|The One That Broke Me
It’s been a weird five months. I went on vacation in September for like three weeks and… then it was January? The point is, for various reasons, this project bogged down, and one of the big reasons was Super Hero Squad
Because I have to admit defeat. Despite a ton of free time on and around my vacation, SHS beat me. I lasted 11 episodes out of a total of 52 before I threw in the towel. And the worst part is, it’s not even because the show is bad. Bad shows you can laugh at and pick apart. SHS is a good show for a very specific audience, and that audience is eight year olds.
You know how a lot of animated stuff is described as “for kids, but there’s a lot of stuff in there for the adults, too”? Super Hero Squad doesn’t have that. And that’s fine! It doesn’t have to! But it makes watching it for this project such a chore and such a grind through an endless series of fart and booger jokes and some unfortunate decisions on handling female characters (Ms. Marvel as bossy helicarrier “mom”) that I had to tap out and, eventually, decide to move on to Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.
Which is just… good. It’s a solid adaptation of Avengers, applying a mix of movie-inspired (mostly just Iron Man) and comics characters adapting a series of classic Avengers stories, including a bunch of Kang stuff, Secret Invasion, Red Hulk, the Kree, and a lengthy Asgardian arc.
I mean, it’s not perfect. They establish the premise of the show right at the start - all the supervillains escape at the same time from all the superprisons and a team of heroes is formed to catch them - and then almost immediately forget about it so they can do the classic comics stories.
And since it’s the early 2010’s, the first half of the series has One Girl (Wasp) who’s less powerful than everyone and is frequently in the role of being rescued, being ineffective, being undermined, and/or trying to figure out what her relationship with Hank Pym is. It’s not all the time, at least, and it gets better once they introduce Ms. Marvel, but it’s still noticeable.’
Other plot threads seem to get dropped for no good reason, like when they write Hulk out for like half of the second season as part of Secret Invasion and then never mention it until it’s time to bring him back to wrap the Red Hulk story.
But overall, very watchable, very competent, nothing particularly embarrassing, Next up is Ultimate Spider-Man. Four, count em, FOUR 26-episode seasons of Nick Fury teaching High School Spidey and his team of fellow teen heroes how to be heroes. But it looks great and the writing is snappy and breezy.