Michael Korvac is introduced in this episode, as well as the Guardians of the Galaxy (think of them as "Space Avengers", just like Iron Man said). I was not familiar with any of these characters until this episode aired, although I have heard of Adam Warlock before, though I didn't know anything else about him, like what his powers are. The others, Star-Lord, Quasar, Rocket Raccoon and Groot were all new to me. I really liked their designs and the uniforms they wore and I thought their voices also fit the characters; the voice actors did a good job voicing them here. I can say the same about Michael Korvac; while I have heard his name before I didn't know his origin or powers (and apparently his origin in this episode is different than his comic book origin, but after doing a little research on him, I think the animated version's origin works so well, without making it too confusing). Introducing all these characters and tying Korvac's origin with the Kree is just a small reminder this is supposed to be a "cosmic season" and the Kree-Skrull war is going to happen soon.
I really liked how in the beginning of the episode we see Wasp talking to Ms. Marvel, pretty much continuing from where the previous episode left off, concerning her relationship with Hank/Ant-Man. I was hoping Jan and Carol would get to share some more screen-time since the latter joined the Avengers, and this episode delivered. Although a short scene, it did add some more drama to the entire sub-plot of Hank leaving the team and how hard it has been on Jan to accept it. Once again, only a handful of Avengers appear in this episode but with so many guest stars the episode would have been too crowded if the entire team would have been present. The fake Captain America is once again absent, Iron Man mentioning that he left looking for old World War II buddies, but that is obviously a cover story for who knows what kind of secret Skrull mission. But the few members that did get to appear in this episode all got their fair share of screen-time and some great moments. It was nice having Ms. Marvel in this episode, as she is also an agent of SWORD and the episode deals with aliens, plus this was probably her first official mission as an Avenger. I liked how when Jan mentions SWORD to the police officers, they have no idea what she's talking about. Either SWORD is supposed to be a secret organization or it was formed too recently for the public to know about it. I would say the former is the most likely explanation. The Hulk also gets a pretty cool moment when he recognizes that Korvac is emitting some form of cosmic radiation. This show has portrayed Hulk as being smarter than he was in previous cartoons, but this sounded more like something Bruce Banner would know, rather than the Hulk. It could be possible that Banner was talking through the Hulk at that moment. It was also nice to see Jane Foster again, although briefly. I was hoping she would have a line or two though, like maybe asking the Avengers when will Thor return. Plus, the chemistry between Hawkeye and Black Panther while investigating the crater Korvac created when arriving on Earth, was just great.
Korvac was presented here in a very tragic way. He was kidnapped by the Kree who experimented on him and basically turned him into a monster. He has incredible cosmic powers, but he cannot control them, and to make things worse he is driven insane by his powers. From what the Guardians of the Galaxy said, Korvac has destroyed the Kree ship he was being held captive on and thus escaped, and later destroyed a large part of a planet, obviously destroying everyone and everything that lived there as well. Though I would not be surprised if those weren't the only things that fell before Korvac. Which is why Star-Lord and the others are searching for him across the galaxy. Not realizing what he is doing Korvac is always on the run from them believing they want to take him back and hurt him again. All he wants is to be alone. Well, not entirely alone as he has returned to Earth to his girlfriend Corrina. Once he is reunited with her (thanks to Jan) he is once again attacked, which causes him to activate his powers again and easily defeat everyone. In the end, it is actually Corrina who stops him, by telling him she is afraid of him now and she considers him a monster. The only thing he wanted was turned away by what he has become. Korvac then teleports far away apparently to a separate dimension, adding a very tragic ending to this episode. Korvac was great, and I guess there would be enough potential for another episode with him, but that would pretty much diminish the impact this episode had. The last scene with him sitting all alone somewhere in space was a great moment. But another appearance by the Guardians of the Galaxy is entirely possible, and I hope they will return at some point.
Even though the episode had a lot of great moments, my favorite is probably the ending tribute to the great late Boyd Kirkland. And I'm not ashamed to admit that I got a little teary-eyed when the word "Avenger" appeared under mr. Kirkland's name. It reminded me of the Superman: The Animated Series' "Apokolyps... Now!" episode (dedicated to Jack Kirby). Overall, this episode was another great addition to the series: some new pretty awesome characters are introduced, the fight scenes are great as usual, some short scenes that really show some character development for the Avengers, and a very tragic ending. It also continues in a grand way the cosmic theme this season aimed for. And now the Avengers have another reason to hate the Kree, for what they did to Korvac, so I'm looking forward to the inevitable return of the Kree.
"Are you insinuating that I may have previous knowledge as to the outcome of this imbroglio?" - Top Cat
"With great powers comes great responsibility... and free peanuts." - Johnny Bravo
"Faster than a regular sheep... More powerful than a regular sheep... Able to leap a regular sheep in a single bound." - Sheep in the Big City