DVD Review: ‘Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’ Volume 1 and 2

Iron Man is my favorite superhero of all time. Brilliant, fearless and flawed. A perfect example of the “Marvel Way” of creating characters and storytelling. That said, The Avengers is my supergroup of choice. Not only do those characters have deep rooted issues but they are are all individuals forgoing the route of the X-men and The Fantastic Four that have team uniforms. They are strong willed individuals who come together to fight for the common good while at times having a fair amount of friction in between their egos. They mimic life “in the office”. Some of them get along ok, while others… well, you know where I’m going with that one. The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Volume 1 and 2 capture the essence of my favorite band of heroes. Great animation, voice acting, sound design and excellent writing make this series perfect for the entire family.

It’s not just kids stuff… The animation has got attitude. Gone are the days of the cheesy “Amazing Friends” style of the 1980s. Animators chose a slightly exaggerated comic look and married elements of Japanese anime for a very edgy feel. Supervising producer Joshua Fine wanted to make a bridge the Marvel film characters with the comic book Marvel Universe. I believe he and his staff did a brilliant job in doing just that. Iconic characters had their signature looks and secondary characters who make brief appearances in the series are easily recognizable. This makes this series extremely accessable to all fans – those who are hardcore fans of the books and those who know of the characters strictly from the feature films.

Who are The Avengers? They are Earth’s mightiest heroes, formed to fight the foes no single hero could withstand. The Avengers are the most prestigious and powerful super-hero team in the world, an ever-shifting assemblage of super-beings, adventurers and crime fighters devoted to protecting the planet from menaces beyond the scope of conventional authorities. – Marvel Universe Wiki

The voice acting is equally as good.  Veteran voice actors include Rick D. Wasserman (Planet Hulk, Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, “House M.D.”) as Thor, Brian Bloom (The A Team, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2) as Captain America, Fred Tatasciore (Tron: Evolution, Hulk Vs., “Wolverine and the X-Men”) as The Hulk, Wally Wingert (“The Family Guy,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”) as Ant Man, and Phil Lamarr (“Mad TV,” “Futurama”) as Jarvis. I especially like the job Eric Loomis did voicing Iron Man/Tony Stark channeling Robert Downey Jr.’s inflections and cocky attitude from the recent blockbusters.

Being a bit of an audiophile myself, I must give props to the sound designers. Mike Draghi and his team did an outstanding job with the sound effects with perfect mixes of explosions, gun fire and those famous Iron Man repulsor beams. Coupled with those sound effects is the original music by Guy Michelmore adding the perfect vibe and further enhancing the story.

Speaking of story, veteran comic book writer Christopher Yost, represented the source material well. The origin episodes of each of the principal Avengers were well done. Entertaining, quick and to the point. Other live action series could do well to follow this example. They crammed a lot into every episode with perfect pacing. I really appreciated how each story has a few layers of depth as well as story arcs that span over several episodes. I never thought the series watered story lines down too much for a younger audience. I eagerly looked forward to each new episode and look forward to the next release.

Congratulations to Marvel Animation, Joshua Fine and the team who put The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes series together. These DVDs make great primer if you’re looking to get the rest of your family introduced into the Marvel Universe and all of its connective tissue. The well told stories and killer animation have made me a “true believer” in your series and look forward to the next season! Excelsior!

The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Volume 1 and 2 is in stores NOW. The series returns to Disney XD with all-new episodes beginning Sunday, May 15! Don’t forget you can download all the episodes aired so far right now on iTunes. More on Marvel.com!

Suggested Retail Price: Volume 1 – Single Disc DVD = $19.99 U.S.
Suggested Retail Price: Volume 2 – Single Disc DVD = $19.99 U.S.
Rated: TV-Y7 (*Bonus materials not rated)
Run Time: Volume 1 – Approximately 154 minutes (seven 22-minute episodes)
Run Time: Volume 2 – Approximately 132 minutes (six 22-minute episodes)
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 (16×9 widescreen)
Sound: English 5.1 Dolby Digital Sound
Languages: English & Spanish


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