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Marvel Animation Hits Long Beach Comic-Con

Jeph Loeb, Marvel Studios’ Head of Television, attended the Long Beach Comic-Con on Saturday, October 30 to moderate the Marvel Animation/Anime panel at the Long Beach Convention Center. Loeb discussed Marvel’s new television division which will oversee the development of animated television shows and new live action television projects. (Marvel’s Super Hero Squad is currently in its second season and broadcast on Cartoon Network. The new series, Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes just started on Disney XD.) Loeb thanked the staff and team members who helped make all of this possible, and fans in attendance were treated to a new, yet-to-be broadcast episode of the new animated series, Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. The episode, “Gamma World, Part 1″ was the first of a two-part story where the Avengers deal with the former gamma prison facility, The Cube, which has now been compromised by the forces of The Leader. A team consisting of Iron Man, Captain America, Black Panther, Thor, and The Wasp must brave their way through a facility filled with gamma radiation empowered super villains and mutant SHIELD agents. The B-plot picks up with rogue agent and vigilante, Hawkeye, tracking down the whereabouts of his former partner, Black Widow, who is double dealing with the nefarious organization known as HYDRA.

Following the conclusion of the episode, the audience viewed the debut episode of the Studio Madhouse/Sony produced anime series for Iron Man. This episode was already shown earlier this year at the San Diego Comic-Con. Next, Loeb previewed a brand new clip of the new anime series, Wolverine. The clip was raw and not yet finished, but in the footage Wolverine (aka Logan) shares a romantic moment on a yacht with a young woman, presumably Mariko Yoshida. A group of soldiers in black suits and with jet-packs rise out of the water and open fire on the couple. Wolverine stands in front of Mariko and shields her. When the soldiers run out of ammo, the wounds on Wolverine’s body heal, and he jumps out toward his attackers unleashing his adamantium-laced claws. The animation looked exceptional. I imagine there was only temp music and sound effects, because it is probable that the animation was just completed. Loeb concluded the panel by informing fans that even with Super Hero Squad and Avengers shows and the new Ultimate Spider-man series on the horizon, we “ain’t seen nothing yet,” in terms of of what Loeb and Marvel are planning for their in-development animation and live-action TV projects. Loeb also revealed that the anime shows produced by Madhouse will each contain sixteen episode installments instead of twelve, as originally planned.

New episodes of Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are broadcast Wednesday on Disney XD. Super Hero Squad comes on Saturday on Cartoon Network. The four planned Marvel anime shows (Iron Man, Wolverine, X-Men, and Blade) will be broadcast in the US on G4 in 2011.

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