View Single Post
Old July 21 2013, 08:52 PM   #40
Christopher's Avatar
Re: Marvel's Avengers Assemble animated series discussion

I wasn't sure I wanted to watch AA this week, but I needed a distraction at 11 AM rolled around, so I turned it on. A minute or so into a sequence of the various Avengers going about everyday life -- in full costume for some reason -- there was a bit with Captain America punching a heavy bag, hitting it hard enough to break the chain, and then picking up another from a row of them.

I was annoyed enough to turn the TV off and walk away. I mean, that scene in The Avengers of Cap with all the punching bags was meaningful. It was a powerful moment that summed up Steve's frustration at being a man out of time. Its significance came from its character context, from where Steve Rogers was at that moment in his life. But here it was just an incidental bit, like we were supposed to believe this was just what Cap did every day, like it meant nothing but "Ooh, he's real strong so he breaks heavy bags." These people making the show, they just went, "Uhh, the movie had Cap do that punching-bag thing, so let's copy that." Just form and no substance, copying the surface of something from a popular movie without any regard for why it worked or what it meant. It underlined just how derivative and hollow and mercenary this show is.

I mean, yeah, it's common enough for superhero cartoons -- or even the core comics -- to do things that reflect a recent, popular film adaptation. Batman: The Animated Series had to use Tim Burtonesque designs for Catwoman and Penguin. X-Men Evolution gave Xavier an English accent. The Batman depicted a very Morgan Freeman-like Lucius Fox and gave him the same tech-support/confidante role he had in Batman Begins. But these shows had plenty of original ideas of their own, and their borrowings weren't as superficial as copying actual lines of dialogue and action beats. I don't think I've ever seen a show that was so crudely, shallowly imitative as Avengers Assemble.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
Christopher is offline   Reply With Quote