Thursday, May 21, 2015

Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers - Episode 10:Showdown! The Silver-Donned Samurai!

The last time we did one of these, we got through a huge confrontation between the Avengers and Loki's forces, and the plot moved on to the next stage of Loki's plan.  Playing off the fears that Spider-Man was killed in battle, Loki used his government "secret identity" to get the President of the United States to pass a bill requiring all superheroes to work for the government.

Tony Stark, possibly without even realizing he was doing it, managed to outmaneuver Loki by having the Avengers and their new child "handlers" move out to Tokyo, free from the rules and regulations they'd have to face back in the States.

So after a huge conflict and political tension, we ended the story with Tony and Akira going to meet the head of the Japanese underworld, the Silver Samurai.  What's Tony's next idea?  Is he really willing to make a deal with a proverbial devil?

First, I want to discuss the Silver Samurai's compound:

I was originally going to pointedly mock the series for having the "biggest bad guy in Japan" live in a place that pretty much screams "hey, the biggest bad guy in the country works here" but then I remembered two things.

1)  This is a series that involves a "God of Thunder" being trapped in a plastic "DISK."  I can lighten up.

2)  From my understanding of Japanese culture, this actually isn't that impossible an idea.  I've read articles and travel books that describe how businesses connected to crime organizations tend to not really hide their involvement, They're the only people who really drive large American cars, and when some of the largest houses are openly providing food and manpower after the devastating earthquake some years ago, I can't help but think you're not really doing that much to hide who you are.

So yeah, a large compound with white-clad ninjas out front hanging around and checking Facebook on their phones all day?  I can buy it.

Inside, Akira, Tony, and the Silver Samurai are discussing just what the meeting is all about.  The Silver Samurai has already heard about the problems involving DISKs, Biocodes, and Loki's machinations, but Tony's there to hopefully call a cease-fire while the Avengers are in Japan.

Akira is also bugged, with Pepper monitoring everything through a small spy-camera, and the other kids (and Avengers) hanging out in the bushes outside the compound.

Tony's proposal is thus:  The Avengers moves to Japan for the time being, and the Silver Samurai won't directly mess with them, aid Loki against them, or use his villain or political connections to harass them.  In return...well, nothing, really.  Needless to say, this proposal doesn't get much respect from the Silver Samurai, until Tony points out that apparently the Silver Samurai owes him a favor.

So what was this favor?

Would you believe the Silver Samurai has a sister who's a schoolgirl?  Of course you do, this is Japan.  If someone who gets into a position of power doesn't have a schoolgirl-aged sister, they're assigned one by the government.  Anyway, a rival organization, back when ol' SS (easier than typing the full name the whole time) wasn't yet in charge, attempted to kidnap his sister.

Iron Man, naturally just happening to be in the country for reasons, leaps to her defense.  This leads us to a few quick cuts of Iron Man teaching ninjas that "repulsor rays and armor beat swords and pajamas" but also gives us this shot:


Now, this begs the question, why is Tony getting involved with a schoolgirl kidnapping all the way in Japan?  Did he know that she was the Silver Samurai's sister and that one day he'd owe Iron Man?  Was he just being noble without even thinking of what was actually going on?  Was he silently hoping those "adult cartoons" from the same country were right and this was a quick way to get a hook-up?

...probably not that last one.  But with Tony, you can never be sure.

Where was I?  Oh, right.  Tony offers to call everything even if the Silver Samurai helps them out.  The Silver Samurai seems to be considering his options when Akira (being Akira) gets irritated and insists they leave.  With just a gesture, the Silver Samurai summons a small swarm of ninja (what's the proper group term for them?  Fawn, where are you when I need your songs?).

Akira tries to convince Tony that it's time to D-Smash him out, but the Silver Samurai points out that Akira's being extremely thick of he can't realize that the reason Tony is reducing himself down to negotiating with villains in the first place is to keep Akira and the other children safe.

Some trash talk is thrown back and forth between Akira, Tony, and the Silver Samurai, until the Silver Samurai comes up with a new idea.  He challenges Akira to a duel, his speed with the sword against the child's speed at D-Smashing.

Outside, things are starting to crumble as well.  Learning from Pepper that Akira could very well be in trouble if the negotiations don't start back up, Hikaru decides to take matters into his own hands and takes off towards the entrance.  Cap orders Chris to follow (who does so begrudgingly), and Ed and Jessica take up the rear.

At the front gate, the four children are confronted by a group of guys wearing white pajamas,  The bad guys draw their swords, so the children simply take their DISKs and smash them, summoning the rest of the Avengers.

We don't see what's going on, but we can see the results from inside.

See that cloud of dust and smoke over to the right?  Yeah, ninjas typically don't do that on their own.

Inside, at the sound of that "tunk" sound that bamboo fountains make, Akira and the Silver Samurai make their moves.  Silver Samurai's "special move" is apparently something called the "Tachyon Blade," and while it makes a really neat visual effect with swirling purple glowing energy, grabbing a screenshot that doesn't look terrible is apparently impossible, so I'm going to just post this instead:

Yes, that's Iron Man catching the Silver Samurai's blade between his hands.  Pretty cool, Tony.

Silver Samurai, now satisfied with the results of the duel, agrees to the terms laid out earlier.  Akira, whose heart has finally started to beat again, slumps onto the floor a moment before Hikaru and Thor show up to make sure they're okay.

After a moment of brotherly bonding, the good guys realize that the Hulk is still destroying everything in sight out at the front gate and needs to be told to stop.  Akira and Tony take off running to try to keep the whole agreement from falling apart because Hulk likes punching ninjas.

Back at their base, Pepper sorts out with Ed's parents to have him stay with the Stark Foundation, Jessica's parents just flat-out don't care two licks about where she is (a "liberal" upbringing, as she puts it), and Chris just tells his parents he's going to be away and then hangs up when they plead with him to call them, like, once a week or something.  Chris is a bit of a tool.

They get a surprise guest in Peter Parker, who has "taken a job with a newspaper as a reporter" for the time being, and "has a message from Spider-Man."  Spidey, through the video, explains things aren't looking that good in the States, but he needs to remain there to keep up the good fight on that end while the Avengers take care of everything else.

It's a cute little scene, as Spidey gives the kids a pep talk, but Peter realizes pretty quickly they're already pretty confident that they're going to be okay.  Peter leaves, and the kids get ready to get some sleep

It's not a very fast-paced or action-packed episode, and I suppose you could make the argument that "this isn't a live-action show, it's okay to be filled with action all the time because you don't have a budget that runs out when it comes to special effects," but to that I'd argue that any story needs to have fast and slow moments.  If the movie is nothing but high stakes all the time, it loses a sense of its story impact (something I regularly heard today was that the new Mad Max movie isn't something you see "because of the story," you go for the non-stop spectacle).   The slow moments let characters digest everything that happened before, and grow from it.

I'll tell you now, the next episode is also a "they get settled in" episode.  Wasp gets a new outfit!  Ed faces off against Otaku over Beta Ray Bill!  Thor vs. roller skates (no, he's not wearing them, that would just be dumb)!  Be there!

No comments: