Avengers, “Some Assembly Required”

28Oct10

There were clear callbacks in last week’s Avengers premiere to how the team got started in the original comics-the whole starting roster is the same, they all converge on a trouble spot to find out what’s going on, and decide to join forces in the aftermath of the fight. But I wasn’t sure how much the show would follow those old issues….and more importantly, how much they should follow them. The latest episode is a firm indicator that the creators have read those comics (whether or not they wanted to is a good question), and have taken what they can use from them.

After a teaser where Mandrill is cowed by the whole team (the poor monkey man even gets called out by Thor for not fighting), we get a long segment of Iron Man showing off the Avenger’s mansion to the team, before we get to the real plot. It’s an old stand-by of an action cartoon or comic book, where a teammate gets mind controlled, then fights their friends. In this case, it’s the Hulk. But there’s a fun little tweak to the formula-rather than just being outright controlled, the Enchantress impersonates the Bruce Banner who appears in the Hulk’s head to twist people’s words around. She also keeps the real Bruce Banner’s consciousness locked up so it can’t talk to the Hulk as well; it’s a bit vague, but hey, it’s magic. When he manages to break the control, he runs off, at which point the Enchantress calls up the Executioner, and they have a big fight that ends when the Hulk returns to hit the people that controlled him.

And in the end, when the villains are defeated and order is restored…the Hulk leaves for good. It’s a surprising moment to be faithful to the comics, as I’d have expected the show to keep the Hulk around instead. But throughout the episode, the Hulk was intentionally abrasive, then left because he didn’t like how the others had responded to him. It’s a great example of why the Hulk isn’t really a superhero, and his status as a founding member of the Avengers is something of a dubious honor.

As for the villains, it was neat to see both the Enchantress and the Executioner, especially with Thor referring to him as “her Executioner.” I’m not sure what I think of the Executioner redesign-it’s a more distinctive costume than his original one, and the decision for him not to say anything in this episode made him more interesting. But the strange stripes on his arms and face were distracting. But hey, Black Panther is introduced! And the foreshadowing for them finding Captain America in the ice…without the racism of Eskimos worshipping him. One of several conceits from the original comics that I’m glad wasn’t kept.

I want to say it’s too early to tell how the series will go from here. But short of a serious misstep or regression, I think I’m going to be watching this all season.

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One Response to “Avengers, “Some Assembly Required””

  1. 1 h

    anyone notice the green lantern sign on the money? and the mug with a police badge with the initals G.C? sounds alot like DC.


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