Yeah… you don’t have to double-check the coffee you’re drinking. Though you may want to go add a little vodka or tequila or something to it. Whatever it is, make sure it’s strong because I’m about to do something I don’t normally like to do – have a knee jerk reaction. Almost a year ago shortly after Avengers released in theaters to rave reviews and billions of dollars, Marvel and Disney decided to release new animated series based on the current state of the property. That’s a typical move. You keep the product fresh in the minds of your younger audiences because they’ll convince older audiences (their parents and grandparents, most likely) to join in on the fun. That leads to t-shirt sales, toys, and more merchandise being sold. I get it.
Then you cancel a show that was already pretty damn good – Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes – in favor of Avengers Assemble… which looks bad. Not just the story either. The voice acting is bad. The animation is bad. The overall state of it is bad. If we actually rated cartoon shows this would be the very definition of a “Sucks Shit Through A Straw” rating… Don’t believe me? Watch this. I’ll wait…
Then we finally see their next entry. Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.. Don’t get me wrong. I knew about this series back when the Avengers film first hit the box office. It was no secret to those who were in “the know”, and I was definitely in “the know”. Hulk and his Agents of S.M.A.S.H. are characters from the actual Marvel Comics continuity. Aside from Hulk (voiced by Fred Tatasciore) there is his cousin She-Hulk (voiced by Eliza Dushku), his old arch-nemesis Thunderbolt Ross who became Red Hulk (voiced by Clancy Brown), his own son Skaar (voiced by Benjamin Diskin), and his old sidekick A-Bomb (Seth Green). On paper this should be a knock out of the park win!You have credible actors who are well-known in geek culture AND popular in their own right. You have characters from the Hulk universe that are compelling and can give a character like Hulk the much-needed supporting cast he needs.
All I can say is this…
I’m going to dig into my hip hop vernacular and say “I have beef” with this. Normally I try not to have knee jerk reactions to things like this, but sometimes you just can’t help but smell the bullshit. The lion’s share of the beef is with the cast. Not the voice cast mind you. The character cast. And not even the entirety of it. Just one character – Red Hulk. I don’t know if I missed something in the comics recently, but why does he look and act like Hellboy? I know they are easily mistaken. Both are red… both are pretty big… and they both have an attitude. But if I were watching this show muted I would be wondering why Hellboy is teamed up with Hulk?
The other problem I can’t help but notice is that the animation is just as piss poor as Avengers Assemble, if not worse than. Somehow in the time Marvel was bought by Disney the animation department must have had their budgets cut. I know animation as a technique has devolved into more “simplistic” styles, but I’ve seen 90’s cartoons that look better than this!
Who knows… Maybe this will be better than advertised… Maybe… But I’m not holding my breath. The show will be airing on Disney XD August 11 2013. What do you think of Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.?