Animé and Toons
The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Volume 3 - iron Man Unleashed
By Hervé St-Louis
October 25, 2011 - 01:25

Studios: Marvel Animation, Film Roman, Ingenious Media
$19.99 US
Starring: Eric Loomis, Rick D. Wasserman, Fred Tatasciore, Brian Blossom, Wally Wingert, Colleen O’Shaugnessey, Alex Desert
Directed by: Ciro Nieli, Vinton Heuck, Sebastian Montes
Produced by: Joshua Fine
Running Time: 132 minutes
Release Date: October 25, 2011
Distributors: Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Inc

The Avengers are back with a prolonged three-episode fight against Kang, the man from the future who wants to eliminate Captain America whom he views as an anomaly that will eventually threaten the future. Will the Avengers stop Kang from conquering the Earth and protecting her against enemies the Avengers are predicted to fail against?

There is more than the Kang saga in this series of episodes. However, it did last longer as a story arc than all the other stories. There is also an introduction to the Kree and Captain Mar-vell who foreshadow the future Kree-Skrull war which will eventually involve the Avengers. Finally the first story in this collection continues the Masters of Evil arc from volume one and two of this cartoon series. The finale episode is about the whereabouts of the Black Widow, again continuing an older storyline. Kang was introduced much earlier too but had failed to meet the Avengers head on. The Kang storyline also further develop the Ultron subplot which all fans know will turn the obedient robot into an evil force.

This series continues to intrigue me mainly because of the way it mixes the old storylines of the Avengers while updating everything. One of my favourite part is of course that the original line up of the Avengers, minus the Scarlet Witch and Quick Silver which are probably deemed X-Men characters, is respected and used quite well. I’m not sure any cartoon series ever showcased Ant-man and the Wasp so well and made them such an important part of Avenger lore. The upcoming movie will completely ignore these characters, yet the cartoon series proves that a man who talks to ants and a woman who shrinks are not to be under-estimated.

I like how it’s Captain America who so far is responsible for the updates to Ultron and not a psychotic Ant-man. This echoes recent stories in the Avengers’ comic book where the Avengers have been named responsible for the creation of their own deadliest threats. The story also ties in with recent Marvel Comics continuity and introduces the concept of a prison in the negative zone.

Viewers looking for a lot of action will not be disappointed here. There are a lot of fights including much Hulk smash moments. The animation is very busy, although its, not always as smooth and a few short cuts are used. There’s a scene where Thor walks with Jane Foster and it feels like Thor is a giant cut out bouncing up and down. But other scenes are cooler. For example there’s one where Ant-man just slides to a crawl and we see a beautiful parallax effect inside a space ship.

Of course I recommend this series to fans of the comic book series and those who want to introduce the Avengers to the next generation of fans. This series sure works hard to develop core characters of the Marvel Comics universe. If this series is allowed to last, it might do for Marvel Comics and Disney what the Justice League animated series did for DC Comics and Warner Brothers. It will more than put their characters on the map. It will give them real existence and depth as close to comic book as possible, richer than the movies, while keeping the characters as true to their essence as possible.

14 – Masters of Evil
15 – 459
16 – The Man Who Stole Tomorrow
17 – Come the Conqueror
18 – The Kang Dynasty
19 – Widow’s Sting

Bonus Feature: The Avengers Unmasked: Masters of Evil – An animated in-episode comic book experience loaded with fun facts on Marvel’s Avengers and the Villains that challenge them

Release Format: Single Disc DVD
Rated: TV-Y7-FV
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen (Enhanced for 16X9 televisions)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Sound
Languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese 

Rating: 9.5/10

Related Articles:
The Avengers Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Season 2 Episode 21
The Avengers Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Season 2 Episode 18
The Avengers Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Season 2 Episode 17
The Avengers Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Season 2 Episode 16
The Avengers Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Season 2 Episode 15
The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes - Volume 4: Thor's Last Stand
The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Volume 3 - iron Man Unleashed
The Avengers – Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Volume 2 – Captain America Reborn!
The Avengers – Earth’s Mightiest Heroes Volume 1 – Heroes Assemble!