is a clear winner in any animation category. It's just on a level all its own.
After that, I'd go with Young Justice
, then Green Lantern
As for Ben 10
, it's a mixed bag. I never got heavily into the original show. I liked the first couple of seasons of Alien Force
a lot, since they went in a more mature and sophisticated direction, but it seems a lot of the franchise's fans thought it was too great a departure, so they changed it after that, and AF season 3 and Ultimate Alien
weren't quite as good. But that whole 5-season run of Ben 10
in the hands of Glen Murakami and Dwayne McDuffie was one of the best-looking animated shows on TV and consistently well-made. Next season they'll be doing a new version called Ben 10: Omniverse
with a completely different art style and writing team (since McDuffie is no longer with us and Murakami is doing Beware the Batman
). I don't know what to make of that, but I doubt I'll like it as much.
has a great SF premise and is often intriguing, but it often goes too much for hip teenage attitude or whatever and then it's more annoying. And in this past season they had a tendency to introduce major, profound changes in the characters or story and then fail to follow up on them. (Particularly with Agent Six -- he seemed to admit his feelings for Holiday, then that was ignored, then his memory was wiped for good, but then they did the whole time-jump thing and the changes in Six were forgotten.) And now Cartoon Network seems to have pulled it from the air with seven unaired episodes remaining and no word on whether they'll ever air them.
I wouldn't rank any of the Marvel shows as high as the shows on Cartoon Network. Avengers
is good in its way, but I find the look too cartoony and the animation a bit clunky compared to Warner Bros. Animation's usual standard, and the character development tends to take a back seat to nonstop action. So it's just not as good as it deserves to be.
As for Ultimate Spider-Man
, it's entertaining, but a mixed bag. I definitely prefer its design style to that of The Spectacular Spider-Man
, and its animation is almost as good, but I don't like the storytelling or the tone as much.
Then there's Iron Man: Armored Adventures
. It's probably the weakest of the bunch, especially where the animation is concerned, but it's still decent most of the time.
As for Thundercats
, I lost interest in it pretty quickly. It looks great, it has good music, and it had a couple of really impressive episodes early on, but they were in the minority and most of the episodes I saw were much weaker in plot than execution. It's trying to be like Avatar
, but it only comes close in style. In substance, it's a lot shallower and harder to take seriously. And the gratuitous oversexualization of the show's sole adult female character annoys me.