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Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow (2008) - DVD Review

By Widge - posted 09.18.08 @ 3:33 am
Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow DVD cover art

Film:
DVD:

Written by: Christopher Yost
Directed by: Jay Oliva
Starring the Voices of: Tom Kane, Noah Crawford, Brenna O'Brien, Dempsey Pappion, Aidan Drummond, Adrian Petriw

Features: Making of docu

  • "Kid Power: Next-Gen Marvel" featurette
  • First looks at Hulk vs. Wolverine and Hulk vs. Thor
  • Released by: Lionsgate
    Region: 1
    Rating: PG
    Anamorphic: Yes

    My Advice: Rent it for the kiddies

    The Avengers are no more. Ultron (voiced by Kane) decided to take care of his foes once and for all…and did. He killed them good. The only one to escape was Tony Stark/Iron Man (also voiced by Kane) and he took with them the Avengers' kids. You’ve got: James (Crawford), the son of Captain America and Black Widow; Torunn (O'Brien), daughter of Thor; Pym (Drummond), the son of guess who; and Azari (Pappion), the son of the Black Panther and An Unnamed Non-Avenger Mother Who Probably Wasn’t Named Due to Rights Issues. They've had sanctuary for the majority of their young lives--but that's about to change.

    The main thing about this film is it's not as bad as I thought it was going to be. The new characters are interesting. They have a good dynamic and not every line that comes out of their mouths is something you'd never hear a real kid saying--only about everything seventh or eighth. Especially if it feels catchphrasey. That's not to say there's not problems--a kid who's not familiar with Storm and doesn't catch the brief reference to her as Azari's mother might wonder why he has electrical powers in addition to being very catlike.

    I'd love to see these characters…in a better conceived story. I'll lay out exactly why the film is flawed below after some pics to keep the unwilling away from spoilers, but suffice to say that if you're eight, you'll probably think it rocks balls. Or if you have no history with the characters these guys are based upon, you'll probably be fine with it. But still, it's not irredeemable: in the final battle, our heroes actually use their powers in some fairly novel and kickass ways.

    The DVD comes with standard fare: first, an interview with the creators where they talk about the making of the film with a lot of production art and sketches thrown in. There's also a look at the youngun-friendly titles of the regular Marvel Comics line. And I don't know about you, but as a kid I wouldn't have read Marvel Adventures if you held a Nerf gun to my head. There's also sneak peeks at Hulk Vs. Wolverine and Hulk vs. Thor. The Thor one actually looks quite nice as they seemed to have given us a sweet version of Asgard for the Hulk to kick around.

    Honestly, this is aimed at kids and if just kids watch it, they'll be fine. Worth a rental for their sakes.

    Torunn, Pym, Azari and James from Next Avengers

    Next Avengers concept art

    Okay, everybody else gone? Good. Here are the problems. And spoilers.

    1) Thor is a Dick. Even if you set aside the comic book history of Thor--who wouldn't have been one to abandon his entire set of teammates, thus leading to their deaths--the fact that he did so in this reality makes him a total dick. The other kids would be giving Torunn shit about her father getting their parents killed rather than just disappearing.

    2) Tony is an Idiot. Even if you set aside the comic book history of Tony--who's supposed to be a bright guy, despite all the ridiculous shit Marvel has had him do recently--how can we accept the fact that he's a really smart cookie if he A) leaves his Iron Avengers out in the open to be powered up by anybody who walks up and 2) if he has them auto-receive orders that appear to be III) woefully out of date, since they were trying to hide out not actively engage the enemy.

    3) The adult heroes were idiots. Ultron, as shown in the film, could not have wiped out all the heroes. You can't tell me at some point somebody wouldn't have thrown the Hulk at him before the kids come up with the idea to. (And BTW, the Hulk's design just looks wrong compared to everybody else's). Even if The Avengers, The Hulk, and Mrs. Black Panther (aka U.N.A.M.W.P.W.N.D.R.I) are the only heroes around--somebody would have gotten desperate and found him and sicced him on Ultron. Or something.

    4) Ultron Learned World-Beating From the Psychlos. If we take their hideout at face value, Tony didn't do anything to hide them from, say, a satellite passing overhead. Which means Ultron must not have been looking very hard for them.

    5) The Iron Avengers Are Simply There to Fix a Hole in the Story. The hole is this: if the Hulk is going to beat the shit out of Ultron, who are the kids going to face down? The Iron Avengers. Hence the need to have them get sent out on a dumb mission, then taken over. Don't get me wrong, the battle is quite nice, but the setup is wrong.

    How to fix it. Have the Iron Avengers be the last attempt Tony made at fighting back at Ultron--his last ditch effort. And this is before the movie even starts. Back then the Iron Avengers got taken over and Ultron has them combing the world for the kids and Tony. If you absolutely must have the kids goof up something and cause Ultron to find them, have one of them screw up the cloaking shield thing Tony put up to keep them hidden, and have an Iron Avenger blast through the dome and start attacking. Kids freak because it looks like one of their parents, Tony has to explain quickly. Then the other Iron Avengers show, THEN Ultron. So Ultron is your ultimate badass.

    Also, never show Thor. If Thor has truly ascended and become Thor The God Untroubled By The Ways Of Man, then when Torunn gets back and says, "Dad says hi," it's an even more powerful line because she experienced something that mortals just don't get to see. And plus, you don't see Thor and think, "What a total and complete dick you are, man."

    My rates are very reasonable. Again, most kids are not going to think this much about the film and enjoy it. However, I'm not a kid. Nor do I have one on staff I could hand this to. So.

    Buy Stuff

    Read More About:

    Widgett Walls is Need Coffee's Chief Cook and Bottle Washer. He is the author of the novel Mystics on the Road to Vanishing Point, and two collections of short stories, Magnificent Desolation and Something Else: The Complete First Season. He is also co-author of the children's book There's a Zombie in My Treehouse! All of those books are available in paperback or for the Kindle from Amazon. He is also the narrator and publisher of the first unabridged recording of Seneca's letters, available here. He is active on both Twitter and Facebook. (If you befriend him on Facebook, do say you came via Need Coffee.) He lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia. He hardly ever sleeps.

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      1. 

      I'd be curious to see if kids who have seen this do notice if the story was weak.

      If anyone's kids have seen this, tell us what they thought of it.

      Comment by ScottC — September 18, 2008 @ 8:13 am

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