Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow [2008]

Depressing Future: Skynet Ultron Style

~or~

A 99% Avengers Free Avengers Movie

next_avengers_ultron

Marvel has been loose with control over their properties.  Certainly more so than DC.  Believe us, we know this first hand.  On the up side this can allow for more exciting stories in which your favorite Marvel heroes can participate.  On the down side it can allow for stupid stories that should have been vetted, edited or outright turned down.

Your favorite heroes are dead, but fear not. Their spunky and (not so) loveable offspring are there to save the day! ...God help us.     Your favorite heroes are dead.  But fear not. Their spunky and (not so) loveable offspring are here to save the day! ...God help us.

Your favorite heroes are dead, but fear not. Their spunky and (not so) lovable offspring are here to save the day... "To the Sadie Hawkins dance!"

Next Avengers, another one of those Marvel direct-to-video animated releases is just one such story.  Many people who watch this will not be the young kids who know little about the Avengers history to which this movie was obviously aimed.  They will be those like us who appreciate the Marvel heroes.

You said it kid.  We miss the real heroes too.

You said it kid. We miss the real heroes too.

We knew going in this was a story about the avengers kids having an adventure sometime in the future.  Marvel often plays fast and loose with alternate futures.  However that does not mean one will enjoy a skeletal telling of the questionable death and disappearance of all those original heroes we care about at the hands of Ultron.  It definitely does not mean we will enjoy an entire movie filled with disobedient punks who cannot get along.

Azari, Black Panther's son.  Pym, Giant Man and Wasp's son.  Torunn, Thor's daughter.  James Rogers, Captain America and Black Widow's son.

Azari, Black Panther's son. Pym, Giant Man and Wasp's son. Torunn, Thor's daughter. James Rogers, Captain America and Black Widow's son. "I told you kids to stay off my lawn!"

Our one sentence synopsis for this lame plot:  In a future world dominated by conquering Ultron the original avengers have been defeated but secreted away their offspring in some stupid hope that the whiny brats would be able to someday beat him and along the way the kids will learn the true meaning of friendship, family – and unleash the Hulk.

In an uncharacteristically stupid move, Tony Stark makes formidible "Iron Avengers

In an uncharacteristically stupid move, Tony Stark makes formidable "Iron Avengers". Why dumb? He was going up against Ulton, a robot he should have at least suspected capable of corrupting machines. At least we got remotely interesting if not contrived henchmen out of it.

The animation quality was not high.  Certainly it was below other direct-to-video offerings from Marvel like Hulk versus Thor.  Perhaps they thought the kids would not care.  (Perhaps they are right.)  The art direction is hit-or-miss, falling mostly on the “miss” side.  Old Tony Stark is decently designed, but do not expect to see any cool futuristic Iron Man armor.

Marvel hero Tony Stark/Iron Man:  He is still stylin' 30 years in the future even after being heartbroken, injured and tortured.  How does he do it?

Marvel hero Tony Stark/Iron Man: He is still stylin' 30 years in the future even after being heartbroken, injured and tortured. How does he do it?

After all the years, and all the things Stark had built...  We just expected more from the armor we knew he would eventually don in this underwhelming flick.

After all the years, and all the things Stark had built... We just expected more from the armor we knew he would eventually don. Come on dude, it's the FUTURE!

The majority of the art direction “hits” were  on the four grousing progeny.  Disregarding his lousy sullen attitude the Captain America kid had an interesting design with a pleasing dark jacket outlining a large star and an energy shield wrist unit that needed more explanation.

Guess where the glow-in-the-dark panels will be on the new Axari action figure.

Guess where the glow-in-the-dark panels will be on the new Azari action figure.

next_avengers_torunn_sword

The Black Panther wanna-be had some interesting glowing panels light up on his dark outfit when he went electric.  That was at least visually interesting.  The Wasp/Giant Man kid was nothing special.  He wore a suit that more or less seemed designed for the back of a cereal box.

Thor's daughter impales Iron Thor.  Hmmm, Freud would have a field day with this.

Thor's daughter impales Iron Thor. Hmmm, Freud would have a field day with this. BTW, does she not seem a little ...buxom for a - what, 14-year-old?

The scene where Thor causes Torunn's sword to fly back to her is the best 12 seconds of the movie.

The scene where Thor causes Torunn's sword to fly back to her is the best 12 seconds of the movie.

The best design hit was Thor’s daughter Toruun.  A muscular youth with long blond hair and an enchanted sword.  Her use of old English like her father was endearing and her angst knowing her father was alive but not contacting her seemed the most real.  Never mind the yarn they spun about Odin dying and Thor taking over in Asgard.  If you care about the Thor universe, you are better off getting a snack when that stuff comes up.

We know what you are thinking, "How does an Asgardian shave invulnerable whiskers?"

We know what you are thinking, "How does an Asgardian shave invulnerable whiskers?"

Visually, Thor was pleasing for his 19 second cameo.  However his indifference toward Earth, his former fiends and even his daughter made him seem out of character.

Visually, Thor was pleasing in his 19 second cameo. However his indifference toward Earth, his former friends and even his daughter made him seem out of character. On the bright side his updated costume now has lights!

next_avengers_torunn_3

Ultron was handled well, though for whatever reasons they wrongly attributed his origin to Stark rather than Hank Pym.  In fact Stark and Ulton were voiced by the same actor, but done well.  It was a nice touch considering their origin change.  Ultron was creepy, cold and cruel.  Kind of scary for young kids.  Though his art direction was nothing special and he seemed a metal-ish colored robotic blob from the neck down.

WHat color is that exactly?  You do not seem to be blending in with the environment.  What, are you lit from the insoide?

What color is that exactly? You do not seem to be blending in with the environment. What, are you lit from the inside?

Old Bruce Banner is a crazy, cantankerous old coot.  "I thought I told you kids earlier in this post to stay off my lawn!"

Old Bruce Banner is a crazy, cantankerous old coot. "I thought I told you kids earlier in this post to stay off my lawn!"

It was strange that the protagonists kids relied on the Hulk to finally take Ultron down.  (Certainly they could not do it themselves.)  We would have preferred the kids somehow engineering the reconstitution of the original Avengers.  Unless you are age 6, skip this one.

"HULK NO LIKE STUPID KIDS SHOW!"

"HULK NO LIKE STUPID KIDS SHOW!"

Check out related takes:

Hulk Vs Thor [2009]

Thor: Tales of Asgard [2011]

_____________________________

Iron Man Related Takes:

Iron Man (anime) [2011] Season 1

Iron Man: Armored Adventures [2008] Season 1

Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes [2010] Season 1

Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow [2008]


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2 thoughts on “Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow [2008]

  1. I’m a little surprised you were so hard on this. Despite it’s obvious “for kids” presentation, I thought it was much more enjoyable than Ultimate Avengers 1 and 2.

    • Yeah. That Ultimate line… We have never been big fans of it. We try to enjoy those one off, non-canon adventures and succeed to varying degrees. They are “alternate presents”. Those two had their moments, and at least were more mature. But as you say, not without flaw. They get away with a lot due to the ultimate universe thing. We never felt too compelled to write a take on them.

      We suppose Next Avengers was an “alternate future”, albeit one that was devoid of much humanity, depressing, and more or less a graveyard for all the Avenger heroes you ever liked. While it had a decent moment or two, we did not care for the overall story. You do not HAVE to step on the graves of present day heroes to make a “Muppet Babies” version of Avenger-wanna-bes.

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