I’m looking forward to this show because I used to watch it in high school alongside Ultimate Spider-Man and Avengers Assembled, which I will review next. I know I haven’t seen every single episode, but I’m sure I’ve seen a good chunk of them since there’s only 2 seasons. Watching it all and in order will be fun and we’ll see how much of it I actually remember, and how much ties into the other two shows. This show aired from 2013-2014 and had 26 episodes per season.
Season 1: After watching the Ultimate Spider-Man I have to say I was fairly disappointed in the quality of this show in comparison. The season started hard and fast, with no clear pacing until about half-way through the season. The plot created confusion throughout as some episodes were following a clear order and plot while others were not. Regardless of the intended audience, a show should have a clear storyline and order. The ending especially created confusion as the Hulks were lost in space, but then they had Christmas dinner with the Guardians back at the diner in Vista Verde. The show did have unique aspects to it and featured characters and plots I enjoyed throughout. It was filmed like a mockumentary/vlog, where each character would share their feelings on what was happening, they’d be filmed at all times with the cameras following them around, and Hulk ending each episode with “Hulk Out.” Stan Lee was the mayor of the town, which is funny because he’s also a janitor at Peter’s high school at the same time! A few smaller points of interest in the season were that they have a pet T-Rex called Devil, there are a lot of True Believers references, and Deathlok (who I’m pretty sure was meant to be Cable) appeared. Lilandra, Queen of the Shi’ar, made an appearance in the end and if you’ll remember from my Classic X-Men series review she was Xavier’s mental lover who took him away to space to live in the show’s wrap-up. There was an episode that featured Impossible Man who I hate with a burning passion, so I skipped that episode entirely because I’m not putting myself through that. Spider-Man made several appearances and somewhat explained the interaction with the Collector from his show, but it’s a huge flaw to have such an important plot point spread between several shows and expecting the audience to be keeping up with both shows to understand important plot points. He did take off his mask at one point but they blurred out his face which doesn’t make sense since they’re clearly expecting the audience to be watching both shows at the same time. They also joked about how Venom is actually created in the comics vs how he was created in this show which was nice! The shows seem to be fairly hyper-aware of their differences from the comics. Overall, this season could’ve been strong and the best episodes were the ones that featured other characters.
Season 2: This season continues the lost in space plot-line but it also continues to be fairly muddled. There are a few episodes where they’re back on Earth before they’ve actually returned to Earth, then they have an entire episode that brings them back to Earth. I checked online to confirm this is the correct episode order, and it is, which means the show wasn’t planned out well. The show does continue in the mockumentary/vlog style, but this time A-Bomb breaks the fourth wall towards the actual audience instead of his fake audience, as he references “season one” a few times and notes a few other things that would only stand out to us as the audience. The vlogs continue to end with “Hulk Out” as well, so at least there is consistency. This season introduced less new characters and focused on old enemies with vendettas, which is good for plot development. However, I would hardly consider the Wrecking Crew to be a serious threat or count them as legitimate super villains. As some other characters were featured in the season, there are some things I want to share about them. Bruce Banner was featured briefly and he’s super tedious, so it’s a good thing they didn’t keep him around for long. In the episode featuring the Super Apes, Red Hulk stole a line from Planet of the Apes: “Take your stinking paws off me you damn dirty ape!” except he said darn instead of damn because it’s still a kids show. One episode featured Hercules and I wanted to share this fun fact from the comics: Hercules and Wolverine are lovers in one plot-line. The “days of future SMASH” story-line had some issues as well because either the future should be constantly changing as Hulk travels through time, or not changing at all. It was difficult to follow along with the present and the past, it would’ve been beneficial for it to only focus on the past. I actually started skipping the parts that showed the present because it didn’t make sense. Thankfully the show didn’t end with that storyline and had a few episodes after with some decent plot-lines and a strong ending.
Overall: This show I would recommend as more of a background show instead of watching with dedications. It still has good qualities and episodes worth watching, but it’s not as strong as it could have been and struggles in the first half of the first season. The pacing is a bit all over the place and the plot lines are not well-thought out in order of presentation. At least none of the stories rely on the audience having watched the other shows to know what’s happening, like the Collector confusion is the Spider-Man show. And, even though the show overlaps with the others, some of the character designs are different which doesn’t make much sense. They also don’t necessarily need to introduce characters everytime they appear if they’ve been introduced before because, as mentioned before, they seem to be expecting audiences to be watching everything consistently. The Leader is a bit tedious as well because he talks a big talk for someone who can’t seem to successfully accomplish anything. There is one aspect to the show that I think stood out: Jen gives really good advice for all viewers to apply to their life. If you don’t watch the show, it’s worth it to look up some of her quotes and see if any of them inspire you!
There were also a lot of other Marvel characters featured, some briefly and some made recurring appearances. In order of appearance they were J. Jonah Jameson, Annihilus, The Leader, Blastaar, Iron Man, Spider-Man, The Thing, The Collector, Donald Duck, Ego, Sauron, Batroc the Leaper, Thor, Laufey, Ymir, the Moloids, Mole Man, Wolverine, the Wendigo King, The Wrecking Crew, Doc Sampson, Doctor Doom, Venom, Doctor Octopus, Terrax, Galactus, Fury, The Watcher, Abomination, Impossible Man (HATE HIM), Hogun, Fandral, Volstagg, Malekith, Heimdall, Loki, Doctor Strange, Dormammu, Deathlok, Super-Skrull, Crystal, Triton, Lockjaw, Medusa, Karnak, Black Bolt, Maximus, Gorgon, Arkon the hunter, Invisible Woman, Human Torch, Mr. Fantastic, Captain America, Korg, Meik, Rocket, Gamora, Drax, Groot, Starlord, Lilandra Queen of the Shi-ar, The Supreme Intelligence, Ronan the Accuser, Firelord, Frankenstein’s Monster, The Living Mummy, Blade, Man Thing, Werewolf by Night, Silver Surfer, Null, High Evolutionary, Druffs, Xemnu, Grey Hulk, Super Apes, Red Ghost, Hercules, Pluto, Charon, Betty Ross, Bruce Banner, The Mekkens, Mainframe, Odin, Dracula, Red Skull, and Ghost Rider.
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