Captain America In Animation - A Retrospective (Updated!)

Discussion in 'The Marvel Animation Forum' started by Stu, Jul 8, 2007.

  1. Stu

    Stu Marvel Animation Age Webmaster
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    18,417
    Likes Received:
    30
    At long last - The Captain America retrospective! Images appear courtesy of Marvel Animation Age, and a big thanks to Jon T for the help. Enjoy!

    ___________________

    Created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby in World War II, Captain America is arguably Marvel’s oldest still serving superhero with only The Submariner coming anywhere close to equalling him. He’s probably the biggest name to never actually get his own animated series but he has appeared in a hell of a lot of shows throughout the decades, starting with his own short segment in The Marvel Superheroes Show in 1966.

    Technically speaking, Captain America was the first Marvel superhero to be animated as his segment’s aired first. As with all five segments in the show, the episodes were literally based on several of the Kirby comic books, right down to swiping the Kirby art and adding the odd bit of animation to make the characters lips move and adding whatever other cost cutting shortcuts they could think of the keep the budget as small as possible. It’s difficult to critique or evaluate the show because you know what you’re getting into the moment you watch it, if you’ve already read the comics you know exactly what’s going to happen and how it’s going to happen, which pretty much takes all the excitement out of it for me.

    [​IMG]

    Having said that, I usually enjoyed the show for what it was and managed to stomach most of it, which is more than can be said for the Hulk segments that aired in the same show. I tried to sit through the episode that was released on The Incredible Hulk DVD and failed to make it to the end of it. The personal highlight for me was the casting; Arthur Pierce is brilliant as the Captain and Steve Rogers. Sure, he’s putting on a cheesy tough guy accent but given the dialouge he was using is lifted right from Stan Lee and Joe Simon comics, it fits. Probably better than it should be allowed to.

    As with all the none Spider-Man/Fantastic Four 60’s Marvel cartoons, they can be a little difficult to sit through. I’m sure the hardcore fanboys absouloutly adore it but I personally enjoy it when the show goes with a slightly original route with it’s characters but that simply wasn’t possible, given the budget here. Having said that, I admit to having seen very little of the show but I do remember enjoying Captain America the best.

    As per usual, Cap would have to settle for guest starring roles in the 1980’s, beginning with The Capture Of Captain America in the 1981 solo Spider-Man show. One immediately notices the vastly superior animation in this episode when compared to the rest of the show as it was animated by Toei Doga in Japan rather than Marvel’s own team of animators in the states. It’s unsure whether or not Marvel spent a little more on the episode in hopes of luring possible network interest in a Captain America cartoon like they later tried to do with the stunning animation found in the Pryde Of The X-Men pilot a few years later but it was rumoured that they did try and get Captain America, Iron Man and even a Secret Wars show produced in the 80’s but couldn’t find network interest. Jon Talpur! Spider-Friends! Clarify!

    The episode sees Spider-Man blamed for Cap’s capture and our wall crawler dealing with the repercussions of his kidnapping – New York certainly wasn’t fond of it’s web slinger to the point where he actually made an attempt to infiltrate The Red Skull’s castle and free Cap himself.

    The Red Skull is a difficult character to do in animation. Nazi’s are a no-no in most cartoons – how do you get around that? It’s like doing a Spider-Man cartoon where the character isn’t allowed to crawl on walls. The Skulls plan here is to swap minds with his enemy, presumably to take advantage of Cap’s popularity and superior strength. Naturally, Spider-Man isn’t for this and attempts to stop the Nazi’s mad plans and giving him what for.

    Visuals wise – I love John Romita. Sr. I’ll say it everytime I have to mention solo Spider-Man or Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends in these retrospectives. The show is based on the legends models, so Cap is looking pretty good here. They’ve even managed to keep those silly wings on his head, which I could’ve done without but I’m sure the fanboys would’ve cried fowl something fierce had they got rid of them here.

    [​IMG]

    Cap would appear again in the 80’s, this time in Spider-Man And His Amazing Friends. Spider-Friends was all about having fun, and didn’t let things like logic get in the way. You might think that sounds stupid but watch an episode of the solo Spider-Man show and then an episode of Amazing Friends and it’s clear which is better by leaps and bounds. There’s nothing especially wrong with the 80’s show, it’s just that Amazing Friends is so much more fun and enjoyable to watch.

    Captain America is Iceman’s fancy dress costume of choice in the show’s opening, The Triumph Of The Green Goblin. He even opens with an amusing line;

    Bobby Drake: Captain America at your service ladies! Actually Mona, it’s me, Bobby Drake. I’m much more loveable than ol’ Cap!

    The same design and voice are used from the solo show and in case you needed reminding – John Romita. Jr = absolutely brilliant. Never question this fact; the universe will presumably rip in half from sheer shock. You think you could live with that on your conscious? No? Good, then never speak ill of Romita and all shall be fine.

    [​IMG]

    Cap would return in Seven Little Superheroes. Depending on your tolerate for cheese, you’ll find that this is either one of the very best the show has to offer on the show that finally made you decide that this show isn’t for you. The episode features seven superheroes being invited to a party in a mysterious mansion by an unknown host, who is later revealed to be The Chameleon who had just graduated from the Ron Burgundy School of poetry. Cap is actually defeated fairly quickly here – the whole point of Captain America is that he is the best hero Marvel has to offer, The prince of heroism – none of that comes across well in any of his appearances. The 80’s were a difficult times for cartoons and Captain America was no exception.

    Cap would make his final appearance in the show in Pawns Of The Kingpin but as he spent the majority of the episode brainwashed, we don’t really get to see much of what makes him Captain American. The episode gets bonus points for using The Kingpin, because The Kingpin is like the coolest supervillain ever. When I get a few free days I’ll start my Kingpin retrospective and simply go on and on about his awesome. You thought the Mysterio retrospective was bad, trust me true believe, you’ve not seen nothing yet!

    But things got much worse for him before the 90’s came, as Captain America was one of the few Marvel characters to be given his own movie. After looking at the horrendous results, I wish they didn’t bother. Clearly done on the cheap, the movie was marred with production delays before eventually being dumped direct to video. Some of the classic elements of Captain America are kept but the movie takes a lot of liberties with the character, such as having The Red Skull being the leader of an Italian crime syndicate rather than the ruthless Nazi we love to hate. The Skull himself undergoes plastic surgery when the movie gets to the 90’s (80s?) and looks really stupid for it.

    The “plot” of the film is pretty dumb – there seems to be a lot of emphasis on The President rather than Cap himself. The man out of time aspect is barely played upon and there’s nothing especially memorable about the film at all. Cap’s costume is also a particular source of embarrassment – the guy you get your photo taken with at Universal Studio’s looks better in the red white and blue. Matt Slinger is cast in the role and again, is quite forgettable. He later appeared in 24, the most brilliant show of all time and for the life of me, I can’t remember who he is. Then again, I’ve not seen season 6 yet. Post spoilers of it here and your ass is mine. Suffice to say, after the movie’s dismal failure; we weren’t going to be getting our animated spin off.

    The next decade of Cap’s appearance outside the comics would be plentiful, but never quite what many of us were looking for.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Nygma

    Nygma Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Messages:
    2,506
    Likes Received:
    0
    LOL, :anime: brilliant.
    Also Stu, no mention of Namor's: ALCOHOL!? I know this is the Captain America retrospective, but every time I think of 7 Little Superheroes, that's the first thing that always comes to mind.:D

    Is that a good thing, or a bad thing?:shrug::D

    To quote Robin Williams from Live On Broadway, "NO, SAY IT AIN'T SO?"

    Oh sure Stu, suck the fun out of everything, and here I was lined up to give you all the news.:D

    Anyways looking forward to you commenting on my personal favorite episode Old Soldiers, and the greatness of Wolverine and Captain America kicking Nazi ass.
     
  3. Stu

    Stu Marvel Animation Age Webmaster
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    18,417
    Likes Received:
    30
    Nygma, That's the first thing I think of everytime the show comes to mind! :D If I ever do a Namor Retrospective, expect a couple of paragraphs explaining the brilliance of the line!

    ...Probably better than we let Arsenal do the Namor retrospective...
     
  4. Stu

    Stu Marvel Animation Age Webmaster
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    18,417
    Likes Received:
    30
    The first animated appearance of Captain America of the decade came as a cameo in X-Men in Red Dawn as he appears in Wolverine’s flashback as he remembers how he originally defeated Omega Red in the Soviet Union. He doesn’t speak and I’m still not entirely sure what he was doing there, but back in the day, I thought it was awesome seeing Captain America on TV.

    Larry Houston obviously loves his cameos in Marvel cartoons, as Captain America again appeared alongside The Avengers fighting the all powerful Dr. Doom in the show’s finale Doomsday. The model is clearly based on George Perez’s depiction of the Captain but only appears for a fraction of a second. Still cool though.

    [​IMG]

    He would make his next full fledged appearance in a stunningly awesome scene in Spider-Man: The Animated Series season four. The episode entails The Kingpin Of Crime trying to find the secret to the super soldier formula and kidnapping John Hardesky, the one person still alive who knows the ingredients to the drug. As Peter begins to research why Dr. Octopus would be interested in Felicia’s Mother’s past and “borrows” some of SHIELD’s files, he discovers that Hardesky, as a young man, was present at Captain America’s origin which turned skinny Steve Rogers into the Allies ultimate weapon. Cap’s appearance came from nowhere – this wasn’t your average team up, you could tell they were building things up with Captain America. A small cameo from The Red Skull is also shown, as it reveals he is the leader of the group of people who tricked Hardesky into trying to steal the super solider formula.

    The same formula later gave The Black Cat her powers but it wouldn’t be the last time Cap played a part in the life of Peter Parker and his amazing alter ego when he learns that his dead parents might have actually been traitors in World War II. He tricks J. Jonah Jameson into buying his plane ticket to Russia after he lies and says Spider-Man is beginning his plan for world domination – starting with the reds!

    Whilst over there, Peter and Robbie learn that The Red Skull, one of the Nazi’s leading generals, was planning on creating a Doomsday Device in the US and Parker’s parents had to pose as spies in order to learn exactly what the device was and how to defeat it, should it actually be activated. They kept a nice mystery running as to what the devise actually was throughout the story until the big reveal at the end.

    [​IMG]

    Spider-Man is forced to team up with several superheroes from the Timely era to stop The Kingpin and his Insidious Six, the son of The Red Skull before Peter is eventually told what happened to the weapon in 1945. This was actually one of the highlights of the story arc for me as Omar Mosely told the story of the Captain’s final fight with the Red Skull due to the brilliant casting of Paul Winfield. He unfortunately passed away a few years ago, but will forever remembered as one of the greats to me. There are very few people who match his natural storytelling ability.

    Captain America eventually returns in The Six Fight Again as Reinholt manages to open the portal which held Cap and The Skull captive. The Doomsday Device is also revealed – in a massive shock, it turns The Skulls son into Electro! A lot of folks didn’t agree with this, as Electro was a loser who is given God like abilities, only to prove that a loser with the power to control electricity is still a loser.

    I admit to being a little disappointed with Cap’s design here. The costume itself isn’t too bad, but the choice of colouring is way off. Cap to me, should be a proud symbol of the red, white and blue – the colours should pretty much be taken from the flag. The blue is a strange teal colour and the red seems a little dull for my liking. Considering that most of the guest stars did look pretty good in the show, it’s sad to see Cap looking so bland. Hell, even most of the other Six Forgotten Warriors looked better. He doesn’t quite have that voice that could command Gods either, but to be fair, I think that Captain America is always going to be a character that is difficult to cast.

    [​IMG]

    Not a bad effort for the good Captain, but a little tame when compared to the other excellent guest stars from the show, including Daredevil, The X-Men and even Iron Man.

    Cap would return just a few mere handful of episodes later. In a final effort to prove his worth, The Beyonder challenged Spider-Man to prove which is mightier, good or evil?

    He did so by littering the universe’s closest thing to paradise with supervillains – Dr. Doom, Smythe, The Lizard, The Red Skull, Dr. Octopus and let them run wild for a year, allowing them to lay waste to the place.

    Beyond allowed Spider-Man to choose several people to help him clean up the planet and defeat the supervillains, on the condition that he himself lead them into battle. People have complained about this angle for years but I don’t see why they would do it any other way – this is Spider-Man’s show, Spider-Man should be the leader. Simple as that.

    He was careful with his selection, assessing his enemies and then deciding who would be best to transport. Noting that he has never faced Dr. Doom before, he logically selects The Fantastic Four, despite the fact he’d never met them before. He chooses Storm for her power (and to keep the budget down, it was too pricey to fly the rest of the X-Men cast over from Canada), Iron Man because they were friends from their battle with Venom, Carnage and Dormammu and finally, Captain America because he was once again forced to battle The Red Skull.

    I personally thought this story was great – it does dip slightly in part two, but Cap gets plenty of action here as he questions Spider-Man rather naïve leadership skills and begins to fall for The Black Cat. He also disagrees with Spider-Man on his plan to help the rebels of the planet defeat The Red Skull, dismissing his idea as unachievable.

    Three episodes to fully utilise the vast amount of characters isn’t really enough so there’s nothing especially brilliant about Cap’s presentation here, but there is a lot fun to be had. It was basically one final test before Spider-Man faces his ultimate challenge, which is how it should be done. This was Spidey’s show – Spidey should take centre stage.

    So that’s it for Captain America and Spidey. How did everyone else handle Cap?
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. JRP82190

    JRP82190 Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    530
    Likes Received:
    0
    the color of his custom always bothered me in Spider-man TAS can't wait for the next update
     
  6. Michael24

    Michael24 Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Messages:
    23,796
    Likes Received:
    6
    Finally! I've been waiting quite awhile for a Captain America retrospective, and it was worth the wait. Excellent job. :)

    Wow! That's a first. I typically read nothing but praise for the costume and Salinger's performance whenever I read something about the film. I thought the costume (and shield) looked fantastic, and I enjoyed Salinger's performance. It just makes me wish the film could have been better. (Side note: Matt Salinger is the son of Catcher In the Rye author J.D. Salinger.)
     
  7. Wonder Woman

    Wonder Woman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Messages:
    17,838
    Likes Received:
    65
    This has been a great retrospective so far if only to note how great of a character he is and how underused he's been in Marvel's animation history. While he has been slowly given his dues in the recent years I am still hoping this will serve as a wake-up call for him to get his own series or regular appearances in current and upcoming Marvel toons.
     
  8. Christopher Glennon

    Christopher Glennon Punch Drunk Flounder
    Staff Member Reporter

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2003
    Messages:
    8,953
    Likes Received:
    3
    It is a shame that Captain America had the first Marvel cartoon and hasn't had one since. Although he does regularly guest-star and cameo in other series, not to mention the DTVs. He's just begging to come back to animation sooner or later.

    I also wasn't fond of his colors on Spider-Man.
     
  9. Stu

    Stu Marvel Animation Age Webmaster
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    18,417
    Likes Received:
    30
    I was under the impression that the movie was hated throughout the universe. Has anyone else seen the Captain America movie? What did you all think to it?

    They've all had that something lacking so far - none of the guest appearances ever quite got him right. There's been some good attempts. There has also been dismal, dismal attempts too of course...
     
  10. Stu

    Stu Marvel Animation Age Webmaster
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    18,417
    Likes Received:
    30
    Captain America would next appear again in X-Men, this time as a full fledged team up with Wolverine way back in World War II. In retrospect, the episode doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense. Wolverine claims to remember nothing about his past after the incident in Alkali Lake that gave him his adamantium skeleton and claws. Instead, Logan (he’s not quite Wolverine yet) uses strap on metal claws.

    So, overall, the episode doesn’t make the slightest bit of sense, and defies most of the continuity of Wolverine’s character. After the episode aired, no one really cared.

    [​IMG]

    The story is told in flashback, as Wolverine reminisces about World War II in front of the grave of a scientist who betrayed him back in the big one. Logan was some kind of special ops agent for the allies and was to retrieve said scientist, who had been kidnapped by none other than The Red Skull in order to build his ‘sleeper’ robots. He is given back up in the mission, in the form of Captain America.

    As said above, the plot is pretty paper-thin but damn, the episode is fun, perhaps one of the more pure enjoyable episodes the show ever conceived. It’s a Wolverine and Captain America team up. What’s not to like?

    The casting, for starters. It’s not especially bad, but Lawrence Bryne does the exact same voice for Cable and Erik The Red in the show, and it gets a little distracting. It’s not the voice one would really expect to hear when Captain America opens his mouth either. This, as Frank Miller would say, is not a voice that commands Gods.

    The design is pretty good. I’d rank it slightly higher than his Spider-Man model, but something is still slightly off. For reasons unknown, Cap is given black underoos which are just distracting. I do like the old school Batman style mask though, with the black on the blue – I thought this was a great little original touch, but I’m not sure if I care for the utility belt too much.

    Overall, it’s a fun episode and that’s all you can really ask for in a guest spot appearance. It gets bonus points for a cool Red Skull design too!

    Cap was absent from the Iron Man cartoon in the 1990’s as the producers wisely used Hawkeye instead to expand upon the bitter break up of Forceworks from The Beast Within and develop Tony Stark as the lone wolf who refuses to take the opinions/feelings of those around him into consideration.

    The Captain’s next appearance on TV would be in the atrocious Avengers: United They Stand cartoon. Marvel irked many fans when the show was announced and neither Cap, Iron Man or Thor were included in the roster. According to Avi Arad, Iron Man wasn’t featured because he’d just finished his own show, Thor because, erm…. hmmmm, moving along and Cap because “he’s next”.

    [​IMG]

    So Ant Man was announced as the leader, which is a problem in itself. The show was lame, and the roster was the least of it’s worries. In retrospect, I’m glad the big 3 weren’t included – the show had terrible versions of Cap and Iron Man and I can only imagine the horrors that would’ve been made had they attempted Thor. The God Of Thunder was apparently going to be featured in season two, but thankfully, it was never made.

    The Captain guest starred in Command Decision as The Avengers battle The Masters Of Evil whilst Ant Man wonders if he’ll ever be the leader Cap was. No. No Ant Man, you won’t.

    The episode is lousy, like the show itself. Most people were none too impressed with the episode review I wrote for it on MAA as I’d become bored of reviewing the same tedious tripe over and over again and instead used the Command And Decision page to pay tribute to my hero, the legendary Jack Bauer.

    The show has crappy designs to begin with, but thankfully, Cap is spared the blatant toy plugging and appears in his classic costume, silly wings and all. The designs really are just a poor man’s attempt at Bruce Timm’s style but Cap is above average for the show. At least they got the colouring right, which is more than can be said for their terrible Iron Man design. I’ve managed to block out most of the show, and plan to stop talking about The Avengers: United They Stand here as last nights ale still sits within my stomach and I’d sooner not have it magically appear in front of me as a result of nausea.

    Apparently, Boyd and Kirkland were toying with the idea of revamping the show before it got canned due to Marvel’s bankruptcy. Fret not though True Believers, as the two would get their chance to do their take on Captain America not once in one of the coolest moments in Marvel animation history, courtesy of X-Men: Evolution.

    But what of Cap's own show? It did actually make it to pre-production at Saban, and Will Meugniot has a section dedicated to it over at his site, www.storyboardpro.com. I've tried to delve further into the show's story but so far haven't really come up with any concrete results - I can only assume it never made it to air because of Marvel's bankruptcy.

    Back to Evo, In a story similar but superior to Old Soldiers, we once again see Captain America and Logan in WWII fighting would-be Nazi’s and freeing captured Jews, one of whom would go on to become Magneto. Cap’s appearance is more of an extended cameo than a full fledged team up, but it was simply awesome. Words can’t explain how cool it was seeing Cap go to town on the Nazi plane in the glorious flashback sequence.

    [​IMG]

    Cap doesn’t speak so casting isn’t an issue, but his design whoops ass. It’s pretty much Cap from the comics but Steve Gordon pulls it off flawlessly. Considering we’d been mired with mediocre to passable designs for Cap up to this point, it was nice to see it finally done right, if only briefly.

    Gordon would again get the chance to design Cap’s model a few years later, but on a much, much grander scale – a 70 minute DTV which would finally give us a animated take on The Avengers that didn't suck terribly.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. Michael24

    Michael24 Moderator
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2004
    Messages:
    23,796
    Likes Received:
    6
    Yeah, the movie is pretty much universally-hated. I just meant that Cap's costume and Salinger's performance are usually the only things that make it through unscatched in reviews of the film.

    I actually have the movie on video. I used to watch it frequently when I was younger. There's moments that I like, and there's moments I dislike. Not really a good movie, but I can't say it's the worst I've ever seen.
     
  12. Nygma

    Nygma Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    Messages:
    2,506
    Likes Received:
    0
    Agreed, it's probably the best stand alone episode the series ever produced.

    That was the voice of Cable? Hmm never noticed. Then again I haven't seen an X-Men episode with Lawrence Bryne's voice in quite awhile.

    OH SNAP!!!

    Usually I'd probably complain about that too, but lets be honest, the show was so god awful that I'm surprised it was a complaint to begin with.

    Lets face it, Talking about Jack Bauer in the Avengers:UTS site > Talking about Avengers: UTS in the Avengers: UTS site. It's Science.

    I always like the fact that Captain America didn't speak in Evolution, it kind of makes him feel a little less mortal (for the lack of a better term).
     
  13. Stu

    Stu Marvel Animation Age Webmaster
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    18,417
    Likes Received:
    30
    Marvel hasn’t had much of TV presence since X-Men: Evolution and Spider-Man: The New Animated Series ended in 2003. Both were marred with network interference that worked against the characters and stories they were trying to tell and presumably, they just got sick of it and decided to concentrate on movies instead. Fortunately, they weren’t done with animation as they announced they were teaming with Lions Gates for 8 direct to DVD features and announced that the first two would be based on the red hot The Ultimates comic book series.

    This divided a lot of fans, as they felt The Ultimates were nothing more than a twisted, moral less take on The Avengers. I couldn’t disagree more. Millar and Hitch brought a great, cinematic take to The Ultimates which simply stood out in a league of it’s own at a time when The Avengers were simply a rather dull team of superheroes. The story was practically made for translation to another medium and animation seemed like the wisest choice, an Ultimates movie would be very, very pricey.

    [​IMG]

    With the exception of producer Boyd Kirkland who left the project early on in production, the majority of the X-Men: Evolution crew was back to work on the first DTDVD, with Greg Johnson penning the screenplay from a story by him, Boyd and Craig Kyle, with veterans Curt Geda and Steve Gordon sharing directing duties and Gordon once again designing the characters.

    The story would follow The Ultimates arc “Superhuman” closely and revolves around Captain America being thawed out ice and reawakening in the modern day to lead a team of heroes against an alien invasion. Captain America is finally given the chance to shine in the lead role, at long last! This is easily the best version of Captain America we’ve ever had animated. The design is all sorts of awesome – taking it’s inspiration from both of Hitch’s designs for Ultimate Captain America, it’s sleek, it’s bad ass, it animates superbly and it doesn’t even have those silly wings. A head is looking sharp here folks!

    Justin Gross was cast as Cap, and does a fine job. He still doesn’t quite have that voice that commands Gods but he’s the best they’ve done so far. As I mentioned earlier, Captain America is very hard to cast, but Gross is the closest they’ve come so far.

    The film starts in 1945 as Hitler is pronounced dead and Cap and his crew head into Germany in order to stop a nuclear device being detonated by Herr Kleiser, who is actually the leader of the alien race The Chitauri who were in allegiance with the Nazi’s. Cap hops aboard the missile and manages to disarm it but falls into the Atlantic Ocean in the process. Something in the super solider formula manages to keep him alive until General Fury and Betty Ross manage to find him and thaw him out in the modern day.

    [​IMG]

    He is then chosen to be the leader of “Project Avenger” and lead a team of modern heroes to fight The Chitauri whiles Bruce Banner uses his blood sample to create a whole new range of super soldiers to work for S.H.I.E.L.D. He is reunited with his best friend, the aged Bucky and the love of life Gail, who is now old enough to be a Grandmother and married to Bucky. He soon realises that he has nothing else to live for, except his country and accepts Fury’s offer to lead The Avengers. I don’t understand why they were called The Avengers in the movie or the original comics for that matter… what are they avenging?

    The team is eventually recruited and friction is immediately noticeable. I really liked how they managed to make a horrendously dull character like Giant Man/Ant-Man/Yellowjacket such an interesting character just by making him an *******. It added so much chemistry to the team you wish that one of the members of The Justice League could’ve been a bit more of a jerk in the first two seasons. Their first mission is a dismal failure as they all differentiate from the plan for different reasons but it’s clear from the off set – none of them are team players. They are all quick to blame each other for the failure and the team disbands almost as quickly as it gathered.

    [​IMG]

    The Chitauri later return to attack S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters so the team reunites (literally, half of them just show up) but it’s Bruce Banner who stops them, as he is now in control of The Hulk. He later loses it and The Avengers have to stop Two Hands before he levels their base. The Hulk fight is the unprecedented highlight of the film, and probably the best Marvel has ever animated. It was such a refreshing change seeing Hulk actually beating the crap out of everyone – some of the shots are almost cringe inducing, especially the ones of Cap bouncing down the side of the building after Hulk launches him 30 feet into the air. After years of ridiculous censorship, I admit to getting a small thrill just out of seeing Cap punch Hulk right in the face!

    Overall, the film is an entertaining one, and gives us a very good look at Captain America’s origin. There are problems sure – the length is a little too on the short side, a lot of the characters get a little short changed (is there even any need for Wasp to be there?) and the villains were a little too generic for my liking, but a very good effort nonetheless. However, as good as this version of Captain America is, he’s not the film’s best character. It can’t be denied – Iron Man simply steals every single scene he is. I’ve done an Iron Man retrospective previously, head over there to here me gush on and on about how awesome this version of Shell Head is.

    Back to Captain America, I’m one of the few people who actually enjoyed The Ultimate Avengers II: Rise Of The Panther more. Cap is once again the leading man, but he is forced to share the spotlight with The Black Panther. The story pretty much continues from Ultimate Avengers, only Cap realises that he has nothing left to live for in the present day and is practically on a suicide mission.

    He later learns that Herr Kleiser is back and The Chitauri are planning another invasion. I thought this was the most disappointing aspect of the sequel – the same villains? And Herr Kleiser was a disappointment in himself – couldn’t we have had The Red Skull, or at least some cool Avengers villains? It all seems a bit redundant looking back – there was no need to use the same villains twice… add that to the fact they weren’t all that good to begin with (an unfortunate recurring theme in Marvel DTVs) and one can’t help but feel disappointed.

    Cap goes onto to become obsessed with killing Klesier despite the fact he knows it can’t be done, he’s even replaced by The Black Widow as the team’s leader as Fury feels Cap’s obsessions with revenge is clouding his judgement. The majority of Cap’s focus in the film is him teaming up with The Black Panther in order to stop the invasion. He does get a cool scene with Iron Man in which he reveals he didn’t think he would survive his trip on the nuclear device back in 1945 and Iron Man can’t fathom why he does what he does, as shell head himself is just in it for the glory.

    [​IMG]

    Despite my dislike for the villains, I actually think Ultimate Avengers II is better than the original and The Invincible Iron Man. I think all three movies have problems, but UAII is the best of the bunch in my opinion, but that’s probably just because I like sequels more than origin stories.

    Cap finally manages to get his happy ending after the pounding he took in UA: The Movie and gets the girl when he and Black Widow get together. This wasn’t especially a bad romance, but it wasn’t really that memorable – I think it was solely here to give Cap a happy ending.

    Cap hasn’t been seen on the small or big screen since. His recent death in the comics has produced some very good storylines (especially Fallen Son, which is the highlight of the entire Civil War storyline) and his debut on the big screen as Marvel’s next big franchise looks to be shaping up for a Summer 2009 release, with an Avengers movie presumably featuring Cap also on the horizon. As Marvel own the Wing head’s animation and movie rights themselves, he’s probably able to appear in Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes should they wish to use him, just as Hulk and Iron Man have (and will, rather). The same might be possible for The Spectacular Spider-Man but for the near future, it is looking like Cap is back to being a guest star. Let’s hope his movie does well so we finally get Cap in his own cartoon!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Mad Monkey 7

    Mad Monkey 7 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2002
    Messages:
    2,624
    Likes Received:
    0
    Does anybody have info on that cancelled Cap Series?
     
  15. Christopher Glennon

    Christopher Glennon Punch Drunk Flounder
    Staff Member Reporter

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2003
    Messages:
    8,953
    Likes Received:
    3
    What do you have against Hank Pym? I think he's more well rounded in the comics because he's conflicted and makes bad choices even though his intentions are good. Ultimate Avengers made him a little one dimensional with all his jerkiness.

    I was under the impression they didn't want to include the Big Three for fear that the other heroes would be overshadowed.

    Captain America was great in Ultimate Avengers, particularly the very beginning of the first movie. Great action, this is the kind of animation for Captain America we've been waiting for. However, I don't share your distaste for the wings, Stu. Without them he looks bald or something.
     
  16. spyke

    spyke Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2002
    Messages:
    2,426
    Likes Received:
    156
    This was a good column.

    That being said, you left out one of CA's animated appearances. In the early 80's, Cap starred in an animated public service announcement commercial about conserving energy.
     
  17. Stu

    Stu Marvel Animation Age Webmaster
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    18,417
    Likes Received:
    30
    I've always found him to be really, really dull. I thought turning him into a jerk was a great way to make him more interesting - I also though it added a lot of chemistry to the Ultimate Avengers team. I thought Nolan North did a great job with his voice too.

    I did actually try to find the exact quote from Avi Arad (I remember reading it on www.comics2film.com) but I couldn't locate it. I remember him saying that Cap was soon to be getting his own show and Iron Man had just finished his, but for the life of me I can't remember why Thor wasn't included. Your theory makes sense though.

    To each his own - I just thought they always looked a little silly. I understand that they work as a radio receiver or something like that in the comics? I have to admit I prefer The Ultimates design over the original comic one too, so that probably has something to do with it.

    Thank you, spyke. :)

    Never seen it. I imagine not being born in the early 80's (I'm 21) and not living in America are to blame. What was it like?
     
  18. Jon T

    Jon T Friendless Spidey

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Messages:
    1,711
    Likes Received:
    12
    Yep, another excellent retrospective on one of Marvel's highest-profile characters who hasn't had his own series in four decades!

    Never heard of this one myself! I wonder if Marvel Productions produced it, since it was made in the early 80s?
     
  19. spyke

    spyke Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2002
    Messages:
    2,426
    Likes Received:
    156
    Basicly, he went to a house and was telling people to turn lights off after leaving a room and what not in order to fight the dreaded "energy hog" and other energy consuming villains.

    I don't know whether or not Marvel Productions produced this comercial. I use to see it air on either CBS (channel 2 out here in New York) or WPIX (channel 11 in New York).
     
  20. Christopher Glennon

    Christopher Glennon Punch Drunk Flounder
    Staff Member Reporter

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2003
    Messages:
    8,953
    Likes Received:
    3
    It did work pretty well to the Ultimate Avengers dynamic, I admit. And North was pretty good too.

    I see. I want to say I read mine in a Wizard, but it was a while ago. Maybe someday we'll stumble upon the truth (of a show no one should really care about).


    Radio receiver? I think you might be thinking of the Flash. Or maybe Cap does too, but I don't remember them having a reason for being other than decorative. I suppose if I saw the Ultimate design first, I'd be more used to it, but I'm just not.
     

Share This Page

  • Find Toonzone on Facebook

  • Toonzone News

  • Comic Book Solicitations

  • Toonzone Fan Sites


Tac Anti Spam from Surrey Forum