?A new contender for the title of greatest superhero cartoon of all time might have just slipped under your radar. Yes, as good as Batman: The Animated Series and the ’90s X-Men cartoon; I’m talking about Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, which finished up it’s first season on Disney XD this past spring and just re-assembled on Netflix Instant. If you haven’t checked it out yet, take a sick day from the office tomorrow and spend the day adventuring with the most faithful and fiercely fun television adaptation a Marvel Comic has ever had.
One of the coolest things about Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (or EMH as I will now lazily refer to it) is that the roster actually changes as the story calls for it. This isn’t like the old X-Men cartoon where the team would hang out with Nightcrawler for an episode before skipping out on him. No, after starting off with the original five Avengers, (SPOILER ALERT) the roster gets filled out quickly with great additions like Black Panther and Hawkeye. The first season also flirts with adding (OMG SPOILER ALERT) Black Widow, Ms. Marvel and Wonder Man to the team, and here’s hoping they seal the deal with those characters in season 2.
Knowing that this series isn’t afraid of shaking up its status quo, much like the actual Avengers comic, here’re a few faces that had better turn up when the animated order changeth!
And a sidenote: if you keep spoiler-free like it’s part of your religion, then you may want to skip this until you’ve crammed the whole first season into your noggin. What are you waiting for? Do it already!
?The writing staff of EMH have proven with Thor that they can handle complex mythology and have written spot-on snark for Hawkeye and Wasp. Now would be a great time to add the one Avenger that embodies both of those traits with boozy and brawly abandon, and that Avenger is Hercules.
?It’s safe to say that Peter Parker won’t be slinging his way into the Avengers’ animated adventures anytime soon thanks to intricate copyright webs. That’s quite all right as long as having a similarly arachnified codename does not keep Jessica Drew away. She’s become synonymous with the Avengers over the past decade, and she has a strong hared for possible/probable EMH season 2 villains, the Skrulls.
8) Luke Cage
?Season 1 was based primarily in the spandex, space and fantasy corners of the Marvel Universe. The addition of a t-shirt wearing, street-level, heroic everyman like Luke Cage could take the episodes into uncharted territory. Really, why should Batman be the only hero allowed to fight gangs and crime bosses on Saturday morning?
7) Iron Fist
?The fight scenes on EMH are Tarantino-like in execution, just without the eyeball gouging. Seeing the Avengers’ resident martial arts master fight his way through a dozen Hydra Agents/Frost Giants/clones of Mandrill/anything would be cause for much squeeing. Yes, squeeing. Don’t hate on how I respond to my cartoons.
?This founding West Coast Avengers doesn’t get much respect. From being stuck on the B-team to falling into ’90s obscurity to getting brutally beaten by the Hood, the Marvel Universe Tigra has had it kinda rough. So if Wasp can become EMH’s MVP after her comic counterpart was murdered in two realities simultaneously, then Tigra would fare equally as awesomely.
?With Bruce Banner a regular, half of the work needed to get Shulkie in the cast permanently is already done. Get his cousin a blood transfusion, stat! The odds that having a defense attorney like Jennifer Walters (She-Hulk’s alter ego) on the team turning the show into an animated Ally McBeal are slim-to-none, and all those villains in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody have to go to court sometime.
?Viewers of EMH who think the Hulk is surly would surely get a kick out of a sourpuss who can actually speak in fully-formed sentences. For a character that’s been a hero for the last 46 years, Quicksilver rarely makes an animated appearance on the side of the angels. You can change that, EMH!
?All copyright issues aside, adding this bounding blue furball to the roster would go a long way towards bridging the gap between the Marvel Universe and the X-Men universe. As the rest of the Marvel Universe buddies up to each other on screens both big and small, the X-Men haven’t been invited to the party. It’s time to show the mainstream that mutants and super soldiers are all tenants of the House of Ideas.
?Season 1 showed us that this cartoon doesn’t shy away from wringing drama out of its own continuity, as evidenced by Hank Pym’s multi-episode mega-guilt over creating Ultron. The appearance of Vision, a synthezoid with Wonder Man’s brain patterns created by Ultron to kill Pym and the Wasp, would stick a metaphorical knife in the side of most all of the animated Avengers. But this metaphorical knife would be plastic and retractable. Come on, this is Disney XD, after all.
1) Scarlet Witch
?Wasp only has one challenger for the title of leading Avengers lady, and that challenger is a mystical mutant gypsy named Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch. Between being an all-powerful reality manipulator and having deeply personal connections to a number of other Avengers on this list, the stories practically write themselves! And not to think too far ahead, but having her on the team for a season would be a mighty fine prelude to “Avengers Disassembled” in season 3. Just sayin’.