Ok so I finally watched all the Marvel Animated Movies in the end I watched up to 5 in one day and now have a head full of marvel goodness. I am a big fan of animation not just Japanese Anime and have followed nearly all the animations that were based on comic books. I am also a Marvel fan especially X-men cartoons and I collect the Wolverine origins comic series as well as New Avengers and Gotham City Sirens. So I would natural have gotten a hold on any Marvel film and these animation are generally better than the live action films that have been made over the last few years, with the exception of Iron Man, Thor and the Incredible Hulk (Edward Norton one) the Marvel live actions haven’t been great some entertain but lack any of the qualities that made the comics great or are basically cash cows, made for idiots and children and favour spectacle and special effects rather than true story telling or the gritty world these characters actually inhabit. The one thing the animated movie do is actually feel a lot more like the comic, I mean Hulk vs. Wolverine was a hundred times better than Wolverine: Origins, which was so wrong!!! So let me introduce you to the films in the order I enjoyed them.
Hulk vs. Thor/Wolverine – The plot for Vs. Thor is that for ages, Odin has protected his kingdom of Asgard. But every winter, the All-Father must rest and regain his strength for one week. During this time, all of Asgard’s foes (including trolls, giants, dark elves, and demons) try to claim the realm for their own, but they are always stopped by Odin’s son, the mighty Thor, albeit with the loss of many brave Asgardian warriors. Loki, god of mischief, has kidnapped Dr. Bruce Banner and brought him to Asgard with the help of Amora, once Thor’s lover, now the super villain known as the Enchantress. Loki makes Banner angry and he changes into the Hulk. The Enchantress then casts a spell over the Hulk which separates Banner from his monstrous alter-ego and grants Loki control over the Hulk’s body.
The plot for Vs. Wolverine starts with a prologue, Wolverine states that “I’m the best at what I do, but what I do isn’t very nice.” Wolverine wakes up dazed and confused in a crater in the mountains, as he asks, “What the hell happened?” he hears a roar in the distance. Just then the Hulk jumps over a cliff and lands in front of him, roaring in his face. Wolverine simply replies “Oh yeah…” The story then rewinds back to the events prior to this. Department H had sent in Wolverine to track down a mysterious beast known by the US Military as the Hulk, who is rampaging across the Canadian wilderness.
Planet Hulk - The Hulk awakes on board a shuttle which crashes on the planet Sakaar. Imperial guards appear and attach an obedience disk to the Hulk, and is able to communicate. From here the Hulk later wakes up on an imperial transport en-route to a coliseum, weakened after coming through the portal and imprisoned with Hiroim, Korg, Miek, Elloe Kaifi, Lavin Skee, an Android and a few hived natives. The slaves are forced to fight for their freedom in a succession of 3 fights. Lavin Skee takes charge, making battle plans for when they reach the coliseum for which Hulk shows no interest. Their first opponents are Korg’s brothers. Despite Korg’s refusal to fight, the Kronans attack his team. The fight leaves Lavin Skee impaled and the natives dead before Korg decides to destroy them, and sees Hulk trying to escape. But, when he realises the leader is the Red King he tries to attack him after killing the Great Devil Corker, and ends up fighting the Emperor’s lieutenant, Caiera. Red King shoots the Hulk, but doesn’t kill him due to the displeasure of the crowd. The Red King secretly plans Hulk’s death. The events that follow lead to hulks escape along with his co prisoners and their journey to survive and get revenge against the Red King.
Ultimate Avengers – The plot is In the last days of World War II in the European Theatre, Steve Rogers, a U.S. soldier, known as Captain America due to being enhanced with the “Super-Soldier Serum”, prevents a missile launch by Nazis, which are soon revealed to be shape-shifting extra-terrestrials led by one taking the form of SS officer Herr Kleiser. The missile explosion, however, sends Rogers into a catatonic state, and he falls into the icy waters of the North Atlantic, presumed dead. In the present day, Captain America is found and revived by a S.H.I.E.L.D. team led by General Nick Fury. Bruce Banner and his ex-girlfriend Betty Ross lead a team of government scientists working to recreate the Super-Soldier Serum in order to try and stop the real power that backed the Nazis – the alien Chitauri. Banner thinks the Super-Soldier Serum is the key to him controlling the Hulk, and he secretly uses his blood to try to create a cure, instead of using candidates that had been selected for the rebirth procedure. As excepted things don’t go as planned especially with the added threat of an alien invasion.
Doctor Strange – the plot is Dr. Stephen Strange is one of the most gifted surgeons in medicine; however, he is also highly arrogant and dismissive of his colleagues. While driving home from the hospital one night, he notices Baron Mordo and his allies slaying a monster – notable because they are hidden from view by one of Wong’s spells. An unbelieving Strange dismisses it as stress-related hallucination. The next day, he is visited by the hospital’s administrator Oliver who states that Dr. Gina Atwater has problems with him. He then speaks with Dr. Atwater and discusses her case of a child — one of many — who is suffering from dangerous nightmares. Seeing the children causes Stephen to flashback to when his sister April had a headache similar to the ones the children have been having. The conversation also reveals that the two doctors have had a romantic relationship in the past. When touching one child, he sees an image of a demonic skull-face laughing while engulfed in flames and promptly leaves, telling Gina that there is nothing he can do for the children. While driving home, Stephen again sees the vision of flames with a burning face in them and swerves his car to avoid ghostly children in the road, careening off the cliffside. As a result of the crash, his hands are left shattered and useless. Spending all of his fortune and life savings in pursuit of a way to fix his fractured hands, the dejected doctor believes all is lost until his suicide attempt is thwarted by Wong who recommends the Ancient One to offer him hope and healing in Tibet.
Ultimate Avengers 2 – the plot is that of T’Challa, the Prince of Wakanda, returns from the outside world to learn the kingdom is being attacked by the alien Chitauri. Herr Kleiser, the alien shape-shifter who battled Captain America during World War II, kills T’ Challa’s father in combat and seeks Wakanda’s store of vibranium, the metal the Chitauri use to manufacture their ships and weapons. After becoming King and assuming the alias of the Black Panther, T’ Challa seeks the aid of Captain America. General Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. orders the Ultimate Avengers to assemble, with the exception of Thor (who is unavailable) and the Hulk (his alter ego Bruce Banner is being kept under surveillance).
Next Avengers: Tomorrows heroes – A battle with Ultron leaves the Avengers defeated, with six of the heroes killed during the fight, and the world at the mercy of Ultron’s machine army. Tony Stark / Iron Man decides to take the hero’s children to an underground fortified refuge hidden above the Arctic Circle. The children are James Rogers (son of Black Widow and Captain America), Henry Pym Jr. (son of Giant-Man and Wasp), Azari (son of Black Panther and Storm), and Torunn (daughter of Thor and Sif). Stark secretly raises and trains the children for 12 years, keeping their true origins secret from them. One day the Vision arrives at the refuge after hiding for over a decade from Ultron. He has come to warn Stark that Francis Barton, son of Hawkeye, is also alive. While the curious children are eavesdropping on Stark and the Vision, James accidentally activates a series of Iron Man style robots that mimic the look and abilities Captain America, Hawkeye, Black Panther, Thor, Black Widow and Giant Man. After they take off and crash through the refuge’s dome, Stark’s base is no longer invisible to Ultron’s worldwide sensors. Stark, now dressed as Iron Man, is able to stall Ultron long enough for the children to escape, but he is eventually subdued and captured. Ultron is also able to reprogram the Iron Avenger robots to follow his commands. The children now have to battle to recuse Stark and help save mankind from Ultron’s oppression.
Thor: Tales of Asgard – Before he ever lifted his mighty hammer Mjolnir, there was the sword. Fantastic journeys beckon from the mysterious nine realms. Places of dark mists and fiery voids. Of winged creatures and giants in the ice. And the most alluring quest of all – the search for the legendary Lost Sword of Surtur. Hungry for adventure, Thor secretly embarks on the journey of a lifetime, joined by his loyal brother Loki, whose budding sorcery equips him with just enough magic to conjure up trouble, along with the Warriors Three – a band of boastful travellers reluctant to set sail on any adventure that might actually be dangerous. But what starts out as a harmless treasure hunt quickly turns deadly, and Thor must now prove himself worthy of the destiny he covets by saving Asgard itself.
The Invincible Iron Man – Attempting to raise an ancient Chinese city using his company’s resources – while also diverting money into a project that he swears will bring Stark Enterprises big money without revealing the nature of the research – Tony Stark’s ambitions go up in smoke when the Jade Dragons attack the excavation site, killing most of the men there and kidnapping his friend James “Rhodey” Rhodes. Traveling to China to investigate, he is captured and badly injured by the Jade Dragons, his life only saved thanks to a Chinese shaman and Rhodes’ skills as an army medic after a piece of shrapnel damages his heart. Tony talks to the Shaman, who reveals that the Dragons seek to prevent the return of the Mandarin, an evil ruler of great power who ruled China three thousand years ago, and who the city commemorates. Should four rings created by the Mandarin – their purpose being to grant him power over death – be brought together after the city rises, the Mandarin will awaken and the world will be in great peril. The Dragons force Tony to construct a weapon to sink the city within a week or face execution and to show they are serious they kill the shaman. Befriending Li Mei, a member of the group, Tony learns that she has a great duty that has been passed down her family from father to son – she had no brothers – but she will not reveal what it is. Meanwhile, four elemental spirits are released by the raising of the city, the spirits subsequently acquiring two of the Mandarin’s four rings. Tony now as Iron man must find these 4 rings first and stop an ancient evil from taking over the world.
Ok so why these films are great, they are grittier than their live action counter parts for one thing most of them are 12’s and therefor are more violent for cartoons. I was shocked by some of the bloodshed and the harshness of these films as I was not expecting that from cartoons made in America. Hulk Vs. Wolverine does not shy away from showing Wolverine’s more violent character and doesn’t water him down like the live films do, instead he uses those claws to their full effect and we see him really slash people apart. Also it’s a great way to see him in his older days before the X-men when he was a harsher and more aggressive man, you get to meet the other members of the weapon X program such as Sabertooth, Omega Red and the wonderful Deadpool. Deadpool has always been a genius character you just can’t dislike a grey area villain like him, he’s the merc with a mouth and absolutely crazy. He is genius in the films delivering some amazing one liners and comic timing to the action and intensity. You get to see Wolverines best enemies and see him do what he is best at, plus the show down with Hulk is awesome, a brutal fight between two aggressive and anger driven protagonists.
As a fan of the Avengers I’m also enjoying how much is out there dealing with their genesis as a team as well as individuals. I have to admit that the only one I didn’t really like was Invincible Iron man it lacked something the others had and I didn’t like its take on Iron-man’s genesis and giving him a different love interest. I adore the new Iron-man films but the animated film fell flat for me even the Next Avengers was better and that was about children. The first Ultimate Avenger movie was also pure brilliance showing how desperate Bruce Banner has become and how the team work together giving us great insight into how these big characters can work as a team (I can’t wait for the live action film) the second one wasn’t as good but that’s more to do with the fact that I’m just not into the Black panther and kinda glaze over when the storyline is too focused on him.
I’m glad he won’t be in the new movie he just isn’t a character I find very interesting I prefer my characters a little more arrogant and wise cracking, I love the sarcastic nature of characters such as Iron-Man, Ant-Man and Hawkeye, I love the harsh and aggressiveness that plagues heroes so they are not cookie cutter good guys like Wolverine and The Hulk and duel nature of being a monster but also just a man and a haunted one at that like Bruce Banner. I love Thor because of his other worldliness, I love seeing someone from another world or time try and fit into our current reality especially with his old ways speech patterns and use of Norse lore. I also love the villains like Loki, who I always feel bad for cause I kinda understand why he does what he does he’s been completely taken over by his own rage and pain and its Odin’s fault really for that. I love the relationship between Thor and Loki, close brother to enemies but it’s not as simple as good versus bad as both are to blame for the way they are now. I even don’t mind Captain America, I shouldn’t as he is rather cookie cutter good guy but at least he isn’t the giant wet blanket Boy Scout that Superman is (I really hate superman), Captain America after all used to hang out with Wolverine and at least he fights Nazi’s and was humble enough to take orders from Iron-man.
So as you can tell I enjoy the characters that inhabit the Avenger universe nearly as much as the ones that inhabit the X-men verse. These films do justice to them giving each enough time to development; they are equally fleshed out and given plenty of characterisation. The Hulk has been given so much more than just smashing and bashing especially with Planet Hulk, which really is amazing. To see Hulk find a life for himself rather than as Bruce Banner is great and to see him not as an uncontrollable monster that just embodies anger and destruction was a great direction for his character. He found a world and a purpose a place he was accepted and could be part of and not hunted as a monster. Planet Hulk is great because it shows the duel nature of The Hulk himself, when you get passed the rage and give him the chance to truly live. It’s also rather brutal and harsh, you get character deaths and intense fights so not really one for the kids. Also not really for the kids is Doctor Strange a character I hadn’t ever really followed but has an interesting genesis. I like the mystical arts so a super hero that uses eastern magic’s as his weapon is great. I was taken by surprise by how creepy and a little scary this film was, as a child I would have had nightmares after this but luckily I’m an adult that watches a lot of horror. I mean there’s a scene where killer demon bat things are flying around stripping the flesh off people leaving only there skeletons, not very child friendly. But much respect for marvel going there and showing that super heroes inhabit a world that is more gritty and dangerous than is normally portrayed in cartoons. These films are defiantly for the comic fans themselves and not the average cinema going audience, these are for us that want a more realistic portrayal of our characters and a more honest adaptation of our comics.
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