A terrorist organization called Hydra attacks the United Nations while all of the worlds leaders are present. Tony Stark aka Iron Man, enters the scene to halt the rampage. After the skirmish, he comes to words with SHIELD commander Nick Fury, and learns that the threat of super villains are increasing and he's only one man. As the super villain activity increase, solo superheroes attempt to stop the madness. These random attacks are only the beginning of something bigger in the works.
The Avengers and Fantastic Four get together trading war stories and playing cards. Out of nowhere they come under attack and The Invisible Woman along with the Wasp are kidnapped. The teams join forces and travel to the nation of Latveria, where they come face to face with the Fantastic Four's most dangerous enemy, Dr. Doom. -summary
Volume 5 of the Avengers contains 13 episodes as well as a bonus episode of the second and final season of the series. This volume is still every bit as action packed and exciting as the previous four. Directed and written by a host of well known writers in the comic field such as Frank Paur, Christopher Yost, and even the late Boyd Kirkland; these episodes will more than likely appeal to the most diehard Marvel comic book fans, as they borrow elements from mainstream Marvel and even the ultimate universe. Some of the most popular storylines in recent memory and even decades ago have been translated over. Although none of them are better than the original source material, they are still great fun to watch and even casual fans will have a good time.
The last volume ended with the defeat of Loki on Asgard, and as a result of that battle, Captain America's indestructible shield was actually destroyed into pieces. Later, Dr. Doom attacks and the ending battle leaves both super groups with a bitter taste in their mouth, and the ending of that episode sets events into motion with plenty of foreshadowing. This entire volume is heavily story driven as everything is leading up to the major story arc Secret Invasion. Kang the Conqueror left the Avengers a warning stating that they were destined to lock in battle with two very powerful alien races; the military minded Kree empire, and the shape-shifting Skrulls. The Avengers encounter the Kree again, when they meet one of their members Ronan the Accuser. They soon receive news that they have been infiltrated by the Skrulls, which leads the team to not trusting each other at all and fighting amongst themselves. They also end up doing battle on their home front, when the Red Hulk appears to kill the original Hulk. Plus the Enchantress turns against the Masters of Evil which leads to the Avengers being caught in the middle. While there are some detours from the main storyline, it's still being developed in some ways.
This volume is a fan boys dream come true. The Avengers line up slightly changes a little and it's just so cool watching altered animated versions of storylines such as the Ballad of Beta Ray Bill, The Private War of Doctor Doom, and Secret Invasion. Hell, even Michael Korvac makes it to the series to terrorize everyone.
The production values are still top notch for the most part. I love the character designs, because they stay loyal to the original artwork. Female characters such as Madame Hydra, Ms. Marvel, and Maria Hill are drawn very well, and Thor appears in his silver armor looking god-like as ever. The action is too good at times, as the two Hulk's collide beating the hell out of each other. The action isn't over violent, so this is something the kids can watch. I still love the voice acting, especially Colleen O'Shaughnessey as the Wasp, and Lex Lang sounds sinister as Dr. Doom.
The only gripe that I have with this set is that the episodes are presented out of order, and this is a very big deal because it screws up the narrative. This is a series that works well towards its surprises, and it's a must that they are seen in chronological order. Here is the order they must be seen in:
1) The Private War of Doctor Doom 2) Alone Against A.I.M. 3) Acts of Vengeance 4) Welcome to the Kree Empire 5) To Steal an Ant-Man 6) Michael Korvac 7) Who Do You Trust? 8) The Ballad of Beta Ray Bill 9) Nightmare in Red 10) Prisoner of War 11) Infiltration 12) Secret Invasion 13) Behold... The Vision! Bonus Episode: Powerless
Now, for strange reason they decided to add episode 15) Powerless, and switch Along Came a Spider with Behold... The Vision!. Thankfully this doesn't ruin the flow from what I remember, but it would have been better to keep things the way they were suppose to be.
In closing, this series was created by fans for fans and it shows. It's a shame that the show has been canceled, because there's more than 40 years worth of material that could have kept the series fresh. Still, I recommend giving this a shot if you haven't already, and if you enjoyed it up to this point then that's a good thing, since the show remains as fun as ever.
Pros: -Lots of action, many guest appearances, cool stories
Cons: -Presented out of order
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