Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Musings on Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes - Season Three

It should come as no surprise that I want a third season of Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.

I mean, c'mon.  Duh.

I say this even as I have my misgivings.  Season One was exceptionally well-done, and I credit the visions and collaboration of Joshua Fine and Chris Yost for that.  I have high hopes for Season Two, given that Yost and Fine were pretty much still in charge of it when Jeph Loeb came on-board as the head of Marvel Studios.

Apparently Season Two has already felt the weight of his opinions, as at the San Diego Comic Con he did say that they went back and tweaked some of the later Season Two episodes to be more stand-alone and less multi-part story; this change probably weakened those episodes.  I wonder how much of his interference was incentive for Joshua Fine to decide to leave; we shall never know, as Joshua Fine is too professional to ever spill dirty laundry in that way (and more power to him!).

I'm doing my best to be fair as regards Jeph Loeb; I've never been a fan of his work in the comics industry, and his television/film work is hard to judge, as its a far more collaborative medium.  I'm hoping he leaves the Avengers pretty well alone, even though the Red Hulk (Loeb's creation) is allegedly set to appear as a villain.  I'm well aware that creators often shoe-horn their past work into new stuff so that they can get royalties and a higher profile for their work - but it also gets old.

In any case, the Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes was originally conceived as a vehicle to take advantage of the successful live-action movie run-up to the Avengers movie, and thus Seasons One and Two were authorized from the beginning, with 26 episodes per season.  Depending on when they start Season Two (not yet announced!), the end of Season Two should arrive around the same time that the live-action film debuts, just as the Thor-centric finale of Season One broadcast about the same time that Thor's movie was released.  I don't know if Thor 2 has been approved, but I do know that Iron Man 3 and Captain America 2 have been green-lit, which means that after the Avengers movie is released, there are potentially more movies to support.

At the end of the day, I don't know if being a marketing support for Marvel's live-action movies is enough to actually get them to green-light a third season. The AEMH has gotten remarkably little support from Disney XD in terms of scheduled playtime, although to be honest there are so many different ways for fans to see it that I'm not sure it really matters.  At the moment, if you want to see episodes, there are several ways besides subscribing to the Disney XD channel:

  • iTunes Season One subscription (this is how I watch them).
  • Netflix live streaming 
  • Marvel Website
  • Youtube 
  • DVD Release (at least the first half of Season One; the second half will be released in October).
This makes the episodes pretty easy to find, one way or another.  I find it odd that there have been no official toy announcements, but perhaps we'll get those this Christmas (although I'd have expected to hear about them by now).

In any case, its not clear to me how much of a success Marvel or Disney XD consider the series; clearly, they aren't in it for the money, what with the lack of licensed product and so forth.  Were there more licensed properties, I'd be able to bang the drum and encourage the fans to purchase them in support of the series - as it is, I think they're missing an opportunity and leaving money on the table.

I had hoped that the Avengers would be given a bit more promotional support, but its almost October (when Season One launched) and I've seen nothing - that doesn't bode well for DisneyXD's support for the show, nor Marvel's (although in every other way Marvel and Marvel Studios have been absolutely supportive).  Marvel announced quite a few new shows at the SDCC, including a new animated series for the Hulk (featuring even more Loeb creations, no doubt) - with their attention on the new and shiny,  I have my doubts as to whether or not they'll support what they see as "old news".  Unless Season Two shows itself to be remarkably successful without any Marketing support, I doubt we'll see a Season Three.