Category Archives: jeph loeb

Avengers Assemble? Groan…

I have talked about my issues with the amazing “Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” being canceled here before. I had resolved not to bitch about the new series “Avengers Assemble” until I actually saw it.

Here’s thirty-one seconds that have made me nothing but depressed:


“Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” made me excited, every image I saw, every clip I watched, made me so excited for the series. This does nothing for me. And the Falcon talking like a teenaged reject from Jeph Loeb’s “Ultimate Spider-Man” really makes me not want to even try to watch this thing…

A sneak peek of the first two episodes airs on Sunday morning, May 26th, so we can all see for ourselves. I don’t have high hopes…

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…

How to Save Heroes

The TV series “Heroes” has outlived its welcome for most of us. What started as a hopeful presentation of superheroes into mainstream dram television has now deteriorated into nonsense and derision from its own desired fanbase. In recent weeks however the series may have gotten a brief reprieve from cancellation thanks to Jay Leno forcing NBC to find five more hours of prime time programming every week. If it’s going to stay on the air however, there have to be changes. Here are my thoughts on how to save “Heroes.”

Let Hiro be Hiro. He works best as fun and powerful, not sick, not dead, not lost, not amnesiac. His exuberance with his powers, his joy at using them, and his determination to be a hero is one of the great charms of the character, and of the series.

In a similar vein, let Matt and Peter be the good guys they should be. We love them when they are on point and positive – and we want to change the channel when they are obsessive and self-doubting. We want heroes we can root for.

Enough Sylar already. A little goes a long way. The show isn’t and shouldn’t be about him. The show is called “Heroes” for a reason. And yes, I know that heroes are defined by their villains, but ease up on the guy, will you?

Enough with the carnival. Sorry, but it’s way too Circus of Crime/Brotherhood of Evil/Mutant Utopia for me. Robert Knepper is a hell of a great actor, but he’s no Magneto.

Speaking of bad guys, bring back HRG as a bad guy. He was always a better bad guy than he was a good guy. Want to give Claire some depth and edge? There you go, make Daddy back into the beast we feared in the first four or five episodes.

More Star Trek cameos would not be frowned upon. This is a good thing.

On the same subject, sort of, embrace the comic book and genre references. It’s what we love about Hiro, it’s what half of your audience is into, and look what it’s done for “Big Bang Theory.”

Get Jeph Loeb out and get Bryan Fuller back in. No, wait, they tried that…

Less season long continuity that not only feels like it was developed in the “Lost” writing sessions, but even we know they have no idea how it ends. Think like a Silver Age comic book and do single episode stories. Just a hint, single episode stories get Emmys, whole seasons don’t.

Let the good guys win every once in a while. As I said, we want someone to root for.

More superhero humanism and less superhero deconstructionism, and definitely no more emo characters. No one likes whiny metahumans.

This isn’t Watchmen. Everything doesn’t have to be so dark and dismal all the time. Be bright, be shiny, be positive – be “Heroes.”

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Quickies 11-27-2009

Superman Batman Public Enemies ~ Fun fights and pretty colors if all you want to see superheroes and super-villains slugging it out. If you’re looking for a plot, keep in mind this is based on Jeph Loeb’s Superman Batman comic, which sadly lacked a coherent one. The look of the feature is a bit bizarre as the designs were based on Ed McGuiness’ art from the series. Good rental or for free, not a purchase.

The Brothers Bloom ~ An exciting, funny, sweet and slightly predictable caper with great performances from all involved. Highly recommended.

Casshern ~ Visually stunning remake of a 1970s anime depicts a war-torn future using live actors and CGI backgrounds and special effects in the style of Sky Captain and Watchmen. Great to look at but the plot has some holes in it and what little is there we’ve seen before.

The Company of Wolves ~ An interesting if seemingly low budget look at the early work of Neil Jordan and Anton Furst, this is a tacky but firmly adult horror version of the original Little Red Riding Hood story with werewolves, the devil and other assorted terrors thrown in just for kicks. Moody and psychological story within a story stuff that’s more pseudo-intellectual than actual intellectual. Pass on it unless you’re interested in film design and production.

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Ultimates 3 #3 Reviewed at Avengers Forever

“Oh Cho!” – my comic book review of the Ultimates 3 #3, by Jeph Loeb and Joe Madureira, is now online at Avengers Forever.

I learned this from watching “Bambi”… If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. In that spirit, let me just say that Frank Cho draws an amazing Scarlet Witch on alternate covers of Ultimates 3 #3 – check out my review here:

http://www.avengersforever.org/reviews/default.asp?RID=556

Enjoy!

If you want to discuss this review, this issue or anything Avengers, please check out the Avengers Forever Forum.

And if you’d like to make a donation to help keep the Avengers Forever website as mighty as ever, click here.

Thanks!

Ultimates 3 #2 Reviewed

“Second Chances” – my comic book review of the Ultimates 3 #2, by Jeph Loeb and Joe Madureira, is now online at Avengers Forever.

I’m always willing to admit when I’m wrong… Ultimates 3 is not a very good comic book series – check out my review here:

http://www.avengersforever.org/reviews/default.asp?RID=584

Enjoy!

If you want to discuss this review, this issue or anything Avengers, please check out the Avengers Forever Forum.

And if you’d like to make a donation to help keep the Avengers Forever website as mighty as ever, click here.

Thanks!

Ultimates 3 #1 Reviewed

“Fanboy Free-For-All” – my comic book review of Ultimates 3 #1, by Jeph Loeb and Joe Madureira, is now online at Avengers Forever.

Venom attacks the Ultimates, Hawkeye acts reckless, Captain America thinks old, the Wasp barks orders, Tony Stark drinks, and Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch go for a walk in New York City, all this and Thor and Valkyrie lock lips too – check out my review here: http://www.avengersforever.org/reviews/default.asp?RID=556.

Enjoy!

And if you’d like to make a donation to help keep the Avengers Forever website as mighty as ever, click here. Thanks!