Thursday, April 2, 2015

Marvel Disk Wars The Avengers - Episode 7: Hulk VS. Captain!

Man, it's been a while since I've done one of these.  That cold I had (possible pneumonia, I'm not sure, really) really laid me out and made it hurt to breathe, much less type.  But hey, I swore to get through this series, and I last left off at a pretty great moment...I think.  Let's get a brief refresher.

Our five heroes (no, not the Avengers) were in pretty dire straights.  Akira and Hikaru (hey, I remembered!) had control over summoning D-Smashing Iron Man and Thor, respectively.  Chris, the slacker with no real goals in life besides "figure out what his goals in life are" is tagging along but for the most part refusing to get involved in anything.  Over on a tanker, Jessica and Edward are being held prisoner by Loki's forces, as is a captive Spider-Man.

The Hulk, meanwhile, is tearing up a military base of some kind, under the influence of Diablo's "alchemy" which I call "easy way of explaining something hard to explain."  Hulk has already defeated Iron Man and Thor in combat and is about to move into a residential area when Chris finally steps up (literally, standing in Hulk's path) and summoning D-Smashing Captain America into freedom to face off against something that's taken down an actual god.

I already know what happens, but I'm still excited!

Let's get into the episode!

The episode starts with the Hulk, still seeing demonic figures instead of allies, accusing Captain America of being a fake.  I really like the fact that the Hulk actually hesitates for a moment (a teeny tiny moment) before attacking, as if he's actually wondering if what he's seeing is right.  Captain America is able to suss out pretty quickly that the Hulk's eyes aren't delivering the truth to his brain, and starts rattling off possible causes, but Hulk doesn't want to stand around and talk, he instead jumps right in and attacks.

Now, I'm not 100% sure about the physics of how Cap's shield works, but here's what I find really impressive.  You see those cars parked beside the road?  The force of Hulk's impact against the shield is so powerful that it blows the cars away like paper.  Chris, who had bravely stood by Cap's side (well, okay, maybe a few feet back), is also blown back by the force.

Cap doesn't budge.

Well, not until there's a flicker of doubt on Hulk's face, at which point Cap straight-up charges into Hulk's gut and knocks him back onto the ground.

This obviously angers the Hulk further, and he starts stomping in the ground in frustration, causing small earthquakes each time.  Akira and Hikaru take advantage of the pause in fighting to re-secure Thor and Iron Man into their DISKs.

Meanwhile, on the ship, Spider-Man's had better days.

One of Loki's goons shows up to secure Spider-Man into a DISK of his own, putting him in a more "permanent" prison.  In a nearby vent, though, Jessica and Edward are watching the whole thing.  Edward's convinced that there's no way they could ever win, but Jessica isn't quite ready to throw in the towel yet.  Keep in mind, the people on this ship control forces as powerful as the Abomination, Diablo, and MODOK.

The amount Jessica cares = 0.

The goon threatens to throw Jessica and Edward into the ocean for them to drown if they don't "get back in their rooms."  Edward starts to sweat, but  Jessica just stands her ground, not breaking eye contact with the villain, and giving off a defiant "just try me" attitude on par with Cap.

Speaking of Cap, his shield is taking every blow the Hulk delivers with no problem, and is even dishing out some damage of its own against the green Goliath.  Because it's a Japanese cartoon (and because the creators clearly played the Marvel vs. Capcom games), Cap is even able to shout out "Shield Throw!" and fling his shield with enough force that the Hulk feels it.

Cap manages to drop Hulk to his knees for a moment, something that really impresses Hikaru, Akira, Chris, and Pepper (oh, right, she's there, too, as the designated driver).  Hikaru and Akira decide to try to D-Secure Hulk once he's "whittled down" a bit more,

Things suddenly start to turn, though, when Hulk seems to get an anger-based second wind.  He punches Cap hard enough that, even with his shield absorbing a lot of the blow, Cap still gets thrown back into the side of a trailer.  Hulk leaps for him again while a little holographic Iron Man explains to Hikaru and Akira that Hulk has no limit to his anger, thus no limit to his power.

But it turns out that's what Cap was waiting for.

It essentially turns into an endurance test, the Hulk's ability to hold his breath against Cap's time limit before he gets called back to his DISK.

Back at the ship, both Spider-Man and Edward are trying to convince Jessica that the best option is to run.  Her eyes stay locked on the bad guy, however, and has he starts to laugh at how foolish she is, Jessica reveals she has an ace in the hole.

That's right!  Ya'll forgot about the Wasp!

I know I pretty much had, since we haven't really seen any trace of her since the first couple of episodes.

It turns out Jessica and Edward took a slight detour in the air vents, looting a few rooms for anything usable, which is where Jessica found the DISK and bracelet.  With a small reminder from Edward about what "that Japanese kid said" before throwing Iron Man's DISK down, she frees the Wasp, and I need to point out two things:

1)  If I had to rank my favorite Avengers of all time, the Wasp would be in my top five, easily.  I'm not sure Iron Man or Hulk would, if that helps put things into perspective.  She's woefully underused considering she's a founding member of the team.

2)  I find it interesting that every male hero "materializes" in a pose that screams "power."  Wasp starts to materialize in a vulnerable pose, crossing her arms over herself like she's trying to shield herself from something.  It's...actually kind of disappointing, considering that the girl now linked to her is yet to show any real vulnerability to others.

Wasp's first action after thanking Jessica for setting her free is to mock the mask worn by the bad guy, which I think is perfect considering Janet's background.  The bad guy summons out MODOK, who attempts to blast Wasp with his lasers.  Wasp's reaction is to go "too slow" and shrink between the blasts, firing off her own "Wasp Sting!"

The blast shoots right past MODOK, leading him to taunt her by asking where she as aiming.

Well, she obviously wasn't aiming for YOU, now was she?  Ask a silly question, get kicked in your giant head.

Loki's other goons show up with Diablo in tow, and Abomination and Whirlwind are also quickly summoned into the battle, making it 4 vs. 2.  Things look bleak for the good guys.

Oh, Wasp.  You're getting pretty close to tying Cap for my favorite hero in this series so far.

Spider-Man points out that Wasp only has about five minutes before getting pulled back into the DISK, and asks her to take Edward and Jessica to send out a distress call while he keeps the bad guys busy.  Diablo pulls out a potion to attack the good guys with, but Spider-Man is quick to send a blob of webbing into his face.  Diablo drops the potion, causing it to explode (alchemy is so volatile, you know), and this has the unintended side effect of freeing the Hulk.

This brings Hulk down as his anger fades, dropping him to his knees.  The female reporter covering the whole fight (you remember her, one of the series villains?) starts to prepare to summon Hulk back, but Akira is quicker on the draw and D-Secures the Hulk first.

Over in Loki/Senator Robert's office, a call comes in from (I'm guessing) Maria Hill.  The local authorities would like SHIELD to be organized again, and "a child named Jessica Shannon is saying she's being attacked by villains."  Senator Robert is quick to put a halt to it by saying SHIELD is to remain on standby, and he starts smugly narrating to himself that something he's working on will "give Tony Stark no place in America."

Back on the ship, Wasp has long since been called back to the DISK again.  Jessica and Edward are hanging out in the vents again.  Edward is close to bawling over how scared he is since nobody has shown up to rescue them, and Jessica starts to chew him out over his behavior.  Edward lashes right back by indicating that he wanted to stay in the room and they'd have been safe there if they stayed.

All is not well (or even resembling it), as it appears that King Cobra is in the vents as well, slithering around looking for the kids.  Jessica, realizing just how terrified Edward is, decides it's time to hero up again and says, "I'll buy you some time."

Jessica and Chris are becoming my favorites of the five kids. Being willing to sacrifice yourself to save someone else is just as awesome as being willing to stand in front of a brute like the Hulk without backing down.

Edward, naturally, decides it's time to man up and- oh wait, no, he runs off in a panic.  Spider-Man's getting tossed around the hold by all the villains, Jessica prepares to face down King Cobra without the help of the Wasp.  Edward manages to make it to the top deck of the ship (all the while wondering just what he's supposed to be able to do to help out, a thought I can't really blame him for considering he's the smallest kid against actual super-villains).

This, however, is when help arrives in the form of Akira, Hikaru, and Chris on that really weird Stark Plane.

Oh, and Pepper's there, because you need one responsible adult on board, and Tony doesn't count.

However, before they can get close enough to the ship to summon their heroes and send them aboard, a huge water spout forms around the ship, shielding it from anything getting in and out.

Apparently Whirlwind isn't as useless in this universe as he is in the standard comic book universe.

The heroes try to figure out who they have that could force their way through that "tornado," and they quickly all agree that the Hulk is their best bet.  Akira attempts to summon the Hulk from his DISK....and nothing happens.  It just bounces off the floor of the plane and flashes a big "ERROR" message at Akira.

So with Jessica cornered by King Cobra, Spider-Man captured by the villains again, Edward in hiding, and the Hulk unable to be summoned, things look bleak!  Could things get much worse for everybody, or are things finally going to fully turn around for everyone and let us finally see our heroes united against their foes?

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