Marvel Animation in 2017

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#1
2017 was a big year for Marvel Animation, with many endings and beginnings for it's cartoons and shows, and with even more on the slate for 2018.

- Ultimate Spider-Man ended it's landmark 104-episode run with a two-part "Graduation Day" finale that saw Spider-Man (Drake Bell) finally graduate from SHIELD Academy and, alongside his fellow teen heroes, have a final showdown with Dr. Octopus (Tom Kenney) and the Sinister Six (Tom Kenney, Max Mittleman, Diedrich Bader, Eric Bauza, Fred Tatasciore).


- Avengers: Ultron Revolution concluded with a four-part "Civil War" storyline that saw The Avengers (Adrian Pasdar, Roger Craig Smith, Travis Willingham, Fred Tatasciore, Laura Bailey, Troy Baker, Bumper Robinson) go rogue in light of the government passing an Inhuman Registration Act. In response the government forms the Might Avengers (James C. Mathis III, Grey Griffin, David Kaye, Kathreen Khavari, Grant George, Jennifer Hale, Clancy Brown) and in the ensuing conflict between the two teams the true mastermind behind everything is revealed.


- Partnering with French animators, Marvel released two series of shorts, Rocket and Groot chronicling the adventures of the eponymous duo (Trevor Devall and Kevin Michael Richardson) in space as they attempt to get enough credits to buy a new ship, and Ant-Man which showcases the Scott Lang Ant-Man (Josh Keaton) in his daily life.

Rocket and Groot


Ant-Man


 

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#2
- Guardians of the Galaxy entered into it's second season with a series of shorts chronicling the Guardians' (Will Friedle, Vanessa Marshall, David Sobolov, Trevor Devall, and Kevin Michael Richardson) adventures on Earth and a crossover premier with The Avengers (Roger Craig Smith, Mick Wingert, Fred Tatasciore/Jesse Burch, Grant George, Grey Griffin) against the High-Evolutionary (Nolan North).

The season subsequently saw the Guardians face off against the Universal Believers for control of a cocoon containing Adam Warlock (Eric Bauza), a menacing Symbiote horde, as well as teaming-up with the Sam Alexander Nova (Logan Miller) against Star-Lord's villainous father J'Son (Jonathan Frakes).



- Avengers: Secret Wars, the latest season of Marvel's Avengers Assemble cartoon, saw the villainous Cabal of Leader (James Arnold Taylor), Arnim Zola (Mark Hamill), Kang the Conqueror (Steve Blum), Enchantress (Fryda Wolff), and The Executioner (Travis Willingham) scatter the original Avengers across time and space, necesitating Black Panther (James C. Mathis III) to form an All New and All Different Avengers team comprised of Captain Marvel (Grey Griffin), Vision (David Kaye), Ms. marvel (Kathreen Khavari), Ant-Man (Josh Keaton), and Wasp (Kari Wahlgren) to take over and combat new threats.


 

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#3
- Marvel's Spider-Man, the latest Spider-Man cartoon from Marvel Animation, saw a return to the franchises roots of a young Peter Parker (Robbie Daymond) getting bitten by a radioactive Spider and learning that With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility as he manages a double-life as a Superhero with that of a high school student at Horizon High.

Alongside his best friend Harry Osborn (Max Mittleman) and classmates at Horizon Gwen Stacy (Laura Bailey,) fellow Spider-Hero Miles Morales (Nadji Jeter) and Anya Corazon (Melanie Minichino), Spider-Man tangles with all sorts of villains, from CEO Norman Osborn (Josh Keaton), The Jackal (John DiMaggio), and Hammerhead (Jimm Cummings) while teaming-up with Avengers such as Iron Man (Mick Wingert) and Hulk (Fred Tatasciore/Kevin Shinick).



- Marvel Super Hero Adventures, a new Marvel media franchise aimed for younger audiences, features Spider-Man teaming-up with several Marvel heroes on adventures that teach important life-lessons to both Spidey and the viewer.


- Continuing from last year, Marvel Animation has a new set of Marvel Funko shorts starring the heroes and villains of the Marvel universe as Funko figures in humorous and fun adventures.


- A new Lego special starring the Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Lego: Guardians of the Galaxy - The Thanos Threat sees the Guardians attempt to keep the powerful Build Stone away from the villains forces of Yondu (James Arnold Taylor), Ronan (Jonathan Adams), Nebula (Cree Summer), and Thanos (Isaac Singleton Jr.).


So, what are your feelings towards Marvel Animation in 2017?

What were your highlights/favorites of the year?

What disappointed you?

What do you hope for from Marvel Animation in the future in terms of their products or the quality of their productions?

What are you looking forward to from Marvel Animation going into 2018?
 
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Troy Troodon

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#4
I'll give Marvel's animation department this much; it certainly improved in quality to some extent.

I'm still not a fan of AA, but I did admire that they at least tried some new things like new heroes including Ms. Marvel or Black Panther (who are honestly more interesting than the actual main protagonists) and new villains like Amora the Enchantress. I still with the animation was better, and that the show wasn't too preachy and tried to be more subtle though.

That said let's talk about the real highlight of Marvel Animation, Marvel's Spider-Man! At first I found myself legitimately praising this new show for actually being a self contained superhero cartoon; everything about it surpasses AA and Guardians of the Galaxy, and of course the previous Ultimate Spider-Man in nearly every quality: good writing, better animation, better voice acting, far more interesting, likable, and entertaining characters... but it does still have it's problems--

One problem is while the animation is better, it's still not very good, it's still choppy, still under-expressive, and still pretty stiff; the coloring also doesn't help. Another problem is for some reason, the executives feel the need to phone in that this is in the same continuity as the other shows, regardless of how little sense it makes in context.

But I think another problem I have is while it did seem to establish Peter Parker as a character and a superhero as well as his friends, and emphasize the struggle between the mask and the man, the show doesn't really pick up on any further development, it just stops at some point and then turns it's focus on the villains. Of course establishing the villains isn't bad in itself, but sometimes it takes away any time for us to get to know the main characters better, and other times it doesn't even get us anywhere.

I bring this up because there is another superhero cartoon that seems to follow a similar formula, Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters, which actually feels more like a Spider-Man show than this does. (evidently given that Victor Cook who worked on Spectacular Spider-Man was actually involved in this)

In that show, episode after episode we learn more and more about our heroes and their allies, and there was only slight development from the main antagonist that doesn't take any time away to develop the heroes, but we still learn more about the villains and for the time each villain of the episode gets, those short moments are still interesting and engaging enough to hold on their own.

I still enjoy Marvel's Spider-Man, but I do wish it could've been better. Hopefully the following episodes do pick up on developing the characters more, and maybe even put more effort in the animation.
 

Rick Jones

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#5
The Ant-Man shorts were a big highlight for me. They were 9 minutes of style and I loved watching them and the Rocket and Groot shorts. They were simultaneously fun and visually appealing and I hope that Marvel gives us a lot more treats like those. I've liked all of the Marvel shorts this year, including those done for their series, but Ant-Man has been my favorite.

Avengers Assemble continues to be a pretty fun show. I was ready to write the show off after Season 1 but they managed to find some footing in Season 2, and that continues to be the case now. It's not close to perfect but I actually look forward to new episodes when they're available, so it's safe to say that I've become a little fond of it at times.

I wasn't sad to see Ultimate Spider-Man end. It reached numbers I honestly couldn't imagine for a Marvel series. I've never felt myself hating the show. I have felt disappointed that it didn't always reach for the quality that I thought it could be but it was nice that the show eventually settled into being a pretty decent adventure series during the third season and remained so until the end. The one thing I will miss about it is the visual quality. No show that came after was able to match or surpass it visually and that is a real shame. This is a visual media and that aspect needs to be done well. Marvel doesn't really have any excuses for none of the other shows matching USM when it comes to that.

I like Marvel's Spider-Man. I like a lot of things about Marvel's Spider-Man although there are some decisions that I wouldn't have made. It's a show I root for though and that would be a lot easier if its animation quality wasn't my biggest disappointment of the year. I like the designs and think that they're a breath of fresh air after 5 years of the same aesthetic all the time but they deserve to be on a better animated show than this. I really hope that Marvel gets it together before Season 2.

I always hear positive feedback about GOTG and I like that. It really makes me want to watch more. The show has just never really hooked me but I look forward to seeing how Nova and Adam Warlock are handled. *Edit* I had time to burn through the two-thirds of the season that I hadn't seen yet and I think the show really won me over. They used J'Son, Nova and Warlock to good effect and created some entertaining storylines for the GOTG that involved them. J'Son has to be one of the most cold blooded cartoon villains I've seen in a while, and he's up there with characters like Ozai and Norman Osborn for worst dad. My few problems have to deal with Quill and Rocket being very grating at times, and the terrible network air order that threw me off at times. Other than that , this was a very good season.

I have high hopes for Deadpool and Marvel Rising. They could both be incredibly disappointing but it's more fun to imagine how cool they can be instead. I was a little disappointed that Marvel had zero fanfare for Spidey 67 and X-Men TAS this year as I think those were both important shows for them. Sure, it's not good to be married to the past but I'm sure that longtime fans would appreciate fanfare like that.

Marvel has been a little scant with the cool announcements this year but I hope 2018 is full of them and full of awesome animated projects whether they're shorts, series or movies (I'm ecstatic about Into The Spider-Verse). I really look forward to all of the FF and X-Men characters being welcomed back into the animation folder and I await the first announcements.

Sent from my HTC6500LVW using Tapatalk
 
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TheLemsterPju

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#6
I think this was a fantastic year for Marvel Animation. They've begun to show more variety and tell even better stories.

It's just a shame that it came too late for many people. Although shows like Guardians of the Galaxy have been great through-out (despite being relatively unnoticed on the Internet) and I still highly recommend that show. Avengers Assemble has reached it's peak in terms of storytelling, and I appreciate that they're using different characters for a change. Also, Marvel's Spider-Man seems to be heading in some interesting directions, and thus far it's writing has been pretty good.

While I disagree with many peoples' observation that the time between 2012-2015 was a "dark age" for Marvel Animation, I feel like they should give it another chance. At this point, don't expect the same style of writing as the pre-USM Marvel animated shows. These are clearly going in a slightly more fun, jovial direction, as to keep it consistent with how most family-oriented cartoons are these days.
 

RoyalRubble

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#7
- Ultimate Spider-Man had a pretty satisfying conclusion. There were a few loose ends left but as a whole it was fun. Bonus points for being the first Spidey cartoon to have an actual finale, instead of ending on a cliff-hanger or having a random stand-alone episode for its last outing. It was probably for the best to end it there, on a pretty happy note and start over with another take on Spidey's world.

- Rocket & Groot and Ant-Man were pretty amazing and some of my favorite animated things of the year. Each series had a unique style and the stories were fun. I also liked how Rocket & Groot had one continuous story broken into smaller chapters. I'd love to see more stuff like this, with other Marvel characters.

- The second season of Guardians of the Galaxy was good. I liked the additions of Adam Warlock and Mantis (though I wish they would have done more with her character). Not to mention the re-imagined Sam Alexander Nova, a big upgrade compared to the version we were used to from Ultimate Spider-Man. The stories for the most part were pretty great and apart from a few episodes that were either a little too silly or just filler, this season's story-arc was probably a little more entertaining to me than the Thanos arc from the previous season.

- Avengers: Secret Wars is pretty good. It's cool to finally see some more new Avengers in there, and for the most part the new recruits are entertaining enough. There are still a few problems in there, like not all the characters are all that developed, argue too much or some more forced humor which I don't find all that funny, but it's still a step above what we had before.

- Marvel's Spider-Man is pretty great. I know the animation and character designs have been critiqued a lot, but I don't mind them that much. The stories are fun, and I like how much stuff they managed to fit into the episodes that aired so far, including some elements that haven't been animated before. I'll admit the show can be a little too rushed at times, and I'm not that crazy about Miles and most likely others developing super-powers by the end of the season. But as a whole, I like it and will continue watching.

All things considered, I think 2017 was a pretty great year for Marvel animation. Between a new Spidey cartoon series and all the various animated shorts (even if they're only an episode of a show split into parts), there was a lot of stuff I liked this year.

For 2018, I'm looking forward to Marvel's Spider-Man continuing, the new seasons of Avengers and Guardians, the Deadpool animated series (even if I'm not a huge fan of the character), and seeing how Marvel Rising turns out. Then there's also the theatrical Into the Spider-Verse, which looks pretty awesome so far.

There will probably more stuff announced in due time, so it should be fun discovering what else the future holds for Marvel animation - especially considering the recent news regarding the X-Men and Fantastic Four.
 

Fone Bone

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#8
The Ultimate Spider-Man ending solidified it as the best animated Spider-Man cartoon in my mind. Nothing else has come close, which a bit disheartening because Ultimate Spider-Man was so underwhelming in so many ways. But it's strangely the best Spider-Man cartoon. Were I Weisman and Cook I'd be embarrassed when I compared endings.
 

Fone Bone

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#11
Well, their show was cancelled prematurely, so it's hardly fair to blame them for the unsatisfying ending.
I do. Weisman never plans for his shows not coming back. Each season finale in Justice League / Unlimited would have made a fitting series finale because Bruce Timm took nothing for granted. He also showed that it's a perfectly fine story choice. Weisman is the one who always chooses to end his seasons on cliffhangers without a pick-up commitment ahead of time. Which for an animated show is absolutely foolish. And he did it over and over again. This is on him.
And "Final Curtain" was also a pretty strong episode ;).
Agree to disagree. The revelation that Goblin was Norman all along was completely arbitrary in that the clues equally implicated Harry. That wasn't a fair mystery at all.
 

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#12
I do. Weisman never plans for his shows not coming back. Each season finale in Justice League / Unlimited would have made a fitting series finale because Bruce Timm took nothing for granted. He also showed that it's a perfectly fine story choice. Weisman is the one who always chooses to end his seasons on cliffhangers without a pick-up commitment ahead of time. Which for an animated show is absolutely foolish. And he did it over and over again. This is on him
Well, it's a creative choice that he believes in (that life goes on and there's never any "real" endings).

I can understand being disappointed by it or not preferring it, but I think it's a valid story choice.
Agree to disagree. The revelation that Goblin was Norman all along was completely arbitrary in that the clues equally implicated Harry. That wasn't a fair mystery at all.
Well, that was kind of the point since there was supposed to be the potential that it was Harry, to hide the reveal that it was really Norman the entire time.

And it led to one of the most epic Goblin reveal in Spider-Man history :cool:.
 

Fone Bone

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#13
Well, it's a creative choice that he believes in (that life goes on and there's never any "real" endings).

I can understand being disappointed by it or not preferring it, but I think it's a valid story choice.
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A good story needs an ending to it. Just now people were sticking up for that ending by saying that show was canceled and it wasn't Weisman's fault. Well, if he wrote the ending than way deliberately knowing the show might not have come back, then yeah, it totally was. If I am being asked to judge a creative project on the whole, I am going to have to take the ending into account. The fact that Weisman thinks endings, one of the most essential parts of storytelling, are irrelevant, tells me he is not a very good storyteller.

Edit:

BTW, this has not always been a problem for Weisman. The second season finale of Gargoyles was a perfectly lovely stopping point. Him claiming now that cliffhanger "Life goes on" endings are the types he prefers is revisionist history to excuse what happened with Spider-Man and Young Justice.

Besides, if Weisman was TRULY satisfied with that YJ ending, it wouldn't be coming back, would it?
 

TheLemsterPju

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#14
Since Marvel has finally stopped doing those screenshot comics, I hope they decide to pursue more original tie-in comics set in the MAU (or the Marvel's Spider-Man universe) in 2018.

The digital ones that were on the Marvel Kids site seemed to have done really well in terms of viewership, but I kinda want to them to do more of those physical "Marvel Universe" comics which they did for Avengers: EMH and Ultimate Spider-Man back in 2012.
 

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A good story needs an ending to it. Just now people were sticking up for that ending by saying that show was canceled and it wasn't Weisman's fault. Well, if he wrote the ending than way deliberately knowing the show might not have come back, then yeah, it totally was. If I am being asked to judge a creative project on the whole, I am going to have to take the ending into account. The fact that Weisman thinks endings, one of the most essential parts of storytelling, are irrelevant, tells me he is not a very good storyteller.
Weisman's opinions on his stories is that they're like life, so there's never any "definitive" endings and that characterizes how he portray them, irregardless of whether the show is ending or continuing.

No matter your opinion on his endings, I don't think there can be any doubt that Greg Weisman is a good storyteller :)

Besides, if Weisman was TRULY satisfied with that YJ ending, it wouldn't be coming back, would it?
The thing is, with Weisman, he would keep telling stories in the universe/shows he's working on, he's just not often given the chance too (either by cancellation or other factors).

Since Marvel has finally stopped doing those screenshot comics, I hope they decide to pursue more original tie-in comics set in the MAU (or the Marvel's Spider-Man universe) in 2018.

The digital ones that were on the Marvel Kids site seemed to have done really well in terms of viewership, but I kinda want to them to do more of those physical "Marvel Universe" comics which they did for Avengers: EMH and Ultimate Spider-Man back in 2012.
I'm still waiting for Marvel Adventures to make a comeback ;).
 

Fone Bone

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#16
No matter your opinion on his endings, I don't think there can be any doubt that Greg Weisman is a good storyteller :)
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It is extremely weird for me to watch some of the stuff I used to love, just because my sensibilities have changed entirely. The stuff I used to put up with with Weisman, Joss Whedon, and Russell T Davies are things I would NEVER tolerate today. And my new perspective is, "Just because I loved that stuff back in the day doesn't mean it holds up that well in hindsight." Gargoyles is still a cartoon I enjoy and respect, and Young Justice has its virtues too (next to its many faults). But I cannot rewatch The Spectacular Spider-Man without my new opinion that it is utter crap. And I'm the kind of person now who doesn't tolerate the kind of storytelling that show used to engage in repeatedly. And truthfully, it's actually kind of a bummer that my tastes have changed so much, because I DID used to enjoy it over the air. But I don't tolerate Peter and Gwen's unending "I'd better be going" moments anymore, and I think the show is outright terrible because of them.

But as long as we are talking about Marvel animation in 2017, I thought the newest Avengers series Secret Wars has been pretty good so far. Not nearly as good as Earth's Mightiest Heroes, but nowhere NEAR as sucky as the previous three seasons.
 

SweetShop209

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#17
Not much to say here, except that Marvel Animation is doing pretty well. Ultimate SpiderMan finished strong while MarvelsSpiderMan is a worthy successor. Big Hero 6 is starting out pretty strong.
 

PapaGreg

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#18
Alright year while I do think Ultimate had a pretty good ending it still doesn't make up for the mediocre writing of previous seasons and the newest Spiderman series is kinda meh so far, compared to early ultimate spiderman its a step up but I don't care how student in the school are making Tony Star levels of tech and how it hammers "science" all the time.

The rest of the shows were also meh so Marvel animation 2017 was pretty uneventful imo. Still looking forward to the new Spiderman film, that looks awesome.
I do. Weisman never plans for his shows not coming back. Each season finale in Justice League / Unlimited would have made a fitting series finale because Bruce Timm took nothing for granted. He also showed that it's a perfectly fine story choice. Weisman is the one who always chooses to end his seasons on cliffhangers without a pick-up commitment ahead of time. Which for an animated show is absolutely foolish. And he did it over and over again. This is on him.
Agree to disagree. The revelation that Goblin was Norman all along was completely arbitrary in that the clues equally implicated Harry. That wasn't a fair mystery at all.
Uhh yes it was its called a Red Herring and its been used in countless mystery shows also the reason why the clues implicated Harry was because Norman was framing Harry.

A good story needs an ending to it. Just now people were sticking up for that ending by saying that show was canceled and it wasn't Weisman's fault. Well, if he wrote the ending than way deliberately knowing the show might not have come back, then yeah, it totally was. If I am being asked to judge a creative project on the whole, I am going to have to take the ending into account. The fact that Weisman thinks endings, one of the most essential parts of storytelling, are irrelevant, tells me he is not a very good storyteller.


Besides, if Weisman was TRULY satisfied with that YJ ending, it wouldn't be coming back, would it?
And a Good ending needs to lead up to something, he doesn't really make sense if Spec Spiderman's season 2 ending felt complete since you still have a missing goblin,Harry's life spiraling out of control and the gang community changing. It would be like me complaining that the creators of ATLA didn't have a good ending in season 2 some storied need more time in order to give off a satisfying conclusion.
 
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Fone Bone

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#19
Uhh yes it was its called a Red Herring and its been used in countless mystery shows also the reason why the clues implicated Harry was because Norman was framing Harry.
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Part of me knows you are right, but part of me thinks this particular red herring was unfair because if it had turned out the other way, no-one would have complained. I think a red herring needs to not only have a different motivation than the actual culprit, but that the motivation needs to make less sense than the culprit too. I understand red herrings are used in all mysteries. But a good mystery can also show why the red herring couldn't be the culprit in hindsight.

But you are right that part of the problem was Norman framing Harry. Red herrings aren't usually framed, so that is a point in that plot twist's favor.
 

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