Marvel Animated Features (Part 5): Next Avengers: Heroes Of Tomorrow

Hello, my friends.  We’re past the halfway point, so it’s time to assemble once again as I bring you the next entry in the review series known as…

Marvel Animated Features!

We once again have an animated tale involving Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.  However, this isn’t the same group of gallant figures that we know and love.  The next generation will have their moment in the sun in a film called…

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Originally released on September 2, 2008, this film originally had two different titles: “Teen Avengers” and “Avengers Reborn”.  Even though they’re both scrapped, they end up playing a role in this feature, so let’s dive in to this fight for the future.

Kids-Tell Us Our Favorite Story!Avengers-Earth's Mightiest Heroes!

We open on a group of young children who ask their guardian to tell them their favorite bedtime story.  After accepting their request, he weaves a tale about Earth’s Mightiest Heroes: The Avengers.  In the story, the familiar figures are given code names.  Captain America is “The Soldier”, Thor is “The God”, Iron Man is “The Knight”, Black Widow is “The Spy”, Giant Man is “The Giant”, Black Panther is “The King”, Wasp is “The Pixie”, Vision is “The Ghost” and Hawkeye is “The Archer”.  Throughout their tenure, these marvelous men and women defeated numerous foes until world peace was finally achieved.  As such, they each settled down.

Black Panther-A Beautiful Day For Wakanda!Thor-A Beautful Day For Asgard!

While Captain America ended up with Black Widow and Giant Man hooked up with Wasp, Black Panther and Thor each returned to their respective kingdoms, though they both managed to acquire a respective mate.  As such, all four couples each gave birth to their respective child and hope to ultimately mentor them into becoming heroes.

Ultron-Here I Come!Avengers-Fallen!

Unfortunately, a powerful evil named Ultron (voiced by Tom Kane) emerged.  The Avengers attempted to stop their malevolent foe, but they lost both the fight and their lives.

Avengers-Last Hope For The Future!.jpg

Fortunately, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes were able to complete one last task before their ultimate defeat.  They sent their children to a land far away from Ultron’s grasp as the story concludes with the sense of “hope for the future” being kept alive.

Azari-Gotcha!Pym-Caught!

Following the opening credits, we cut to 12 years later at a lush and forested area where we first meet two of our main heroes, Azari (son of Black Panther & Storm and voiced by Dempsey Pappion) and Pym (son of Giant Man & Wasp and voiced by Aidan Drummond), engaged in a game of tag.

Torunn-May You Come For Me, Daddy!Pym-Making Some Of My Own Trouble!

Over to our next hero is the daughter of Thor, Torunn (voiced by Brenna O’Brien), who’s at the many memorials that commemorate the fallen Avengers.  At her father’s slab, she talks about her dreams where she’s able to visit the sacred realm of Asgard.  Just then, Pym comes in and stealthily tries to take her sword.  Just like Mjolnir however, he’s unable to lift it from the ground since he’s not worthy.  Annoyed from his childish behavior, Torunn proceeds to chase after Pym before they meet up with Azari.  Just as she’s about to join in their game of tag, she wonders where their fellow friend is.

James-Rude Awakening!James-Feud Among Friends!

As such, they make their way to the bungalow where their fellow teammate is fast asleep within his messy room.  Azari proceeds to use his electricity to wake him up before he’s thrown outside in response.  From there, James (son of Captain America & Black Widow and voiced by Noah Crawford) emerges with his mechanized gauntlet, which makes a holographic projection of his father’s shield.  It turns out that he’s been slacking off on his chores and training, since they’ve never faced any real danger within their homeland.  James’ arrogant attitude also brings up the fact that their parents are deceased while also thinking that Torunn’s father “abandoned” her.  This infuriates her enough to strike back at her teammate.

Tony Stark-That's Enough!Avengers-Red Alert!

Just then, their guardian comes in to break up the fight.  It turns out that they’re under the protection of Iron Man himself, Tony Stark (also voiced by Tom Kane).  Shortly after telling the youngsters to go to their respective bungalows to cool down, an alarm suddenly goes off.  As such, Tony tells them to go hide in James’ bungalow until further notice.  Afterwards, he heads off to take care of the problem.

Sometime later, our heroes grow concerned as to what the alarm could have been about.  Pym thinks that it might be Ultron, but his guess soon gets debunked as a familiar android phases through the wall to unintentionally put them on their guard.  It turns out to be a tattered-up Vision (voiced by Shawn McDonald) who ends up collapsing in front of them.  Tony walks in to see his battered comrade and is informed of what happened to his robotic friend.  It turns out that Vision managed to escape from Ultra City, but not before one of Ultron’s androids managed to actually damage him while he was in immaterial form.  Fortunately, he wasn’t followed.  Afterwards, Tony picks him up and proceeds to carry him to his workshop, but not before he tells the young heroes to stay put and promises that he’ll eventually “explain everything”.

Avengers-Disobeying On A Discrete Level!Iron Avengers-Tony's Secret Project!

From there, Tony and Vision arrive at the Avengers Memorial where the base actually serves as the opening to a secret workshop.  Unbeknownst to them, our young heroes had followed them.  While the majority of the group decide to continue their pursuit, Azari wants them to respect Tony’s wishes and leave him be.  However, Torunn uses her sword to absorb his electric force field and allow Pym to open the secret door.  After they make their way down into the secret workshop, James gets a sense of déjà vu as he feels like he’s been in this area before.  Suddenly, they come across a group of robots.  However, most of them have the likeness of their parents.  From there, Azari and Pym manage to find Tony repairing Vision.  They learn that their friendly android was spotted while trying to access Ultron’s mainframe.  Our heroes also learn that the entirety of Europe has fallen to the robotic menace with Asia becoming its next target.  With Ultron having already reached the halfway point of his goal for complete world domination, the scene ends with Vision informing Tony that Hawkeye’s son is still alive.

James-What's Going On!Ultron-I've Found Them!

Back at the Iron Avengers, Torunn looks on as James stands in front of Iron Captain America and wonders if it has an ounce of his father’s voice, personality or memories programmed inside.  As such, he tries talking to it to no avail.  Suddenly, the patriotic robot wakes up.  Upon remembering its mission to destroy Ultron, it begins to walk out while the rest of the Armored Avengers come online and follow suit.  James tries telling them to stop, but his command is ignored as the mechanized versions of Captain America, Thor, Black Panther, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Giant Man blast off.  Meanwhile, Ultron is overlooking the operations from inside his Citadel.  Just then, he’s informed of Iron Man’s location: the Arctic Circle.

Ultron-You're Mine Now!.jpg

Up in the skies, the Iron Avengers spot their foe blasting off.  The mechanized figures try to engage, but Ultron easily defeats them.  Not only that, he starts to infect them in order to gain control over them.

With our heroes gathered in front of Tony, he tells them to head to the control center in order to evacuate with Vision’s detached head explaining their evacuation plan later on.  As such, our young heroes take their leave and start to make a run for it.  Shortly after the Iron Avengers have become completely corrupted, Ultron breaks into the arctic dome, which deactivates the artificial sky.  From there, he confronts our heroes and prepares to finish them off.

Iron Man-Suiting Up One Last Time!Ultron-You're No Match For Me!

Fortunately, Tony arrives in his Iron Man armor and manages to attack his foe in order to give our young heroes the escape time that they need.  While they make their way to the control center, the Armored Avenger proceeds to tussle against the robotic menace.

Avengers-We're Outta Here!Ultron-Nothing Will Save You Now!

Meanwhile, our young heroes manage to reach the control center as they board the Quinjet.  After placing Vision’s head onto the main console, they attempt to rejoin Iron Man and fight alongside him.  Fortunately, our favorite android manages to take control of the plane and lock them in before taking off against their wishes.  With no other choice, our heroes are forced to leave the nest that they’ve called home for their entire lives.  Back at the dome, Ultron manages to defeat Iron Man as he and the corrupted Iron Avengers take Tony as their prisoner.

Torunn-How Dare We Flee!Vision-Outta Juice!

Back on the Quinjet, Torunn demands to go back and help their fallen father figure.  Fortunately for them, Vision denies their request.  He explains that there’s still parts of Earth that Ultron hasn’t conquered yet and that he’s going to take them to the Savage Land for their protection.  Suddenly, Vision runs out of power and proceeds to shut down in order to recharge.  Shortly afterwards, James says that he feels responsible for unintentionally luring Ultron to their home and for getting Tony captured.  As such, Pym reprograms the automatic pilot in order to go to Ultra City and bring the fight to their foe.

Quinjet-Shot Down!Avengers-We're In!

Later, we cut to the coast just off Ultra City.  Unfortunately, the Quinjet gets detected as the outer defense system easily shoots the plane out of the sky.  Fortunately, our heroes got out in time with Pym shrinking into his bug form and holding onto Vision’s head while Torunn carries both James and Azari.  After sneaking their way into Ultra City, Torunn tells her teammates that they’ll fight their way towards Ultron and ultimately defeat him in order to save Tony.  James immediately criticizes her plan and tells her that she doesn’t even know if she’s actually invulnerable like to claims to be.

Torunn-Not As Indestructible As You Thought!Avengers-We're Failing Fast!

Despite his warning, Torunn proceeds to dive right into combat.  She initially puts up a good fight before she gets surrounded by several drones who open fire upon her.  Afterwards, she’s genuinely surprised that she got hurt during the fight.  As such, her teammates come in to help fight off the drones.  Torunn’s pride takes a huge hit when Iron Giant Man proceeds to land on her as the rest of the Iron Avengers arrive.  Thankfully, her Asgardian nature helped her survive the impact.  With the rest of Ultron’s newly-acquired army entering the fray, our heroes find themselves gravely outmatched.

Hawkeye II-Come With Me If You Want To Live!Torunn-The Biggest Loss Of Pride!

Suddenly, our males heroes get dragged out of sight by a series of mechanical arms.  Just as Torunn is about to face the wrath of the Iron Avengers, a series of exploding arrows come down to distract Ultron’s army as a young archer arrives to save her.  They manage to escape, but Torunn forgot to bring her sword as they elude the Iron Avengers.

Ultron-You Thought You Could Hide Them From Me!.jpg

Inside the main Citadel, Ultron confronts his recently-captured adversary.  Tony believes that the young heroes are miles away in hiding, but the mechanized menace shows him security footage from the recent fight.  As such, the scene ends with Ultron demanding to know everything about our young heroes.

Avengers-You've Gotta Help Us, Barton!.png

Meanwhile, our heroes reunite with each other as the boys of the group discover that they were save by the archer’s friends.  As they make their way through the city’s lower levels, our heroes’ newfound ally says that his name is Barton, yet his group calls him Hawkeye (voiced by Adrian Petriw of Iron Man: Armored Adventures fame).  As such, our heroes quickly discover that he’s the son of the original Hawkeye, Clint Barton.  Hawkeye II thought that he was the last living Avenger, but James assures Barton that he and his friends didn’t know of his existence.

Avengers-We Need Your Help!Hawkeye II-You're Taking Your Life Into You're Own Hands!

Barton ultimately leads our heroes into the building that serves as the hideout for him and his group of people called “The Scavengers”, Grand Central Station. It turns out that Ultron built his own kingdom where New York City once stood.  Hawkeye II proceeds to explain to our heroes that his father brought citizens underground and taught them how to survive once Ultron started to take over.  However, his dad eventually got captured by the mechanized armada, forcing him to become the Scavengers’ leader.  Afterwards, our heroes inform him that his father wasn’t the last surviving Avenger.  They say that Iron Man is still alive and in need of rescue, so our heroes ask their newfound ally for assistance.  However, Hawkeye II believes that Ultron doesn’t keep prisoners.

Betty Ross-Tony's Alive!.jpg

Just then, a woman emerges and tells our young heroes that their friend is cognizant.  Not only that, but he’s being held inside the Citadel.  This convinces them to go on their rescue mission.  Even though he refuses to join them, Barton agrees to show them how to get to their destination.  Later, our heroes reach a certain spot and begin to climb towards the surface.  Meanwhile, the Scavengers will look after Vision’s head.

Avengers-Not The Family Reunion They Were Hoping For!James-Remnants Of The Father!

From there, our young heroes ultimately sneak their way into the Citadel via a moving tower.  Once it locked itself onto the building, our heroes sneak in and reach a central platform.  Just then, Pym accidentally steps on a panel which summons a walkway towards a display case.  However, our heroes discover that it’s the tattered costumes of their fallen parents.  In particular, James sees his father’s shredded mask and damaged shield.  As he goes in to have a better look, he inadvertently steps on a panel which lights up numerous display cases around the room.  It turns out that Ultron has smited numerous figures over a long period of time.  Despite the superior foe that lurks within the building, our heroes proceeds to continue with their mission.

Eventually, they manage to find their surrogate father as James uses his holographic shield to fee Tony from his shackles.  After he admits to our heroes that he was the one who built Ultron in the first place, the mechanical menace emerges alongside his Iron Avengers.  As he prepares to strike down on our young heroes (starting with James “Son Of Captain America” Rogers), Hawkeye II manages to distract Ultron with an explosive arrow.  Not only that, but he brought the Scavengers along as they help our heroes make their escape.

Tony Stark-Here's Why My Creation Turned On Us!Betty Ross-Our Last Hope Is In The Desert!

Later, Tony and our heroes are hiding out in the remains of Carnegie Hall.  Stark explains that he originally built Ultron to help towards a peaceful future.  However, its artificial intelligence evolved and decided that the only way to bring about a peaceful world is to rule it.  At that moment, it turned on the original Avengers.  During the battle where Earth’s Mightiest Heroes fell, Tony’s Iron Man armor was badly damaged in the fight.  As such, Captain America ordered him to take their children and escape.  He did so, but he was unable to acquire Barton as well, whose first name is revealed as Francis.  Torunn wonders why her father didn’t help the Avengers in their fateful final battle, to which Tony explains that Thor had to return to his kingdom when his dad Odin passed away.  At that moment, Asgard became his primary responsibility over Earth.  After landing in the Arctic Circle and building a safe haven for the children, Tony resorted to the intangible Vision to be his constant update upon the world.  Just then, the old woman from before comes in (revealed to be Betty Ross, voiced by Nicole Oliver) and tells them that another Avenger also survived Ultron’s wrath: the Hulk.  Despite the vast strength that the incredible being has, she says that he’s unable to help out.  After learning from Betty that the Hulk is hiding in the desert, Tony asks Hawkeye II if there’s a way to get out of Ultra City.

Tony Stark-I Should Have Done Better!Hawkeye II-Dibbs On Torunn!

As such, Francis leads our group to a specialized hovercraft that he and the Scavengers have had for years.  Unfortunately, Ultron will start tracking them down the moment it gets turned on since it’s wired in.  Fortunately, Tony is more than capable of removing their mechanical menace from its system.  Afterwards, our heroes managed to load up on the necessary supplies as Hawkeye II is informed by the Scavengers that they’ll buy him and the team the time and distraction they need to escape.  As such, the plan gets put into motion as our heroes, Vision, Tony and Betty manage to leave Ultra City and begin their westward trek towards the desert.  Meanwhile, Francis takes in the vast landscape of an outside world that he has never experienced before.  James asks why he came back to help him and his friends out, to which Barton explains that the Scavengers look up to him and that our heroes give them their only shot at taking Ultron down once and for all.

Avengers-Here At The Hulk's Home!Bruce Banner-Reunited!

Later, our heroes arrive at a cliffside cave.  Upon venturing inside, they discover a lush and calming place within the rock formation.  However, Bruce Banner (voiced by Ken Kramer) isn’t happy on being intruded nor is he too keen on seeing Tony again.  Fortunately, Betty emerges and manages to calm him down as the two of them reunite after many painful years.  Later, our group has gathered around a campfire.  James asks if the Hulk can defeat Ultron, but Bruce warns him that his rage-tastic side doesn’t care about the outside conflicts and just wants to be left alone.

Avengers-We Make Our Stand!.jpg

Later on, our young heroes gather outside of the cave.  With the Hulk unable to help them, Torunn suggests for them to keep running.  Fortunately, James says that it’s time for them to make their last stand and honor their fallen parents by fighting Ultron.  If they don’t, then their mechanical foe will continue to grow in strength and there ultimately won’t be anywhere left to run to.  James says that their ship is still able to be traced by Ultron, since its programming is still a part of the craft.  That way, the Hulk will have no choice but to help our heroes out.  Distraught by the idea of facing Ultron again, Torunn flees into the cave.  After James assures his fellow teammates that she’ll be fine, they agree to put his plan into motion.

Azari-Come And Get Us, Ultron!Bruce Banner-You Did WHAT!

At sunset, they put their plan into action as Azari uses his electric ability to power on their ship.  As expected, Ultron detects them from his citadel as he and his Iron Avengers begin their trek out to the desert.  Tony is shocked to see the craft hovering, but James assures him that their parents would’ve approved of their action.  However, Bruce hears about what they did and comedically tries to strangle James.

Torunn-Please Help Us, Father!Torunn-Daddy Heard Your Call For Help!

Meanwhile, Torunn has wandered out towards the desert.  After falling to her knees, she begs for her father to help out not only herself, but her friends and family as well.  Back in Ultra City, Ultron’s drones try to retrieve her sword, but are unable to since they’re not worthy.  Suddenly, the mighty blade lifts itself from the ground, takes to the sky and lands right in front of Torunn.  Seeing this as a sign from Thor, she tearfully thanks her father.

Torunn-I'm Ready!.jpg

With the rain coming down, Tony tells our heroes that they can defeat the Iron Avengers by attacking their exposed joints.  As for Ultron, the only advice Tony could give was that they’ve training for this moment for their entire lives.  Our heroes get a morale boost when a reinvigorated Torunn returns with her sword and ready to stand alongside her friends.

Iron Avengers-For Ultron!Avengers-United!

Suddenly, they feel a massive rumble.  After reaching the cave’s entrance, our heroes discover that Iron Giant Man has arrived.  Shortly before the rain lets up, the rest of the Iron Avengers arrive.  As such, the final battle begins between the two sides.

James-I've Got You, Tony!Pym-A Little Kid Becoming A Big Man!

During the fight, Iron Giant Man sees Tony overseeing the scuffle.  As such, it punches the rock formation and causes Stark to violently fall out.  Fortunately, James caught this in time as he uses his holographic shield as a sled in order to catch his surrogate father and land safely.  Pym, who also saw this, is told to not get scared as he’s pointed towards the mechanized perversion of his late father.  As such, Pym ends up growing into a titanic size and starts to attack Iron Giant Man.

Bruce Banner-Refusing To Let The Gamma Giant Loose!.jpg

As the battle wages on, Betty scolds Bruce for not helping our young heroes out.  Even with the cave rumbling around him, he refuses to unleash his alter ego.

Iron Black Widow-Take Aim!James-Charge!

Back outside, a key moment from the final battle occurs during James’ brawl with Iron Captain America.  Rogers launches his holographic shield at the fierce robot, which gets deflected and hits a nearby cliff.  This causes a rock slide which buries Iron Captain America and relives it of its shield.  Shortly afterwards, Iron Black Widow engages James by opening an extra pair of arms and firing at him.  It manages to hit James’ gauntlet, damaging it in the process.  Fortunately, he manages to grab his father’s shield and uses it to fight back.

Afterwards, Pym uses the Stinger Blasts in his gauntlets to send Iron Giant Man crashing to the ground.  Despite its defeat, it still had one last trick in store as it unleashes an army of Iron Wasps who proceed to zap away at Pym.  James manages to take down one of them with his shield before telling his teammate to go get the Hulk by making Bruce mad.  As such, Pym shrinks down and manages to elude the Iron Wasps.

Pym-Please Help Us, Bruce!Bruce Banner-Now You're Gonna Get It!

From there, he makes his way back into the cave.  Once inside, he begins to blast away at Bruce in order to rile up his anger.  Meanwhile, Betty manages to hide in time.  It turns out that the Iron Wasps have caught up and fire a concentrated blast onto Bruce.

Hulk-That Does It!Hulk-Smash Stupid Robots!

With Iron Giant Man looming outside and the multiple stinger blasts becoming unbearable, Bruce manages to become angry enough and transform into the Hulk (voiced by Fred Tatasciore).  From there, he proceeds to rip apart the Iron Wasps, destroy Iron Giant Man’s head and completely decimate Iron Black Widow.

Ultron-I Can Actually Take On The Hulk!Ultron-Even A Hulk Has Pressure Points!

Just then, Ultron arrives and proceeds to engage the Hulk.  The tyrannical machine proves himself to be a match for the Gamma Giant, even striking a pressure point with enough force to make the Hulk’s arm go limp.

Azari-I Am The Black Panther!Iron Hawkeye-At The Receiving End Of A Killshot!

Meanwhile, Ultron’s forces continue to dwindle as Azari and Hawkeye II finally manage to defeat Iron Black Panther and Iron Hawkeye, respectively.

Torunn-Thy End To Thy Imposter!James-For My REAL Father!

At the same time, Torunn and James manage to destroy Iron Thor and Iron Captain America, thus bringing a permanent end to the Iron Avengers.

Ultron-The Hulk Is A Joke To Me!Avengers-Fight On!

However, our heroes soon discover that Ultron has triumphed over the Hulk.  Fortunately, their recent victories over the robotic perversions of their parents has given them the courage to tangle with the maniacal machine.

Azari-Feel The Power Of A Panther!Ultron-Down, Kitty!

Pym goes in first with his Stingers blazing, but he’s quickly taken out.  Azari comes in next with his Electric Panther attack, but Ultron is able to absorb the blast and send it back at him in a powerful beam.

Pym-Get Back Up, Hulk!Avengers-We're Losing Ground!

Torunn is next as she tries to plunge her sword into the tyrannical automaton, but Ultron is able to withstand the strike and starts choking her.  While Pym regains consciousness and attempts to get the Hulk back up and fighting via pleading and taunting, James comes in and slams his shield into Ultron, causing him to release Torunn.  However, the mechanical fiend unleashes a powerful chest beam as James attempts to defend himself from the blast.

Fortunately, Pym’s constant taunting has riled up enough anger into the Hulk as he manages to catch Ultron off-guard and begins to smash the robotic foe into the ground before he rips it in half.  Afterwards, he charges at Pym and prepares to pound him for the various taunts.  Fortunately, he hears Betty calling out to him.  This calms him down enough to angrily tell Pym to never sting him again.  After Pym promises, the Hulk hops over to Betty.  After placing Vision’s head onto a nearby rock, she climbs into the waiting arms of the Hulk as the two of them hop away from sight.

Ultron-Don't Count Me Out!Torunn-This Must End!

Shortly afterwards, Tony joins them and says that they haven’t won yet.  As such, Ultron starts to slowly rebuild himself in order to fight back.  To make sure that they never have to deal with it ever again, Torunn proceeds to grab both halves of their foe and takes to the skies.

She ascends towards Earth’s atmosphere and proceeds to throw Ultron’s severed body out into the vastness of outer space.  Although she has permanently rid the planet of one menace, she starts suffering from asphyxiation.  Weary from the recent battle, she’s unable to fly back down to Earth and seemingly perishes.  Fortunately, she awakens within the presence of her father, Thor (voiced by Michael Adamthwaite).  The Asgardian king tells his daughter about his unleveled satisfaction of seeing her face her own mortality and thereby learning “what it meant to be human”.  He then offers his daughter the opportunity to return to Asgard, to which she tearfully declines to order to reunite with her “family on Earth”.  Thor understands and tells her that she’ll always be welcomed upon her eventual return.

Torunn-I'm Back!Avengers-Reunited!

Afterwards, Torunn has returned to Earth with a new outfit.  As her friends proceed to embrace her, Vision’s head comes back on fully recharged.  With Ultron out of the way for good, the film ends with our heroes united as they prepare to head back to Ultra City and dispose of the remaining androids.

James-To The Rescue!.jpg

With this film serving as an original story, let’s dive into my character analysis.  First up, we have James.  Early on, he’s been apathetic towards his training since he and his friends have been sheltered in the arctic throughout the majority of their lives.  Through the Iron Avengers’ activation and Ultron hunting him & his friends down, he starts becoming like his father and develops into a leader.  In terms of traits that he picked up from his mother, it’s tough to tell.  One could say athleticism, while others could say his use of weaponry.  To me, James doesn’t display much of his mom’s attributes other than a black outfit and red hair.  As far as his past goes when he says that he feels like he’s been in Tony’s lab before, it’s possible that he was but he was much younger.  As such, he wouldn’t have been able to keep much of a memory of that event.  As far as blaming himself for Ultron finding their arctic home, it’s tricky to wonder whether partially stepping into the lighted display or the Iron Avengers sensing via radar that Ultron was within close proximity (which doesn’t entirely seem entirely plausible) set them off to ultimately get hacked.  Either way, the main reason that he and his friends were “forced out of the nest” doesn’t feel like it was his fault at all.  In terms of an actual weapon, he uses his shield-projecting gauntlet throughout the majority of the film.  By the time he becomes a complete character, he has acquired his dad’s shield as sort of a “inheritance by fire”.  I find that as a nice and subtle form of a symbolic sign of his development.  Noah Crawford turns in a good performance, bringing the right amount of confidence to his part in order for his character to feel genuine.

Torunn-You Will Not Stop Us!.png

Next in line, we have Torunn.  In a character arc that’s similar to what her father would go through in his live-action solo outing in 2011, she starts off as brash and overconfident.  Her starting point is believable since its a state-of-mind that we all have in our youthful years when we felt energetic and tough enough to take on the world.  Of course, her moment of change comes when she engages Ultron’s drones and discovers that she’s nowhere near as invincible as she thought she was.  This defeat made her humbled, which happens to all of us at some point in our lives.  Through Francis Barton, she gets a potential love interest (thought thankfully its downplayed, since Ultron’s personal apocalypse offers no room for that) who gives her a level of admiration.  Only through her biggest defeat (where she loses her sword) and keeping the belief of her father alive inside her while helping out her personal family does her weapon of choice return to her and set her up to complete her character progression.  She reaches the final level of change when she risks her life to get rid of Ultron once and for all.  Through Thor, she’s rewarded with a new outfit and the open opportunity to one day return to Asgard.  Brenna O’Brien was a joy to listen to, showing off a good range from loud & boisterous to tearful & sullen with a grand dash of happy & upbeatness as her perfect vocal balance.

Azari-I'm Too Fast!

Next up, we move to Azari.  However, there’s not much to him in terms of analysis, since he doesn’t seem to have a character arc.  He’s respectful towards the wishes of his surrogate father, he’s very nimble, he’s full of spunk combined with a slick attitude and he ultimately unlocks the lightning powers that he inherits from his mother.  I guess being able to form those bolts into the shape of a panther symbolizes his growth as a character, but it’s tough to gauge him in that light.  Despite that, he still gets plenty of things to do throughout the film.  With what he has to work with, Dempsey Pappion does a decent job.  His line delivery and his tone works really well for the character, despite the lack of a personal arc.

Pym-Into The Lab We Go!.jpg

Rounding out the original four is Pym.  He’s the youngest of the group and the most upbeat of our heroes. Other than his inherited powers, he most likely got his tech training from Tony Stark. However, he doesn’t display this attribute enough for it to be effective towards the narrative.  Throughout the bulk of the film, he mainly shrinks down to  accomplish his superheroic feats alongside his teammates. Only when he grows in size to tangle with Iron Giant Man does he symbolically grow closer towards manhood.  There isn’t much of an arc that leads him towards that change, but it’s possibly for the best since he’s with others who need their own development.  Aidan Drummond succeeded in bringing a child’s charm to the role, delivering a light-hearted and upbeat tone in his voice.

Hawkeye II-Welcome To My Underground Lair!.jpg

Now, we’ve reached the added member in Hawkeye II.  Unlike the rest of our main characters, he got to be with his father.  That way, he got to inherit his father’s traits. He has a sly wit which helps him feel confident, especially when it came to Torunn since he quickly took a liking to her and gave her some necessary support during her lowest moment.  With the details we get about his backstory, it’s most likely that he was trained by his dad in the realm of archery.  Given the apocalyptic setting of hiding out in Ultra City alongside the Scavengers, it’s understandable why his arrows only has a limited variety to them, mainly explosives.  Most likely, he was also molded into a leader since his father led a number of superhero teams like the Thunderbolts.  That trait helps him guide the Scavengers towards their survival in Ultra City.  Unfortunately, he never gets the chance to show off any potential skills in hand-to-hand combat.  Supposedly, his mother was Bobbi Chase a.k.a. Mockingbird.  This is most likely contributed from two main factors.  One: Francis’ mom isn’t mentioned in the film.  Two: His mechanized opponents doesn’t give him the opportunity to engage in fisticuffs.  Adrian Petriw was great in his role, giving up impeccable energy in his tone as he shows off his character’s personality traits in an effective way.

Thankfully, these five heroes aren’t limited to just this one film.  They would go on to make a few appearances in the comics, such as “Avengers” and “Avengers World”.  Since I haven’t read those at the time of this review, it appears that they’ve aged into, at least, their 20s.

Iron Man-Protect The Dome!.png

Moving on towards the secondary characters, we have Iron Man.  Serving as the surrogate father to our heroes, he’s kept them sheltered throughout their entire lives due to the nature of the outside world.  Because Tony Stark was a famous playboy back in his youthful years, the transition towards effective adult must have been a tricky one for him.  Sure, he had a computer system called Jocasta to help him maintain the environment inside the arctic dome.  However, he originally had to juggle four kids according to the original upbringing that their parents gave them, which resonates with anyone who goes through the trials and tribulations of parenthood.  After all, some of the tech that he built are used by the male heros of the group.  James, of course, has a gauntlet that gave him holographic shields until his key development kicked in, while Pym has his outfit and his technological knowledge.  It’s unclear whether part of Azari’s outfit was enhanced in some way by Stark, but Torunn’s get-up is most likely from the mystical nature of Asgard.  With what he has to work with, Tom Kane is effective.  He’s more sincere than attitude-driven, which helps with the character’s age. At least he gets a fight scene to show off his armor, even if he’s ultimately defeated.

Hulk-Smashing Time!

Last up in our string of heroes is Hulk.  There’s not much to say about him, since he and Bruce only show up during the final third of the film.  While Ken Kramer is decent as the reclusive scientist and Fred Tatasciore has a blast with the grunts and yells from our favorite Gamma Giant, he’s mainly the one advantage our heroes have in taking down Ultron.  After all, they’re still developing into the gallant figures that their world will need and even their parents were bested by it.  Still, it’s pretty humorous seeing the Hulk desolate the Iron Avengers and ultimately triumph Ultron.

Ultron-Feel My Wrath!.jpg

Last up in my character analysis is our main baddie, Ultron.  Unlike the majority of world domination plots where the villains have a plan but are ultimately foiled by the time it can start to gain some serious ground, here a vast majority of the planet has fallen under the fiend’s grasp.  Ultron has a classic sci-fi characteristic of a machine that moves past its programming and discovers its own desires.  However, those aspirations were severely misguided where everyone’s choice on vast decisions are rendered null and void under this mechanical and malevolent rule.  By removing the power of choice, Ultron has gotten rid of an important trait that makes us human.  Only when it’s defeated by both Hulk and Torunn does that attribute begin to return to Earth.  Because of his limited time as Iron Man, Tom Kane gets more to do here.  When the character is present, he gets to effectively deliver a monotone and inhuman tone to the foe’s voice.

Pym-Tangeling With RoboDad!

Finally, let’s get to the rest of the film itself.  The animation is very fluent with lip movement nicely matching the dialogue and the flow never felt weirdly interrupted.  What action scenes are here are tense, engaging and coherent enough to follow.  The presentation is very pleasant to the eye with bright colors throughout and only losing some of its brightness for some tense scenes.  The entire package is a slim 1 hour and 18 minutes.  It gets in, tells its tale and gets out with a bright optimism for this world.  For an original story, it feels genially paced and gives its heroes enough time to shine.  Had this series had gone past 2011, I would have loved to have seen another venture with these established heroes and develop even further against an unlikely foe.

Avengers-Assembled!

Overall, this is a nice romp.  The story is basic yet solid, the characters are engaging, the main heroes feel genuine & gel really nicely together, the action is thrilling and the main package never feels boring at any moment.  While not without some minor hiccups, those never detract from the overall experience.  In the end, it’s definitely worth your time whether you’re an adult, a teen or even a kid.

Next Time: Everyone’s favorite Jolly Green Giant has returned.  However, his first solo outing sees him locked in battle against a powerful hero, TWICE!  It’s two stories for the price of one as we dig into “Hulk Vs.”.

Avengers (created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby) is owned by Marvel Comics.

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