Ant-Man in Animation: A Retrospective

Discussion in 'The Marvel Animation Forum' started by RoyalRubble, Jul 1, 2015.

  1. RoyalRubble

    RoyalRubble Moderator
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    With Ant-Man and the Wasp premiering soon, I figured it would be a good time to revisit and update this retrospective, to cover Ant-Man's appearances in the last couple of years. This time, there will be more talk about Wasp as well, since she has appeared in a few animated projects for the past year. Granted it is only Hope Van Dyne, and not the original Janet, but it's still something. While these new articles may not be as detailed or well-written as those in the past (due to various reasons, including but not limited to time constraints), I hope you all enjoy reading through them, and keep in mind they are just my opinions. Feel free to share your own thoughts, comments or even point out any possible errors in my write-ups below! If everything goes according to plan, I will be posting updates every day this week.

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    Continuing from where I left off (almost 3 years ago...), Ant-Man continued to appear in the last few episodes of Avengers Assemble Season 2 which aired in 2015, with Grant George providing his voice, as mentioned previously. He's present in each episode, in some form or another. The next few episodes continued the Squadron Supreme story-arc, with Nighthawk and his squadron coming closer to their goal of world domination. In "Avengers' Last Stand", as part of Nighthawk's well planned attack, Ant-Man gets trapped alongside Thor and Hawkeye inside a factory where they have to confront Speed Demon and Doctor Spectrum. Not to mention survive the attacks of the factory's defense systems.

    Doctor Spectrum uses his powers on Ant-Man, making him confront an ant (now giant-sized) he accidentally stepped on once. It's apparently one of the few things from his past still to haunt him, since he did mention he's come to terms with the skeletons in his closet. Unsurprisingly, the heroes manage to escape and then regroup with the others to fight the Squadron. There's a pretty fun scene where Ant-Man shrinks Hyperion (who then is hit by Thor with his hammer). There's even a cool follow-up to this, with Hyperion now back to normal size giving Ant-Man a dirty look and the hero getting scared.

    The Squadron's secret weapon is revealed to be Nuke, whose name should tell you what he's capable of. The Avengers (minus Thor) are thought to have perished in Nuke's explosion, going down along with the citadel they were in. It turns out Ant-Man saved them all - they were shrunk and managed to escape riding Thor's hammer, which carried them away to safety. They choose to let the Squadron think they're dead, so they can come up with a good enough plan to stop them.

    Obviously, they manage to do just that in the next episode, titled "Avengers Underground". This time Ant-Man is paired with Captain America as they confront Doctor Spectrum. They manage to take away his Power Prism, and with a new inhibitor device Scott invented Cap is able to control it. He uses it to turn the Sun blue, which weakens Hyperion - apparently the yellow Sun gave him strength (sound familiar?). That doesn't last long however as Hyperion absorbs Nuke's powers and is now almost unstoppable. He tries to reach the Earth's core so he could destroy the entire planet. The Avengers fight him underground (as the title of the episode suggested) and Ant-Man even calls in hundreds of ants to help in the battle. And it worked.

    The Season finale featured the return of Thanos. This time he was joined by his Black Order, and after escaping from space prison his first stop was New Korbin. One of the Korbinites comes to Earth asking the Avengers for help. They all decide to come to the planet's aid, leaving only Ant-Man and Black Widow to protect our planet (for some reason). The episode is still fun, with a pretty entertaining rematch between Thanos and the heroes. No Infinity Gauntlet this time, since that was already used in the mid-season finale.

    In the final episode, titled "Avengers World", Thanos is heading towards our planet wishing to destroy it, but cannot find it. Turns out Ant-Man managed to shrink the entire Earth using Stark's newest satellite system. It didn't make much sense (just a few episodes earlier Scott considered shrinking the ocean to stop a tidal wave a dumb idea), but it didn't last long either. The now giant Thanos is on Earth and a huge battle with the Avengers follows. Ant-Man himself becomes Giant-Man for a scene and gets a chance to punch a weakened Thanos.

    With Thanos defeated again, the Avengers celebrate and talk about some more potential new recruits... including Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, Moon Knight and Spider-Man*. Sadly, these folks wouldn't get a chance to join until half-way through next Season despite their debuts being set up here. Ant-Man himself also kind of quits the team after this, and will have to re-join the heroes later on around the same time the other recruits would be introduced.

    Overall, this last half of Season 2 was fun and a pretty nice improvement over what happened before. Still not perfect but I found it more entertaining, at the very least. And things would only get better during Season 3.

    *Speaking of Spider-Man... around the same time as these episodes aired in summer of 2015, Ant-Man guest-starred on Ultimate Spider-Man, the show that kicked off this new supposedly shared universe. The series focused on Spider-Man, obviously, as a hero-in-training for SHIELD, working alongside a group of other teenage heroes, with this particular roster changing in latter Seasons. Supposedly aimed at a younger audience and focusing more on comedy than action or drama the show has some good moments but most of the time isn't anything special. It's currently the longest running Spidey animated series, with 104 episodes in total. Following a similar pattern as Avengers Assemble, each Season seems an improvement over the last. In this case, Ant-Man (once again voiced by Grant George) appeared during the third Season (sub-titled "Web-Warriors"), in the episode simply titled "Ant-Man". The show often used titles as obvious as this one.

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    In this story, Ant-Man, Spider-Man and "Power Man" Luke Cage must shrink down and travel through Nick Fury's body to remove the nanobots Doctor Octopus implanted in him. It's a typical "Fantastic Voyage" homage, but a pretty well done story. There's really not much to talk about, the heroes fight off robots inside Fury for most of the episode, and that's about it. There are a few neat moments, like Ant-Man being one of the teachers at SHIELD Academy in the beginning of the episode and Spidey mocking his powers thinking they're not all that useful. By the end of the story he probably learned his lesson though it was never really brought up again during the show's run. It's not much, but I figured this story should also be mentioned in an Ant-Man retrospective.

    Next Time: Ultron is Revolting!
     
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  2. Frontier

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    I kinda miss Grant George's Ant-Man :(.
     
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  3. RoyalRubble

    RoyalRubble Moderator
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    Before returning to Avengers Assemble, Ant-Man would appear once more on Ultimate Spider-Man, during the show's fourth and final Season, this time sub-titled "Ultimate Spider-Man Versus the Sinister Six". As a whole, this was probably the best part to come out of this show. The stories were more intriguing and Spidey's adventures were well written. I didn't care much for the concept of an entire team of heroes all with powers similar to Spidey's, since it lacks variety, but they did manage to feature a lot of cool stuff including clones, Spider Slayers, alternate versions of Spidey and even bringing back Mary-Jane Watson to the show in a bigger role (though they just had to give her super-powers as well, to do that...) But I won't insist too much on all that here since this thread is supposed to focus on Ant-Man.

    Ant-Man, once again voiced by Grant George, was featured in the 2016 Halloween special titled "Strange Little Halloween", which also guest-starred Doctor Strange (if the title didn't give it away). In this story, the trio teams-up to travel into the quantum realm to stop Baron Mordo's wave of magic that causes havoc in the city. Once there, they have to confront illusions of their ultimate enemies (Dormammu for Strange, Doc Ock for Spidey since he was the main villain of this Season, and curiously enough Ultron for Ant-Man, which doesn't make much sense considering this is Scott Lang and Tony Stark is more responsible for Ultron's origin in this continuity). In the end, they must use their imagination to defeat Mordo resulting in Strange becoming a dragon and Ant-Man a knight in shining armor. It doesn't make much sense either but it was a pretty nice sequence and I suppose it can all be explained as magic anyway.

    There are some other small bits I liked in this episode, like Ant-Man turning into a real ant thanks to Mordo's magic. There was also a kind of goofy moment where Scott is starstruck meeting Strange - apparently he's a big fan and an amateur magician (his trick is making a rabbit disappear, but is in reality just shrinking it). All in all, a pretty fun team-up and I despite it's flaws I found it a lor more entertaining than the previous Halloween episode of this show, which was a cross-over with the cast of the Disney sitcom Jessie, for some reason.

    There might have been a couple more cameos or references to Ant-Man during the show's run (I think he did show up in the series finale), but I believe I managed to cover his most notable appearances. I don't think he's ever actually appeared on Hulk and the Agents of SMASH, another show supposed to be set in this same continuity, although I know Hank Pym's name was mentioned at least once there.

    And now, back to Avengers Assemble. Season 3 premiered in March 2016 and as a whole it is probably the best and most entertaining Season of the show (at least so far, as of this writing Season 5 has not premiered yet, though I kind of doubt it will be better than this). It gained the sub-title "Ultron Revolution", but I thought the best episodes were the ones that didn't feature Ultron. Throughout its run, it featured story-arcs with the likes of Baron Zemo, the Thunderbolts, Kang the Conqueror, the Inhumans and it all culminated with (another) Civil War. Other heroes also joined this Season, including Vision, Captain Marvel (that's Carol Danvers, in case you didn't know), Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan and Black Panther. Ant-Man also returned (with Grant George returning to voice the character), in the episode titled "Ant-Man Makes It Big", which first aired in October 2016.

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    In this story, it's revealed he quit the Avengers and since then got a job as a consultant for movies in Hollywood. The newest feature he's working on is a small movie titled "The Human Ant and the Revengers", made at Marvelous Studios (remember, any similarity to any persons or companies is purely a coincidence...) and knock-offs of the Avengers are also featured. It's a pretty funny take on the heroes and the blockbuster movie trailers. But, to get the story moving along, the former consultant turns out to be none other than Egghead, who was fired for being too reckless comes back wanting revenge and sabotaging the movie. His plot involves several robot lava monsters, and silly looking giant mechanical chickens.

    There's also a decent enough sub-plot about Black Widow resenting Scott for quitting the team. It's a decent enough idea but just gets tedious by the end. I guess it just happens too often in these cartoons for characters to suddenly argue over something like this, despite never mentioning it before or ever bringing it up afterwards (to be fair, they do kind of come up with a way to resolve all this drama during the episodes, but it gets annoying how all this is brought up only for it to be resolved within half an hour). All in all, not bad. But one of the weaker episodes from this Season, and possibly the weakest out of the "new recruits" saga (though technically, he was a returning character not a new recruit).

    The Season finale was a 4-part adaptation of the "Civil War" arc from the comics. The show already tried out a smaller scale Civil War in the previous Season, but this time it also featured the Inhumans. This was probably the most logical way to get around the rights issues surrounding the X-Men. As a whole, it is pretty good but once Ultron (who was supposed to be the main villain this Season - his name was even added to the show's title!) gets involved it goes in a somewhat different direction. It wasn't a straight-up or faithful adaptation of the story from the comics to begin with, but I didn't mind that much since I do like seeing how shows and movies try and use stories from the comics and change things up a little along the way.

    Each part of the arc also had its own sub-title, it's something minor but I liked it and think it would be cool if more shows tried this out. Ant-Man appears starting with Part 2 of the story, titled "The Mighty Avengers". He's recruited alongside Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, Black Panther, Vision, Red Hulk and Songbird to form a new team of Avengers. It was all the idea of Truman Marsh, a government liaison who seems to go out of his way to blame the (classic) Avengers for just about everything. Once the Inhumans prove to be dangerous, Marsh comes up with an Inhuman registration act, and makes sure the Avengers enforce it. When they refuse and quit, Marsh just goes ahead and gets other heroes to work for him.

    The Mighty Avengers are a pretty cool team, and Ant-Man alongside the other members take part in some nice action scenes, like saving a space station from crashing into the city, or stopping Baron Von Strucker from stealing a giant robot. Then, of course, it all leads to a confrontation between the two Avengers teams, because of their opposing views in regards to Marsh's ideas. There are a lot of nice fight scenes, but since this thread is supposed to focus mostly on Ant-Man's exploits, he gets to fight Falcon. The battle ends when Captain America is severely injured (don't worry, he gets better).

    In Part 3, "The Drums of War", Marsh is revealed to be Ultron in disguise, and just about everything that happened on the show until now was all part of his great plan. He broadcasts a signal that allows him to mind-control all the registered Inhumans (they all received registration disks, which is how they are now controlled). They are all sent to attack cities all over the world, so now the two Avengers teams decide to work together to stop this threat. Ant-Man teams up with Iron Man to study one of the disks and find a way to disable the rest. They shrink and actually go inside the disk where they have to fight its defense systems.

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    Part 4, "Avengers Revolution" sees all the Avengers fighting off Ultron's giant robots, or the mind-controlled Inhumans, at least until Ant-Man alongside Iron Man and Falcon manage to disable all the registration disks, ending the Inhuman attacks. But Ultron is still not out yet - he keeps switching his bodies, first into a body made out of Vibranium, then possesses Iron Man's armor, and Tony Stark as well. To save the day Doctor Strange sends him to another dimension to banish Ultron, but Tony gets stuck in there as well. They still manage to find a way to communicate with him, which sets up nicely the next Season. The Avengers all decide to keep working together, while also looking for a way to rescue Tony.

    Overall, this was pretty great. The stories were for the most part good, and like I said before an improvement compared to the stuff that was featured before. Even if they re-used plot elements like Ultron or the Civil War gimmick, I have to admit they still managed to find some new ways to handle the story-lines. I could probably comment some more about this Season, but there's really not much to talk exclusively about Ant-Man, since he was just one of the many characters featured. However, he would get some more chances to shine in the next Season, and Wasp would join in on the fun as well. But before I get to all that...

    Next Part: Ant-Man: Far From Home!
     
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  4. RoyalRubble

    RoyalRubble Moderator
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    Next, we have a pretty interesting series of animated projects featuring different concepts for Ant-Man. From LEGO to Funko, and even some international co-productions, Ant-Man's animated legacy just got richer. I must confess I completely forgot about the 2015 Special LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: Avengers Reassembled, otherwise I would have mentioned it before just to keep things in a chronological order since this is a retrospective, after all. But mentioning it here also works, as this article will focus on some projects that use different styles and I would prefer to keep this out of continuity stuff separate from the main articles I'm writing covering the current Marvel animated series. If I missed any of Ant-Man or Wasp's official appearances in special cases like the ones listed below, I apologize, and feel free to comment on any I may have forgotten to add.

    In this LEGO animated Special, Ant-Man guest-starred and Grant George once again provided his voice. He was billed as a special guest-star in the description, and he joined the Avengers in their fight with Ultron and Yellowjacket. As with most LEGO animated projects, this is a fun outing but overall nothing really special. It's pretty entertaining overall, so I would recommend checking it out at least once if you are curious about the whole thing. As of this writing, it should still be available to watch legally online.

    In June 2017, Marvel worked together with the French animation studio Passion Pictures (the same studio behind the Gorillaz animated music videos) to produce a series of animated shorts featuring Ant-Man. Only six cartoons were produced, each one lasting less than 2 minutes. They feature a pretty unique and very cool animation style, as well as interesting character designs, which make the characters look very "retro", for lack of a better word. The cartoons feature Ant-Man (Scott, in case there was any doubt), with Josh Keaton providing his voice. Also appearing in some of the shorts are Wasp (Hope) voiced by Melissa Rauch, Scott's daughter Cassie and an elder Hank Pym. There is no real continuity between the cartoons (as opposed to the other series of shorts Marvel co-produced alongside this French company, starring Rocket and Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy), but they are still very entertaining and as of this writing they all should still be available to watch legally on various outlets, including the official Disney XD YouTube channel.

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    Here's a brief rundown of all the shorts:
    • "Science Fair" - Scott has to help his daughter with her science fair experiment (a classic volcano), but Yellowjacket attacks.
    • "Soup Time" - Scott has to fight Egghead while his suit is malfunctioning because he spilled some soup on it. Hank also briefly appears.
    • "Proton Cube" - Scott fights Yellowjacket again, while trying to get back a proton cube Hank invented.
    • "Not A Date" - Scott and Hope (who are totally not out on a date) are attacked by Whirlwind.
    Overall, these were a lot of fun, despite their short running time. It would be cool to see more Marvel animation projects use a similar style in the future. You'd think the Rocket & Groot cartoons receiving a nomination for an Emmy Award, as well as some other minor awards would convince Marvel to experiment some more with these alternate styles of animation. I thought these were more appealing than the majority of the recent Marvel cartoons, which I do still enjoy but a more unique art-style coupled with better animation would just make them even more enjoyable. But I digress. It was pretty awesome seeing Ant-Man as one of the characters chosen to star in his own animated mini-series. I imagine his (first) live-action movie helped the staff make this decision, and I think the stuff they came up with for these cartoons really paid off.

    Also in 2017, a new anime series, Marvel Future Avengers premiered in Japan during the month of July. It works as a follow-up of sorts to Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers I previously mentioned (3 years ago...), and focused on a group of kids who join the Avengers as apprentices (the so-called "Future Avengers"). Heroes included in the Avengers roster include Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Thor... and Wasp, voiced by Kaori Mizuhashi, the same person who voiced her on Disk Wars. Also note-worthy is that she's supposed to be Janet, the original Wasp.

    The show was recently renewed for a second Season, but as it happens it has never aired in the US - and it doesn't look like it will anytime soon, either. It is weird considering the Disk Wars series never made it to the US either, despite the existence of a dubbed version. Considering all this, and the fact that I have not watched any episodes from this, I must admit I have no idea if the character this retrospective is all about, Ant-Man actually appears here. But since Wasp was featured, I figured it deserved at least a little shout-out in this retrospective. If anyone is more knowledgeable about this project, feel free to comment below or share your thoughts.

    In late 2017, Marvel started a series of animated shorts entitled Marvel Super Hero Adventures, which star Spider-Man teaming up with various other heroes to take down various other villains. The line is aimed at younger viewers, but does have a certain charm that I find it somewhat fun. For this project, Spidey teamed-up with both Ant-Man and Wasp. The Ant-Man adventure (titled "Rock and Roll") also included Hulk, and saw the three heroes rescue people off a collapsing bridge. In another episode, titled "Stomp and Listen", Spidey and Wasp worked together to fight Rhino. As with most of the other stuff mentioned here, these shorts should also be legally available for viewing online at the moment.

    Marvel also released a series of animated shorts featuring Funko figurines, and Ant-Man was featured in one of these as well. In 2018 "Big Robot, Little Problem" premiered, featuring Ultron as the villain. The shorts are silent, so no voice actors are required. As with the LEGO stuff, watching these is a fun way to spend some time. Well, not that much time since once again the shorts are less than 2 minutes long.

    *Note: All the links included here are to official YouTube channels, but there is no real guarantee how long the videos will still be hosted on their respective channels.

    Apologies for the rather short article this time; there's just not that much to talk about these projects - either because of their short running times, or because the anime series is not even available for viewing outside of Japan. It does a little damage to the chronological order I was going for in this this thread, but I thought it would be better to give them their own entry in this retrospective and keep them separate from the rest of the current Marvel cartoons.

    Up Next: The All-New, All-Different Ant-Man & Wasp!
     
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  5. RoryWilliams

    RoryWilliams Well-Known Member

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    Definitely the best animated Ant-Man depiction on here. I wish they'd order more of these shorts.
     
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  6. RoyalRubble

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    Ant-Man next showed up on Guardians of the Galaxy. The show premiered in 2015, and like most of the recent Marvel animated projects is based on stuff you'd find in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As such, the team is composed of Star-Lord Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax and the duo of Rocket & Groot. It's a pretty good show, actually I personally considered it the best out of their current cartoons, for the most part. Especially during the first Season. The Avengers (including Ant-Man) guest-starred in the Season 2 premiere, which first aired in March 2017. Scott is once again voiced by Grant George, for continuity sake I suppose, yet he would be replaced in the next Season of Avengers... but I will get to that a bit later. I liked how Guardians used their guest-stars for the most part. It usually didn't feel like an actual cross-over, it felt more natural to have a certain character show up within that story (most notably, Thor, during the first Season).

    In the Season 2 premiere, the 2-part story composed of the episodes "Stayin' Alive" and "Evolution Rock", the Guardians arrive on Earth to find Thanos' asteroid, which was shrunk and brought to the Avengers compound by Ant-Man. Of course it all ends up becoming a fight between the Guardians and the Avengers, since that's what usually happens when super heroes team up these days. Ant-Man uses his ants to bug (no pun intended) Groot. When they realize they're all on the same side (thanks to mentioning Thor's name), they work together to stop an out of control defense satellite from destroying the city. Ant-Man and Captain Marvel join the Guardians in space, with Scott using his powers to shrink Quill and himself to get pass the defense systems of the satellite and stop it. There's a fun moment where the two kind of bond and talk about their adventures as 'outlaws". Scott talks about how Captain America helped him put his life as a thief behind and start a new life as a hero. It's pretty cool, and one of the highlights of this story. In the second part, Scott helps the Guardians (even ignoring Cap's initial orders), stop the High Evolutionary from destroying Earth. All in all, it wasn't the best story to come out of this show, but it had a few good moments spread throughout.

    The fourth Season of Avengers Assemble gained the sub-title "Secret Wars" and premiered in June 2017. This time it featured a lot of heroes, and for the most part it actually focused on these new recruits instead of the classic Avengers roster. Ant-Man was one of the characters brought back for this (now voiced by Josh Keaton), and as a bonus we are also introduced to Wasp (voiced by Kari Wahlgren). The Season isn't quite as entertaining as the previous one, but it is still fun, overall. It mostly features team-ups between some of the heroes which is a pretty good way to focus on them and develop them a little more, while also delivering some nice stories along the way. The latter episodes deal with a Secret Wars type of story-arc, but I will get to that in the next part of the retrospective. It does feel a little weird having the entire Season use the title "Secret wars" when that only happens in the last few episodes, but it's a minor complaint. They kind of did the same thing last Season in regards to how much of Ultron we actually saw.

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    Interestingly enough, prior to the Season's official premiere a series of animated shorts was released online, each one focusing or acting as an introduction of sorts to some of the new characters (though technically most of them were already introduced in the past). The shorts are mostly from Ms. Marvel's point of view, since she's their newest recruit - or at least the youngest. As such, we get some decent showcases for her, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Vision and of course, Ant-Man and the Wasp. They use the same short to highlight both of these heroes, and the story is about Scott and Hope saving a bunch of ants (and themselves) from drowning in a sewer. It's not that exciting but a decent enough way to show off their powers. There's also a brief mention of Hope's dad having invented their battle suits, but he's nowhere to be seen and won't appear in any subsequent episodes either. Speaking of which, these shorts were in fact an episode of the Season which they decided on splitting and releasing it separately (as such, the Season only has 25 episodes, but technically this still aired as a half-hour compilation later on bringing the total to the standard 26 half-hour shows per Season).

    The actual Season premiere was a two-part story titled "Avengers No More", where the Avengers aided by Black Panther try and stop Leader's new Cabal. They are all trapped, minus Panther, who manages to get away (and single-handedly defeat all the villains). He's then helped by Vision and calls for back-up, which comes in the form of all the other New Avengers. The episodes feature plenty of action scenes, with the heroes fighting various villains. Ant-Man and Wasp, for example, get to battle Skurge the Executioner (and his dire wolf), and Arnim Zola. Ant-Man's miniaturizing gimmick also comes in handy by helping the Avengers escape from a collapsing building, or boarding Leader's ship. The story ends with most of the villains defeated (but they still manage to escape), and the old Avengers disappearing thanks to Leader's machines. The new heroes decide to form the "All-New, All-Different Avengers" and continue the good fight until the other heroes return.

    As such, both Scott and Hope are kind of main characters in this new line-up for the Season, and appear in just about every episode. Their dynamic is pretty good, though they don't really get to spend all that much time together. They're usually paired up in the episodes where the entire team is featured, but like I mentioned before the Season mostly featured kind of random team-ups. It does lead to some pretty interesting pairings, and also entertaining enough stories. Considering all this, I will mostly discuss the episodes I consider the most relevant to Ant-Man and Wasp's characterizations.

    The episode "Prison Break" features a team-up between Wasp and Captain Marvel, and well, a prison break as the title implies. The one responsible for this is Yelena Belova, the second Black Widow (now calling herself Crimson Widow, for some reason), and the prison in question is the Vault. Yelena is helped by the likes of Zarda and Typhoid Mary, making this one of those classic tropes involving mostly female characters. Not that I am complaining, mind you, just pointing out the obvious. For the most part the dynamic between Hope and Carol works, but there's a sub-plot about Hope thinking she has to prove herself to the others. She complains how her dad waited so long until giving her the armor, and how long it took the Avengers to actually recruit her. It's not a bad idea, and it is handled well enough I suppose, but I think all this would have had a much bigger impact if we saw her or even knew about her prior to her introduction just a few episodes ago. Like this it just seems kind of forced, and likewise it gets solved rather easily by the end of the episode. Other than that complaint, the episode is pretty good. There are some nice action scenes, and a decent enough plot as well.

    In "Sneakers", Ant-Man teams up with Black Panther. They travel to Wakanda, where they are confronted by Baron Zemo who has taken control over the security drones and attacks the city. This team-up also suffered from some more kind of forced drama, this time with T'Challa not trusting Scott because of his past life as a thief. It's something that hasn't really been brought up in some time, or at least hasn't played that big of a role on the show, which is why I think it was pretty random to bring it up again in this story. I guess they needed something more to make the story seems more intriguing. The episode also includes a giant monster fight, as Zemo is turned into one thanks to an ancient amulet, and Scott reluctantly becomes Giant-Man again to stop him. Apart from the drama, I did like how the two heroes interacted. Scott is more of a joker, and T'Challa is always so serious. It is an entertaining pairing, with some pretty amusing dialogue between the two.

    [​IMG]

    Next we have a neat story-arc where the New Avengers are sent by Jane Foster to various alternate dimensions, to rescue the old Avengers. It should come as no surprise to anyone the heroes would come back, eventually. For starters, Wasp is paired with Vision and sent to an alternate future dimension where Falcon (who grew up, and now has a design similar to his Marvel Cinematic Universe look) is working for Kang the Conqueror. Also thrown into the mix is an older Red Hulk and a singularity that is about to destroy the entire world.

    Similarly, in "Dimension Z" Ant-Man finds himself in an alternate world set in the 1930s, ruled by Arnim Zola. There he meets Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. Cap and Hawkeye are captured by Zola's forces, but Widow and Ant-Man manage to escape - though Scott does lose his helmet. As such he has to rely on his old skills as a thief to survive and infiltrate Zola's base. He also gets to show off some of science and chemistry skills, which was pretty cool. The story also features a mind-controlled Captain America, since we haven't seen one of those in a while. All in all, a pretty entertaining episode.

    All the Avengers (well, minus Iron Man...) are reunited and brought back to Earth in the episode amply titled "The Return". Once back, they discover Loki has taken over the world and uses the Casket of Ancient Winters to freeze the planet. The two Avengers teams work together to defeat Loki. They split into smaller groups, and as a result Wasp ends up on Captain Marvel's team (along with Hawkeye and Hulk), and are sent to destroy one of Loki's stone ships he plans on using to unleash Ragnarok. Aboard they have to fight some frost trolls and a Destroyer armor. Ant-Man on the other hand is paired with Thor, Vision and Ms. Marvel and they confront Loki himself. In the end the Avengers unsurprisingly win, and Loki is imprisoned inside Avengers Tower, but taunts the heroes telling them more strange things are coming. A pretty ominous way to end the episode and tease the upcoming story-lines...

    Next: Begun the Secret Wars Have!
     
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  7. RoyalRubble

    RoyalRubble Moderator
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    The actual "Secret Wars" story-arc featured during Season 4 of Avengers Assemble only lasted for a few episodes (approximately a third of the Season). As one would expect, it involved the mysterious entity known as the Beyonder transporting the Avengers to his Battleworld, created using various portions from multiple dimensions. The heroes must find a way to stop Beyonder's twisted and dangerous experiment and get back home. The episodes are fun for the most part. Some of the concepts for the worlds visited are pretty cool, a little ridiculous at times but in a good way. Once again, the heroes usually split into smaller groups, which is understandable given how many of them there are now. Oh, and they find Iron Man as well, so that's another extra character to make room for. As before, I will mostly focus on the stuff relevant to Ant-Man and Wasp, since this is their retrospective, after all.

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    In "The Vibranium Coast", Ant-Man is paired with Ms. Marvel on a mission to find enough Vibranium to power the Bifrost so they can return home. They run across pirate Typhoid Mary, who is even crazier than before. Also thrown into the mix are rival pirates Red Skull and Cross-bones, and a tribe of monkeys (not to mention some romance between the apes!). The entire concept is wacky but pretty entertaining, overall. It's also a good showcase for Ant-Man since Scott comes up with some pretty creative ideas how to use his shrinking and enlarging disks aboard the pirate ship.

    On the other hand, Wasp is paired with Hawkeye, Vision... and Loki, who is an Avenger at the moment. They journey to Westland, in the episode titled the same way as this location, to find Doctor Strange, the only person who would be able to use the Bifrost. It's a typical "weird western" story, with dinosaurs (including Devil Dinosaur!), robots and even Rocket & Groot from the Guardians of the Galaxy showing up along the way. Jane Foster is also in this, as the sheriff (now calling herself "Calamity Jane") and there's even a small sub-plot about Hawkeye being blinded by an attack. Hope even gets something extra to do by inspiring Clint to still be an archer despite being blind. All in all, a pretty entertaining episode once you realize just about any weird thing can and most likely will happen in this world.

    These are just a few examples of how crazy things happened on Battleword... we also had Moon Knight, a slightly older Iron Fist from Ultimate Spider-Man, a Symbiote possessed Dracula, Morgan Le Fey and Ares leading a group of villains including an army of Ghost Riders. In "Wastelands", the Avengers try and transport the Bifrost they built across the aforementioned wastelands... it's kind of a tribute to Mad Max once they are attacked by Beyonder and his Ghost Riders. In a pretty clever move, it turns out it was all a diversion - they were in fact carrying Ant-Man's coffee mug (with the inscription reading "World's Greatest Ant-Man"), now enlarged thanks to one of his special disks. The actual Bifrost device was shrunk and carried away by Scott and Hope, and was currently set up in another location. There's also a small moment where Captain Marvel calls Hope more than an Avenger, a leader, to rally the heroes against Beyonder once he attacks. Carol's speech kind of came out of nowhere since there was no real build-up to it.

    On top of that, we have Doctor Strange giving his Eye of Agamotto amulet to Loki to have the magic he needed to use the Bifrost and stop Beyonder. If that wasn't enough, we also have Jane Foster suddenly becoming worthy enough of using Thor's hammer, and gaining Thunder God-like powers herself. The heroes succeed, and Beyonder goes down a little too easily after they built him up as such a threat for the past few episodes. But it isn't over yet - unsurprisingly, Loki was playing them again by pretending he joined the heroes, only to obtain the title of Sorcerer Supreme as he refuses to return the amulet to Strange.

    Loki takes over Asgard and attacks Earth once again, leading to some pretty cool fight scenes featuring the Avengers. Including Ant-Man who has some more fun with his disks, especially by using one to turn Hulk giant-size during the battle. In the meantime Thor and Jane (now called Thunderstrike), defeat Loki. And that's about it. It's not bad, overall. While the Season wasn't as exciting to me as the previous one, it was still fun and I liked just how many characters they featured this time. While it was a bit contrived, the way they made the original characters disappear in the premiere was a decent way to get the new heroes into the foreground and actually develop them a little more. The results vary, but for the most part the episodes are entertaining enough for me.

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    It was nice seeing Wasp included in this new line-up. She's not an especially interesting character, at least not yet. In a way she has a similar situation to how Ant-Man was handled in the previous Seasons. They're both here mainly because of their expanding roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but given Hope has yet to make her actual debut as Wasp, they don't know exactly how to handle her. Most of the stuff they brought in about her wanting to prove herself, her dad waiting so long to give her an armor or the Avengers taking their time to invite her to join are decent ideas, but like I mentioned before I think they would have a bigger impact if we knew about Hope prior to all this. But as whole, I liked how things played out. Overall I feel the show still isn't quite on par with the earlier Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (despite having twice as many episodes at this point), but it has improved a lot since its first Season. It remains to be seen how things will develop from here on, in the upcoming fifth Season (now titled "Black Panther's Quest"), and just how big of a role the heroes - including Scott and Hope - will play there, since as the title implies, it will mostly focus on Black Panther.

    And Ant-Man's most recent animated appearance, from March of this year, was once again on Guardians of the Galaxy. This time, he showed up for a few scenes in the Season 3 premiere (with the new Season gaining the sub-title "Mission Breakout"). Likewise, supposedly for continuity sake, Josh Keaton voiced Scott this time, probably to keep things more in line with the newest episodes of Avengers Assemble. The episode titled "Back in the New York Groove" featured the Guardians returning to Earth, answering a distress call from the Avengers. It turns out Ant-Man was the one who called them, since the other Avengers were off on other missions, and a Symbiote escaped from Thanos' asteroid attacked them, injuring Iron Man. Keep in mind the show is using the classic cosmic origin for the Symbiotes as opposed to the one from, say Ultimate Spider-Man where Doctor Octopus created the stuff. It's more in line with the current Spider-Man animated series, which kind of makes sense, because the episode is supposed to be a cross-over with this version of Spider-Man. Once again, the Guardians have to fight Spidey at first, due to a misunderstanding. There's a pretty funny moment where Quill thinks Spidey is supposed to be Ant-Man's cousin. The rest of the story sees the heroes teaming up to stop Thanos, now possessed by a Symbiote himself.

    And that's about it. There's not much else to talk about these episodes, as Ant-Man doesn't really get to do much else here (I don't think he even appears in the second part of the story...). The rest is pretty entertaining. It's not a particularly good story, especially in terms of continuity, but pretty fun overall. I just had to bring it up considering it is the newest cartoon to feature Ant-Man, and I wanted to have this as complete as possible in time for the live-action movie's premiere. I will try and keep updating this every once in a while, though probably not too often. I hope you all enjoyed reading through this, and remember feedback is always welcome.
     
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  8. Frontier

    Frontier Moderator
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    It was kind of a bummer to see Ant-Man off the team so soon into Ultron Revolution after he had become the first major recurring new member of the team (Arsenal was only in two episodes). It was also kind of a bummer that his return episode was probably one of the weakest of the season :sweat:.

    Ant-Man on the Mighty Avengers was interesting, though they seemed to forget that he had actually been an Avenger before. And while all the Mighty Avengers kind of acquiesced to the government surprisingly quickly, it was even more surprising to see Ant-Man not be more resistant to having to take on his former teammates :confused:.

    I loved the Ant-Man shorts. I loved the animation, which was retro, crisp, cool, creative, and dynamic in a way the animation for most Marvel cartoons aren't, and I thought each short was really fun and entertaining. I also thought it was great that the short included major parts of the Ant-Man mythos and Scott Lang's character that have been absent in his other cartoon appearances, like Cassie, Hank Pym, Egghead, and Yellowjacket :cool:.

    I am kind of surprised we never saw the Darren Cross Yellowjacket pop up in AA, his animated appearances saved for the spinoff or side animations, especially after the movie had seemed to cement him as the Scott Lang Ant-Man's main enemy o_O.

    The Guardians' team-up with The Avengers was kind of a weak way to start season 2 for me, but I already went over my issues with it in the talkback thread. Circling back to Ant-Man, I thought it was weird that they were trying to spin him as a former "outlaw" to connect him to Star-Lord when, up to this point, this version of Ant-Man had never been depicted as being a former criminal. The most criminal thing he had done had been unwittingly selling tech to Supervillains. And then in the next season they had Josh Keaton come in to voice the character even though it was pretty obviously not supposed to be his Ant-Man. So a lot of weirdness with the show's use of Ant-Man :shrug:.

    It's kind of funny talking about Ant-Man and Wasp on Avengers: Secret Wars in light of the Ant-Man and The Wasp movie, considering the latter emphasized and focused on the pair and their relationship while the former barely had them interact at all :p.

    I'm not sure if it was a deliberate creative choice to not feature much development and focus on Scott and Hope as a pair, whether it was because of the emphasis on random Avenger team-ups or to prevent anyone in the audience from assuming the two had a deeper relationship, although I do find it noticeable compared to Hank and Janet's relationship in EMH which was a major element for both characters :ack:.

    I can't say I was surprised to see the writers completely reboot the cartoon version of Ant-Man to better match the movies, since it's not the first time they've done it, but I did find it kind of disappointing. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against a characterization of Ant-Man more in-line with the movies and I love Josh Keaton is anything he's in, but I just thought it was a shame to just oust Grant George from the role like that and problematic to just up and change a major character so much with no explanation :eek:.

    Otherwise, I'd say the show's version of Ant-Man was fine for what he was. He was a goofball and former criminal, and that was about it as far as his character goes, though it lent itself to some fun team-ups with Black Panther and Ms. Marvel :).

    I really don't have much to say about Wasp, but that might be because there honestly didn't seem like much to the character aside from being "movie Wasp." At times it felt like her character was kind of just there, even aside from the fact that she really was just there because she's a movie hero, and the most personality she got to exhibit was usually when she was acting like Janet (who, of course, is never mentioned) :(.

    She didn't come across as unlikable, but at the same time I can't say I really cared about her that much either. I think Kari Wahlgren did her very best to inject some liveliness and personality into the character, but to some degree I feel like she was wasted as Wasp and deserved a more meatier role :sad:.

    Although I guess now that the Ant-Man and Wasp movie with a better showcase of Hope "it's about darn time" Van Dyne has been released, we'll probably see the character rebooted and recast to match the movies :rolleyes:.

    I do think the "Prison Break" episode was one of the highlights for her character, and one of the more memorable episodes of the season for me, especially since it actually went into her background and motivations. Sure, said background and motivations come out of nowhere unless you're acquainted with the movies and are never mentioned again, but it's still something ;).
     
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