Here is a second volume of episodes from the Marvel cartoon’s first season, which is geared towards young children. The review for the first volume, written by the highly skilled and suspiciously well-dressed Michael Durr, can be found here: http://upcomingdiscs.com/2010/07/12/marvel-squad-vone/ . Dr. Doom is still using his many evil minions to obtain fractals of the shattered Infinity Sword before the Superhero Squad, a team of Marvel heroes assembled for their unique skills depending on the mission as led by Iron Man, can stop him.
As it has been for every episode in this first season, the humour ranges from quirky one-liners that only slightly older viewers may catch, to extremely low-brow bodily function gags, mostly pertaining to farts and burps; though the latter only arises whenever Mole Man or Hulk are involved. Not to say that this makes it uninteresting for viewers young or old but is more unifying. As well, each episode often features cameos by many characters from the Marvel universe, much of whom are rather obscure as only hardcore Marvel geeks might know (show me an 8-year-old who knew who Thanos was before this show and I’ll eat my Thor shirt!). Perhaps the most amusing cameo is The Punisher, being voiced by Ray Stevenson who actually played the violent vigilante in an R-Rated adaptation of the comic Punisher: War Zone; only here, he uses a metaphor about brussel sprouts when speaking about crime…but still has many a gun go off at random in an especially amusing scene.
Some Marvel fans continue to bark their complaints online about the characters being untrue to the originals, too kiddy, and all various synonyms for “lame” (or even nastier terms I cannot repeat in polite company) and so I feel the need to defend this show as part of my critique. This show has no illusions about being a straight-ahead adaptation of these characters. Even at that, it’s largely only because of the darker, Frank Miller-esque influence of the nineties that people today feel comic characters should be grittier. This is some silly fun where we can laugh both with and at some colouful characters, most of whom poured out of the imagination of Stan Lee.
Widescreen 1.78:1. As mentioned in Michael Durr’s review of the first volume, it is nice to see cartoons displaying in widescreen. Overall, the presentation is immpecible. The lines could not be crisper, even HD would barely show an improvement (if at all). I am totally satisfied with the extremely bright colours, solid black lines (notable in this art style) and un damaged frame rate. Perfecto
Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 are both available, which is refreshing and rare for kid’s cartoons on DVD (I find). The voice talent is clear as can be and the effects are blended well with the music in all of the surrounding speakers when using 5.1.
Tom Kenny Interview: A polite interview that should have been MUCH longer and with more in depth questions. We are teased with footage of him working with other such voice actors as Charlie Adler but get nothing of a “behind the scenes” look at him portraying Iron man, Captain America and MODOK. Kenny is a true talent and deserves a better look at his performances.
Character Profiles: Humourous looks at how these characters are presented for this show. All have humourous qualities that have been added for the show, such as both Silver Surfer and Thor being occasionally ditzy despite having God-level powers.
Supehero Squad Online Trailer: A short clip of gameplay for the upcoming video game.
Art Gallery: Lots of concept art for the series production. Nicely presented.
I feel this show comes close to ranking amongst those that can hold the interest of any age group, getting close to Spongebob and Fairly Odd Parents (if I may use some contemporary examples). A delight for open-minded comic fans, and a safe introductory for any parent who wishes their child to grow up awkward and creative….like many of the amazing reviewers on this site 😉