As a diehard Marvophile (lover of Marv Albert?), I can’t get enough of stories from the Marvel Universe. For the most part, I get my fix from the trade paperbacks this blog is dedicated to, but every so often a Marvel movie comes along and I have a chance to dive into Marvel through film. Of course, as anyone who’s seen this decade’s run of Marvel movies knows, the quality of the films is a seriously mixed bag. I mean, it’s a bag full of delicious chocolate turtles (Iron Man), mind-blowingly awesome cheesecake (X-Men 2), and then just pure and unfiltered dog shit (Elektra, X-Men 3, many others). But that’s really a topic for another time.
The point is, in between the comic book renaissance of this decade and a handful of excellent Marvel films, it’s easy to overlook one particular medium of story: the animated TV series.
This is a shame because animated TV series are one of the single best ways to welcome newcomers to the Marvel Universe. I grew up loving the X-Men and Spider-Man cartoons, and recently I feel head over heals for the Spectacular Spider-Man series on Disney XD.
Alas, this excellent ode to the wall-crawler was canceled (in part due to Marvel’s ascension to Disney ownership), and I may need to pour out a blog post for the series at some point. In the meantime, though, all I need is an excellent animated series to pick up right where Spectacular left off. And it would seem that this October 20, Marvel plans to offer just that.
On Disney XD, Marvel animated studios will begin airing Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, a show preparing for the world for the highly anticipated Avengers film in 2012. If you’re like me and can not wait, Marvel has been kind enough to offer microepisodes through their website.
Initially, I was skeptical of these microepisodes. I figured they would just be lazily tossed together filler to generate mild interest in the TV series. I’m glad Marvel has proven me as wrong as they have.
These microepisodes are pretty terrific. They build a pre-Avengers backdrop in five minute bursts of wit and action. Better yet, they even make an Ant-Man fight scene really fun to watch.
Don’t just take my word for it: Watch Avengers microepisodes here. As of this writing, the episodes were up to number 13, but for some strange reason, the TV player only goes up to 9. Either way, you’ll want to watch as many as you can and get your DVR ready for Oct. 20.