Marvel Universe – 5/20/12

Welcome to this week’s edition of Marvel Universe.  Today’s episode of Ultimate Spider-man is titled “Field Trip.”  The team has a run in with an Asgardian artifact and Thor.  Today’s episode of The Avengers is titled “The Ballad of Beta Ray Bill.”  Thor runs into someone that is fleeing Surtur’s demons.  The short segments include a look at jetpacks, a profile of Iron Fist, Joe Quesada drawing Thor, and Marvel Mash-ups.

Ultimate Spider-man – “Field Trip”
Coulson is leading Peter Parker’s class on a tour looking at artifacts, including a stone from Asgard.  Danny Rand reads what is on the stone, and suddenly a Frost Giant appears.  Coulson evacuates the rest of the students and tells the team they are on.  They change into their costumes and fight the giant.  The team has trouble working together, when Thor appears.  Thor doesn’t let the team help him take down the Frost Giant.  Thor touches an amulet that the Frost Giant was wearing, even though Spider-man told him not to, and it turns him into a frog.  Thor blames Loki for turning him into a frog.  Reluctantly, Thor allows the team to enter Asgard with him.  They find Asgard covered in ice.  Thor is quickly frozen in ice, along with everyone else.  Loki gloats to Thor about how easy it was to trap him, and take over Asgard.  Iron Fist finds the weak spot in the ice containing them and the team breaks free.  Spider-man tells Thor to get them out of their since they can’t win.  Thor does, but is unhappy that they ran away.  Spider-man says they need to come up with a plan.  Thor leads them to the Dwarf master that made Mjolnir.  At first, the Dwarf doesn’t want to help, but changes his mind when Thor apologizes for his actions.  Loki is about to break into Odin’s chamber when Thor shows back up.  The team is behind him with mystical weapons, except Spider-man, who is told that he has the power within him to lead.  The team takes down the Frost Giants, and Spider-man is able to trick Loki into restoring Thor into his actual self.  Loki flees, knowing he is defeated.  Thor returns the team to Earth, and says good-bye.

The Avengers:  Earth’s Mightiest Heroes – “The Ballad of Beta Ray Bill”
A ship is shown fleeing an explosion of planets.  Behind the destruction, Surtur is shown hammering something, with his armies leaving.  Thor is discussing with Balder about how he fears that Odin may not be able to defeat Surtur.  Thor also talks about how he misses Jane Foster.  Sif tells him that she doesn’t recognize this Thor.  Odin returns and confirms that Surtur is indeed gone.  Heimdall tells Thor that a ship flying to Midgard has Surtur’s presence.  Heimdall guides Thor to the ship.  The ship fires on Thor.  Thor gets into the ship, and finds it full of frozen beings.  A creature fights Thor, calling him demon.  The creature is able to pick up Thor’s hammer.  The creature calls himself Beta Ray Bill, and uses Mjolnir against Thor.  Sif tells Odin that Thor has gone to face Surtur’s forces.  Beta Ray Bill tries to finish off Thor, but is teleported to Asgard.  Odin demands to know where Thor is, being that he summoned Mjolnir’s wielder.  Thor is then teleported back to Asgard.  Beta Ray Bill has been fighting the Asgardians because their aura resembled Surtur’s forces.  He tells them about how the demons came and destroyed his planet, and he escaped with as many of his people he could.  Beta Ray Bill, Thor, Balder, and Sif visit a Dwarf master to enlist his help in creating a weapon to fight Surtur.  The dwarf is reluctant, but will if Thor owes him a favor.  The group returns to Beta Ray Bill’s ship, and fight off the demons trying to break into it.  Enchantress, surrounded by flames, shows up.  Thor asks Enchantress how she could have aligned with Surtur, and it’s apparent that she’s not under her own control.  Sif communicates with Beta Ray Bill’s ship, Scuttlebutt, and tells it to attack the Enchantress.  Sif fights off the demons that have made it aboard the ship.  Working together, Beta Ray Bill and Thor are able to defeat the Enchantress, which gets rid of the demons.  She asks them to finish it, but is quickly regained by Surtur.  Beta Ray Bill refuses Sif’s offer to accompany him.  Beta Ray Bill pledges to assist when they fight Surtur.  Sif apologizes to Thor for misunderstanding him.

Short segments

  • What Would It Take:  Morgan talks to someone about flying like Iron Man using a water propulsion jet pack.
  • Fury Files featuring Iron Fist.
  • Marvel Master Class:  Joe Quesada draws Thor flying.
  • More Marvel Mash-ups.

Thoughts
This episode of Ultimate Spider-man was fine.  The appearance of Throg was funny.  My problem remains that the show doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.  Once again the team has difficulty working together, and arguing over who the leader is, and once again is able to come together to defeat the threat.  I eagerly await to see next week’s episode, where the team is able to overcome difficulties working together and defeat their foe.  Seriously, at some point, this has to end.  If you’re going to have these side characters in every episode, then you need to move beyond the simple characterizations set up to establish the conflict within the team.  Once you get the team working together, you need to expand on the characterization of the characters.  Simply spinning your wheels, and following the same pattern for several episodes doesn’t make for good television.

Honestly, I had completely forgotten what was going on with Thor and Surtur.  This episode didn’t really do much to further that story, other than introducing Beta Ray Bill, and show us what had become of the Enchantress.  It was an alright episode, but in the grand scheme of things, probably one that you didn’t need to watch.  I have a feeling that the rest of the Avengers may not get drawn into this conflict.  Or if they are, it won’t be until it’s about to end.  I just don’t see it tying into anything else that is going on.

Jetpacks are cool.  Repeating segments are not cool.  Fury Files and Master Class were again repeats of previous segments.  What’s the matter?  Run out of characters to profile?  Really, you haven’t even gone through all of the characters that have appeared on your animated shows.  And come on Quesada.  Do some more drawing sessions, or find an artist to fill in for you.  The segments are interesting, and I’d like to see more of them.

See you next week.

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