Thursday, January 29, 2015

Marvel Disk Wars The Avengers - Episode Three: Iron Man, Reborn!

Marvel Comics always had mixed luck when it comes to animation.  While they've never had anything that compares to the glory days of DC (Batman: The Animated Series is still pretty much the bar all other animated superhero shows are held to), but they've had a few successes on their hands.  The X-Men and Spider-Man both had (somewhat) successful runs in the 90's, and the characters from the Avengers are having a surge in popularity now from their cinematic success.

Hopefully this will have the effect of erasing the memory of Avengers: United They Stand.

But enough of that garbage, let's get back to Japan's interpretation of the Avengers, and all the madness that will surely come with it.

For those who missed last week's post, go read it here.  I mean, seriously, it's like five minutes out of your day to skim it and look at the pictures and read commentary that I like to think is clever.

All caught up?  Okay, so you know that the Avengers are in a lot of trouble.  Let's get on with the story!

We open with a recap of Captain America's dramatic speech about justice and how it will triumph over evil in the end.  There's a bit of new animation included in it since we're not jumping back to the kids the whole time, so it does make it a bit more dramatic than before.  The kids are preparing a plan to rescue Pepper, minus Chris who decided "you know what, I'm not going to die because children think it's okay to fight a super villain."

After the title sequence, we jump up to the nearby rooftop where King Cobra is holding Pepper hostage.  Akira tries to use the biocode installer as bait for King Cobra, luring him to some giant randomly stored boxes in an attempt to have the other kids push one down onto him.

Needless to say, heavy boxes are too hard for a group of kids to push.  King Cobra gets a good laugh, shoots them all in the face, series over.

Ignoring the fact that whatever he shoots from that is going to his his fist.
This is when Chris appears driving a forklift, plowing it into the stack of boxes and knocking the whole darn stack down on the villain.

That's right, even in a Japanese cartoon, King Cobra is a joke.

Also, I'm required by law to present this any time a character shows up driving a forklift and trying to take out another character with it.

This distraction is all the time the heroes need, and they immediately get to work.  Cap breaks free, I don't even know who was holding him, and gets in one solid punch against Loki's face before Loki activates the other DISKs.  Cap, Thor, Wasp, and Iron Man all start to vanish at the same time King Cobra actually slithers out from the pile of crates to get the kids.

This is the moment Iron Man wakes up and blasts himself up into the sky to help the children rescue Pepper (thus leaving his friends behind).  He takes out King Cobra with no problem (see before, re: joke character) and is about to go help save Cap and the others once Pepper is secured when things suddenly get real:

That's right.  Compared to classic Avengers/Cap/Iron Man/Thor/Hulk/Spider-Man/even Wasp villains with distinctive visual styles like Tiger Shark, Jack O'Lantern, Hobgoblin, or so many others, they felt the need to bring in M.O.D.O.K.  With a giant purple cape attached to the top of the back of his giant head.

I could not be happier right now.

M.O.D.O.K. manages to disable Iron Man and the kids for a moment, long enough for one of the masked goons to grab the biocode installer (how is it I just now realized how awkward that is to say out loud and type?).  But when Akira demands it back, the goon shrugs, tosses it on the ground, and then has M.O.D.O.K. shoot a laser through it.

See, the DISKs need to be linked to someone who's...I dunno what the correct term is.  Biocoded?  Anyway, only "biocoded" people are able to use DISKs, and since the goons and Loki can already use them, they didn't really need the last one any more, they just wanted to make sure nobody else could use it.

With the biocode installer destroyed, Loki shows up to show that the rest of the Avengers are already captured in DISKs, as are apparently heroes and villains from across the world.

Loki's been busy before showing up here.

Iron Man attempts to pick a fight with Loki but gets taken out with a quick electrical burst.  The electricity arcing across Iron Man's armor, though, has a secondary effect: it charges up the biocode installer and zaps the five children, "biocoding" them.  "Coding them biological-" no, there's really no good way to say it.

So the kids are zapped, all the heroes are gone...who's left?

Man.  Even I forgot about Spider-Man.

Spidey realizes that the kids have biocode-thingies on them now and tosses the Iron Man DISK to Akira.  Loki attempts to blast the kid (because Loki's a villain, you see) but Spidey, in what might be my favorite moment of the episode so far, pulls out a pumpkin bomb he swiped from the Green Goblin and throws it at Loki.

Akira triggers the DISK, leading to a lengthy "transformation/appearance" animation as Iron Man returns to the battle, fully healed (?) and ready to go.  He and Spider-Man keep Loki and the goon on the ropes long enough for- and I lied before, this is my favorite moment of the episode, Spider-Man straight-up Guile flash-kicks Loki in the face.

The blow knocks the DISKs loose around Loki, and Akira tries to push Loki back before he can get to them (brave kid), but when their biocode wristy-things touch, it causes a huge energy pulse that scatters all of the DISKs to the four corners of the globe.  Loki takes advantage of the moment to flee.  Right when the heroes decide to take a breather (that is, Iron Man, Spidey, and the kids), an explosion rocks the Raft, and Akira and Hikaru's father is gone.

Nick Fury and Maria Hill show up so that Maria and Tony can start playing the "blame game" for everything that happened, but it's quickly put to a halt when Tony vanishes into the DISK again suddenly and they aren't able to get him out.

S.H.I.E.L.D., being the big friendly organization it is, "takes the kids into custody" to study their biocodes.  It isn't until later on the Helicarrier that the DISK starts flashing.  Akira presses a button on it, and a hologram of Tony appears, cheerful as always and-

...and that's it. The episode ends.

That's right, it's not just a Monster Of The Week show, there's an actual ongoing plot!

Will the rest of the Avengers be rescued?  What's going on with Tony's DISK?  Where did Spider-Man go?  Where the heck are the parents of the other three kids?

We'll find out next week!

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