Thursday, November 20, 2008

Avengers: United They Stand cartoon...

So, by a weird quirk of fate, I was channel surfing the other day, and wound up finding this cartoon, which prior to watching it, I had never even heard about. I basically watched the entire show in a state of horror, from the opening credits til the end. The episode I watched was so bad that I couldn't force myself to change the channel, I was mesmerized. Before I go any further, allow me to list the team itself. Antman(Hank Pym) was the leader, Wasp, Hawkeye, Tigra, Vision, Scarlet Witch, Falcon, and Wonder Man. Now, on the surface, when I first started to watch, I was cautiously optimistic, seeing as that this team line up was practically identical to the West Coast Avengers, a team I loved so much, I went out and brought the entire comic series.

That was pretty much the beginning and the end of my optimism regarding this cartoon. First off, the character designs were just atrocious. Why was Hawkeye wearing a suit of armor??? The Falcon was also wearing armor for some bizarre reason as well. Not only that, but when the characters would put on the armor, we would get these weird Japanese inspired segments that would have the screen split into 4 different windows, showing the heroes gearing up to some horrible pseudo rock music. OK, besides the horrible designs, (Pym looked like some kind of 3 eyed monster!)the story was so bad that I laughed throughout most of it.

The gist of things was that Ultron, who looked like he had the body of the Apocalypse from the Age of Apocalypse, had captured Wonder Man, and wanted the Avengers to trade Vision to him for Wonder Man. The Avengers balk at this, and track Ultron down to a warehouse, where they split into groups and try to find Wonder Man. Ultron, this high tech robotic genius, uses such deathtraps on the Avengers such as dropping a ceiling on top of Pym and Vision, and trying to kill Hawkeye, Wasp and Falcon with buzz saws on poles that come out of the walls and some little flame throwers. Wow, Ultron is really going all out here... While the Avengers are distracted by these "deadly" traps, Wanda kind of wanders around the hallways aimlessly until she touches a wall that reveals a secret laboratory, where she finds Wonder Man laying in a tube. How she figured this out, I have no clue, but anyway, before she can do anything, electric shackles come out of the ground and wrap around Wanda's wrists, which apparently prevents her from using her powers because she has to lift her hands high in the air to cast a spell for some reason...

While Wanda is trapped there, Wonder Man transforms into Ultron, and Ultron taunts Wanda before inexplicably bursting into flames, setting the whole lab around Wanda ablaze. In the fire, we can see Ultron's head, now at a gigantic proportion laughing at Wanda. How or why Ultron does this is never explained. The rest of the team rescues Wanda, and they leave Ultron's base before it explodes.

Eventually, Pym manages to track Ultron down to a mountain, which probably wasn't that difficult seeing as that the mountain had a huge image of Ultron's face sculpted into it!!! I don't know what's worse, the fact that Ultron was living in a mountain with his face prominently displayed on the side, or the thought of Ultron actually sculpting his face into the mountain! Doesn't an evil world conquering robot have better things to do with his time then sculpt his own face into a mountain???

Anyway, the Avengers arrive, but Ultron surrounds his mountain with an impenetrable force field. However, Ultron lowers the field long enough to send out robotic bugs to kill the Avengers. As the bugs come out, Pym, Vision and Wanda sneak in and find Ultron in his lab, with Wonder Man still being held in stasis. Ultron easily captures Wanda and Vision, and demands that Pym remove a chip from inside Vision's head that turned him good. Pym reluctantly agrees, and travels through the Vision, finding the offending chip, but is unable to remove it.

The whole time, Ultron is comically shouting at Pym about random things such as how dumb Pym is and what loser's the Avengers are, as well as pounding on buttons in his lab to activate defenses outside his base. It's hilarious to watch Ultron literally pound buttons with his closed fist as opposed to pressing them. I guess pounding the buttons is supposed to prove just how EVIL Ultron is!

Soon the Wasp sneaks in and attacks Ultron, who basically ignores the attacks and just stands there taunting Wasp as she blasts away at him. During this distraction, Vision breaks free and attacks Ultron, while Pym leaves the Visions body. All 3 heroes attack Ultron who stands there invincibly, taunting all 3 Avengers. For God's sake Ultron, they obviously can't hurt you, kill them!!! Instead, Ultron continues to taunt the heroes, reminding them that they can't hurt him... No ####!!!

Anyway, Hawkeye and Falcon join the battle, and during this time, a large hole opens in the ground... OK... Apparently, Ultron's one Achilles heel is under his arm, as Hawkeye shoots an arrow under one of Ultron's arms which basically destroys Ultron's arm. So, wait, Ultron can't be hurt unless you shoot him in the underarm with an arrow?!?!? Ultron then dramatically falls into the hole, clinging to the edge with his damaged arm, but the ledge breaks and Ultron falls into the hole, taunting the heroes all the way down the apparently bottomless pit. The heroes then get Wonder Man and Wanda and get out of Ultron's mountain before it, you guessed it, explodes. As the episode ends, Wanda frets over Wonder Man while Vision lusts after Wanda from a distance.

Wow. That was hilariously horrible! I really enjoyed, Ultron as he wouldn't stop taunting people, and for some reason, during the course of the episode, he continued to grow in size. By the time Hawkeye shoots Ultron with the arrow at the end, Ultron is easily 3 times the size he was at the beginning of the episode! I guess the animators mistook Ultron for Apocalypse or Galactus or something here, which is the only reason I can think of to explain Ultron's bizarre growth spurts. Why the hell did one arrow from Hawkeye damage Ultron so much when all the blasting from Pym, Wasp and Vision just cause him to stand there taunting??? You know what the worst thing about this sad situation is? If I can ever find this show on TV again, I know I'd have to watch it out of morbid curiosity. Hey, at least I got a good laugh out of it!


  1. I caught this show a couple of weeks ago and agree X-Man. It's bad, bad, bad! I'm hoping Batman: The Brave & The Bold lives up to its positive reviews.

  2. You know, I'm going to have to catch that new Batman cartoon, just to torment myself. After reading Batman: War Games the past couple of nights, I can't imagine a kind, gentle, kid-friendly Batman. I just hope this Batman cartoon proves to be either really good or in the so bad it's funny catagory.

    I don't know if you ever watched the Nick Fury movie from late
    90's, but, like Avengers: United They Stand, it was so horrible that I actually kind of enjoyed it because I was either laughing or yelling at the TV the whole time.

    For my money, the best cartoon based on a comic book is either the early episodes of the Batman cartoon in the 90's or the X-Men cartoon from the early 90's. I'm still waiting for Marvel to put those X-Men cartoons out on DVD!