When Marvel and Disney first announced the Avengers: Earth Mightiest Heroes animated series, it sounded like we were in for a treat. With Chris Yost on board and a wide cast of characters, this is what comic fans would want. The only real complaint I heard was the show was on the Disney XD channel, one that not everyone gets. With this week's release of Volume 3 and 4, you are now able to watch the complete first season.
Yes this means the season has been split over four DVD releases but you do get more than just a few episodes on each disc. Volume 3 had episodes 14 through 19 (with a running time of 132 minutes) and Volume 4 has episodes 20 through 26 (with a running time of 148 minutes). If there was any doubt whether or not this adaptation would be successful, I think these final episodes should put those concerns to rest.== TEASER ==
The early episodes in the series sometimes felt a little slow but that's only because I'm familiar with the characters. With these volumes, the characters have been established and the action is intense. There is a good mix in the story lines and there will be times you'll be surprised and what the show's writers are beginning to take on. We know there are decades of continuity with the team but the show does a great job in covering the basics and classic elements while hinting at some major current plots. This show can be very ambitious at times.
That being said, I can't say I absolutely loved every single episode. My main problem are the episodes focused on Thor and Asgard. I do like Thor but sometimes I'm ready to move on. I did love the Kang the Conqueror episodes along with the Ultron ones. The great thing about the show is with so many characters on the team, you get a good mix on the focus. You won't really feel like anyone is getting lost in the background and it adds so much variety to the show.
The voice actors of the show do a big part in bringing the characters to life. You do get a sense that they don't always get along and are still getting used to acting as a team. Many of the actors have appeared on other shows. The talent includes Eric Loomis (Shin Chan) as Iron Man, Rick D. Wasserman (Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated!) as Thor, Fred Tatasciore (Kung Fu Panda 2) as Hulk, Brian Blossom (G.I. Joe: Renegades) as Captain America, Wally Wingert (Family Guy) as Ant Man, Colleen O'Shaugnessey (Cars 2, Toy Story 3) as Wasp and Alex Desert (Swingers, High Fidelity) as Nick Fury.
Besides the episodes, each volume has one piece in the special features section. Labeled as "The Avengers Unmasked," you basically get a commentary/hidden facts feature on two select episodes. For Volume 3 it's episdoe 14, "Masters of Evil" and for Volume 4 it's episode 21, "Hail, Hydra!" They're not spectacular in terms of special features but a nice reminder that those involved with the show know what they're working with. They know the history of the characters and that is the most important thing. And the episodes pretty much speak for themselves.
Each volume has a suggest retail price of $19.99 which means you'll find it cheaper online and certain retailers. With each running well over two hours and the episodes you get, it's a good price. Blu-ray would obviously have made this the perfect release but they are in widescreen and enhanced for 16x9 televisions. They do look good on an HD TV. Each volume has Dolby Digital 5.1 Sound as well so you can crank up the volume.
Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes is off to a great start. I'm ready for some new episodes and love the fact that they've given hints towards Secret Invasion and Bucky as the Winter Soldier. I know we'd all love a complete box set with all the episodes but since they're all available on four volumes, it'd be hard to pass them by, especially if you have the first two volumes. There's been no word whatsoever about a complete box set so you could be waiting a while if you resist these. If you haven't seen the episodes because you don't get Disney XD, you really should run out and pick them up.