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David Medinnus

Subj: Re: Summary and Commentary!
Posted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 at 11:06:39 am EDT (Viewed 11 times)
Reply Subj: Summary and Commentary!
Posted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 05:54:13 pm EDT (Viewed 17 times)

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Avengers: EMH #09 - "Living Legend"

Director: Vinton Heuck
Writers: Kevin Burke, Chris Wyatt


Microhero By Bob Bradley!The Avengers are searching for the Hulk in the frozen north, when they come across Captain America, frozen since World War II. They take Captain America back to New York City, but as they thaw him out, Captain America escapes, thinking they're all HYDRA stooges. Meanwhile, the Black Panther breaks into the Avengers Mansion, where he hacks into the Avengers personnel files.

The Avengers try and convince Captain America to come with them at Ellis Island, but it isn't until the Wasp shows Cap his memorial statue that he agrees to return with them. Zemo returns to the HYDRA headquarters, where he confronts Baron Von Strucker about usurping HYDRA from him. When Zemo finds out that Captain America is alive, he cedes HYDRA to Von Strucker, vowing to destroy Captain America. During WWII, Captain America exposed Zemo to Virus X, which sealed Zemo's mask to his head. Zemo heads to Arnim Zola, where the two plot to destroy Captain America and his new allies.

At the Mansion, the Avengers try and help Captain America settle into the modern era. Cap, doing the whole "...everything, everyone I know... is gone" bit, walks away, leaving his shield on the table. Alerts about unidentified Doughboy-esque monsters attacking Ellis Island come in, and as the Black Panther watches from the shadows above, the Avengers are off to battle!
At the Mansion, Cap broods until Doughboy attacks himself and the Wasp inside the Mansion. Wasp blows Doughboy up from the inside-out, but is zapped into unconsciousness by Baron Zemo; Doughboy was just a distraction so that Baron Zemo could enter the Mansion. Baron Zemo and Captain America (sans shield) battle, and Cap is down as Zemo taunts him about being a relic of the past, while Zemo has continued to make himself stronger. The fatal blade comes down... and its blocked by the shield? The Black Panther has come out of hiding, and saved Captain America by tossing him the shield, just in time! Captain America rallies, and the fight against Baron Zemo continues! On the ropes, Zemo tosses an explosive device at the Wasp's body, and while Captain America runs to shield her from the blast, Zemo escapes.

Back at Ellis Island, the giant Doughboy creatures are defeating Iron Man, Giant Man, and Thor until Captain America and Wasp arrive to help. Pym figures out that Wasp's blasts are the right energy signature against Zola's monsters, and after Iron Man reconfigures his weapons, the creature disintegrates. The Avengers and Cap return to the Mansion.
Tony Stark extends an invitation for Captain America to join the Avengers, and Cap accepts. Zemo is made an offer by the Enchantress and the Executioner...


My first thought in this episode is how rich the storyline is; its really hard to come up with a short summary, without actually cutting important stuff out. Christopher Yost (et al) is doing an excellent job of adapting the formative adventures of the Avengers into a modernized cohesive whole. Those familiar with the Avengers history will find many familiar echoes.

As a long-time Winghead, I am... well, perhaps not happy with all the changes they've made to the Captain America legend to bring it up to date, dodge certain restrictions, and still be recognizable. I admit, with the earlier abortive attempt at an Avengers cartoon, I was grateful that the "Big Three" had been excluded. Not so with this show; while there are certainly changes, the flavor and essential elements have been preserved, mostly to account for a cohesive, logical narrative. The role of Zemo, pere and fils, is fulfilled here by just the father, who has survived the time since World War II because of his and Arnim Zola's scientific genius. He is Captain America's physical equal, and his intellectual superior; in every way he is the twisted, evil mirror, the yang to Cap's yin.

The essential elements to the Avengers' early history with Captain America are here, sans the rather insipid alien menace; the "Man Out of Time" card is here, the "Bucky is dead" card is here. Neither of these cards is over-played; the heavy-handed melodrama of the Stan Lee era has given way to a much more realistic tone. Also, replacing the Medusa/alien threat with Zemo lets us progress deeper into the series' mythos. Nothing is wasted, which is why the episode feels so fully-packed. The shield use sequences are masterfully choreographed, although I swear when he leaped at Zemo's bomb to protect Wasp, I could have sworn he planted his shield just short of her body.... *snickers*

For more Avengers: EMH artwork, discussion, character profiles, links, et cetera, please join us at Avengers - Earth's Mightiest Forum!

I really enjoyed this episode. It was just flat out good to see Cap on TV again. It’s always good to see your favorite hero being his/her awesome self.

The animation of Cap, and most of the other characters, are very well done. Granted it’s not the level of JLU animation (Which I do consider to be the top), but it’s a better overall product for both kids and adults than when JLA started. This series walks the fine line of kids vs. adults and so far has done it very well. That alone is a great accomplishment.

The hardest thing for this series, or any comic animated/movie series for that matter, is to get past continuity. With each episode, I find myself commenting on parts of the episode based on YEARS of comic history (“That’s not how it happened. That character would never do that. This character would be able to do this by him/her self. How did they ignore this?”). I was less than pleased with some of the plot-happenings with prior episodes, but then I realized I’m basing my thinking on a long-history of comic happenings. It’s got to be very hard to try to keep fans of each respective character happy and for the most part, they have done a good job, while trying to give outs for those that disagree with story happenings.

I will admit that I was less than pleased to see Cap needing assistance from the Panther to defeat Zemo (“Cap can take Zemo with ease!”), but I’m basing that on prior comic happenings. In this episode, it’s stated that Zemo is Cap’s equal physically and possibly even more so mentally AND he had a sword, his preferred weapon, to Cap being unarmed. Also, Cap could have blocked his sword thrust somehow or absorbed some damage in order to keep fighting, before his shield was thrown PERFECTLY onto his arm, but again, but the assist was given and this is what it was. Also, I think I would have accepted this fight a bit better if it was the Skull and not Zemo, but that’s comic history taking.

I will say that I can see how Thor fans would be less than pleased with their favorite hero’s showing thus far (He’s been punked out at least once per episode). They give him a little nod, than they have him get chumped.

Of course, the same could be said of Iron Man, Wasp and Pym, but I digress….

I also can see how with his appearances, you can make a case that much like Wolverine and the X-Men, this series could have been called Hulk and the Avengers, but I’ll try to not go down that road.

All and all, it as a very enjoyable show and this was a very enjoyable episode. Like I said, it’s just always good to see your favorite hero in action.

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