Sunday, April 13, 2014

Marvel's Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United

Marvel's Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United ~ This was a nice surprise to find on Netflix, a new Marvel animated film. I was even more excited by the opening credits sequence filled with Silver Age-y art and design. When the feature actually started however, I was disappointed. It is very blocky ugly computer animation, the type of which would make the MTV "Spider-Man: The New Animated Series" or Nick's teenage "Iron Man: Armored Adventures" show look positively pretty. No wonder I hadn't heard of this. Even Marvel must be ashamed of it.

I'm really not sure what to make of the neon version of the movie Abomination, it's just bizarre. Is he wearing armor, or is that his skin? Speaking of armor, the Hulkbuster armor is featured early, possibly to cash in on its brief cameo in Iron Man Three or rumored appearance in Avengers Age of Ultron. Speaking of Avengers, both Adrian Pasdar and Fred Tatasciore (sadly with some sort of new voice modulation) reprise their voices as Iron Man and Hulk from "Avengers Assemble."

After Hulk and Abomination tag team for a bit, get captured by Hydra scientists who create a living energy weapon, Iron Man shows up and, shades of the Silver Age, picks a fight with the Hulk. It's weird, especially after it's established they're friends. The energy weapon unites the two as it attacks them. It doesn't have a humanoid form at first, but my first thought was Zzzax, and I was right.

I had to wonder about the redesign of Zzzax. Why not put this ugly CGI they're using to good use? With computer animation they could bring to life a character that in the two-dimensional comic book medium was usually just a human shaped lightning bolt. It could look great, but they chose differently, and sadly.

With Hulk blinded and Iron Man's armor non-functional, the two have to depend on each other. I suppose it's a lesson in cooperation for the kids this animated feature seems to have been made for. Besides Zzzax they also have to contend with shadowy Wendigos. Hmmm, I thought they were white and there was only one, but what do I know?

Another thing is did Tony Stark make a killing at a SHIELD yard sale post-Captain America The Winter Soldier? Suddenly he's got his own helicarrier, a fleet of jets, and a battalion of mandroids. What's up with that? I also really dislike the idea of Hulk needing armor. I guess we know, despite the overabundance of Hulk villains, who the real star of this cartoon is.

Don't let Netflix cut off the end credits or you'll miss the lead-in to what I assume is the next CGI feature starring Iron Man and Captain America vs. the Red Skull. This was an okay distraction. I would have rather had traditional animation and maybe more thought in the plot and dialogue.

No comments:

Post a Comment