Category Archives: hulk

Why "Avengers Earth’s Mightiest Heroes" Was Canceled

I have written at length elsewhere about why and how much I love the latest animated incarnation of Marvel Comics’ the Avengers on Disney XD – “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.”

Much like the comics they were based on, Disney took great care to create and build a continuity and a universe around the characters. They even started before the show even got on the air officially with mini-episodes, detailing the solo pre-Avengers careers of the Avengers, and giving viewers new to the Marvel Universe a taste of how things started and fit together. It was actually a quick short-form, but orchestrated, version of how Paul Dini and Bruce Timm slowly built the DC Animated Universe from its beginnings in “Batman The Animated Series” until it blossomed in the last version seen in “Justice League Unlimited.”

In Marvel and Disney’s case, we had small vignettes that introduced us to Ant-Man, Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, and Iron Man (and their various villains as well). The last one there was based solidly on Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, and the others more comic book versions shoehorned into that world. This was a good thing, making the show accessible, as many new viewers felt like they were coming in on the ground floor. And while the events seemed a bit out of order in places, most things were pretty accurate to the comics, more so than any other comics-to-TV project previous to this.

I loved this series, and now it’s over. The word is it was shut down because it did not fit in with the continuity Jeph Loeb had set up with his later “Ultimate Spider-Man” cartoon. He had a mad Hulk, a teenage Power Man and Iron Fist, and other bits like that. Have I mentioned how much I hate the “Ultimate Spider-Man” cartoon? It has its merits, don’t get me wrong, but it has more wrong with it than right with it. And maybe I’m just old, but the anime and videogame references annoy me.

So a silly teenaged version of the characters, or one based on the movies and the comics – guess which one gets jettisoned? Bingo, goodbye, “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.” Mainly because one old man wants all the animated series under his hat to match? Yep, that’s why. Do “Mike and Molly” and “The Big Bang Theory” exist in the same universe, and have to adhere to the same continuity rules? No, but if Loeb was in charge, they’d have to.

This is probably a good time to mention while Loeb has done some good work, like “Hush” and “The Long Halloween,” he is also responsible for ruining “Heroes,” The Ultimates, Superman, and the Challengers of the Unknown. And while he wrote Teen Wolf, any good will there was erased by Teen Wolf Too, which he also penned.

The new replacement series, “Avengers Assemble,” might be a continuation of the “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes,” and then again, it might not. The voice cast is different, and it features new member, the Falcon, joining a team composed of the heroes from the 2012 hit movie, Marvel’s The Avengers. Who wants to take bets that Hawkeye will be in his drab, unexciting, movie uniform? You’d win.

“Avengers Assemble” gets a sneak preview on Disney XD on May 26th, and then premieres in its regular time slot on July 7th. I will withhold my opinion until it airs, but I’m betting there’s no way it can be as good, as one of the best superhero cartoons ever made – “Avengers Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.” It certainly can’t be worse than “Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.” Don’t even ask…

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Special Boxing Day Edition of The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast features co-hosts Ed (Freaky Friday Fan) Evans, Allison (Superhero Girlfriend Expert) Eckel, and Glenn (The Gray Hulk) Walker, as they discuss the new comics out this week! You can see the show here, or check it out below.

Discussion featured in this week’s Special Spoiler Alert Skip Week episode includes: Happy Boxing Day, Justice League #15 and Aquaman #15, Before Watchmen Nite-Owl #4, Amazing Spider-Man #700 and Avenging Spider-Man #15.1, The Shadow Special #1, Crossed Badlands #20, Star Wars Omnibus Clone Wars Volume 3, Star Wars The Card Game from Fantasy Flight Games, open *danger* spoiler alert *danger* discussion of the above comics, especially Amazing Spider-Man #700 and the upcoming Superior Spider-Man, superhero girlfriend training, the Throne of Atlantis/Flashpoint connection, and deconstructing and compressing Justice League storytelling.

Be sure to check out the rockin’ All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, written by Allison and Glenn, featuring The Vidcast Drinking Game so you can play along at home, and watch ATF! on YouTube (don’t forget to subscribe to the channel while you’re there, and leave a comment or two on the Vidcast as well!).

And be back here every Wednesday (or Tuesdays at midnight) to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live every week at All Things Fun! – the South Jersey/Philadelphia area’s best comics, toys and gaming store, located in West Berlin, NJ. Don’t forget to visit us at Facebook!

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for the Week of 11-21-2012

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast features co-hosts Allison Eckel, and Glenn Walker, with a special guest cameo appearance by Ed Evans, as they discuss the new comics out this week! You can see the show here, or check it out below.

Discussion featured in this week’s special Black Friday episode includes: the Black Friday sale, Indestructible Hulk #1, Captain America #1, more Marvel NOW!, Allison and Glenn split up Ed’s X-Men books, Avengers #34, Hawkeye #4, Captain Marvel #7, Amazing Spider-Man #698, Sword of Sorcery #2, Justice League #14, Kyle Rayner Green Lantern as the new Avatar, Legion of Super-Heroes #14, The Batcave, how to pronounce H’el and other comics names, Supergirl #14, Black and Blue, Hellblazer controversy, Indies first issues, The Shadow #8, Bigfoot in Bionic Man #14, Zenescope, Allison’s kids comics, Valiant, Oz, Bravest Warriors #2, and the week’s trades.


Be sure to check out the All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, written by Allison and Glenn, featuring The Vidcast Drinking Game so you can play along at home, and watch ATF! on YouTube (don’t forget to subscribe to the channel while you’re there, and leave a comment or two on the Vidcast as well!).

And be back here every Wednesday (or Tuesdays at midnight) to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live every week at All Things Fun! – the South Jersey/Philadelphia area’s best comics, toys and gaming store, located in West Berlin, NJ. Don’t forget to visit us at Facebook!

The Arrow Pilot

The norm used to be for bringing a comic book to the small screen would be to change everything. Everyone fondly remembers “The Incredible Hulk” TV series with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno. You know the one without Rick Jones, Betty Ross, Glenn Talbot, General Ross, Gamma Base, or any Gamma Bombs. When you think about it, the show was more “The Fugitive” than the Hulk.

This was standard operating procedure though. The Justice League became the Super Friends. Bat-Mite turned green. Remember Rex Smith as the Daredevil in black who wore a mask with no eyeholes? How about the Cathy Lee Crosby Wonder Woman?

Even the wildly successful “Smallville” changed many aspects of its source material. The joke used to be that “Smallville” had some names and concepts in common with old Superboy comics but everything else was different. In later seasons of the series one of the highlights was Green Arrow as played by Justin Hartley. The character proved so popular that the CW decided to give him his own similar “Smallville” themed series. The catch – it’s not a spin-off, it’s not Justin Hartley, and it’s very different from both the source material and even “Smallville.”

In “Arrow,” despite Oliver Queen’s outfit, car, and arrows being green, he’s not Green Arrow, he’s Arrow. The city he protects is Starling City, not Star City. And previews make him out to be more of a murderous vigilante than a superhero. Before viewing the pilot, friends had told me it was great, so I was willing to give it a shot, changes or not.

It’s not that I don’t love and miss Justin Hartley, but this is a different take on the character, and Stephen Amell slips seamlessly into this new Oliver Queen rule. Despite my misgivings, I was pulled into the “Arrow” pilot immediately, and not just by the Deathstroke mask on the beach. “Arrow” is a solid TV show with or without its comic book superhero origins. And it’s an adult show, this is not going to be the teen soap opera that “Smallville” was the first few years.

A more complicated backstory and motivation is overlaid to Green Arrow’s comics origin, and it works for 2012 television. I like it. Oh sure, there’s great wink-wink stuff like his drug-using sister being nicknamed Speedy, the complicated relationship with Dinah Laurel Lance (Black Canary in the comics), and of course there is the prerequisite best friend who becomes arch-villain, Tommy Merlyn AKA Merlyn the Magician – but I would dig “Arrow” even without all that.

A warning for the kids, and the folks with kids, this is a pretty violent show. So don’t be fooled just because it’s based on a comic book, this is not for the younguns. That said, I’m looking forward to more “Arrow,” and I hope you all are as well. I was refreshingly surprised.

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for the Week of 7-25-2012

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live every week at All Things Fun! – the area’s best comics and gaming store, located in West Berlin, NJ.

Co-hosts Ed (Black Hand) Evans, Allison (Hit-Girl) Eckel, and Glenn (Bad Hair) Walker discuss the new comics out this week in wicked high definition video, and also available on the YouTube. See it here!

Discussion featured in this week’s special costume and cover episode includes: Superman #11, Teen Titans #11, The Flash #11, Savage Hawkman #11, Aquaman #11, Firestorm #11, obscure comics trivia, Green Lantern and Batman this week, Justice League Dark #11, Avengers and X-Men this week, X-Treme X-Men #1, Mighty Thor #17, Incredible Hulk #11, Deadpool #58, Hit-Girl #2 (well used), Angel and Faith #12, media tie-in comics, Axe Cop President of the World #1, Zenescope bad-girls-o-rama, Allison’s kids comics including the Super Pets, Adventure Time toys, and trades.

Be sure to check out the wacky new All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

Special thanks go to Dina Evans who keeps us all in line, and on the straight and narrow, as well as running the show from behind the scenes.

And be back here every Wednesday (or Tuesdays at midnight) to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

Get off my lawn!

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast for the Week of 5-30-2012

The All Things Fun! New Comics Vidcast is shot live every week at All Things Fun! – the area’s best comics and gaming store, located in West Berlin, NJ.

Co-hosts Allison Eckel, and Glenn Walker discuss the new comics out this week in wicked high definition video, and also available on the YouTube. See it here! The much-missed Ed Evans will be back in a couple weeks.

Discussion featured in this special episode includes: The week in Marvel including Mutants, Avengers, and Hulks, Ravagers #1, Batman Beyond Unlimited #4, Batman Annual #1, America’s Got Powers #2, Supercrooks #3, other indies, Star Trek meets Doctor Who, Powers #10, the Zenescope offerings of the week, Allison’s kids comics including Superman Family Adventures #1, and the trades of the week including Batman Death By Design by Chip Kidd.

Be sure to check out the swell new All Things Fun! website, and the All Things Fun! Blogs, by Allison and Glenn, and ATF! on YouTube.

Special thanks go to Dina Evans who keeps us all in line, and on the straight and narrow, and runs the show from behind the scenes, even when she’s on vacation.

And be back here every Wednesday (or Tuesdays at midnight) to watch the new broadcast, and thereafter throughout the week!

The Avengers

Marvel’s The Avengers ~ I think I need to inform folks where I’m coming from on this one. One could say I’ve been waiting for this movie for over forty years easily. I learned to read on comic books, thanks to my cool big sister. First there was Batman, obviously influenced by the 1960s TV show, then I started reading my brother’s Flash and Justice League. I was solidly a DC Comics guy as you can see, and then I discovered the Avengers. It would be quite some time before I became a regular Marvel reader but I knew instantly this was a different kind of comic. Avengers became one of my favorite comics, even today. So much so did I love the Avengers that for almost a decade I regularly reviewed the title online. Yeah, I’m a hardcore Avenger-phile. This movie is a little kid’s dream come true.

In another sense, you could say I’ve been waiting for this movie realistically, and hopefully, since the end credits of Iron Man. Can I express my elation the first time I saw those few seconds when Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury wanted to talk to Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man about the ‘Avengers Initiative’? No, I can’t. I am as speechless now as I was in 2008.

Who would have thought Marvel Comics/Marvel Studios could have pulled this off? Not only have they created a cinematic continuity, a movie universe as tight and intriguing as their comics universe, they also changed the way we watch movies. Does anyone (at least anyone who knows) not stay until the final credits any more. This is something that John Hughes used to do for a gag. It’s something the James Bond films used to do to reveal the title of the next installment. Marvel has made it a genre-wide trick of the trade. You stay until the screen has no more light, period.

Speaking of James Bond, the other achievement Marvel has taken on is the building of a successful movie franchise – the Marvel Cinematic Universe, of which The Avengers is the seventh, or the sixth, depending on whether you count Ang Lee’s Hulk or not. I think all of this would have been impossible without Iron Man, and especially Robert Downey Jr. Downey is the secret weapon, the gateway drug, if you will. Without Downey, I doubt that this film would be as mainstream as it is. It’s not just comic book folks who are seeing this movie, it’s everybody. Comics aren’t just for nerds anymore, or at least comic book movies aren’t. This weekend’s box office, threatening to become the biggest opening ever, is proof of that.

Besides Downey as Iron Man, and Jackson as super spy Nick Fury, Chris Evans returns as the title role from Captain America The First Avenger, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, along with Oscar winner Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye from that same film, and Scarlet Johansson returns in her role as the Black Widow from Iron Man 2. Unfortunately, negotiations broke down with The Incredible Hulk‘s Ed Norton, so the role of Doctor Bruce Banner is more than adequately filled by Mark Ruffalo. As much as I like and liked Norton in the role, I like Ruffalo even more. This is a good thing.

Also returning from the previous Marvel Cinematic Universe flicks are Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson, Stellan Skarsgard as Erik Selvig from Thor, Gwenyth Paltrow as Pepper Potts and Paul Bettany as Jarvis in the Iron Man films, and of course the big bad, Thor’s brother Loki, as played by Tom Hiddleston. Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster from Thor is mentioned but unseen. Cobie Smoulders is the perfect Maria Hill and although uncredited and only doing one very funny and wonderful line of dialogue, Lou Ferrigno voices the completely CGI Hulk. It is a stellar cast, top notch all the way, and all of the primaries – the Avengers, Fury, Loki, and the rest shine like stars when on screen. All are skillfully performed.

If I had to find fault, if I absolutely had to find a flaw in the film (other than characters or storylines I would want to see) it would be the lack of character development. But even that’s not a flaw. The four majors have had at least one movie each to explore that before we got to this point. We get sweet spotlights on the two Avengers without movies, Hawkeye and the Black Widow, displaying their talents and personalities, and Nick Fury will have his own film upcoming for us to delve more into his character. So really, on that point I can’t complain. What is really great about this is all of them come to this film fully formed. Especially in the cases of Captain America and Thor, their movies were essentially origin stories, now, here in Avengers we get to see what they can really do. These are not flaws.

I will try not to give away plot points, or any of the Easter eggs found in the film, but I will give director and co-writer Joss Whedon and his co-writer Zak Penn all the props possible for creating what is, without a doubt, the best superhero movie ever made, period. Let’s see Whedon have a Wonder Woman script or a “Firefly” sequel turned down in Hollywood now. The man, to borrow the line from Titanic, is the king of the world today. Everything was perfect, from the characters to the dialogue, the special effects, the humor, right down to the two (count ’em, two) after-credits scenes, one of which will be having fanboys and girls squeeing with delight. Marvel’s The Avengers is awesome.

The little kid in me who was mesmerized by his first Avengers comic book more than forty years ago was spellbound in the theatre. From Project Pegasus to the Black Forest to the SHIELD Helicarrier to downtown Manhattan, the Avengers were truly Earth’s Mightiest Heroes on the big screen. The first confrontations between the heroes, and the heroes and the villains, are well done and believable, not just slugfest for the fun of slugfest. When Captain America confronts Loki in Germany, I had a lump in my throat, I was like, “It’s the real Captain America.” The scene is that good.

The special effects are stunning. I love the way Thor’s hammer always returns to him, and his effects are perfect. Cap’s superhero costume, which I initially thought would look silly works wonderfully. If there’s anything cooler than the SHIELD Helicarrier, it’s the battle on board the SHIELD Helicarrier. Non-believers will see why Hawkeye is one of the coolest Avengers. The interaction between the characters is priceless, and in the final battle, their teamwork whether all together or in smaller teams is right out of the comics. It’s beautiful.

I will probably see Marvel’s The Avengers again a few more times in the theatre before it comes to Blu-Ray and DVD. Yeah, it’s that good. The 3D effects are good, but let’s keep in mind it still looks amazing in 2D, so you don’t have to sell blood to see it. Highly recommended. A definite must see for comics and non-comics fans alike. This is the movie of 2012.

Avengers Assemble!

Apparently the Superbowl was last night. Some folks were excited about the commercials. Some folks were excited about Madonna. Rumor has it there was even a pretty good football game last night. I didn’t notice, especially seeing how neither the Philadelphia Eagles nor the Dallas Cowboys were involved. But I watched last night’s Super Bowl too, but for none of the above – I watched it for The Avengers!

Yeah, baby! I absolutely can not wait until May fourth! Avengers Assemble!

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Fear Itself at Biff Bam Pop!

Today I’m guest-blogging over at Biff Bam Pop! about the latest big crossover event to come from Marvel Comics – Fear Itself.

You can check out “Fear Itself, Or Why I Don’t Like Crossovers” by clicking here. And please feel free to peruse the rest of the site while you’re there. Biff Bam Pop! has all the latest and coolest in movies, music, comics and pop culture.

And special thanks to Andrew Burns for putting this together, thanks, man!

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The Avengers

The Avengers Assemble in May 2012!

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