Robin Reed: The Disney/Marvel Shows You Don’t Know About
Sorry, this isn’t the version of Devil Dinosaur you’ll see in the cartoons this article discusses. Aw…

by Robin Reed

While the Marvel movies and the upcoming “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” show get the headlines, if you flip channels enough you will find that Disney has not wasted any opportunity to get a return on their investment in Marvel. These under-the-radar shows are animated and appear on Disney-owned cable channels. I knew about (and hate, for the cutesy comments by a cartoony Spidey) “Ultimate Spider-Man.”

I have also come across shows that are set in Japan and seem to be sub-contracted out to a Japanese animé studio. One featured Iron Man and another the X-Men. (I don’t know if Disney can use the X-Men in animation when another studio owns the movie rights. What the corporate relationships are behind the Japanese shows I couldn’t tell you.)

Yesterday, on an early Sunday morning cruise through the desolate wastes of cable TV, I stopped on a show I hadn’t seen before. “Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.” is the title. It has a fully talking and thinking Hulk teaming up with other iterations of himself, including Red Hulk, She-Hulk, and A-Bomb. A-Bomb, you say? It’s Rick Jones in blue armor. If you don’t know who Rick Jones is, I don’t have time to tell you.

The plot of the episode I saw takes the Hulks to the Savage Land, where they encounter Sauron (I always wondered how Marvel avoided trouble with the Tolkien estate), laser-toting pterodactyls, and, yes, Jack Kirby’s Devil Dinosaur.

This is all rather silly, but the reason I decided to hate the show is that once again, they went cutesy. At random moments they do the reality show interview thing, cutting to a character sitting down and taking about the events happening in the story. This is stupid enough in so-called reality shows, but does nothing for an adventure show with a plot.

Maybe kids expect it in every show now. It is proof of the unreality of reality shows. If you know anything about TV production, you know that the interview segments are done later, and the people are told what moment to comment on, and probably told what to say. They also have to pretend they don’t know what is going to happen next, even though it happened in their past.

So my review of “Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.” is that Marvel Maniacs like me may like seeing forgotten characters mentioned, but will also object to Hulk being completely rational and the plot being entirely ridiculous.

Or, in other words, as Mel Brooks might say, “Oy vey!!!”

Marvel ALL WINNERS SQUAD Begins Its Assault…On Viewers

There’s funny, and there’s not funny. Guess what’s not funny:

Click and go to the video, but be prepared for the commercial that plays first – another sign of Marvel’s total misperception of the market

This is a joke, right?

Wait, let’s put it another way: This better be a joke.

Or, to be more critic-like:

Over the years, no company has proven itself more inept at self-parody than Marvel. Here, in the first episode of its new ALL WINNERS SQUAD animated interweb series, Not-So-Mighty Marvel upholds its tradition.

Oh, Howard, we are sooo sorry.

Disney Sends Out Feelers for an AVENGERS TV Series

The studio’s trying to get a reading on how this will go down with the audience. At least, that’s the only explanation we can come up with for this particular interweb speculation:

ABC And Marvel Eying ‘Avengers’-Themed TV Series – by Nellie Andreeva (Deadline.Com)

EXCLUSIVE: After scoring huge at the box office with its Avengers movie, Marvel is looking to explore the mythology on the small screen too. I’ve learned that Marvel’s TV division is in conversation with ABC and ABC Studios about doing a drama series in the Avengers world. I hear that the connection to the Avengers franchise would be light as the project is expected to be set in the universe and feature some of its themes and feel, but may not include any characters from Joss Whedon’s blockbuster.

I hear the project is in a nascent stage, described as “a kernel of an idea,” with a number of scenarios being explored, including a high-concept cop show. Marvel has already given the Avengers the animated treatment with Disney XD’s The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and the upcoming Avengers Assemble.

Establishing a primetime foothold has been a priority for Disney-owned Marvel. The company has developed several projects for ABC Studios over the last couple of years, one of which, a Hulk series, is still in the works. Search is under way for a new writer to pen the project.

Mighty Marvel fans that we may be (Our Boss, LB, was a charter member of “The Merry Marvel Marching Society” back in the day and still brags about the “No Prize” Stan Lee sent him), the floating of this concept isn’t affecting us much. Here’s what we have to say to whomever’s in charge:

“Yo, dood, we’ve heard a lot of good ideas from the Marvel branch of the Disney family over the years and have learned the hard way that it’s the execution that counts. Make the move. Commit. Get that writer the ‘search is under way for,’ and then we’ll see.”

EDITED BY LB TO ADD: Kind of a weak ending here, it seems to me. C’mon, minions, shorter and funnier next time, got that?

THOR Film Review

by Larry Brody

Yes, I know. I’m late seeing this, but, thank the Great God Netflix, see it I did.

And I thought it was great.

Not as much action as Wheedon’s AVENGERS. Nor as much comedy, but to quote another classic, “What’s there is cherce.”

Anyone remember the advertising tag line from Christopher Reeve’s first SUPERMAN movie: “You’ll believe a man can fly.”

The recent crop of Marvel films makes me believe superheroes are real.

No kid – especially not this one, whose first comic book was the issue of the original All Star Comics where the Justice Society went into the future – could have asked for more.