U.N., which shows how global the Hydra problem could really be. We also see that SHIELD is more like the secret service, known by the public, but still very on the down low. We get to see some Hydra Dreadnoughts which have been updated by repulsor tech, which could lead to some Armor Wars episodes in the future, another thing that could push the armor wars, is the Mandroid Armor's SHIELD shows off, that Tony is obviously pissed off about. I love the fight scene with the dreadnoughts because it shows off Ironman's limits and that he still does have to think while he fights.

I like what they've done with Fury, they have reached a nice compromise with the 616 and Ultimate versions and he is badass but also a super spy. We also get a look at Maria Hill, who obviously fully doesnt understand all of this superhero stuff, which could lead to her later 'bitchyness'. Also has it been shown that the public knows of ironmans identity? i know SHIELD does but im not sure if the public does.

We get to hear about the Black Widdow, but not see how she fits in yet, then we get to see the Vault, the prison for all the Tech Villains. Fury is greeted by agent Woo (later the leader of the Agents of Atlas). We get cameos from Crimson Dynamo, Technovore, MODOK and Strucker, who is withered and old and is missing his hand, he reveals something is going down and soon. Then Grim Reaper makes his move, revealing the attack on the U.N. was all a ploy to get to Strucker. Reaper seems extremely skilled in this and gets passed fury and maria with ease. We also see Strucker use his gauntlet to kill a SHIELD agent, showing that there will be death in this show. Now we get some more classic comic throwbacks, like the SHIELD hover card and Furys squirrel suit :D Reaper and Strucker are caught and put back into custody and we get to hear of 3 known super villain prisons: The Vault, The Cube and The Big House, but Fury reveals a fourth mystery prison (The Raft)

overall this is a great intro to the show and lets us know that while the show focus's on the team, it can delve into each character more closely from time to time. I personally love Tonys voice and feel it fits his character, i also love Fury and Reaper, theyre bad ass, nuff said

Edited by undeadpool

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The Episode serves as a good introduction to this Marvel Universe. Somethings were clear nods to the first Iron Man movie, like J.A.R.V.I.S., Pepper, a non-WM Rhodey, and even the shape of the chest-arc. These seemed like odd throwbacks by the time the episodes were actually released. I agree with the voice of Iron Man, it's a bad RDJ impression. It grew on me more by the end of the season, but when I first heard it I did not like it. But Lance Hendrikson as the Grim Reaper is genius and one of my favorite aspects of the series.

What I don't like- JARVIS as a computer, not a man. Edwin Jarvis is such a huge part of Avengers' comics. I understand the reasoning for making him a disimbodied voice in the movies and the show. A large part of Iron Man comics is Tony's internal dialogue as he recieves information from his Armor's readouts. Works in print, but not dynamic enough for film or TV. So giving the armor it's own A.I. voice gives Tony someone to talk to and that's more interesting than monologues. I wish they'd gone with HOMER, one of Tony's smart systems from the comics, as the name of this system instead of Jarvis. Just a me thing.

I was thinking, as part of this series, would it be alright for me to briefly retell the origins of some of the characters that appear in this series with a focus on how they differ from what is revealed about them on the show? Not everyone to be sure, but say the Grim Reaper and Nick Fury from this episode? I know a lot of you know already, but there are some for whom this show may be their only exposure to these characters, and prehaps sprinkling in a little 616 version backstory might help you get some of the nods and little in-jokes that are sprinkled throughout the series.

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I was thinking, as part of this series, would it be alright for me to briefly retell the origins of some of the characters that appear in this series with a focus on how they differ from what is revealed about them on the show? Not everyone to be sure, but say the Grim Reaper and Nick Fury from this episode? I know a lot of you know already, but there are some for whom this show may be their only exposure to these characters, and prehaps sprinkling in a little 616 version backstory might help you get some of the nods and little in-jokes that are sprinkled throughout the series.

I would love it if you did this, Miry

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I agree in whole with you Miry as far as Jarvis vs HOMER. JARVIS has grown on me in movies and the toon'verse but I still wish it was Jarvis himself. I mean they don't go mucking with Alfred right?

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Do cartoons not rely on advertising anymore? I mean you'd think if its *season 2* supposed to air early 2012, Marvel would have started a massive marketing campaign behind it, especially with the Avengers movie coming out.

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Yes they do, fatcow, but Sweeps are in Febuary. (Ratings Sweeps, not the servants of the Decepticon Scourge) So I'd expect the big comercial push to start soon and the next season to start sometime in that month. If it were a new show entirely, they'd launch it now and let it build an audience, but this is a proven winner for them, so they'll hit it during the peak of Sweeps. There will be Marathons to be sure.

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I'd love for some of the more knowledgeable members to compare this show to 616. Like I didn't realize Fury's flying squirrel thing was a nod to the comics until undeadpool mentioned it. I assumed it was just something the cartoon came up with. Little facts or brief histories would be very much appreciated.

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Ah the info about the rating sweep was quite helpful. I understand how this works now. I am excited about cartoons in 2012.

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I will jump on these on Friday... I think. Apple cart of life is on it's side right now. Cleanup phase commencing, no real worries.

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No worries, Miry. Whenever you can get to it. Take care of what you need first.

S1:E2 - Thor the Mighty!

The villainous Wrecking Crew is tearing through New York City, and the only thing that's standing in their way is the Mighty Thor!

Okay, that's a pretty misleading episode description. First, the Wrecking Crew is only tearing through a shipyard. Second, that's only the first piece of the episode. Most of it takes place in Asgard. Anyway, we have another set of micro episodes which added together give us a pretty good introduction to the world of Thor. As I mentioned, we start of with a great action set piece against the Wrecking Crew. Despite some costume redesigns, these guys are still just so lame. An enchanted crowbar? Anyway, it makes for a good fight, so no real complaints. We get a brief intro to Jane Foster who impresses Thor with her courage despite only being a pathetic mortal human. Thor is then called back to Asgard where he has another fight, this time against Frost Giants. Thor is joined in battle by the Warriors Three, Lady Sif and Balder. We also see Heimdall and Odin who of course is preparing for the Odinsleep. Despite the fact that he only has to do this once a year, that seems to be all he ever does, but I digress... We see that Loki was really the one pulling the strings for just about everything that happened in this episode even down to the attack at the shipyard. Loki isn't working alone, however. At the end of the episode it looks like he is freed from his banishment by Enchantress and Executioner.

Everything looks great in this episode. I like everyone's designs and voices... but I can't help wonder why things look the way they do. Iron Man's world seems to be based on his movies - Rhodey is more slender and not yet War Machine, JARVIS is an AI, etc. But then Thor's world is based more on his comics- Jane is an EMT isntead of some kind of scientist, Heimdall is white, Frost Giants are gigantic. I just wonder why they went movieverse on Iron Man but not Thor. I know Thor's movie wasn't out yet, but they knew that when it did come out in the summer Jane was going to be a scientist and Heimdall was going to be black. Not that these are huge changes, but maybe confusing to kids if this show and the movies are all they know and suddenly they don't match up.

Well what did you guys think of Episode 2?

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Ack... we're already on to Ep 2...

You have to remember how long it takes to make these shows. The design work on this show happened well before Cap and Thor's movie designs were finaliazed. So they went the safer route and used comics based material, a slight nod to what they had heard about the mvoie's plots (More for Cap than Thor) and tweaked to suite the story they wanted to tell.

But jumping back to ep 1... Here a brief history of a major player in that show- the Grim Reaper. Or at least the 616 version.

Born Eric Williams, he is the older brother of Simon and heir to the Williams Manufacturing empire. WM was a rival firm to Stark Industries. Eric was jock who relentlessly teased his bookish brother. Though Sanford related better to his oldest boy, Eric had zero interest in taking over the family business, because frankly it was too much like work. Eric got into more and more trouble, and eventually became a made member of the mob and worked out in Las Vegas. Simon meanwhile took over his father's business. But while a good businessman, Simon had no Tony Stark level genius working for him that could keep the renamed Williams Innovations from falling further and further behind SI. Desparate, SImon turned to Eric and his mob ties to try and help win contracts. When that wasn't enough, Simon embezzeled from his company but was caught and arrested. Eric blamed himself, since the money was going to be a payoff to Eric's mob friends for more "agressive" help. When Simon apparently dies as part of Zemo's revenger plot against the Avengers, Eric swears vengence against the Avengers and spends years trying to assemble the means to that end. Eric comes up with the identity of the Grim Reaper, and has a personal skycraft and a Scythe weapon built by the Tinkerer. Rumors of his desire to kill the Avengers brings him to the attention of Ultron 5 (though it may have been Ultron 4) who is intrigued by their shared goal, and offers his aid. Ultron upgrades the scythe with a energy blaster and a coma ray. Now ready feeling he was ready, the Grim Reaper attacks the team at arguably their weakest point, (at the time the team was only Goliath, Wasp, and Hawkeye) but is ultimately beaten by brand new member the Black Panther. Not detered by his failure, Grim Reaper returns time and again to plague the team, becoming increasingly unstable with each outing. His "love" for Simon leads to a facination/hatred for Vision, and when an attempt to torment the Avenger's with a zombified Simon resulted in Simon's full resurection, Eric became further confused and irrational. His various attempts at "justice" for his brother have resulted in his own death, his resurrection as an undead life drainer, and ultimately his full resurection... only to die again during the Dark Reign. A Grim Reaper was seen in the first issue of Cable vs Avengers, but whether this was Eric is unknown. It should be noted that during the time Hydra was in complete disarray, Eric took control of a small Hydra faction with the aid of the Space Phantom, but they abandoned him when the plot failed.

So what else is different? Well the 616 Reaper is wildly emotional and passionate, EMH's is a very cold customer, always calm. For most of his super-villian career, the scythe is a hand weapon in the 616, and while Eric did lose his hand and had the scythe breifly fused to the stump, he has never been a cyborg. And unlike the disregard EMH's shows for Simon's well-being, 616 Eric is obsessed with Simon. Lastly, 616 Grim Reaper has rarely ever served as anyone else's lackey. He briefly returned to his mob roots after his full resurection, and worked for the Nefaria crime family as an enforcer, but normally Eric sees himself as the mastermind, not the henchmen.

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Wow, should have updated.

Personally I love that Ironman is based almost entirely on the movies. It's a really great starting point to assume that if you're watching the show, you've seen the movie. Spectacular Spiderman did the same thing and it works beautifully. We don't have to sit through 5 origin episodes. I also like that the first 5 episodes (now) were originally released online, and the show started with The Breakout. A wonderful viral media campaign, it also allowed you to jump right into the story.

The faux RDJ voice never bothered me. He's meant to be RDJ, and I can understand why. JARVIS as a computer is also quite comforting, allowing a sense of continuity. I would have been more thrown if he was a man, because I have no exposure to that. Outside of Spiderman crossovers, EHM is really my only exposure to the wider MU. Which fares better than DC, because if it's not in the Timm-verse, I probably don't know about it.

Which brings up an interesting item: the stylizeation. With DCAU, there's a very distinctive style, especially with the females. It may have been controversial 15 years ago, but we're used to it now. So EHM looks a little funny to me. The fact that all the girls (outside of Wasp and Amora) look like Ron Stoppable is jarring. I would prefer a few more angular lines rather than having every character and prop smooth and curved.

The intro I like. The jong may not be the greatest, but the animation ligns up with it seemlessly, and it gives a fair, action packed intro for each character. Remember the 10 min long Justice League intro with bad CG? I'd rather have EHM any day.

Anyways, onto the first episode. Some things I noticed. Again, I love the assumption that you've seen at least the first Ironman movie. This came out the same time as IM2 I believe. Cap and Thor weren't even in production yet.

I like the fact that Ironman isn't invincible. I do have to wonder about SHIELD. They've got jets, don't they? I mean, it's a Hellacarrier. Why couldn't they have scrambled some jets instead of waiting 10 mins for the entire ship to get there, after Ironman had already mopped up? This Hydra attack was, of course, a plot to get Grim Reaper into prison, but still, SHIELD had no way of knowing that.

And Maria Hill. Ah yes. Everything that is wrong with our government. (Is this show allegorical?) I'll never for the life of me understand how she came to power, either in the comics or the show. She's an idiot who sees things in one color: with me or against me. John Woo seems much more likable. maria would be content with the rest of the world in a concentration camp "for their own protection."

Grim Reaper was awesome. He's essentially Animated Lockdown, which is very cool. I LOVE how in the Cap movie, Hydra was actually a deep science division of the Nazi party that broke off. While they didn't have that idea when EHM was being made, Hydra is very Nazi-like, and it can easily be retconed with a few sentences in season 2. Baron vo Strucker is imposing and has the presence of a true villain, especially later on when he surrounds himself with aces like Grim Reaper, Black Widow and Madam Viper.

I like how intelligent Fury is, truly a force to be reconed with. I like how he's an anagram of 616 and Ultimate.

As for Thor, like I said, the movie wasn't even a twinkle in the producers' eye when EHM was being conceived. i understand why they went 616, and I'm glad they did it old school. It really feels like classic, Norse Asgard. Not that I've ever read a Thor comic in my live, but it feels classic-y. I like Loki, I like his Character. This feels a little retread of Hulk Vs Thor, but if you haven't seen that, I understand why they put it in there. I don't like how long the fight went on. You can only smash people into buildings for so long before I get bored. Hulk Vs, the Thor movie, and this, are all almost exactly alike, and it feels very old hat. Loki wants Asgard. Frost Giants fight. Thor shows up. Things get smashed. Loki fails. It was in Loki's plans all along to fail this time, but we don't know that yet, and even so, this is a weak point of repetition with me.

Also, a character Clancy Brown plays that isn't a villain! Hooray!

Wrecking crew is nice I guess. I don't know anything about them. It annoys me that cops are shooting lasers from regular guns. If they changed the sound effects to gunshots, the animation would have been fine. I know it's a kids show but these are cops shooting at bad guys who in the opening scene cracked a construction worker across the head, splitting his hardhat and possibly killing him. If they weren't getting hurt, why do they need paramedics. The bullets are clearly bouncing off the Wrecking Crew, not even slowing them down like energy beams would, so just change the bloody sound effects! Stupid child safety censors jacking with my entertainment realism...

We get out first shot of the Leader, which is cool. Also the Enchantress, whom I love after Hulk Vs and EHM. :wub:

That about does it I guess. We should set up a Livestream for the Breakout. Or, if you're watching this on Netflix, how many are streaming it through your Xbox? we could watch it together with a party. Do all parties have to have Netflix to do that? Because I wouldn't mind hosting it.

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I was going to run with Nick Fury today, but since we've moved on to issue two, we have time to double back to Nick a little later.

I'll say up front, that I prefer this version of Jane Foster over all others, especially the movie version. In the 616, Jane was a nurse who worked in the private practice of Dr. Don Blake. Blake, unknown to him for most of his life, was the human form of Thor, who spent years as the lame (as in had a crippled leg and needed a cane to walk long distances) young doctor to learn humility. What Thor also learned was that human woman are hot, as Don fell in love with his nurse. But EMH has decided not to go with a secret ID for Thor, and thus having him fall for a brave EMS medic is a stroke of genius.

The Wrecker and his Wrecking Crew... some of my favorite hench villains of all time. Loved seeing them. Although, I am very curious as to their EMH origins and why they would be incarcerated at the Cube, where they house the criminals empowered by forms of radiation. Given the Crews status as hired muscle, an origin tale isn't likely unless it's somehow tied to a larger story. But they are fun to see animated.

I would disagree with TM2 on one point, I think early versions of the Thor and Cap movie plots were known to the EMH producers, and as evidence I offer two plot points from the show- Hydra replacing Nazi's, and the prominence of Frost Giants. Yes there are Frost Giants in Jotunheim, but they are not the predominant race there, nor is it an "ice world". More accurately in the 616, and in legend, Jotunheim is a world of huge unending mountain ranges, some frozen, some not. Mountain Giants are found there as well, and the mighty Storm Giants rule that realm. (Loki is the diminutive some of Lauffey, but Lauffey himself is a Storm Giant) But in EMH, Frost Giants are dominant, as they are in the movie, which says to me there was some collaborative ideas being passed around.

And incidentally, being banished to the Isle of Silence was Loki's punishment in the 616 when he first accidentally formed the Avengers.

But back to our friend the Wrecker...

In the 616, Odin was always looking for new ways to punish his troublesome son Loki, since as a member of the royal household not even Odin could sentence Loki to death. So since Loki was spending so much of his time on Earth causing Thor trouble, Odin traps Loki there, but completely stripped of all of his magical powers, and natural Asgardian traits making him completely human. Humiliated, Loki finds himself in a New York flophouse, trying to cobble together the Earthly components of a spell to contact his allies and get himself re-empowered. But Loki's efforts do not go unnoticed in the mortal plain. A hood named Dirk Garthwaite, at the time little more than a thug who used a crowbar to break into places and mug people, decides Loki might be someone worth robbing and tails Loki back to his room. For his part, Loki had managed to contact the Norn Queen, master sorceress, and Loki ally Karnillia and made her aware of his plight. But the magics he was using were low grade, and the Norn Queen could barely see or hear him. Dirk bursts into the room and strikes Loki unconscious with his crowbar. Triumphant, Dirk but on Loki's trademark helmet, and Karnillia mistook Dirk for Loki and cast her re-empowering spell. Effectively Dirk became the equivalent of an Asgardian man of his size and strength, which gave him enough superhuman strength, endurance and resistance to injury, and enchanted the crowbar to near Uru levels. Calling himself the Wrecker, Dirk went on a crime spree and fought Thor to a draw on their first meeting. Wrecker never faired that well again. At one point Thor manages to strip Wrecker of his strength and sent him to prison. Determined to regain his freedom and power, he convinces the three convicts in the prison with him to help him escape and find his crowbar, promising them he'd share his power if they could get the bar back. Of course they escape, regain the bar, and with logic that only works in comics, the crowbar manages to get struck by lighting while they are all touching it. Now each are given the Wrecker's powers. (accounts vary to what degree) Taking the names Piledriver, Bulldozer and Thunderball, the newly minted Wrecking Crew go on to become one of the 616's most famous jobbers. They later learn that Dirk got many other powers with his original empowerment, but his simple mind prevents him from accessing most of them. He has learned how to make his crowbar return to his hand when dropper of throw, and teleport himself and his Crew vast distances, but he has to use the crowbar as a focus. Their power levels have waxed and waned over the years, they found other ways to keep their powers when for whatever Asgardian magic was not available. I am not sure what level of power they are at now.

So what EMH's Wrecking Crew's origin are, whether it's still tied to Asgard, or something else, their roll seems to be the same.

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That and they were included in two very memorable storylines in the mid 80's. First the Wrecking Crew were among the villains the Beyonder chose to fight in the Secret Wars. So they got to tussle with the Avengers, the X-Men, and the Hulk. And they came close to killing Wasp and helped beat She-Hulk almost to death during the conflict. Sure they ultimately get beaten, but they put up a good enough showing to be memorable. The second was as members of Helmet Zemo's Masters of Evil during the Mansion Seige. I've gushed about that story before, how theses Masters took the mansion, and came closer than most to utterly defeating the Avengers. And the Wrecking Crew were in the thick of it. That trend of being around for big fights continued all the way to the recent Siege story- there were the Wrecking Crew, front and center of the Hood's gang.

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Before I spend the rest of the weekend in my funeral suit, let me wrap up this week's massive Miry info dump-

So what are the differences between EMH Nick Fury and his 616 counterpart?

Well, let's start with the really obvious: the 616 Fury family are Caucasians from Hell's Kitchen New York. EMH's is an African American. But wait, you say, I've seen the Marvel movies, Nick Fury is Samuel L. Jackson, and that M*****ah F******ah ain't white. Yes, he is. But right up until the release of the Ultimates vol.1, Fury had always been portrayed as a white man, in fact even in Fury's first Ultimate universe appearance, he was white. But Millar and Hitch liked the idea of SLJ as Fury, and drew him that way in the Ultimates. And SLJ does make a good Nick Fury. So, in an attempt to keep EMH's Nick consistent with the now best know version, their Fury is a black man. This does not bother me, really. Aside from the fact that black men would not have been put in charge of even a mixed race army unit in the WWII era, there is nothing in Nick's background that would be different if he were of a different race. Interesting side note... the race issue was apparently a really big deal to Marvel as they were developing their grand Avengers plan as Iron Man was coming together. Knowing they wanted Fury to be the thread that tied the movies together, they had to pick which Fury they wanted to use. The rumor was they had offered the roll to both SLJ and Bruce Willis and Jackson was more interested in the part.

So what else is different? In the 616 Nick Fury is an Army ranger in WWII, eventually rising to the rank of Sargent and getting command of a rough and tumble unit that became known as the Howling Commandos. Nick and the Howlers fight all over the ETO from their base in London, often teaming with Captain America and Bucky. During the war, Nick takes some shrapnel to the face, it's longest lasting effect is that he slowly lost vision in his left eye over the course of decades, until he eventually used his now trademark patch to cover his blind left eye. In 1945, Nick Fury is nearly killed by a French land mine. An unscrupulous doctor decides to test his own version of a super soldier serum on Fury, since he was already dying of his wounds. His formula works in part- Nick is completely healed of his wounds (but not his eye injury, since that happened long before). A revived Fury then leads the Howlers on missions in ETO and PTO right through VJ day. One year after his injection, he notices himself feeling very weak. Fury had not told anyone how he survived his injuries in France, but the Doctor who injected him then sought Fury out and told him his life was now dependent on an annual injection of this Infinity Formula, or he would die. The side effect being that Nick's aging virtually stopped as long as he received the annual booster. The shady Professor demanded cash for his "services", and blackmailed Fury for years. This continued until 1976, when an even more nefarious character discovered Fury's "arrangement", and stole the formula, trying to blackmail Fury further. As proof of his dark intentions, he let Fury miss his annual shot, causing Fury to start to age rapidly. Fury of course won the day anyway, and his life was saved by his spy girlfriend Val who had stolen a few vials of the Infinity Formula for Nick. The incident left Fury with a little gray around his temples. Not long after, it was discovered his body was generating the IF on it's own. Fury then began sharing the formula via blood transfusions, granting former Howlers Dum Dum Dugan and Gabe Jones slowed aging as well (and explaining why Dugan and Jones seem somehow older than Nick at this point). Col. Nick Fury is recruited as the second public director of SHIELD, a post he served even after dismantling the organization twice, until recently.

EMH takes another tact, we see Fury's temple gray as a result of Strucker's Satan Claw the first episode. But this Nick Fury is not a WWII veteran. No it was Nick's father Jack who lead the Howlers in the big war, and had adventures with Cap and Bucky. This also works for me, as trying to explain how Nick remained young for now almost 100 years would get dicey. And it keeps a strong Cap connection in place. Also, the idea that SHIELD and Nick are untrustworthy is a post Iron Man movie, post Bendis idea. While SHIELD itself eventually grew so large that there were heroes that didn't trust it as an organization, most 616 heroes trust Nick as an honorable man.

Aside from race and a generational shift in background, this season's Nick and SHIELD have the look and feel of it's 616 counter part, glider suit and all.

For the record though, my favorite animated Nick Fury was the one that appeared in X-Men: Evolution, voice by Jim Byrnes (Joe Dawson from the Highlander TV series)

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Thanks for all the info, Miry. It's always great to read your short bios on characters I don't know a whole lot about... which, outside of X-Men, is most characters. EMH has been my biggest gateway into the Avengers side of Marvel, so it's cool to get some 616 comparissons by someone who knows his stuff.

TM2, I get what you mean about how similar Hulk vs Thor is to Episode 2. Then they're both kind of similar to the movie. I haven't read any real Thor stories before JMS's Thor Reborn stuff, so I assumed based on Hulk vs, Episode 2, and Thor's movie that they must just always fight Frost Giants while Odin sleeps. Oh and that Loki is the one who sent the Frost Giants to Asgard in the first place. I've also played Marvel Ultimate Alliance which has you fighting Frost Giants, so I really just thought they were a constant threat to Asgard.

The Thor movie version of Jane Foster is my favorite just because she was played by Natalie Portman and I'm a sucker for Natalie Portman. Reading Miry's comments on different versions of her help me appreciate the EMH version more, though. Still, the cartoon version is no Natalie.

So I guess something we should figure out is what to do about the Breakout. It's a two-parter, so would you guys rather watch it as one episode or split it between two days? I don't know if you'd rather talk about part one and then talk about part two? Or rather talk about them together?

I'm so glad we're getting into some good discussions. Things were a little sparse at first, but I think it's starting to pick up and we'll be getting in to some good stuff as the series really takes off! Just a reminder - Episode 3 discussion starts Monday morning!

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S1:E3 - Hulk Versus the World

When Bruce Banner heads to Vegas to track down an escapee from a Super-Villain prison, he's forced to transform into the Incredible Hulk.

I originally wasn't excited to watch an episode about the Hulk, but lucky for me, two things happen:

1. This show gives us a version of the Hulk that's actually interesting.

2. Half of this episode is actually about Hawkeye, who is one of the greatest characters in the show.

Like the micro episodes before it, this is about character introduction and lots of action. We're introduced to Bruce Banner, Hulk, Absorbing Man, General Ross, Hawkeye and Black Widow. We also see glimpses of lots of other characters like Leader, Abomination, other gamma villains... Also we see two characters who I'm not sure if they are important or not- the cowboy working for Ross and SHEILD agent Morris (Morse?). Anybody know if these characters have any significance in 616? (Yes I'm being lazy and asking you guys instead of researching.)

Like I said, this version of the Hulk is actually interesting. He's more than just the big green monster who gets mad and fight tanks. Bruce Banner is more than just a scared and guilty man forced to keep running. Banner has accepted the Hulk and is trying to find a place for him in the world. Hulk wants to be more than a monster. He wants to be a hero. This Hulk can form sentences, too and is expertly voiced by Fred Tatasciore. We'll see him develop a lot more throughout this season as a character, but this is a great set up in this episode.

So the other main focus of this episode are SHEILD agents Hawkeye and Black Widow. Hawkeye is awesome in this series. Seriously, he ends up being one of my favorite characters in a show full of great characters. I love how when fighting the Hulk, he shows little regard for which arrows he's shooting... just kind of randomly hitting Hulk with trick arrow after trick arrow. It's small, but shows a lot of his personality. His partner, Black Widow, is great for other reasons. Come on, I can't be the only one who noticed the little bit of fan service as she walked up to those HYDRA agents... any way... I'm not super familiar with 616 Widow, but I know she's always suspected of being a traitor like Odin is always going down for his Odinsleep. She pulls a slick maneuver here setting up Hawkeye as a double-agent so she looks like she's on the straight and narrow when she's really the double-agent. OR IS SHE?! More on that as the series develops, but overall a great intro to some great characters. I wasn't too excited at first, but this proved to be a fantastic intro-episode.

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Always glad to help out, Nate.

I haven't had a chance to rewatch, so this is my from memory comments. This episode featured several of my favorite EMH characters.

This version of the Hulk is a very mixed version, taking parts from several sources. Banner on the run... sure there were years in the comics where Bruce was running from Ross, but in the 616 there was usually a sidekick trailing along with him, Rick Jones for a while, Jim Wilson after that. No it was Bill Bixby and the TV show that cemented Banner as a the man alone, running from the world. And that image, and a man wandering down the highway, usually with a haunting pinao tune playing in the background, is one of the things burned into even the non-comics public consciousness when you say "Dr. Banner". Very smart to use this here.

The Hulk, well no Marvel character has had his persona tinkered with as much as the Hulk. Brute, child, genius, ganster, warrior, hero and villain- the Hulk has been all of these. This Hulk is closest to the the version of the Hulk that existed at the time of the 616 Avengers forming. Surly, and brutish, this Hulk still spoke in complete sentences like EMH does. But in the 616 at the time of the Avengers forming, Banner and the Hulk would change via a machine Banner had devised. Hulk would volutarily change himself back when he got tired of being hunted, Banner would change to Hulk when trouble would happen. Not the "truce" situation EMH shows. And then there's Hulk's temper... the best known version of the Hulk is the classic childlike brute that smashed his way through Marvel for almost 15 unbroken years of publication. Second best is the non-speaking Lou Ferigno version from TV. And EMH has them too, as this Hulk grows more angry he starts speaking in third person simple sentences, and boasting Hulk is strongest one there is until finally just roaring away. Again very smart stuff.

Carl Crusher Creel, easily Marvel's toughest jobber. The Absorbing Man can go toe-to-toe with Hulk or Thor solo, or take on an entire team of Avengers by himself. Fun character.

Tick-tick-boom. With one line EMH showed me that my favorite hero was going to finally get a forum ot shine. The rest of the season will prove me right. I can, and may later, write volumes about Ol' Clint, but needless to say, Hawkeye makes me happy on this show.

And the Black Widow too. EMH makes it's second Ultimates nod with these two being SHIELD Agents first. The upcoming Movie takes the same tact. I think I'll make Tasha one of the spotlight characters for this episode, that should help explain some thing they are alluding to with her.

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