Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow 2008
After going through the first two Marvel animated Avengers movies I jumped ahead a bit to watch the only one I actually hadn’t seen before now. I’ve actually heard decent things about this one that follows the children of the Avengers after they have been spirited away with Tony Stark to the Arctic Circle to avoid the detection of Ultron who has now taken over about half of the world. Most of the Avengers are dead, but before they died they paired off and had kids, and now their kids have to band together to defeat Ultron. And even though it doesn’t really make sense when you put it into words the movie actually does work with the concept and make it seem at least partly believable.
As far as the characters go, it’s no surprise that it’s male heavy. Even after tossing out an extra recognizable name, most of the kids come from their father and a nameless mother. Running down through the list we have James son of Captain America and Black Widow, Pym son of Wasp and Ant-Man though he’s more known as Giant Man here, Azari son of Black Panther and Storm (not pictured), Hawkeye son of Hawkeye, and the only female of the group Torunn daughter of Thor who gets a sword instead of Mjolnir. And of course they inherit their parents abilities and personality traits even thought they are apparently raised by Tony Stark from age 3ish to age 15ish. It’s hard to nail down an exact timeline since all we really get is that 12 years pass from the time they escape to this hideaway and when we catch up to them for the events of the movie. The surviving characters look quite old, like at least in their 60’s if not 70’s which really makes things weird when you think that they were having these kids when they were in their late 40’s early 50’s. Though the argument could be made that Cap and Widow are ageless in some continuities (and sterile in the current one), and Storm and the Pyms could be younger here since they don’t show up. It was just a minor nit pick, but still a nagging one.
Honestly, the biggest issues are with the world and the concept surrounding this movie. And there are more issues I could find with them, but if you’re able to look past those from the start, the characters themselves go on a nice little arc and create a fun and action filled story. It’s fascinating to see that even in this version of the story the creator of Ultron was shifted away from Hank Pym to Tony Stark. Though it isn’t about the origin of Ultron at all, he’s already had 12 years to create this massive citadel and take over half of the world while Vision continues to fight in his own way. In fact, Vision’s return was what instigated the entire events of this film, though he spends most of his time as just a head with his batteries run down. We also get to see the Iron Avengers, giant robot versions of passed Avengers except for Storm because of reasons.
There’s also an element of the story about how they are all told stories of their parents almost as if they were myths. Torunn is the only one who believes her father is still alive, he has just gone back to Asgard, though she does her best to imitate his style of speech. It’s an interesting angle and not overly played up, there’s just a brief moment when she uses the wrong version of thee or thou and James corrects her. James is the only other character who really gets any sort of character arc throughout the film. He starts out being generally reluctant to even play hero and wants to know more about his parents, and by the end of the film he grows into being a leader just like his father. In fact, aside from his enhanced abilities, Ultron mentions that the reason why he targeted Cap first among the Avengers to die was because he feared his ability of leadership the most.
What does work the best throughout the film is the sense of fun even though most of it takes place during a dystopian future ruled by a heartless artificial intelligence. Most of it comes from Pym who plays the slightly annoying comic relief, though he somehow inherited his father’s technological ability to become Giant Man along with his mother’s biological ability to become small and fire energy bolts out of his fists. Though he does have these MegaMan style armbands which are never explained along with his knack for technology. There’s also the bit of fun with ladies man Hawkeye who has a bit of a thing for Torunn when he first sees her. He ends up being the reluctant hero who was busy leading a rebellion of his own but joins the team in the end. We also get a bit with Betty Ross and the Hulk who also initially refuses to get involved, but becomes the muscle needed to ultimately defeat Ultron. And even though this was only made a few years ago, it could easily have been before the overabundance of Wi-Fi which would help explain him not just jumping to another body across the internet. It’s not like this film is without plot holes, but it has the right balance of fun and action where if you can just ignore the conundrums and enjoy the ride, it’s an entertaining watch. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.