3. Sarcasm Pays for Luke Cage.
The other great one-off of the series involved the Heroes for Hire, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Ex-Ant Man, Hank Pym, hired the duo to track down the master-criminal (but mostly janitor) Scott Lang, who stole the Ant Man suit and was using it to steal money (very unsuccessfully). Once they found him, Scott convinced the group to help him rescue his daughter from the evil Cross. Upon arriving at Cross' warehouse, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and a costumeless Pym got stopped by Cross' goons and were asked, "Who are you three supposed to be? The Avengers?" Luke Cage replied "Yeah. We're the Avengers. I'm Captain America. My friend in the pajamas is Thor."
With this comeback Luke Cage proved to be aware of how goofy the concept of Avengers actually is. In its eternal wisdom,EMH made sure to give almost everyone their original costume, no matter how sleeveless and purple they might be, as a nod to the comics that came before them. It was a classy move but it was even more fun when some the characters on the show thought other characters' costumes were silly. And all of this coming from a guy with a chain for a belt. Sweet Christmas!
2. Mr. Fantastic Gets up Close with Iron Man.
Season two started with an episode calledThe Private War of Dr. Doom. It kicked off with a bunch of memorable moments, like Dr. Doom wrecking everyone and Hulk swinging The Thing around like he was having a Ben Grimm-pillow fight with Doom Bots. While most of the Avengers were playing cards with Thing and Human Torch, Iron Man and Wasp visited the Richardses. Wasp and Invisible Woman had some girl talk featuring lines like "Men are dumb," while Mr. Fantastic and Iron Man talked shop. Because Reed was ignoring Tony, Tony decided to let Mr. Fantastic know that he would be glad to take Sue off his hands to see if he could get a reaction. Mr. Fantastic promptly stretched his head all the way over to Iron Man and said "I can think of fourteen different ways to seal you in that armor." Then they both laughed.
It was a cool way to write these characters very specifically. EMH reminds everyone that while Tony was still a cocky playboy and Reed was still a jealous nerd, they were both friends. It also led to the first time I have heard a character on a kids show threaten to satisfy another character's wife. Girlfriend maybe; never wife. But EMH was all about breaking down boundaries. I also really liked this exchange because I have never seen Tony throw this particular gauntlet down in any TV shows or comic books before, but it makes perfect sense. He loves the ladies, and Invisible Woman is one of those ladies. Reed's comment was funny but proved that he would never let anyone take Sue...except for Dr. Doom, who takes her five minutes later.
1. Cap Teaches Hulk a Lesson.
In Hail Hydra, Hulk and Cap are in the street fighting Hydra robots together. Hulk blows up giant-skull-tentacle-robot after giant-skull-tentacle-robot and Cap, after blowing up a giant-skull-tentacle-robot himself, mentions to Hulk that he should probably watch out for civilians. Hulk reads way too far into it and asks Cap if he thinks Hulk is a monster then Cap says my favorite line of the series, "In my day we had a name for people like you: hero."
I'll be honest. It was corny. In EMH. Captain America was written in a way that made him sound so corny that the other characters on the show often thought it was a bit much. But more than being incredibly unbelievably corny, it was cute. Cap explained that he thought Hulk was a real hero and Hulk smiled and got back to carelessly blowing up giant-skull-tentacle-robots.
Yes, the line about Hulk being a hero was corny - because it was for the kids. After a while, you could forget that EMH was still a kid's show. It was a cartoon about superheroes but it was so well written and the plots were so clever and full of so much Marvel comic history that it never seemed like "just another kids show".
And when it did seem like one, that wasn't a bad thing either. Corny, heartfelt lines made you remember what being a kid and watching these cartoons on Saturday morning was all about and that's great. There are more and more kids shows popping up that entertain adults while reminding them what it was like to be a kid. Lets hope Avengers Assemble follows Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes' lead.