The news that Marvel Studios plan to use a new animated series to build anticipation for their blockbuster crossover movie The Avengers may make those with long memories worry about flashbacks to the shoddy 1990s series Avengers: United They Stand. But there's very good reason to be optimistic about what's lying in wait for TV audiences in 2011 - and we'll prove it to you with Cartoon Math.The Avengers haven't had the strongest history of animated adventures, we'll be the first to admit. Aside from guest appearances on the 1960s The Marvel Superheroes and 1980s Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends, it took more than thirty years for the team to make it to the Saturday morning big-time. And when they did, they weren't exactly looking their best...
It's not that Avengers: United They Stand was a bad show as such; more that it captured the team at their 1990s comic nadir, and somehow managed to forget to include any of the big name members like Captain America, Iron Man or Thor (Probably because they were tied up in other licensing agreements - although somehow Hawkeye managed to make it into the faux Avengers team "Force Works" that appeared in the 1990s Iron Man show). It wasn't until 2006's Ultimate Avengers (a quasi-adaptation of Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch's The Ultimates comic) that the team that most people know as "the Avengers" finally achieved animated glory.
From there, they were unstoppable; 2007 brought Ultimate Avengers 2, and this year saw Next Avengers, but with an Avengers movie on tap for 2011, was there really any doubt that the characters were due to escape from direct-to-DVD onto television? What makes the newly announced The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes series most promising are the people behind it. Marvel Studios may be bringing Next Avengers writer Chris Yost on board as the established old hand, but we're more excited about the fact that the new 26-episode series is being created by Film Roman, the company that's brought you this for the last 20 years:
And to make matters even better, the producer of the series? A gentleman called Ciro Nieli, who's responsible for the following two shows:
Somewhere, Avengers purists are probably appalled by such day-glo insanity, big-eyed characters and just sheer "cartooniness" of it all, but screw 'em. After all, if nothing else, the new Avengers series will have awesome theme music. Announcing Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes [Marvel]