While I’m still miffed at Disney cancelling The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes series (I guess we’ll never see the end of the Surtur storyline – dagnabit), I’m hoping their replacement show, Marvel’s Avengers Assemble is up to the task of filling some pretty mighty shoes. Here are a couple of preview that were recently released.
As far as I’m concerned, Marvel and DC have equally done no justice to comic book fans or even the new fans they’re trying to get by making these drastic (in many cases, stupid) title and directional changes they’ve made over the last year or so. As it is, I’ve completely given up on DC’s DC NATION block of animated series when they unjustly cancelled Young Justice and Green Lantern to replace them with the ridiculous Teen Titans Go and the the wretchedly titled, Beware The Batman. I’m done with them and it’ll take more than Superman’s super strength to get me back. However, Marvel is sort of approaching that level of animosity with cancelling The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Wolverine and The x-Men and The Spectacular Spider-Man over the last 4 yeas and replacing them with the annoying and unnecessary 4th dimension-breaking Ultimate Spider-Man and now Marvel’s Avengers Assemble.
I get it. They’re trying to reach a new fan base by dumbing down the material in order to make it more palpable to younger viewers and potential readers, but I think they’re taking the wrong approach. The thing people have to respect about comic book readers and their animated viewing base is that they AREN’T stupid and quite intelligent in their analysis of characters and the story lines presented. Regardless of what criticism Young Justice may have received from some who think they jumped the shark in the story line by fast-fowarding it 5 years – it was still a good story. One that was intelligent and had multiple layers that made the viewer watch and digest all of the information being presented. This new crop makes me think that they think we’re all Two and a Half Men viewers and could care less if the substance of what’s being presented is garbage or not. The one thing DC/Warner Brothers has gotten right (for the most part) over the years is their animated product line. From Batman The Animated Series, Superman The Animated Series, The Batman to Batman Brave and the Bold, Justice League and Teen Titans – they were hitting it out of the box even if we were skeptical up front. Marvel’s been as successful, but mostly less consistent with their material over the decades, particularly in the Spider-Man and X-Men franchise (I’ll just gloss over their haphazard Fantastic Four attempts).
However, this last crop of animated series seem less inspired and so market-driven that I feel their toy line execs drafted these series and its less about opening the wonder of the comic universe to the masses and more about pushing toys. If that’s the case, I’m out. I realize that as a not yet 40 year old man, I’m on the outer fringes on their give a damn scale. However, what they also need to realize is that this man, along with the other men and women like me, are raising this generation. We also BUY (or not) the franchise merchandise. The more of US they lose, the more of them they lose. I don’t translate this to the movies because that can be a complete and separate market in itself that’s more star-driven than story wise.
Marvel/DC. WAKE UP!!! You still need us – and this crop of kiddie schlock is losing us in droves. Your crop of animated series is almost as bad as the chromium-laced covers that almost killed the industry in the 90’s.
Get it together before it’s too late.