On A Far Less Serious Note…
I’m a nerd.
Whew. There. I said it. It’s out. Now you all know and I don’t have to hide it any more.
That feels really good.
OK. Moving on with that premise in mind… I’m a nerd, and I like nerdy things. I read a lot of comic books. And not just the graphic novel kind. Like, the actual comic book kind. I also watch cartoons. And not just the Saturday morning kind. I like cartoons from Japan. And also America.
Saying that, I just finished the second season of a little know show that apparently airs on the Disney Chanel… It’s called Avengers, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. And it’s awesome. It may be the best animated series the US has put out in the last… Well, a long time. And it’s definitely one of the best corporate media adaptations of the Marvel universe that has ever happened. Like the Avengers movie that just recently came out (but on an absurdly more massive scale), the transference of the personalities of the Marvel characters from word-bubble-covered page to the screen is wonderful. Captain America is noble and slightly out of touch, Tony Stark is a selfish idiot, Hawkeye is full of one-liners, and Hulk smashes. A lot.
One of my favorite things about the series, though, is that the writers do an amazing job of re-telling the events of the last few years in the Marvel universe with such accuracy (don’t get me wrong, they leave out/change some stuff, but it’s more like a minimal edit, not a Star Wars Blue-Ray Special Edition, if you get my meaning), and such enormity, I can’t help but love it.
I think that’s why I love the Marvel universe so much- as opposed to DC. Don’t get me wrong, The Dark Knight was a great movie. But in the comic world… DC just doesn’t do it for me. Marvel has created such a massive universe that, in recent years, has collided together in massive ways that make for great story telling and really cool super-hero battles… And The Avengers really captures that in this show. Through the two existing seasons (crossing my fingers for season three), we meet almost countless heroes and villains. From the well-known (Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, Wolverine, Galactus), to the slightly less well-known (Luke Cage, Captain Marvel, Yellow Jacket, Dr. Sampson), to the obscure (Purple Man, Annihilus, Iron Fist, Beta Ray Bill)… It’s incredible to me how many characters the writers were able to weave into this show without ever diluting the main plot. It seems from episode one, every character’s entrance, every villain defeated, every inter-personal conflict… It all leads to a greater purpose later on.
It’s cool to see a cartoon that so accurately captures the intricate relationship development between so many already established characters. Which is the last thing I’ll touch on in regards to this show: retcon. Retcon comes from the Geek words: retroactive continuity. This is something that almost all superhero films and larger media undertakings have failed at to this point. Whether it’s continuity between a series (the X-Men and Spiderman series come to mind when talking about superheroes… Or, in the case of say, Star Wars… One word… Midiclorians) or standalone characters (The Wolverine Origins movie is my favorite example of this… Wolverine had a great origin story that had already been written and universally accepted to be his origin story by the Geek community… However, instead of sticking to that story, the idiot writers of Wolverine decided to make up a ridiculous story that doesn’t make any sense and, in turn, make a terrible movie that no one likes to talk about), retcon is important because it keeps massive stories like the Marvel or DC universes straight. If you don’t have retcon, you’re basically writing fan fiction… And no one wants that.
That being said, the Avengers does a masterful job of keeping everyone’s powers, stories, roles, personalities, nationalities, secret identities… All of that is right on. And I love it.
So if you’re a geek, maybe you should check this out. I say it’s worth it.
P.S. I can’t believe I just wrote this… I need something to do.