Marvel’s Super Hero Squad is their newest cartoon that is debuting this week on Cartoon Network.
The main roster for the Super Hero Squad consists of Iron Man, Cap, Thor, Hulk, Wolverine and the Falcon. This show also stars Ms. Marvel who is the head of SHIELD. In addition to the core cast there are also going to be tons of cameo appearances from other characters in the Marvel Universe.
The Super Hero Squad uses the SHIELD Helicarrier as their headquarters. Members of the Super Hero Squad are called “Squaddies.” The show is set in Super Hero City, which is located right next to Dr. Doom’s kingdom.
The basic set-up of this show is that Dr. Doom and Iron Man had a climactic battle where the incredibly powerful Infinity Sword was shattered into numerous fractals that showered across Super Hero City. Now Doom is employing any and all super villains to gather the various fractals in order to re-form the Infinity Sword. Of course, the Super Hero Squad’s mission is to collect the fractals before Doom can get his hands on them.
The cast of voice actors on this show is flat out incredible.
Tom Kenny (Spongebob): Iron Man and Captain America
Alimi Ballard (Numb3rs): Falcon
Charlie Adler (Starscream in Transformers 1 & 2): Doctor Doom
Steve Blum (Wolverine and the X-Men, Hulk Vs.): Wolverine
Grey DeLisle (Fairly Oddparents and The Replacements): Ms. Marvel
Mark Hamill (You know who he is!): Red Skull
Carlos Alazraqui (Reno 911): Cyclops
Shawn Ashmore (X-Men, X2 and X-Men: Last Stand): Iceman
Wayne Knight (Seinfeld): Egghead
LeVar Burton (Reading Rainbow, Star Trek: The Next Generation): War Machine
Michelle Trachtenberg (Gossip Girl, 17 Again, Buffy): Valkyrie
Greg Grunberg (Heroes): Ant-Man
Lena Headey (Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles, 300): Black Widow and Mystique
Adrian Pasdar (Heroes): Hawkeye
Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactic): Sif
Jennifer Morrison (House): Wasp
Tamera Mowry (Twitches and Sister, Sister): Misty Knight
Robert Englund (Nightmare on Elm Street films): Dormammu
Stan Lee as the Mayor of Super Hero City.
So, while Super Hero Squad Show is clearly targeting the kiddies, Marvel made sure that they performed more than enough fan service for the older fans with this cast of voice actors.
Episode 1: “And Lo? A Pilot Shall Come.”
The Super Hero Squad Shot has a great into and good theme song that sets the tone for this fast paced and upbeat show.
The Super Hero Squad Show takes its styling cues from Japanese anime and manga. The style of animation is done in the Chibi or Super deformed style that you see in some anime and manga. That right there is going to turn off a good portion of the viewers. Style issues aside, the animation is well done on this series. The Super Hero Squad is quite reminiscent of the Chris G. cartoons.
Do not be confused. These are not little kid versions of the Marvel super heroes. They are just super deformed in style. Having said that, the characters all have light and silly personalities.
I dig the fact that we get a little intro to each character along with the theme song when the team goes into action. This is also inspired by Japanese super hero shows. Super Hero Squad Show also has plenty of oddball and offbeat short humorous side moments that you see in comedic anime shows.
This episode has tons of cameos. In addition to the regular roster of characters, we also see the Thing, Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Human Torch, Power Man and Kitty Pryde. I dig that the creative team to this show is making use of Marvel’s entire stable of characters and are trying to fit in as many cameos as possible.
It appears that we will have a revolving cast of super villains as well who will be working for Doom. It seems that the only constant super villains that we will see are Doom’s two main flunkies in Modok and Abomination.
There is plenty of humor in this episode. To be sure, the humor is geared toward little kids. You get the usual fart humor, poop humor, booger humor and other bits of “immature” humor.
There is one scene where our heroes are after a fractal that is impacted deep into the ground. Iron Man quips that an impacted fractal can be painful. In another scene we have the Falcon reminding his hawk, Redwing, not to “decorate” the statues around town. Redwing provides some humor as well as we see the feathers getting buzzed off his tail by the helicarrier’s copter blades.
In another scene we see our heroes bore through the earth to get to the center where the Mole Man is located. As they bore through the earth they pass through dinosaur bones where the dinos are all sitting around a table playing cards.
I did like how the Hulk and Wolverine get into a clash near the beginning of this episode. This was a nice nod to their comic book past.
The dialogue is fitting for this show. The writers make sure that each character has a well-developed voice and their own unique personality. I dig how each character speaks.
Thor speaks in his typical Asgardian speech. The writers have fun with that by having Thor exclaim “Oucheth” when he gets hurt.
I like that Silver Surfer talks like a surfer dude. This was an incredibly unexpected twist to such a normally very serious character. But, I liked it and it works with the mood of the show. I also liked how Wolverine hates to be called “Wolvie.”
In Episode 1, we have the Mole Man trying to recover a fractal for Doom. The Mole Man unleashes his monsters including a dragon, a hydra and Fing Fang Foom. We learn that when a person comes into physical contact with a fractal that they gain special powers. What special power the person gains is completely random and unpredictable. In this episode, when the Mole Man grabs the fractal his legs get super large and he can run at super speed.
The Squadddies have to team up and work together in order to take down Mole Man and take the fractal to the SHIELD helicarrier for safekeeping.
Of course, like all good cartoons that are geared to kids there is a moral to the story. The moral to this episode is that the biggest and strongest person does not always win the fight. In this episode, it is the Falcon, the least powerful member of the team, who ends up defeating the large and powerful monsters of the Mole Man.
This episode is fast paced and cuts right to the chase. We get tons of action in this episode. There really are no slow moments at all. The action scenes come at the viewer in waves and they are set to fast upbeat music. The crunching guitar tracks run almost through out the entire episode.
Again, Super Hero Squad is very kid friendly. Therefore, despite all the action scenes, the violence is kept at a cartoon level. The violence is much like what you would get in an old Tom & Jerry cartoon.
The first episode of The Super Hero Squad was fun. I enjoyed this show much more than I was expecting. Honestly, I thought that I was going to find this show incredibly annoying and irritating. I was wrong. Yes, this show is aimed squarely at little kids, but it still provides for plenty of fast paced and fun action. This is a lively show that easily puts a smile on your face.
Of course, the real question is will this show appeal to its target audience of boys between the ages of 4-12? Well, my two nephews, ages 3 and 6, watched this show with me and they absolutely loved it. They were glued to the television from start to finish.
I definitely recommend The Super Hero Squad for the kids. I would also recommend it to fans who enjoy Japanese super deformed manga and anime. And if you are a fan of fun and silly cartoons then you will probably get a kick out of The Super Hero Squad.
Episode #2: “To Err is Super Human!”
This episode introduces a new hero to the team. His name is Reptil. He is a new character to the Marvel Universe who just debuted over in Avengers: The Initiative Reptil #1. Reptil brings some diversity to the team as the lone Hispanic on this show. Since Marvel does not have any established or well-known Hispanic heroes, the use of a brand new character works just fine with me. Reptil’s powers allow him to access the physical abilities of any type of dinosaur.
This episode deals with Reptil joining the Super Hero Squad. Reptil is the youngest member and is a total newbie to the super hero game. Reptil has to work past his fears in order to prove himself a valuable and worthy addition to the Super Hero Squad. Reptil helps our heroes defeat the Wrecking Crew and gain possession of another fractal.
The moral of the story to this episode is about overcoming fear. The kids will learn that everyone is afraid and that the key is learning how to work past your fear and succeed.
Abomination and Modok serve as the bumbling minions of Doom and are mostly there to make the reader chuckle. Poor Doom cannot even go to the bathroom and relax and read his newspaper with his two minions around and disturbing him.
Once again, there is tons of action in this episode. This is another fast paced episode. The violence continues to stay at a cartoon level. The fight scenes are entertaining and this episode easily keeps your attention.
This episode is packed with plenty of silly humor. We see our heroes dressed as construction workers and sitting around doing nothing while they watch the new guy, Reptil, does all the digging in order to unearth a possible fractal.
We get several insanely random quick scenes involving the Hulk doing oddball things. We see Hulk riding in the back of a pick-up truck and wearing a cowboy hat and yee-hawing loudly. Later, we see Hulk dressed like a Norwegian girl complete with long blonde braids and clogs and playing the maracas with a Mariachi band.
We get another silly quick moment when Reptil and Wolverine defeat the Wrecking Crew and gain possession of the fractal. Once the fight is done we cut to the side and see Iron Man, Falcon, Captain America, Hawkeye and Silver Surfer cheering Reptil. Each hero has a letter painted on their chest and they letters spell out “Reptil.”
These odd quick scenes are quite reminiscent of comedic anime shows.
My favorite two characters in this episode were Hawkeye and Captain America. Hawkeye stars in the episode as a SHIELD observer sent to check in on the Squaddies. Hawkeye also got some great lines.
Captain America was just fantastic. I love how incredibly cheesy and over the top the creators make Captain America’s character. Captain America has several great lines. In one scene the Squaddies phone ring and Cap comments that if it is President Roosevelt on the phone then he is not here.
At another point, Cap reminisces about the good old days during the Great Depression. Cap describes that era as “Hot jazz and skinny eyebrows.” At another point in the episode Cap remarks how everyone is getting along “like yacks and tanks.
All in all, Episode 2 was another quick paced, action packed and silly episode.